Introduction: Railroad Spike Knife
For this project I created a knife out of a railroad spike. The purpose of this project was top explore my knowledge and skill with metal working. I have never used a forge before so I thought this would be a great idea to make a functional knife that can be used for anything various purposes.The materials required will be a railroad spike, a forge, forging equipment and a metal belt sander.
Step 1: Draw Out Materials
For our first step we want to start by heating up and drawing out the metal which will be used top for the actual blade. We want to leave the handle, about the length of our knuckles untouched so i would suggest making a small notch where the handle will end. This will give you a good idea as to where the blade will start. This process will take awhile and will require multiple heats to thin out and draw out the material. As we do this we want to leave the back ridge of the blade flush will the handle so thats why we start out with a curve as you can see in the picture.
Step 2: Shaping
Once we have our materials drawn out we can really begin to shape our blade. Keep in mind that every blade is unique so no shape or contour is wrong. You can also see the notch where the handle and blade meet. What we want to do first here is immediately on this heat is to hit the tip of the blade while it is still very hot. After this we will have our main shape of the blade. This one the back ridge is flush to the handle while the blade is even and protrudes lower with a point.
The reason we hit the tip downwards is to aid in starting the bevel of the blade. For this we want to angle the blade against the anvil and strike downwards on the blade edge. This slightly draws out more material so we can thin out the blade. What this also does is it pushes the downward facing tip upwards. You don't have to worry about the shaping of the tip with this technique. Properly down it will invert the tip as you will see in later pictures.
Step 3: Handle Aesthetics
This step is not required unless you want to make your knife look even cooler. For this process we twist the handle of the knife to make it look awesome. When putting the knife back in the forge, put it in handle side first so we can get that area red hot. Once heated we want to put the handle directly into a vice with the blade pointing to the ground. Quickly use a clamp and clamp just underneath the butt of the handle. This while a bit of strength so twist hard! Make a 360 degree turn back to the initial starting point and your all done. After this heat the knife up once more and immediately dunk it into water for hardening.
Step 4: Sharpening
Now we have the blade finish and all we have to do is sharpen. The metal may look like that of very low quality but when it has been on the belt sander it looks much better. Personally i used varying degrees of grit form 100 - 1500 but you can use whatever you need to were the two sides of the blade become flush. Once this is done your knife is complete!