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01tundra

RR Spikes & Rust

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I was given a few old RR spikes that I'd like to make steak turners out of.  They are still solid, but do have their share of surface rust.

Think I should throw them in the electrolytic bath to remove all of the rust, or hit them with a wire brush to remove most of the surface rust, or just throw them in the forge and start hammering?

Another question in general, I sometimes knock the rust off a piece of steel with a wire brush prior to forging and other times I do not, I can't really say that I've ever noticed a difference in the end product.  Does the rust usually come of with the scale, or does it get hammered into the metal and cause potential issues?

Thanks!

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Good Morning,

The rust is a non-issue. When the piece is heated to a red or higher, the rust de-bonds, leaving only your parent material. Simple, no Fuss.

Neil

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Rust = Scale they are both oxides of iron (Ferrous and Ferric) and in fact scale can be converted to red rust by oxidizing it.

For nasty pieces I like to heat them up to low red in the propane forge and then slam them on the anvil and go over them with a butcher block brush.

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I finally decided to try forging a RR spike steak turner this evening when I got home, as soon as I got it finished and walked in the house the wifey asked me to go out and check on the steaks.....straight from the anvil to work and it does great - win (although I did make an absolute mess out of the handle twist.....need more practice in that department obviously...)

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Absolute Mess??? NAHHH  That is exactly how I intended to have it look!!!!;)

Now if you want a real Test, Forge/Upset it back to what it was and Start Again!!  NOT!!!!

You have just learned what happens when you twist with NOT an even heat. Uneven Heat = Uneven Twist. It is not a problem, just hard to duplicate. If everything looked the same you would be a Machine.

Neil

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I use heaps of rail spikes and rust is not a major problem. Be careful though, as hot bits of rust/scale like to jump up and land between your fingers, specially when you're using a short handled club hammer. Can be quite uncomfortable.

Nice steak turner. Uneven twist doesn't take anything away!

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