Charles R. Stevens

Another rail road iron anvil

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Welcome aboard Missourian, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

I like rail anvils, especially on end. The only advantage to mounting one rail up is the varying radius of curved surface and how it makes a decent fullering bottom die. That said mounted the rail on end is a much more effective anvil with so much more steel under the hammer.

The rest of the rail is also much more accessible as well. The entire flange from whatever dies you've ground into the top down to the stand is accessible. There are no rules saying a flat surface has to be horizontal you can flatten a long piece vertically and it gives you a much better view of what and were it needs adjustments. Same for using the transition curves between web, flange and rail. 

It's no big thing forging on a vertical anvil, just a matter of practice and sometimes that's the only thing available so you go with what you have. More folks should give real field expedient blacksmithing a try. Forge your tools from whatever you scrounge with a camp fire and whatever heavy thing is within carrying distance. 

Think about it, what is the 1st. tool you'd make? I've done the  oh call it post apocalypse start with nothing you can't find thing for years. I used to be a field guy, lived in a tent in different places all over Alaska and have started with a boulder, a couple cobbles and ditch findings. So, what's your first tool guys?

Frosty The Lucky.

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On Saturday, September 02, 2017 at 10:58 PM, Charles R. Stevens said:

Missourian, you are the reason I created it. Well, all you ladies and gentalmen trying to make a chunk of rail into a versital tool. 

I do appreciate it...I am also borrowing heavily from one of your other threads,  and getting there slowly but surely.

Still have some cutting,  grinding,  shaping and assembly to go,  but it is coming together.

20170912_153903_crop_520x902-390x677.jpg

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On 9/4/2017 at 1:40 PM, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard Missourian, glad to have you.

Thanks for the welcome.  I am lucky enough to have two and a half of 18 inch +/- of legally sourced rail to work with.  I hauled a bunch of decommissioned scrap rail out of Garden City, OK,  and the shipper was nice enough to trade a few pieces for some sling straps that I had left over from hauling tubing. 

What I really want to make is single barb gigs for bow gigging and three pronged gigs for frogs.  Haven't seen too many threads on it,  but I am a total novice anyway,  so I likely have a long way to go before I'm ready for that. 

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What all did you use to cut it like that?  I’d like to have the triangular cut out in mine so I could grind it to the shape I want. Where would I take mine to have it cut also? I don’t think I could afford the grinder blades it would take for me to do it

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I just used a combination of 4 1/2” cutting blades, 9” cutting blades, chop saw blades, 4 1/2” grinder and 9” grinder wheals.  

But a weldshop with a plasma cutter or a torch could make the big cuts as well. 

At  $5 each good 4 1/2” wheels are acualy affordable for the modifications. I don’t think I used up any of the consumables I used.  

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So when you use the rail road piece, what does it look like when it is done? I don’t know if I’m just not getting it but all the pictures show it so that it is set up horizontally, shouldn’t it be so the big flat side is on top for hammering? 

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Please read Anvils, Swage Blocks, and Mandrels, and A collection of improvised anvils.

Depending on the length of the rr track, it is most efficient as an anvil standing on end with all the mass directly under the impact area of the hammer. The photo shows a piece of rr track on end, a piece of 1/2 inch round stock and a 2 pound hammer face. The rr track is larger than the hammer face so there are no issues using it as an anvil.

rr track and hammer.jpg

rr track anvil.jpg

If you have a shorter section of rr track, you can turn it any why that is convenient for you, that is round side up or flat side up for an anvil. You can also turn it on the side and use the rr track as a swage utilizing the inside and outside curves. 

The way you use something is totally up to you and the project you are working on.

 

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Ok, so I am not the architect I wish I was or am I a good artist. But, what I’m trying to show here is what if you set the top of a rail road track into a block of wood so the bottom which is wider and flatter is sticking out of the top of the block when laid it’s side. If there are any questions because I didn’t explain it well or the drawing isn’t great, just ask.

6196B611-1DE3-4CB3-A3B6-2CA208C07CD2.jpeg

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We often make an “L” shaped stump so you can bolt the flange to it and leave the head sticking up 6” or so. 

As to a flat serface, I stole an idea from Steve and ground a divot in the face of the rail head and if I need to straitened somthing I typicaly just hand it strait down and reach over the face and straitened it. 

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10 hours ago, Tyler Cech said:

what if you set the top of a rail road track into a block of wood so the bottom which is wider and flatter is sticking out of the top of the block when laid it’s side. 

It would be extremely inefficient because there would be virtually no metal mass under it. It would be a ton of work for something that would only be good for straightening pieces, not forging them out. With the rail track oriented as Glenn has shown, and mounted as Charles mentions, it is a smaller area to forge on but it is enough to start with and efficient since there is mass underneath the hammering area. 

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Nothing said you have to do all your forging strait down on the face, you can just as well let the stock hang vertically and straitene stock on the side of the anvil (on my showing anvils I often refine corners buy laying the stock on the edge around the front corner (true 90) I still have to bring it in a bit but I can refine the inside and outside corners that way. As Glenn is won’t to say, you payed for the whole anvil, use it

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As for the anvil question: No, what you are looking for is good solid mass under the hammer.

For the firepot, how big is that wheel? You could maybe make it work in a pinch.

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Wait, do the mini anvils no. And ye big piece of metal? And I don’t know how wide that wheel is it was at my farm but I’m back home now.

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3 hours ago, Tyler Cech said:

would this be ok to work with as an anvil

Unfortunately there is not an anvil in the lot. A large sledgehammer head mounted in a stump would work better. Check out the improvised anvil thread for other ideas. 

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