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I Forge Iron

the handy rail spike


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  • 2 months later...
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 Duckwalk was forging today and he said he had rr spikes. I mentioned making a spatula/turner out of one but he didn't have the right tongs to hang on to a spike so he didn't make one. I was anxious to see one so I gave it a go myself. Here's a few pictures of the progression and the final product. Am testing it out now so I'll let you know how it works in a bit. 

 

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Yup it works great and my friend cooking breakfast dinner is super happy with it. Don't think I'll get to sell this one :rolleyes:

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On 4/20/2016 at 11:41 PM, Daswulf said:

 Duckwalk was forging today and he said he had rr spikes. I mentioned making a spatula/turner out of one but he didn't have the right tongs to hang on to a spike so he didn't make one.

Funny, I was JUST thinking about making one from a spike. 

I noticed the twist was a bit different looking. Did you slit it like you were pineapple twist then twist and notun-twist?

I do like it. Nice work

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18 minutes ago, EJRailRoadTrack said:

Funny, I was JUST thinking about making one from a spike. 

I noticed the twist was a bit different looking. Did you slit it like you were pineapple twist then twist and notun-twist?

I do like it. Nice work

Yup, chiseled down the center on all 4 flats then twist. Having read on here that some people prefer a smooth feel I took a flatter to the corners as well so they wouldn't be sharp. Chiseling like that makes for a neater looking twist in my opinion. I did twist further then I really wanted but it works and is comfortable to handle. On S hooks I leave the edges sharp and if you get the twist to stop right at the end of the chisel marks looks really nice. 

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I much prefer the transition between twist and shaft if the twist is done before drawing down the shaft. It's not so abrupt nor is there a little space of unfinished stock between the features, the incised flats in this case.

That's my taste and it is just a preference.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

Nice basket twist. I'm trying to remember which blacksmith org posted a nice wrench for tweaking baskets into true. It's a dirt simple thing only slightly more complicated than a standard screw driver.

Okay, the fog clears! IIRC it's a long acute wedge thin, say 1/32" at the pointy end tapering up to maybe 1/8" thick. The wide end has a Tee handle and it's made from something that can be hardened to pry bar tough. It allows you to force it straight in between bars that are touching and using a prying and twisting action spread them.

I've seen a brief video of one being used to true up a basket twist. The video was about the basket twist but the tool was in there and that's what grabbed my attention.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It's just your standard rail road spike, I fire welded the head back into itself. Tapered both ends and tried to leave about 4 inches untouched in the middle. The whole thing was about 16 inches long end to end before I did the twist and hooks. I was wondering if I should make the hooks first and then twist, or vice versa. I ended up doing the twist first, then for the hooks I dunked the twist in water before putting the piece to the anvil, and it seemed to work as fsr as not screwing up the twist. 

It probably took me close to an hour, and half of my time went to tweaking/ fixing the twist and getting the whole thing straight. I may be a rookie, but I feel I learn fairly quick thinking later about why something didn't go right the first time around, and then I'll change it next time. It was fun, definitely going to try doing this particular hook again

Frosty, that sounds handy, now I'm thinking of how I could make something like it lol

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You've got the sequence right it's hard holding a taper and doing any real forging. Thin sections take heat a LOT faster and tend to burn off. When you taper and set finials first, a person all too often gets to repair or remake them later.

I'm hoping someone remembers the article about making and using the scroll tweaking tool and posts the link. I have coil spring, Alaskan roads seem to generate a lot of old coil springs, spring piece mills as it were. :huh:

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm wondering if that twist would look better if I went around more. For the one posted above, I twisted it 1.5 times around, then went back 1/2 a turn. I would like my next one to be opened up a bit more, but since my spirals differed slightly in thickness, they were not cooperating in opening evenly and stopped after the 1/2 turn back. I'm going to experiment with it, but will try to go around twice on my next one, and back a full turn. Any thoughts on this? I've only tried it twice, just was curious how others go about getting a nice even and open basket. I also used a grinder to cut it the whole way through, figured slitting it the whole way through would take time and deform it some, but maybe I'm wrong.

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Join the club, we all wonder that or if we twisted too far. Getting even sections when you're cutting them from solid bar is a real trick and the reason most of us weld a bundle instead. If you figure out how without having to buy expensive equipment or spending forever at it please let us know! :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I second Frosty's request! I too would like to know how you got such even strands in the twist from solid bar. The welded bundle of 6mm square bar is easy in comparison.

And you 'fire welded the head back into itself'. Man, that is a pretty slick manoeuvre for a 'rookie'. Methinks you have more experience than you're letting on. :)

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1 minute ago, ausfire said:

I second Frosty's request! I too would like to know how you got such even strands in the twist from solid bar. The welded bundle of 6mm square bar is easy in comparison.

And you 'fire welded the head back into itself'. Man, that is a pretty slick manoeuvre for a 'rookie'. Methinks you have more experience than you're letting on. :)

Actually, Technicus Joe has a video on YT where he forges the head of a spike back into itself for making RR spike tongs. I've made em and like them alot :) 

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Appreciate the kind words aus but I literally have about 6 months experience is all. I lurk on this site quite a bit reading old threads though and YouTube helps occasionally, but head knowledge only gets you so far right? Always trying something new out there, but then again everything is new to me lol

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