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ok something that has really been bugging me is the different thoughts on RR spikes as knife steel i really want to make one but from what ive been hearing they are not very trustworthy due to spratic carbon content if this is the case should i just atempt to take the ones i have and trun them in to BBQ forks and steak turners or use them to make trial knives for hammer experiance?

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Make them! If they don't turn out the way you want, then they are letter openers. At least you practiced bladesmithing.

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From what I've seen around, only the spikes marked HC on the head (high carbon) have enough carbon for hardening. These are about .30 percent carbon, and harden fairly well, but you won't have a knife that stay sharp very long.

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I sell lots of them..........mantle pieces , letter openers , novelty gifts.........sky is the limit and as George says great practice for all aspects

currently making 2 hoofpicks out of rail spikes to match 2 cowboy cinch blades I'm making

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i have i want to make a few nice fork and flipper sets for some of my family as Birthday gifts and a few twisted cube knives to go withsuch as this one

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Edited by Justin leonard
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If you do the guide grooves close to the corners and space the saw cuts at about 3/16" apart you get an effect that looks like stacked square nuts. Or you can fuller a deep groove down the center of opposing faces and get a sort of thorny-looking thing. It's a nifty technique.

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ok so was watching a fiew videos on spike knives and tomahawks now the thing i wonder is why make the face of the axe out of the narrow end of the spike instead of welding highcarbon into the head and forging the face from there?

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I slit the head and weld my high carbon steel into the slit. That's the only way I know. I've only made a couple of them. On knives I channel the bottom of the RR spike and weld my HC into that.

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thats what alan had told me to do and what i had seen some others do but all the vids i saw were stright up forged out no HC added so my question then is will a hardwood pit forge reach welding temps or am i stuck with making a really sharp looking letter opener

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Yes a hardwood pit forge should reach welding temps, providing your blower is up to the task and good fire tending skills will be good to have, too. Such as, keeping a water can nearby to limit the size of the fire so you get a more concentrated welding spot without a huge mass of coals eating all of your blast.

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might need to upgrade then i just dig a hole and line it with wood ash and use a weed blower for my air supply

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I'm having some success with a modified brakedrum forge. The biggest thing I've learned over the past few months is fire tending is much more important then what your tending the fire in. Best of luck getting started!

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I drilled holes for the flange with some 2" pipe

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I punched out my doors on some tank I found at a scrap yard and fit it over the brake drum

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I threw a grate over the hole and some metal on the sides at an angle to try and mimic what I've seen on other forges(I will redo this with ash clay when I have enough ash)

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here's in in action(the coffee can is filled with water and has a cloth hanging in it that I wrap around the pipe to prevent my tape from melting)

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It's still a WIP but its always gotten me welding hot depending on how high I put my blower, and I've used both coal and charcoal. The last time I used it I had it going for maybe 4 hours or so and went through 10-15lbs of coal while doing some pattern welding.

Edited by Dan Waddell
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Ok so you and Alan gonna come help me build mine right I need a good welder got about 189' of 1.5 in sq tubing I wanted to use as a frame work

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