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Forge Welding Question

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I have seen railroad spike knives with good steel for the edge, san mai style. My question is, is the spike the hot dog or bun? If it is the bun, how would I go about folding it? I was thinking forging it out flat with the butt of the spike pointed down, then folding it together and inserting a piece of 1095. Is there an easier way to do this?




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Use good steel to start?  You can forge good steel into a RR spike shape...

Either way; dog or bun can work, you just have to be more careful in not grinding through the bun steel if the spike is the dog. If the spike is the bun no matter how much you grind or sharpen you will have a good steel on the edge---till you get near the spine and the blade has become an awl...

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I use good steel for all my customer knives. I'm not trying to cheap out on steel. That's not the point here. Also forging good steel into a spike would not be authentic. I'd like to leave the RR markings in the butt of it, etc. 

I saw a spike that was forged into a cleaver with high carbon as the edge and want to try it. Call it a learning experience. :)

Also, it should be MUCH easier to do a san mai than to forge something like 5160 into a railroad spike shape. At least for me anyway with no press or power hammer. 

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Split the spike down the center about half way from the point, twist the un split portion to make the handle, insert a piece of high carbon steel into the split and forge weld back together, then forge your blade. 

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Ah,  while this split thing can work.. One has to be careful about forge welding between a split..  

Reason is, if you have 2 different materials and they are 2 different thicknesses you can actually split out the middle thinner section as you weld it together..  

This is doubley so with a piece that is inserted between..   So just keep this in mind when you split it and then weld it together.. The pieces on the sides will have a tendency to want to push into the middle piece and if the middle piece is to thin it will create a shear point.. 

If you want to do this successfully thin each leg and keep them wide as the spike body and then thin them out so they are slightly less than half the thickness of the steel you want to weld in.. If the middle steel is 1/4 inch than each leg should be about 0.062...

There are ways around this  but it get a little hard to explain and deals with different scarf designs.. 

This will also help with some of the losses from the weld itself.. 

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