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9 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I have to ask you: would making mud pies provide good training for making apple pies?

No, but practicing wood working basics on cheap pine before mangling an expensive piece of maple always seemed to make sense to me. From a practice perspective, it's basically cheap square stock to attempt to see if you can figure out how to make it a shape other than square stock. If it's cheap and easily accessible practice stock, I figure that makes for more opportunity to practice which should theoretically be a good thing (as long as you accept what it is and what parts you can really practice, as in it's not a way to practice proper heat treating for example).

As far as making things out of them rather than just using as practice steel, folks seem to love the novelty factor. In that vein, people really seem to like the head still being in tact in whatever the final thing is. It lets them identify what it once was and people like the this "thing" was made into this "other thing" concept.

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People like stuff made out of rail spikes just because they're rail spikes. Recycling. Repurposing. Upcycling, Call it what you like. Of course the railway guys like bottle openers and toasting forks.

Try drawing one out to the max to practise your skills - I got 800mm out of a standard spike and it's an interesting talking piece for visitors. Totally useless but interesting. Aiming for a metre next.

And speaking of useless, I would avoid the wrought iron spikes. Nice texture but they behave like cheese in the forge. Or maybe I just don't know how to deal with them.

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i guess if you "really" wanted a knife with a RR spike handle on it but a good hard functional blade you could always go with the japanese style and forge weld a fold of harder steel around the softer spike core. if you did it from some nice damascus style fold welded steel and etched the blade up folks might not even realise/care that it's not the "original" spike steel 

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Nearly the same here We need a certified safe securely bolted to the wall. However we can keep bolts and ammo in the same safe. I keep my guns in the neghbours safe. They are expensive. The safes I mean.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/19/2015 at 9:33 PM, ausfire said:

Many folks are just amazed at how much metal there is in a standard rail spike. ... I guess it would be something of a challenge to get a metre out of one.

 

On 11/20/2015 at 0:17 AM, fergy said:

sounds like you just threw a challenge out there regarding getting a metre out of a spike :D

pics or it didn't happen please people:P

Ok, so since nobody else appeared to have taken it up, I did.  I know that it didn't turn out as even as many of you can make it, but it was good practice tapering.

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Oh, did I say I took three forging sessions and who knows how many heats? (and yes that is my foot)

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  • 3 months later...

garden shovel, a couple bottle openers, and a wall hook with leaf, still needs wire wheeled and a finish put on it.

                                                                                                                            Littleblacksmith

 

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Greetings LBS..

       Looking good.. Just a few suggestions.  Prior to twisting your stock file the surface clean on the Rubic's cube and your plain twist . Round the edges for hand comfort.  A smaller diameter ball pien for the screws than a round punch for the screw to set flat. As you might of guessed I've made bunches..  Keep up the great work . 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

 

 

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Thank you! I had never thought of using a flat punch then so the screw heads sit flat! lots of good suggestions!

                                                                                                             Littleblacksmith

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LBS,

An old trick for preventing a rivet from rotating is to fashion one end squarish, and the other end can circularish.

The square end is set in a square or rectangular hole.

SLAG.

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Nice trivet. IDF. Simple and functional.

I have been asked to make a park bench out of rail spikes for the local railway station. Trying to think of a way of making it comfortable to sit on. Rail spikes are not that easy on the behind.

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5 hours ago, ausfire said:

make a park bench out of rail spikes for the local railway station. Trying to think of a way of making it comfortable to sit on. Rail spikes are not that easy on the behind.

Nice Project! and a challenge to overcome.  

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