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I Forge Iron

What can you make out of railroad spikes?

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Ok all, I am the frugal type, my wife would even say miserly and at times cheap :D I have been through the blueprints several times and have found many great ideas. I have an abundant supply of RR spikes and I am fishing for ideas and also would like to see what kind of imaginative things others make with this simple, economical (cheap as in FREE!) resource. ;)


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like that word frugal , thats what i am frugal.
i will search around but somewhere in my travels last year there was a site with a whole slew of ideas
me myself i can only think of a tomahawk , some sort of handles
one i did and liked was i cut the point off did a pinnaple twist, drilled 5/16 dia cross hole
where the point was and drilled another hole perpendicular to the cross hole but about
a half inch back fed a piece of 5/16 round thru the cross hole to egual lengths sticking out stuck a piece of 5/16 thru top hole only half length forge welded rods in
after welding and still hot i bent to a garden tool , you know little fork tool .
i forget what they are called
them dern railroad spikes always migrate from he railroad to my shop, how do you suppose that happens

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I live next to a railroad, so strangely enough most of my stock is 3/4 x 3/4 x 6" ... :rolleyes:

I made these candle holders from spikes. Trying to forge the flanges of the head down without making cold shuts is a challenge. Plus a lot of drawing out - hammer practice for a noob. Glass doodads can be found at Goodwill for next to nothing.

Good Luck!


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  • 1 year later...

The best use I've made of them so far is as nail headers. Chop them off about an inch and a quarter below the head with a cut-off wheel in a grinder and then wrap a rod just below the head... heat to bright red and flip the cut end up on the anvil (kinda roll it so the rod stays in place) then pound with a big hammer to upset the shaft and trap the rod. Voila! You have a nail header ready to drill and drift. I like to weld my rod tight with the mig so that it doesn't rattle in use at this point too. The crown of the spike head makes a good surface for the top of the header but it flattens a bit from the vigorous upsetting, so I reshape it a bit with a 36 grit flap disc.

PS: Once you get a header or two made you can start on the nails... and use those to make lotsa stuff. I just made a nice key rack with nails as pegs for the key rings. I like the heads kinda biggish for these so take a heat after tapering and notching so that you can get a nice big head flattened and shaped. I'd take a pic but it's already wrapped... so after christmas.

Edited by bigfootnampa
PS added
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RR spikes are some of the most fun. I make letter openers,,handles for coal forge fire tools, meat turners, bottle openers, chesse cutters, wizards, and my favorite a cross without cutting it into two pieces. I like old worn, rusted, bent spikes best, leave some of the old surface looks pretty cool.

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