Knife Out of a Railroad Spike

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Introduction: Knife Out of a Railroad Spike

About: I am Jake and I make. I build awesome stuff out of simple materials, mainly dealing in the dangerous. Knives out of RR spikes, guns made of plumbing pipe, flamethrowers with coffee creamer, a cannon that sho...

This is a knife I made recently, a knife out of a railroad spike. I didn't have any of the correct tools, except for maybe a hammer, so I'm not going to make a full Instructable out of it.

I used an old broken weight as an anvil, vice grips, and a small forge made of bricks. I got it to the basic shape with the forge, then finished shaping with my bench grinder and belt sander.

I am going to wrap the handle with something, I just haven't yet. I quenched it with vegetable oil, and tempered it in the oven at 400 degrees for a couple hours. I took it out a nice golden brown color. My favorite knife I have made so far, it sharpens nicely and holds it's edge. I am new to knife making, so constructive criticism would be appreciated.

If you would like to make a knife like this, here is an Instructable that helped me:

https://www.instructables.com/id/forged-knife-from-...

Hope this gives someone some good ideas!

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    5 Comments

    Really cool appearance! I think making another one would be good experience and give a chance to show the process. I look forward to more!

    1 reply

    If I ever make another one, it will definitely be with the proper tools. I learned quite a bit about blacksmithing through this, especially the importance of the right tools. Unfortunately, anvils cost several hundred dollars, and since I'm only 14 my budget is very limited. :)

    Hey Jake. Nice looking knife. I'd like to hear more about how you made it, even if your methods were unorthodox. Do you have any more photos of the process?

    1 reply

    Unfortunately, no. At the time I wasn't thinking about making an instructable out of it.

    The process was really quite simple. I heated the metal to red hot in my forge, (which was difficult, I need to build another one) then pounded it somewhat flat on an old weight.

    It was actually more difficult than you would think. It took a couple minutes to heat up in the forge, and when I began pounding it flat it would fall out of the vice grips. The red hot metal would instantly catch the grass on fire, and I would have to quickly set the railroad spike back on the weight and pound out the fire I had made with the hammer. By this time the metal was of course too cold, and I had to put it back in the forge for another couple minutes. After doing this about twenty times, and getting the railroad spike somewhat flat, I decided to just do the rest of the shaping with my belt sander. I was actually surprised that I succeeded.