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Cutting RR rail???


Nick Wheeler

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I appropiated a piece of the smaller RR rail, and want to make a hot cutter for my press like Don has on the tool section of his site.

 

How the heck do you cut the stuff???

 

I tried with an Oxy/Acet torch, and that didn't go all that swell. I finally maneuvered my way around the rail, but it's far from a precise cut.

 

The band-saw didn't want to cut it either. I really should have had a more coarse blade on the saw though.

 

I was told you can score around it and then break it off... but I don't know if I believe that.

 

Any tips? :)

 

 

Thanks!!!

-Nick-

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Hi Nick, Yep if ya big and bad enough the scoring works.Saw a crew doing it years ago.I could tell the big fellow knew what he was doing .If you have a 7" side grinder an abrasive cut off wheel would probably be the easiest way to cut it though it might take two or three wheels to get through it.I usually use a torch but I know my torch like I do my spoon and fork. :) Good luck.

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Nick,

 

I use a big acetylene/oxygene cutting torch... the torches come with "tips" (jets) for different sizes (I got some for 5-10mm, 50-100, and 100-300mm steel).

For the RR's I usually use the 50-100mm tip and it works just quick and easy...

however be aware that the torch must be set at the correct pressure...

it's hard to describe by mail... best watch someone doing it once...

 

The other two things which do work:

- Big Angle grinder (9" discs) with abrasive cut off discs ... that will take some time, but it works

- Big Saw like a "Kaltenbach" Circular Metal Saw...

 

And last AND LEAST well :) the goo ole' handsaw... did this twice and didn't like it (strange eh' ?)

... it takes ages.

 

a sturdy bandsaw with a good cooling system will work as well... but take it slowly or you'll ruin the bandsaw-blade.

 

daniel

Edited by DGentile

FERRUM - Daniel Gentile

custom knives & forging classes

http://www.ferrum-d.com

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I've cut some small guage rail with an 14" abrasive cutoff saw. It takes a while, and on a big rail it would take a couple of blades, I'll bet. Maybe one of those industrial, gas powered, cutoff saws that the rescue guy use? Plasma cutter, water jet, brute force and bloody ignorance?

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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NICK: Take a chop saw to it. Score it, get a big hammer after it. As stout as you are, it will break. They are not that hard to break and it will be a clean break. Not too much clean up.

 

Take it to a steel shop with a big commercial chop saw.

 

The torch is going to leave a lot of clean-up work.

 

Usually the top of the rail is the hardest. it has work hardened, the rest is not so hard.

 

Chuck

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the torch is easiest.... just have the right tip and torch.... it should cut like butter

--

-- in the past, i've cut a 6 inch bumper off of a large loader.....the trick is that it just takes awhile to preheat the area your about to cut.... ... then start cuttin

 

 

hope this is just a plain rail........ but if it's a rail road frog... thats made of the special stuff... :o

 

G

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I cut mine on a band saw. Put into the saw bottom up and then snapped it off when it got too hard. A good bimetal blade will go through it no problem.

Don Fogg

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Thanks guys-

 

I've been able to cut 1-1/2" thick leaf springs with my torch with really clean cuts, but with the thickness and odd-ball size of the rail, I readily admit I don't have the experience to know the best plan of attack.

 

I've got a Victor Journeyman torch set-up, so it should handle it just fine.

 

Operator error :huh:

 

I feel better going back to cut/break that thing with all of your help guys!

 

THANKS VERY MUCH! :D

 

And thanks for the hot cutter idea to begin with Don! :)

 

-Nick-

 

http://www.wheelerknives.com

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I've got a Victor Journeyman torch set-up, so it should handle it just fine.

 

Operator error  :huh:

 

 

http://www.wheelerknives.com

26684[/snapback]

 

not necessarly an operator error...

but the standard victor journeyman outfit comes with a cutting torch and a tip sized to cut materials up to 3/4 of an inch... so quite a bit less then a rr...

however optional tips (jets, or whatever you call that things in english) are available for materials up to 8 inch (which seems sufficient for rr)

 

don't know which tip you got... so you may want to check...

usually at least with my setup the tips for the cutting torch (which is a really nice one) have their working range marked... so it's easy...

 

about clean cuts... well with a bit control and a good adjustment of the parameters (pressure) the cuts can come amazingly clean.

nut like a plasma cutter... but still quite good...

however a plasma cutter which is capable of cutting a RR... whew... expensive and big piece of gear :)

 

 

 

daniel

FERRUM - Daniel Gentile

custom knives & forging classes

http://www.ferrum-d.com

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If it's anything like mine which I cut to make an anvil, it's tough as heck, saw blade wouldn't even nick it basically (and later mill would skip). It would have needed a good annealing.

Anyway I used the torch with the proper tip (few different one) and there is a sequence. First cut the vertical section (that's about even thickness), then cut the foot section (about even again and same tip usually), Then cut the crown (different tip).

 

Gas pressure and cutting speed is important, make sure that the cut is through before moving forward, use a guide if you can. A counter cut at the start of the crown may help: Cut the bottom corner (of the crown) at an angle so that when you cut from the top you have a progressive increasing thickness. Again speed is key in thick material. It will be a bit of a mess anyway but can be cleaned with a grinder.

What makes the biggest mess is when the cut is not through then it "bores" through the metal, that creates a big hole and projects slag all over! So if the cutting becomes short (not through), stop and restart.

 

Breaking, hmmm? I would have never thought of it, it was hard enough breaking the pieces just attached by the slag of. But why not! :)

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I've seen it cut with an industrial metal cutting band saw with water soluble oil as a cooling agent. I've cut it with a large torch but it was a mess. I've tried to cut it with a chop saw and the blade fell apart. I have some rail I want to cut for the press I'm working on. I'm going to give the score and break a try. The large band saw was clean and quick but I no longer have access to it.

Crocker Knives

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  • 2 weeks later...

RR ANVIL /BB site.From looking at the bronze peeking out through the scale and the blue/purple on the rest, I would think it is tempered quite well.GRIN..

 

Chuck

Edited by sandpile
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I have a question, where did you all get the RR track from? I've been looking for ANY suitable piece of heavy metal and I can't find ANYTHING let alone a piece of RR track. There isn't any scrap yards in my area open to the public. I've got a real bug to get going on this :) btw i'm completly green and new to this forum

 

 

Will

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I have a question, where did you all get the RR track from? I've been looking for ANY suitable piece of heavy metal and I can't find ANYTHING let alone a piece of RR track. There isn't any scrap yards in my area open to the public. I've got a real bug to get going on this :) btw i'm completly green and new to this forum

Will

27265[/snapback]

 

Well we all just take the cutting torch (portable) and cut some railroad pieces :blink::P

 

No of course not... Couple of years a go I did get a load of that stuff, rusty and old... as I just asked some of the workers who were repairing (replacing) railroad-track parts in my area... For a couple of six packs of cold beer I could load approx. 300kg nicely cut rail road track (each piece approx 1m long (3feet)) on the pickup truck of a friend of mine. was a good deal,...

well these days I prefer to buy my steel from my supplier and exactly know what I'm dealing with... but for practice it is cool as well if you can get a load of it you can take the time and make test pieces and so configure out how exactly to treat the material and what to use it for.

I still have two pieces of that batch left... which I occasonally make use from...

 

daniel

FERRUM - Daniel Gentile

custom knives & forging classes

http://www.ferrum-d.com

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