Rail Road Stake Knifes




About: makes knife for a living only 15

this is a hobby of mine that i just started ok go to your local rail road and get as many rail road stakes as you can carry

Step 1: Getting the Stuff You Need

as stated before go to your local rail road and get as many rail road stakes as u can carry or as many as you want to start off with the equipment youll need is a dremel (rotary tool) or a bench grinder, for the dremel youll need a sharpening wheel and a grinding wheel. you'll also need a pair of gloves(preferably leather gloves or mabey even thermal gloves), a pair of pliers and  a roll of wire and (or) a roll of leather.( i used some copper i got out of a computer that i tore apart the copper gives it a nice finish)  me and my brother got 20-30 rail road stakes and ive only made two so far and i messed up on one.

Step 2: Getting Ready

the firdt thing you need to do is get your dremel or your bench press ready for grinding with a dremel you'll have to make sure that the grinding wheel is on tightly. with a bench grinder you wana make sure that its down nice and tight that way you can push the metal hard against it and not have it tip over.

Step 3: Making the First Grinds

what you want to do is grind the opposite side that you want to have the blade on down to 1/2 an in. wide on the side of the blade you grind it down to 1/16 of an in. or whenever the rail road stake has a sharp edge to it

Step 4: Sharpening the Knife

when you want to sharpen the rail road stake you might want to use the dremel if you have one they work the best all you do is put the sharpening wheel at the angle that you want the blade at and keep sharpening the blade till you are satisfied.

Step 5: Wraping Your Knife

if you do want to wrap your knife wat you wana do is take the wire or leather witch ever one your gonna use (i prefer the copper wire it just looks cool) and wrap it around half way and stick the wire straight out 1/2 an inch and wrap over the 1/2 inch and keep rapping untl you have a bot 1/2 an inch left and tuck it under the wire thats already wraped.

Step 6: Finishing Up

wat you need to do is use your grinding wheel and or sanding disk an make the blade level



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    22 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Railroad spikes with an HC on top are hi carbon steel and are suitable for knives. If in doubt heat them to red hot to non magnetic and quench them. put the in a vise, if they break like glass when hit with a hammer they are high caarbon and suitable for a knife.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    That is actually a myth. Although the composition of RR spikes varies greatly there are not actually any made of HC steel. They rust before they bend so HC spikes are no benefit just additional cost. You can find alloy analysis of them online and none are HC

    super knex builder

    4 years ago

    Dude these pictures are pretty bad would it be possible to change 'em up it's hard too tell what they are showing.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    They're still using spikes over there? I've got a Pandrol-clip that'd make a great knuckle-duster...


    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    yep, that is the "newer style". I hear in europe, they even have switched to heavy CHAIN, to secure the rails, in some parts.

    Have to remember, some of the rails in the US are over 200 years old...
    then again, some are less than a year old.
    So we get a pretty good mix of technologies.

    The BEST finds, for blacksmiths anyhow, is the old wrought iron spikes.
    that type of iron has completely disappeared from availability in these parts. everything is mild steel now. It JUST DOESN'T work or weld the same as good old fashion wrought.

    On the plus side for you, those clips are REALLY NICE spring steel.
    I've used a few in making chisels. quite nice, when properly tempered.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    Cool project, but I just have a doubt... is it really fine to go and pick up stakes from a rail road? I am pretty sure that would mean heavy fines and if anything goes horribly wrong even some jail time in my country... unless we are tlaking of abandoned rail roads but even in that case I would not be sure.

    5 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    even then, you have to be careful legally.

    Essentially, you are taking other peoples belongings(the spikes) from their property(railway). Now, if the rail crews are going through, you could ask... they'll most likely let you take a dozen of the old ones with permission.

    For the asking, I've gotten sections of rail, spikes, plates, even 8" cutoff wheels(they start at 12" ad are tossed when the wear too much for the saws. still plenty left for MY chopsaw which uses 3" washers, instead of the railroads 8" washes).

    Another option is to find an abandoned section of rail, and collect from there. Often these old sections revert to city or state ownership, and you can collect the spikes in the name of "cleaning up an attractive nuisance". Just don't try hauling out the track, and selling it for scrap. That can land you in jail real quick. laws will vary between states and countries. Proceed at your own risk.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Do you happen to know the approximate content of the plates? I know where to get probably 1-2 dozen of them, but I don't know whether they're worth having.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Do you mean they type of steel they are made of?

    A LOT will depend on where you get them from, and how old they are.

    MOST in the USA should be mild, or medium carbon steel.

    In china, Ductile cast iron is more common.

    In the rest of the world? your guess is as good as mine.

    If you are looking at the baseplates as material, to be made into something else... go for track, or spikes. If you have something in mind that could utilize the shape of the plates already? DEFINITELY worth it.

    Personally, I used 3 plates to create something very similar to this. http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/woodenpress.html
    Using all-thread and the baseplates, coupled with a scissor jack from an old junk car. The capacity is small(only 6 inches between uprights, and a total vertical range of 14", though i can reset the nuts for different starting heights.), but i can easily press in or out, with over a ton of force.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Just make sure and not pull up the ones that are holding the track to the railroad ties.  :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

    I think that you mean wrapping. Don't forget that there's a spell checker embedded in the comment/reply box.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Don't forget that a spellchecker won't warn you that you've used the wrong word if you didn't misspell it. The next generation will probably regard "to" and "too" as interchangeable and think it's OK to jam an apostrophe into every plural noun.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    It will tell you when you forget to put 2 Ps in wrapping, but you are right regarding the next generation. It seems that the current generation seems to be in that situation already.

    Good instructions - Seems like it might be a good 'ible, however a few things to improve on, use proper capitalization and the built in spellchecker. 

    The other big thing is photos, some nice clear photos would help loads.

    1 reply