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Discussion Starter #1
So while browsing on the internet i found a cool collection of railroad spike knives ( link provided at the bottum of this post )
i dont know if they would be worth buying but if anyone knows anything about these knives or owns one please respond by leaving a post with some input.

Hand forged and blued Great Northern Railroad spike knife

-Anthony
 

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I have a friend who's husband did the knives for the last of the Mohicans and the patriot just to name a couple. I was going to ask him to make a spike knife. He said the steel is junk, it might look good but not for working with. HTH.
 

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Thank you, im getting trained for my C level weilding ticket so i have access to a forge and i live right beside a railway so i was going to make one.

-Anthony
 

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As previously mentioned I would imagine that the steel in these is pretty mediocre at best. I used to make a number of knives from worn Power Hacksaw blades and most worked very well and was great for holding an edge once you got one on it.
 

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Here's one I did some years ago. It's handy, sharp and solid but a little too heavy for everyday carry and not exactly ergonomic.

 

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The steel is free and what you make of it. You have to get the carbon up in it and temper it properly but if you have enough heat and are using coal then you can make very decent knives out of railroad spikes. People have been doing it for almost two centuries now.

One of the most expensive railroad knives ever auctioned was from a B&O spike made in the 1830s.
 

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Our blacksmith use to make them he would add carbon to the forge to make them better.
 

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i used to make these and give them away or sell them for like 25$ as a novelty as stated the metal is very soft lacking carbon so they dont hold an edge and are very unbalanced.
if you want to make a decent knife use an old lawn mower blade. easier to work and way better steel. it will still need a quench at the end to be properly heat treated.

Gallo, the one you made looks very good i like the blade design :) very nice
 

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I want to make one
All you really need to make one are some spikes, a homemade furnace (very easy to do) and a good vise or anvil. I used a five pound sledge and a belt sander to shape the blade and I used a three foot long piece of pipe to twist the spike.

The real key to making it durable and strong and able to hold a good edge, which mine will, is working it in that furnace and getting the carbon up - so you gotta get that fire hot. I used coal, propane and a shop vac and it worked. I wouldn't want to have to try to work steel every day with that rig, but it worked for what I wanted it to do.

I made another knife out of a piece of spring steel out of the junkyard. I decided I was a better sheath maker than a knife maker though. Although I thought about getting into knives seriously at one point, I just don't have the time. I'm a better duck carver too and I don't even have time for that any more.









 

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If you can find one, a used up file makes a damn fine edged tool.
 

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Gallo your knives look pretty good, especially for the equipment you use, i had a real forge with a hand and/or electric blower a peter wright anvil and about 30 hammers lol. I made knives for probably 3 years. i just never really got any good at fitting the guards and handles together well enough to make any money. i get really excited and try and hurry everythign and end up messing up usually. i made alot of cable damascus which was really fun. i still have a few of the knives i made around here.

your ducks look really good i woudl never have the patience to do that :(

and as someone said files do make good knives but they are really hard and brittle, so they are hard to shape. the most important part of making any knife is the hardening and annealing process at the end
 
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