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I Forge Iron

the handy rail spike


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Yes; in general it's not a good idea to admit to doing illegal activities on an open forum.

I myself buy RR spikes at my local scrapyard when I need them; but I don't like them for much---bad alloy for blades and bad size for most other stuff. 

I have a friend who forges garden trowels from them. He actually bought a keg of them from the manufacturer to have a constant legal supply for what is a good seller for him---lots of triphammer work!

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  • 6 months later...

  Not very "handy" but I found this old relic in one of my previous stomping grounds.  Might make a nice toothpick or olive stabber for the occasional martini.  :)   

20200802_133714_compress91.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I have been trying to find a means of buying spikes. For some reason, it seems Ebay and Amazon are pricey. I could be wrong though. I really need to stop by CSX by the house and see if they have any junk stuff I could snag.

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I found several railroad supply companies selling spikes in 50#, 100# and 200# kegs with a simple: where to buy "railroad spikes" query.

I'd take a bottle opener made from a RR spike when I visited CSX to show them why I wanted some spikes...

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That is ironically what I want to try to make out of one is a bottle opener. It is funny that I got into this wanting to make knives, but very quickly migrated to doing other things as I found them to be very fun. Kind of funny how much I enjoy making something as simple as a hook.

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SinDoc, that's funny. Same exact story with me.

Let me guess... YouTube rabbit hole?

I got a whole tote of spikes from a Rails to Trails program by me. Free and with permission. There were way more of them, but that was all I could carry. Several of them turned out to be wrought iron so I went back and picked through the pile looking for more that were wrought.

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Very much so Frazer. I have been watching a ton of Black Bear Forge videos lately. I just watched his video on making tongs and want to try making some. I also watched his video on making a skillet and REALLY want to try making one, but my forge is not big enough.

Maybe I will go full circle and come back to knives at some point, but these other projects have caught my interest much more. I am sure if I got my hand on spikes and perfected making garden trowels, I could probably even break even selling them at the local green house down the road :lol:

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I think there are a lot of guys (and gals) in our generation (I'm assuming you are also a millennial) who got started that way. Like everything on YouTube there are some really good channels, some good, but overly flashy stuff and others that are bad/dangerous. 

Rail spikes are handy staring stock and they are relatively easy to acquire depending on where you live. I would expect there is a place near you in Ohio where you can get them for cheap/free.  I have used them for everything from hooks to corkscrews.

I thought I shared these photos in this thread already, but I guess not. 

IMG_2020-08-21_21-12-13.thumb.jpeg.14f07f8341eeb3110b3bebbcd54a496a.jpegIMG_2020-08-21_21-38-50.thumb.jpeg.c5621094721e051c9dcf96052bf925ce.jpeg

 

 

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I made 50 of them last summer for a store by me. They were a hit. 

A word of caution: RR spikes aren't the best steel for a corkscrew. If you go too thin they will just unwind when you go to screw them in. By leaving them thick enough to actually pull the cork, they do have a tendency to chew it up more than normal. I wouldn't have used a spike if I wasn't specifically asked to -- it was a wine themed store on the RR tracks -- and they came with an appropriate disclaimer.

Of course if you're only going for the aesthetic then this isn't really a big deal.

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You could forge small scale RR spikes from a better grade of steel and make fully functional cork screws that still strike the same chord of recognition with the customers. Pattern welded for the fancy schmancy customers, of course.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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So make up a story about how many years experience and much work it requires to turn rusty old Spikes into class bar jewelry and charge them triple.

Frosty The Lucky.

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