Author Topic: Forging Practice  (Read 1008 times)

Offline g.pennell

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Forging Practice
« on: May 30, 2019, 09:33:43 PM »
Since getting my forge up and going, I’ve been beatin’ and bangin’ around, making a few little tools and things, trying to get the feel of it.  So, for practice the other day, I hot-cut off a section of railroad spike, punched and drifted an eye, and drew out one end for a blade, then heat treated and tempered the piece. I’ve been wanting a small belt axe, and this one is very similar in size and shape to an original that Wallace Gusler had on display at Martin’s Station earlier this month...mine is 4 1/2” long, with a 1 3/4” cutting edge. The handle is a fairly straight piece of osage orange, and the sheath and hanger made from some scraps of 7-8oz. veg tan. It’s all pretty primitive, but so are my blacksmiths skills... :o

Greg




“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 10:03:41 PM »
Fine job Greg! The axe and sheath are both really nice!! You’re a tough customer if you’ve been working the forge lately!

Offline RobertS

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 10:16:24 PM »
I have a bucket of old railroad spikes that I was thinking could be used for something along these lines.  It is very encouraging to see yours, and you do very nice work by the way.   

Offline Carl Young

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 10:19:02 PM »
That's a very neat belt axe and rig. Though it may be appropriately primitive in context, the workmanship isn't. Do you have more photos of the axe?

Carl
… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses. -Juvenal

Offline hanshi

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 10:33:45 PM »
Don't sell yourself short; I like the axe and scabbard.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Afghanvet

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 10:58:58 PM »
I like the look of it.  I really like the color.

Offline g.pennell

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 06:37:09 PM »
Thanks for the kind words fellers.

Wayne, it’s usually a little cooler up here in the mountains than down in the bluegrass...I can usually stand it for a couple hours or so in the mornings, or late evenings if there’s a breeze. 

Carl, I’ll try to get some better pictures posted.

Mike, the leather is a little darker now, I hit it with some neatsfoot oil and beeswax. That handle will mellow out a nice chestnut brown pretty soon, too.

Robert, I like forging those spikes. I cut off part of the head of this one before I started...makes it easier to forge out the axe head without getting cold shuts.

Greg
“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline David R.

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 07:53:52 PM »
Good job Greg. Sounds like you got a good spike. My experience with them is some will have enough carbon to heat treat and some won’t. I like to make nail headers out of them, there is enough material in the head for the business end and plenty of material to draw out a good handle. I usually case harden them.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 12:46:08 AM »
 Man Greg that is really neat. I used to use one similar along with a small knife to clean game and work my trap line with.

   Tim

« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 02:23:22 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2019, 02:52:41 AM »
Don't sell yourself short; I like the axe and scabbard.

Ditto. Very nice work.

Mike

Offline Marcruger

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 04:00:47 AM »
That is a tough and well crafted looking sheath there sir.  I like the wet molding too.  Doesn't look like it will wear out any  time soon. 

Your axe is a nice bit of work too.  Well done!

God Bless,  Marc

Offline vtmtnman

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 05:52:01 PM »
Nice job on that.I've been wanting to make something similar.

Offline B.Barker

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 01:56:03 AM »
Greg nice looking little axe you made. Most of the axes I've seen made from rail road spikes don't look right but yours does.

Offline g.pennell

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 04:31:55 AM »
Thanks guys!  Brian, I’ve seen some other RR spike axes that I didn’t care for too...mostly because of guys trying to use the whole spike, which makes the proportions all wrong to my eye. I cut most of the overhanging part of the head off, and about 1 1/2” off the tip, and probably could’ve cut off another 1/2” with no problems...still plenty of material to work with.  It was a fun little project, and I have a bunch of spikes, and already have plans to make a couple more (with some changes).

Here’s a poor picture of the original.



“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline RobertS

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 06:11:42 PM »
Are the spikes that you use marked "HC" on the head?  I've been told that means "high carbon" but that may be wishful thinking rather than fact.  Please post more of your work, it is inspirational to me, and I'm sure there are others that feel the same way.

Offline Bart

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Re: Forging Practice
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2019, 09:16:47 AM »
American Railway Engineering Association's Specifications for Soft-Steel Track Spikes. Original document, 1926, revised last in 1968

Two classes of track spikes are given specifications, both low carbon and high c
arbon. Two sizes of track spike are identified, one of 5/8 inch square shaft and
one of 9/16 inch.

Page 5-2-1. "A low carbon track spike will not contain greater than 0.12% carbon
nor greater than 0.20% copper.

Page 5-2-2. Section 6a.
Bending properties: The body of a full size finished spike shall stand being ben
t cold through 180 degrees flat on itself without cracking on the outside portio
n of the bent portion.

Page 5-2-2 Section 11. Marking. A letter or brand indicating the manufacturer sh
all be pressed on the head of each spike while it is being formed. When copper i
s specified, the letters "CU" shall be added.

Page 5-2-3: Specifications for high carbon steel track spikes 1968. Carbon not g
reater than 0.30%, nor greater than 0.20% copper. Page 5-2-4. Section 6a. Bendin
g properties: The body of a full size finished spike shall stand being bent cold
through 120 degrees around a pin, the diameter of which is not greater than the
thickness of the spike without cracking on the outside portion of the bent port
ion.

Page 5-2-5 Section 11. Marking: A letter or brand indicating manufacturer and also the letters "HC" indicating high carbon, shall be pressed on the head of each spike while it is being formed. When copper is specified, the letters "CU" shall be added."

Additionally included in a fax to Mike Blue by the gentleman at Wellington industries, a division of Sheffield Steel:
"Because of the bending tests required, the carbon content will not be greater than 0.30%. After all, brittle spikes would not be desirable as a track spike. Abent spike still holds the rail while a fractured spike would not. The consequences for the industry would be too great to consider. However, we refer to them as high carbon, they are not within the range of steels known as high carbon or hypereutectoid according to the steel industry standards, and have not been since at least 1926, when most track spikes were previously manufactured from wrought iron.""

I'd go with the spring stock myself!