Railroad spike knife

Discussion in 'The Cutting Edge' started by codecowboy, Aug 17, 2013.


  1. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    I decided to try my hand at blacksmithing recently. My great great grandfather was a blacksmith on the family property where my grandma still lives.

    I built a propane "soup can" forge and started working on the spike. This was the end result.

    [​IMG]
     

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  3. OldSchool64

    Platinum Member

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    Now that has got to be the coolest home made knife I've ever seen!

    Gonna have to look into doing something like that myself.

    I've done plenty of welding, fabricating, metal work, etc.

    Can I do that with a torch, hammer and anvil? And then harden in a bucket of vermiculite?
     

  4. Nice . Fun wasn't it?

    Around here it's Wire cable. Blacksmiths and hobby folks were doing it decades ago and then the high end guys started in with "wire cable Damascus". I've got gots of it in my shop and have experimented with it.

    Next thing for you to do is get an old chipped up FORGED ball peen hammer and make a tomahawk.

    I have a full on knifemaker's propane and a blacksmiths charcoal but I still get use out of a kiln-brick unit I made and a larger one out of a stove pipe and kaowool

    When I get on a making roll it's more addictive than a video game.

    I am using some old family tools as well in the same general spot as my ancestors.
     
  5. Vermiculite will not help you harden or temper. It is used for annealing a hardened steel to 'recycle" it. Say a car spring or planer blade . you have to draw the temper out and return it to a neutral state to forge properly.

    Don't get me started on knife making I'll be here all night. Only thing in the world as interesting as guns to me, but I don't make guns.
     
  6. OldSchool64

    Platinum Member

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    I'm guessing it was kinda tricky getting a nice even twist in the handle area?
     
  7. wolf19r

    wolf19r Problem Solved!

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    Now that's cool. I wish I had access to the proper stuff to make one.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Ohub Campfire mobile app
     
  8. OldSchool64

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    Thanks for that info, I still have lots to learn there.
     
  9. It doesn't take that much gear to make a knife. One of the guy I learned from wrote a book called "The $50 knife shop" I urge everyone to give it a try if they are interested. You can use old steel but really some steels are very cheap actually if you know where to shop and you can save so much fuel just because you don't have to anneal it that it's worth it and that doesn't count the time.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask or PM me.
     
  10. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Goddards-Knife-Shop-Revised/dp/0896892956"]Amazon.com: Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop, Revised (9780896892958): Wayne Goddard: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ggfJYHQnL.@@AMEPARAM@@51ggfJYHQnL[/ame]


    A good piece of steel to make say a 6" hunting knife will cost less than that book.
     
  11. OldSchool64

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    Just found this, for those with interest...

    Haven't read it all yet, but sure is interesting to me.
     
  12. OldSchool64

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  13. Heck no. Well you can by annealed ready to work 5160 steel, which is what they make the springs out of and it does make goo knives but I was thinking of 1095 steel which is what Ka-Bar and a lot of the outfits like TOPS and BUSSE, ESSE etc use.
     
  14. I just checked my price a 3/16"x 1 1/4 " 72" inch (six foot) bar is $15.95
     
  15. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    I really didn't expect this much response. Let me explain a little better and try and answer some questions.

    First off I did this knife on the cheap. I built a "soup can" forge. In my case it was actually a family size can of Bushes Baked Beans. I spent $17 on materials. You mount a empty can on some blocks of wood with brackets. Then you mount a 1/2"x2" threaded pipe nipple in the back. That's where the Benzomatic torch goes eventually. Then you fill the can with a 50/50 mix of plaster of paris and playground sand. As it dries you create a lightbulb shaped cavity inside for a forging area. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

    My setup and build:
    http://imgur.com/a/tMo8n

    The video I watched to learn how to do this:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBVa2bw3r_k"]How to Make a Soup Can Forge - YouTube[/ame]


    Later I found I had a camping attachment that would attack to a 20lb propane bottle and the hose that would hook up to the Benzomatic torch head. I started using that instead of camp bottles.

    In progress gallery:
    http://imgur.com/a/sV8ZC

    Video I watched for inspiration:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkRcYEASQI"]Forging a Railroad Spike Knife - YouTube[/ame]
     
  16. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    My gun buddies were horrified when I told them I had more fun than going to the range. It is VERY addictive.

    I am working on getting all my great great grandfather's tools back from my crackhead cousin. He took them to shoe horses without our knowledge.
     
  17. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    Railroad spikes are bountiful and fun to use as well.
     
  18. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    See my post. I built everything from scratch except my $20 3lb hammer and the baby forge I'm using. I'm doing this out of my garage in the middle of the suburbs.
     
  19. codecowboy

    codecowboy NRA Life Member

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    Believe it or not that was the easiest part of the entire build. It was ridiculously simple. I was scared to death I was going to run it, but I watched that video I posted.

    Get the pommel end just as white hot as you can. Lock the blade end in a vise. Take a good cresent wrench, lock it just under the pommel, and twist that baby 360 degrees. It makes a perfect spiral in under 10 seconds.
     
  20. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember
    CLM

    That's really cool. :cowboy:
     
  21. OldSchool64

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    Thanks for that additional information :cool:
     

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