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I know a lot has been written about rail spikes. Perhaps we should have a thread where rail spike ideas are all in the one place.

Anyway, I was a bit bored after doing a heap of bottle openers, so I put a rail spike in the forge and drew it out just for the sake of it.

Got it close to 600mm, but it was not easy work! (Need a power hammer - the 'Armstrong' model is wearing out!) The finished spike has virtually no practical function other than to demonstrate how much steel there is in a spike. I see on his website that Vaughn makes them into steak flippers.

So what else could be done with spikes?

Here's a pic of the drawn out spike in comparison:

 

DSC_5032.jpg

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If you leave about an inch on the pointy end as-is, you can flatten and spread it a bit like a spatula.   They make dandy back-scratchers!

Coat hooks, bottle openers, short legs for a propane forge, handles, and I've even seen one example of them being used to make ol' timey hinges, though you couldn't see that they were once spikes.

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If you leave about an inch on the pointy end as-is, you can flatten and spread it a bit like a spatula.   They make dandy back-scratchers!

 

Now there's a thought! Draw the middle section out thin and forge the end bit into a claw for a back scratcher. Anyone done one to show?

I think it's important that the finished piece is obviously from a rail spike.

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Ah, the venerable RR spike, from the mangled beginner project facebook share, to the artist-blacksmith contest challenge piece. In 100 years, if you ask the average citizen what blacksmiths made way back when, they will probably say something like "My grandpa was a blacksmith, he used to make knives from RR spikes in his back yard in a brake drum forge!"

Since most of the photos in the old threads have disappeared into the ether, here ya go. Some of the 10,000 or so captured and stored on my system.

RR spike projects.jpg

RR spike projects 2.jpg

 

RR spike tongs PB.JPG

Yesteryear Forge RR spike steak flippers.jpg

Yesteryear Forge RR spike fork & spoon.jpg

RR spike garden trowels.jpg

RR spike head coat hooks.jpg

assorted RR spike bottle openers.jpg

Edited by John McPherson
checking photos

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AWESOME! Rail Spikes 101. Just about every conceivable rail spike creation there. Thanks, John.

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OK, thought I would try one of those rail spike knives. I guess the steel is not really suitable for serious knives, but it was an interesting exercise.

DSC_5037.jpg

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I've made tongs ( thanks to Technicus Joes tutorial on YT. ) 

and a take on a wall mount bottle opener. 

 

image.jpg

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image.jpg

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If you just work hot irons on the stump end, it'll virtually dish itself, you can then clean out the char with a wire brush.

Alternately a flap wheel in an angle grinder, start with a rough chiseled dint if you like.

All depends what tooling you have on hand,

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58 minutes ago, Anthony San Miguel said:

O1 Tundra, how did you make the bowl shape in the stump? I'm making a stump swage now with various shapes but I can't come up with a good way to make big dishes like that.

It was for a different application but I actually used a circular saw with a carbide blade, held the guard open and inserted into the log. then rotated it in a circle. it had to be cleaned up a bit but the general shape was nice even with cutting with the side of the teeth. Be careful of kickback and don't stand behind the saw. . depth of the bowl is set with depth of the blade.

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Thanks for the dish making suggestions. The stump I have is still kind of green, hasn't hardened yet so I wonder if one of these would work. I would have to make a bunch of plunge cuts and then chisel out the rest.

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5 minutes ago, tdaleh said:

Your a blacksmith make a gouge and hammer and carve it in.

Burn, Baby, BURN, BURN, make fire!!!!

Neil

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Another thing RR spike is good for is shaped into a wedge for say a door stop or I use them in the fab shop 

Alot ! to adjust the height on something I am building also great to help force a froze bearing or flange off a shaft :)

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And a forge poker for picking out clinker.

(Note the clever use of the existing right-angle bend.)

IMG_20151114_215842459.jpg

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2015‎ ‎1‎:‎43‎:‎45‎, Anthony San Miguel said:

O1 Tundra, how did you make the bowl shape in the stump? I'm making a stump swage now with various shapes but I can't come up with a good way to make big dishes like that.

I drew the diameter out with a sharpie marker, then chiseled the bowl out to roughly what I wanted, then used a torch to burn the wood and used a rounding hammer to get the final product.

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@01tundra, you did a good job. I've made small bowls, rectangles and other bottom swage shapes on both sides of the stump but a good large, precise dish like the one you made has been the hardest to do. I'm going to give your method a shot.

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I made a hawk, upset it and then used the cross peen to widen the blade.  Hardened it but did not temper it. Looks kinda cool and is handy for little things.  Flemish.

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