Paddy Evans

What steel is railway clips

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I have some railway clips they where made by Pandrol but I’m unsure as what steel it is I’ve tried to google it but can’t find what steel it is, some people say they are 1060 but others say it’s 5160. Does anyone know if they are good for making punches? 

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Yes, no, maybe depending on how you plan to use the punches. (Drifts: good, skinny punches buried deeply in thick hot steel, not so good compared to a high alloy steel, etc).   5160 is what I've been told the Pandrol clips are made from; the other RR clips used here in the USA are generally 1040-1060 depending on a slew of factors.  (Never good to assume that something is made from just one alloy over a wide range of time, location, quality levels, prices, etc and so on.)

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Welcome Paddy, I always suggest this thread to get the best out of the forum. It gives suggestions on how to better search and adding your location because answers are dependent on where in the world you are located. RR clips in Europe are different than in the U.S.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/53873-read-this-first/

 

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I’ve made some beefy chisels and punches from Pandrol clips as ThomasPowers describes and found them to perform well — indeed, my go-to hot chisel started life as a Pandrol clip. 

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I have made lots of tools using railroad clips, punches, chisels, hardy tools , etc etc. 
I made some cold chisels that cut through anything except hardened steel. 

Have never had a problem and all worked really well. 

The railroad clips I use are all old stock, probably forty years old so they were made in the United States. Some new railroad clips are imported, so who knows what steel/quality control went into making them.

The only problem with them is the large cross section.  It may take a lot of work reducing the size to what you need for your tools. The large cross section is great if you are making handled tools. 

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 5:45 PM, JHCC said:

...my go-to hot chisel started life as a Pandrol clip. 

Mine too.  I treated it like 1060 with a water quench and residual heat to temper.  stays sharp though lots of hot work.  

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