Railroad Spike Knives

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dlr110
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Railroad Spike Knives

Post by dlr110 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:30 pm

Here are a couple that I have. Thought it would be fun to show them and see if anyone else has some to show off. The top one I found in Keystone, South Dakota and the bottom one in Fort Worth, TX.
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Byrd » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:28 am

I like that Keystone found knife. I bet it's heavy!
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by kootenay joe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:38 am

Here is a neck knife made from a mine railroad spike. It was made by Ray Rantenan in Idaho. He is a PhD in metallurgy and works for NASA researching metal fatigue in space vehicles ? You get the idea. But he has also been forging knives & making his own Damascus since about 1980. He makes a range of Fixed Blades, including knives from railroad spikes he finds in his area including smaller spikes near old mining sites.
Here is a quote from his website discussing the carbon content in RR spikes:
"RR spikes vary a lot in the carbon content- I have found about 45 different spikes. I spark test them against known carbon content bars of carbon steel. They range from about .25% up to near .60%. By trying different quench mediums to harden them I have them able to cut through mild steel rivets on the anvil with no deformation or chipping. Of the thousands of RR spikes knives I have made- none have been reported not to do the job intended for them. The proof of any knife is if it performs for the job it was designed and hardened for. They also make excellent wood chisels and scorps for wood carving if tempered correctly. "

This one i have is 5" OAL, so quite small but feels fine in hand with a 3 finger grip and the blade & tip are sharp.
kj
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dlr110
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by dlr110 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:43 am

kootenay joe wrote:Here is a neck knife made from a mine railroad spike. It was made by Ray Rantenan in Idaho. He is a PhD in metallurgy and works for NASA researching metal fatigue in space vehicles ? You get the idea. But he has also been forging knives & making his own Damascus since about 1980. He makes a range of Fixed Blades, including knives from railroad spikes he finds in his area including smaller spikes near old mining sites.
Here is a quote from his website discussing the carbon content in RR spikes:
"RR spikes vary a lot in the carbon content- I have found about 45 different spikes. I spark test them against known carbon content bars of carbon steel. They range from about .25% up to near .60%. By trying different quench mediums to harden them I have them able to cut through mild steel rivets on the anvil with no deformation or chipping. Of the thousands of RR spikes knives I have made- none have been reported not to do the job intended for them. The proof of any knife is if it performs for the job it was designed and hardened for. They also make excellent wood chisels and scorps for wood carving if tempered correctly. "

This one i have is 5" OAL, so quite small but feels fine in hand with a 3 finger grip and the blade & tip are sharp.
kj
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by treefarmer » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:20 am

Some of my young'uns gave me this one several years ago. It has what I assume to be the maker's name, PEARCE stamped on the blade.
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by bighomer » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:42 pm

Here's my one and I hope only. It's one of those" it's the thought that counts" presents. I'd preferred a folder from ole paki- stan, wait a minute ole paki may have made this'un. ::super_happy::
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Doc B » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:53 pm

treefarmer wrote:Some of my young'uns gave me this one several years ago. It has what I assume to be the maker's name, PEARCE stamped on the blade.004.JPG
Treefarmer
I too, have one marked "PEARCE". It's the only one I have. Came with a sheath. Think I got it from the railroad museum, in Silverton, Colorado.
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by eveled » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:51 pm

I have a anvil a forge and a bucket of spikes. That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far.

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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by dlr110 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:11 pm

I'm seeing some great craftsmanship here and I know there is more, lets keep it up folks!!! ::tu::
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Old Folder » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:51 pm

dlr110 wrote:I'm seeing some great craftsmanship here and I know there is more, lets keep it up folks!!! ::tu::
Great thread David. ::nod::

Here's my contribution:
My Son-in-Law gifted this to me about 25 years ago.
7 & 5/8" long. Weighing in at 10.9 oz.
The "logo" looks familiar but I just can't remember where I have seen it. ::dang:: Anyone seen it before?
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by dlr110 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:09 pm

Old Folder wrote:
dlr110 wrote:I'm seeing some great craftsmanship here and I know there is more, lets keep it up folks!!! ::tu::
Great thread David. ::nod::

Here's my contribution:
My Son-in-Law gifted this to me about 25 years ago.
7 & 5/8" long. Weighing in at 10.9 oz.
The "logo" looks familiar but I just can't remember where I have seen it. ::dang:: Anyone seen it before?

IMG_0016.JPGIMG_0016.JPGIMG_0020.JPGIMG_0019.JPG
Thank you Dan, that is such a good looking RR Spike knife you have. I find it impressive that the maker spent so much more time on the blade portion than many others I've seen. That logo is not anything I've seen or remember.
David R
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Personal Gallery of Knives: https://www.davidsblades.com/

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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by edge213 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:21 pm

I've never seen spike knives as nice as the ones being shown here.
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Quick Steel » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:03 pm

Ditto what edge said. OF I believe the logo is the head a Japanese warrior. (They wore some pretty extreme helmets.) I wouldn't bet that I am correct but.......
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Old Folder » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:42 am

Quick Steel wrote:Ditto what edge said. OF I believe the logo is the head a Japanese warrior. (They wore some pretty extreme helmets.) I wouldn't bet that I am correct but.......
I agree Quick Steel ::nod::
Some sort of Japanese or other Asian Heritage appearance.
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Re: Railroad Spike Knives

Post by Onearmbladejunkie » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:20 am

I buy my railroad spike knives from DR. Ray Rantanen. (retired NASA rocket scientist) Dr. Ray cool quenches his horseshoe and railroad spike blades in water , salt , and liquid soap. The metal cools faster in this cheap solution. The hot metal screams , trapping all the carbon in the metal. Resulting in a tougher blade that keeps a sharper edge. He told me that there is 30 different types of railroad spikes. The spikes use on curves has more carbon in it. I met him on EBAY in 2002. Dr. Ray makes his Damascus from S-2 steel(recycled jack hammer bits) ,O-1 tool steel , and mild steel. He cut right through a Buck 110 blade in one of his black-smith classes. Some student ran his mouth. "My Buck knife is stronger than your Damascus. Dr. Ray broke that Buck Knife in two. I just bought a fighter knife O-1 tool steel , an hour ago.
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