Forged Railroad Spike Knife!!!

About: I enjoy the outdoors. Camping, fishing, canoeing, all of it. I love working with my hands. I take on any project. I love to work on cars. I have been making knives since 2011. My skills slowly increase. Knif...

Intro: Forged Railroad Spike Knife!!!

I made this knife from a HC Railroad Spike. I first forged the tip down to a point, then i worked on flattening the entire thing it to the desired thickness.I chopped off the back head of the spike. i continued to work on the profile of the knife. I also forged the bevel the best i could. As soon as i was happy with my hammer work i moved on to using the grinder.

I used a belt grinder to further work the profile and also started to work the concave bevel. As soon as the final shape was achieved, I started bringing up the grit on the belt to further increase the shine.

I made the micarta for the scales myself. I used a red felt and blue jeans. I used fiberglass resin and clamped all the layers together. The red became a much darker shade.

I cut the scales to an approx size and drilled hole thru both the steel and the micarta layers. The brass pins are 1/4 inch. I used a two part epoxy and clamped it all together. After it dried, i sanded and shaped it to the finished form. The micarta works very well on uneven knives. This is because the Micarta is very flexible since i made it and i did not get the ratio of hardener right. it is not goo-y it is just fairly flexible. it works for my projects well.

  The finish on the blade could have been brought up to a much higher grit but i did not. i think it is at 400 grit right now.

A very bizarre aspect of the knife is that it is magnetic. I dont know why this is. Does anyone know? and no i did not magnetize it like you do screwdrivers. Railroad rail is also magnetic and i wonder if this is because it is worked so hard that it becomes magnetic.

Any questions!??

As ever happy crafting- BC



    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest
    • Furniture Contest 2018

      Furniture Contest 2018
    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest

    8 Discussions

    you should harden the knife by heating it up to glowing red and quenching it in oil. then temper it in the oven at around 4oo F for an hour and a half. the knife will then hold and edge a lot better and will be strong


    4 years ago

    Do some research on the internet. It's amazing what you can find for methods of improvisation.


    4 years ago

    I have six or seven of these railroad spikes and I really want to make one of these but I don't have a forge or proper anvil


    4 years ago

    I might try that. If I finish up these other projects of mine.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    When you tear it down its easy to de-magnify it. Heat it to a low red glow and quench the cutting edge to harden. Then it will hold an edge better and have some flex so it isnt brittle.

    Possibly the magnetized effect could be, as you said, from them being "worked so hard." The main reason things become magnetized is either using another magnet to cause it or a combination of heat and stress. Iron is especially susceptible to this because magnetism is caused by iron molecules aligning in one direction. The reason steel can be magnetized is because it is a combination of multiple metals, one of which is iron. Like I said though, heat and stress can cause it too. How are the railroad spikes created? A combination of heat and stress, in this case the impact of a hammer on material that was heated for blacksmith work. Oh, and by the way, that is an EXTREMELY beautiful knife you have there. I would be doing my own blacksmith work if my parents allowed me to. However that isn't likely to happen. You seem to be pretty skilled in this art. Do you do anything that you can make money from your work? You have created several very nice knives.

    1 reply

    Thank you for your knowledge. And the compliments. This knife could really be improved though. The pictures give it too much credit. the lighting makes it seem like the blade has no imperfections and that is not the case. I rreally Should have worked on making it perfect. I might even restart and tear the handle off completely. the problem with the scales is that it is micarta i made so it isnt really perfect. I really like it, so i dont want to give it up so i will probably redo the scales. It should be easy enough. And fyi i have made money doing this. Last summer at a little festival of sorts i had a little booth/tent thing set up and i sold probably a dozen knives along with some bushcrafty looking garden stools for like pots to sit on. i sold those started at $30 piece and kept lowering prices while selling them and sold the last 1 for 10. Between the two categories i made about over $300 so it was a very successful day. And when it come to parental restrictions, there are many other fields of creation you can work on. blacksmithing is only a small portion. for example check out this guy who makes slingshots, ive had a little effort in this area. if they wont let you work metal move to wood. i will probaly later today post my instructable on making oversized wooden pencils out of hickory.