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Just finished these two, and contemplating the handle for the bearded axe/hatchet. By the way, what is the difference between a hand axe, and a hatchet?

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Technically a hand axe is a hand held stone chopping tool (no handle) but now as often as not hand axe refers to a 3/4 or forest axe. Something with a handle about as long as your arm (as aposed to half your arm span) and a head about 2 pounds. A hatchet is a sort handled tool. Your spike axe falls in the belt/bag axe category.  

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Classy work! You have nice new (?) rail spikes. All mine seem to have been set by railway fettlers with an eyesight problem. A lot of missed hits!

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2 hours ago, ausfire said:

Classy work! You have nice new (?) rail spikes. All mine seem to have been set by railway fettlers with an eyesight problem. A lot of missed hits!

sometimes "as in blacksmithing" it can be quantity over quality in material. I'll trade you ten new spikes for 50 godforsaken spikes.

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Yes, they are new unused spikes, I managed to snag about a dozen of these from a gentleman at the local knife club in exchange for a railroad spike knife, a great deal!

 

daswolf, I'd rather "get both" that is, quality and quantity!

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Made my first tomahawk today. First ANYTHING out of a RR spike actually. It was certainly a learning experience.

 

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2 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

How did you heat treat?

Very amateurish and unscientifically... I got it red and non magnetic, quenched the cutting edge and the poll alternatingly, left the body hot. Cleaned off enough to see the colors, let the hot body run straw into the cutting edge and then dunked the whole thing. Body wound up bluish, edge and poll were straw-ish.

This was my first blade of any kind, and my first try at heat treating.

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

And how hard did it get?

Still trying to get yourself banned, I see.

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8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

And how hard did it get?

Well in my completely inexperienced opinion, the edge got pretty hard. A file and sandpaper don't bite it at all, it took a nice edge and has a nice audible ring to it when tapped. All very unscientific, I know. Honestly it seems to have hardened more than I expected it to. These spikes that I have are marked "HC", but I read somewhere that the HC just means that they're higher carbon than a standard spike, maybe around 1045? But that it doesn't really stand for HIGH CARBON.

 

6 hours ago, JHCC said:

Still trying to get yourself banned, I see.

I love this place. You can get a wealth of knowledge, a ton of criticism, a thousand pats on the back, grumpy curmudgeon "advice" and still regularly bust out laughing more than occasionally ;)

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"HC" spikes are still better than a copper axe, but as TP is alluding in his sarcasm, it's still recommended that you "steel" the edge of both axe and knife if you are making more than wall hangers. 

Tho rail came all he after the hayday of the tomahawk/belt/bag axe a spike makes a head of about the right size. They are longer handled and smaller headed than modern hatchets. Being that the ecomised  what was still expensive iron and steel. Surprisingly for the small round wood one needs for bender and leantos they are very effecent. Splinting spine, rib and pelvise on game equally well as your neighbors head. 

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1 hour ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

"HC" spikes are still better than a copper axe, but as TP is alluding in his sarcasm, it's still recommended that you "steel" the edge of both axe and knife if you are making more than wall hangers. 

Right now I'm just practicing. If I intended to make something potentially useful, I'd not take my chances with a RR spike.

I didn't realize he was being sarcastic, I thought maybe he was curious about the particular spikes I have. I know even the highest carbon spikes out there aren't ideal for expecting great results from heat treatment, but as I said, I'm just practicing.

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I didn't either, I was trying to be Socratic not Sarcastic.  And HC spikes top out at the boundary of low carbon/medium carbon by the last specs I have gotten a hold of; so more like 1027 *NOT* 1045.   So kindling hatchets to go by the wood stove and get used for splitting dimensional lumber, (2x4,6,8,etc) (except my wife prefers her leaf spring froe...)

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5 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

I didn't either, I was trying to be Socratic not Sarcastic.  And HC spikes top out at the boundary of low carbon/medium carbon by the last specs I have gotten a hold of; so more like 1027 *NOT* 1045.

Ah, thank you for the more accurate info. I don't recall where I read that they were 1045, but I'm sure it wasn't as reliable a source as you are. Now I won't forget. Not that I think I'll be messing with RR spikes once this batch I have now are each mangled into one thing or another, but ya never know...

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