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I Forge Iron

the handy rail spike


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This steel is intended for casehardening so I do not know how sensitive it is. This temperature is in the austenitic area. I assume that the normal procedure has to be  normalising afterwards to get the grains down again. The smear method as I understand it is quick.

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  • 2 months later...

Can't make enough of these rail spike openers. It surprises me that people prefer the straight opener to the twisted ones. Maybe because they retain the original shape of the rail spike, I don't know.

Also, how do you decide whether to have the longer part of the head down or up in relation to the business end? They fit better in the hand pointed end down, but they don't look right like that. I make some of both but points up sell better.

Here are a few of my straight ones:

 

spike openers.JPG

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OK, thanks. I'll continue to make a variety of these, but I know which ones stay on the shelf longer. Good to give the consumer a choice I guess.

As is often the case with these things, they often want the one they see made.

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Do what sells, of course.

I personally am surprised that bottle openers sell at all. Most beer here is 'twist top' no need for opener. soft drinks have a threaded top.

 If I need an opener I will have to dig deep in the back of the kitchen draw ... :)

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On ‎18‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 5:48 AM, Marc1 said:

 

I personally am surprised that bottle openers sell at all.

 

Me, too. But they do ... and very well. I think the bottle opener is just associated with beer and bars, and if you have a bar or man cave at home, you need a few bottle openers, whether they are used or not.

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Yup the stuff that come in mason jars is Moonshine not beer, a distilled liquor most often in contravention of the statutes.  It's pretty raw right off the worm and generally the aging time is based on the transport time.   I come from the Ozark Mountains where such activities have persisted unto this day.

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There are some varieties of "legal moonshine" (i.e., unaged corn whiskey) available for sale, sometimes packaged in Mason jars.

Very generally speaking, it's legal to ferment your own hooch, but not to distill it. Jack Andrews included his recipe for "blacksmith's beer" at the end of "Edge of the Anvil"; a friend of mine followed those directions and said the results tasted like panther urine.

7 hours ago, Marc1 said:

Beer with corks, aged beer ... my oh my, I must live on a different planet. :blink:

Dark ale aged in an old bourbon cask is a thing of beauty.

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Hammer San,

Fermentation has its limits as far as concentration of alcohol is concerned. The yeast works up to a concentration of about 12% before it pollutes itself to death.

People can raise content of a fermented brew to much higher concentrations by distillation of the brew. So the government allows people to ferment, but it prohibits us from distilling the product.

Farmers in rural Quebec, (and I am sure other places) use selective freezing to raise the alcohol percentage, by successive freezing of the brew. This is done by placing the fermented liquid into a tightly covered container. It is then put outside in the snow overnight. Come morning there is a layer of ice on the surface of the brew. (The water freezes before any alcohol would freeze).

As some of the water is removed, the remaining brew gets more and more concentrated So the ice is removed and the process is repeated until the remaining brew is strong enough for the user's taste.

Voila!

No distillation is used so the B.A.T.F. has no still to find.

This brilliant maneuver is used to make apple cider and spruce beer, and it can be used for other beverage preparation. Spruce beer is delicious and can set you on your backside quickly.

SLAG.

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well my grandfather in Oklahoma used to get a barrel of cider every year and let it get "hard" and then let it freeze in the barrel outside and take a red hot poker and tap the unfrozen part.  I'll have to ask my Mother if he started this during prohibition, (a time period in the USA when alcoholic beverages were banned from sale...)  predates the common addition of sulfites to prevent fermentation in many ciders today in the USA though the fermented version is sold commonly elsewhere, I had a number of pints of it in Wales when I was drinking Brains...

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  • 3 months later...

I just picked up a bucket of R R Spikes at a crossing that was taken out last fall. The  R.R is abandoned and they bpiled up the scrap on the side. There are many more that I left because of my carry capacity. Are these spike a hot item? I'm not sure what I will do with them but I see lots of projects with them.

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To me spikes are sort of a "one trick pony" with the big thing about them is that the item made used to be a railroad spike!

I don't find them a convenient size stock for most stuff I do and they are NOT a good blade alloy, (and for all the people who tell me they are just using them to  practice for using better bladesmithing alloys later---I have to ask you: would making mud pies provide good training for making apple pies?)

However such items do seem to sell well to the general public.  If the track was old enough you may find wrought iron spikes associated with it.

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You can use spikes for anything you would use mild stock for. Good for larger hooks and camp tools. I have been working working on learning how to make animal heads out of them as well. You can make knives and tomahawks and stuff like that but they don't harden up very well. YouTube has a lot of diffent projects to try.

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