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Knife from RR Spike

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I shoot Cowboy with Tenn Critr who has a fine lookin' knife on his belt made from a railroad spike.  Something like the picture.  So I got my hands on 6 rr spikes and want to try my hand at making a knife.  No, I don't have a furnace.  I do have a propane torch and am willing to waste a cylinder or so.  I don't want to invest hundreds in a furnace yet.  I'd have to sell a gun or something so I'm not ready for that.  Do I have a chance at making this happen? I watch too much Forged in Fire.

Cherokee Slim


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I have been discussing making a forge with another member coincidently. It is not expensive to cobble one together. If you just try to use the torch in the open it will be hard to keep good heat. That mild steel would probably be doable, but not any steel like you see on Forged in Fire. Just a warning those knives can look cool, but lots of time they end there. The spike steel is not good steel to try and harden to an serviceable edge. 


Here is an example of a homemade propane forge. Even this would work better because you can heat the metal more evenly. Credit to the other member I mentioned.


Edited by Ronald_55
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  • Admin Team

Do it.  

As someone who’s made a few knives with a hacksaw and a few files, you can do a lot with a little if you’re willing to invest some elbow grease.  

If I wanted to do it on the cheap, I’d probably use some hardwood charcoal (or coal) and a cheap blower motor.  

The hard thing with a railroad spike will be heat treating and getting a durable edge with mild steel.  

If it were me, I’d practice on a spike or two, then buy a piece of 3/4 square bar stock of 1085 or something that could be properly heat treated. 

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1 hour ago, Cherokee Slim said:

You may have created a monster here.  Why are the "T"'s open on each end?  It looks like I could get it all at Lowes.  That's just standard fire brick, right? Why doesn't the top photo have something like that? 

The open end is to draw air in, so it could mix in the tube and ignite at the end.  Venturi burner is the name they are given I believe,  there are a bunch of different plans on the net, I had thought I had found the simplest, and cheap, burner until I seen this in a video.  Really can't get much simpler than this, and it apparently works great.

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