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Discussion Starter #1
I spent a weekend at the Bob Evans Farm Fest. here not too long ago and found a Blacksmith that made RailRoad Spike knives.
So, after going ahead and buying all three that he had, (gave two away as gifts) I took the one I liked the best and done a "bit" of filing/honing and grinding and found it did actually have "maybe" enough carbon in it to make for a "make shift blade".
I still havent got it the way I want it yet and have alot of work to do with it, but thought I'd share a few pics of it thus far. (holding a decent egde as is, but got alot of work to do on it!) I wished I would have taken some, "before" pics of it as it was a bit rough, to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
..and the end of it and still gonna take the time to find out what RailRoad it might'a come from.
 

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That's one cool knife!!! I always though it you could flatten it and sharpen it they will hold one heck of an edge. So if ya could will you let me know if I'm right?
Really cool find there!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's one cool knife!!! I always though it you could flatten it and sharpen it they will hold one heck of an edge. So if ya could will you let me know if I'm right?
Really cool find there!!!!
Thanks 1LoneWolf. From what I have read and heard, the older RR spikes
were made with a low carbon "content" and the newer ones are made of a bit
better metal with higher carbon in them. (and someone correct me if I'm wrong here, please.)
Years ago I had an old one and it wasnt marked and done some grinding on it, and it was "soft" and the sparks while putting it to the grinder were different.

Out of the three that I had got from the BlackSmith, I did a bit of grinding on one that I eneded up giveing away and it wasnt marked on the end like the one pictured I posted that I'm working on.

I could be way off base here and I hope someone can help fill me in here on the info, but I'm thinking and have heard, that the HC S could very well stand for High Carbon?

I also noticed, that while grinding on the two (the one I'm working on and the other that I gave away that I ground some one to "shape") that on this one, it is alot harder "metal". With the rough edge it has on it so far (which is somewhat sharp) I've been cutting alot of cardboard with it and it's holding, so far, what edge I actually do have on it so far.

Once I do get the right angle and finer edge on it and try it out, I'll for sure let you know how it holds up. I'm anxious myself to see if it will actually hold up as an edge. Most people will get them just for a conversation piece and it's all good. But, I do want to make it a "working/functional" blade.

So, I will get back after I get some more work done on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys.
Got a chance to put somewhat of a better edge on it and had a couple days off work and a friend of mine got a deer (doe) with his bow. The RR knife/blade got the field dressing done.
I hope to be able to take the time this week and get a real edge on it after a bit more shapeing out the blade more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
VERY NICE, Hawg! I love the looks of that alot.
I appreciate the clarification for what HC actually does stand for...good to know!!!
 

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I found a few old spikes and was planning on trying this then I found out all you need to do and gave up. If i could find one made id consider getting it. They look so cool.
 

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Silver Dollar City outside of Branson, Mo. used to have a blacksmith who turned out railroad spike knives. Completely finished and sharpened.
 

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I Love their look. Would be a great conversation starter at least! I'll have to stop and see if I could find any if I ever happen to be driving through there.
 

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I always thought the spike knifes were cool. I worked 22 yrs for the railroad. I would think that it takes a lot of hammering, forging an skills to make your blade........Nice knife.........Redworm......
 

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That's cool. Last time I was at Silver Dollar City in Branson Mo. (About 15 years ago). The Blacksmith made and sold these.
 

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Ray Johnson is the knife maker. I dont think he makes spike knives. The blacksmith might.

Even if this is high carbon steel, I would highly doubt it has been heat treated/tempered to hold the right edge. It might be serviceable, but I would still expect it to be soft. I made one a while back. It was just a rough blade, with very little grinding done to it. IT smoothed out very easily and didnt have any pits in it since we took the time to knock the slag off regularly. It had more of a short, fat blade. It took an edge easily, but lost it quickly too. We tried some simple tempering on it, but we werent able to temper it enough to do much good.
 

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I used to take old railroad spikes and cut the head off of one, the tip off of another. And weld them together to make tent spikes. No more rocks problems. Hit a rock, just keep pounding it through.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The Blacksmith that I got mine from gave me his telephone number and is located
near Dayton/Springfield, Ohio.
I'll dig his Number up and post it when I find it.

I asked him about that when I bought the 3 from him (if he had a Number/Email)
and he said not a problem and welcomed all calls.
I'll have to dig his number up, got it in the desk somewhere!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finally found the guys info. that made the Railroad Spike blades
that I'd bought;
 

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The ways to make a railroad spike knife are almost limitless. I've seen many and loved them all. Very nice piece you got, Zane. Enjoy it. Use it.
 

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With a novice interest in knife making, I researched making railroad spike knives. And in doing do read several threads on knife making websites on the subject. And from what I learned the "High Carbon" markings on the spikes is subjective. Whereas they may be high or higher carbon as railroad spikes go. That doesn't mean that they contain enough carbon to produce a quality knife blade that will maintain an edge. It's kind of like the old belief that lawn mower blades make good knife blades. But again research indicates that mower blades are actually made of mild steel. Where the target in manufacturing them is in making a blade that won't shatter and fragment when it inevitably hits a rock or something hard. Just because you can sharpen it, doesn't mean it's good steel for a knife.
 
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