Knife Out of a Railroad Spike




About: I am Jake and I make. Knifemaking, metalworking, fashion design (AKA the duct tape tie), writing, filming, prop making, fire. Typical teenage maker. Check me out on Youtube.

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:

Hope this gives someone some good ideas!

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    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

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.