Knife buildoff challenge discussion



Sep 26, 2012
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These ones are made without the resin, the inner is made on CNC machine, precision fit!
View attachment 148175
Making your own is still cooler
I was about to ask "what's the black stuff then?" when I looked closer and saw that it was air and shadow.

I think I'd still want to fill them with resin, otherwise they'd fill themselves with pocket lint.
 
Sep 26, 2012
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Here's a bit of "useless" information for anyone who might plan to make a railroad spike knife.

The spike on the left is a typical spike, the one on the right is a high carbon spike.(note the HC at the bottom)
A higher carbon content makes for better hardening, and holds an edge better.View attachment 148216
Why do they make railroad spikes out of high carbon steel?

One would think flexibility and resistance to vibration stress would be desirable in a railroad spike. More than hardness at least.

Admittedly, you just taught me the second fact I know about railroad spikes. The first being 'railroad spikes exist'.

I'm also expecting to learn the 11th fact I know about steel in your answer.
 
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Apr 18, 2015
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Why do they make railroad spikes out of high carbon steel?

One would think flexibility and resistance to vibration stress would be desirable in a railroad spike. More than hardness at least.

Admittedly, you just taught me the second fact I know about railroad spikes. The first being 'railroad spikes exist'.

I'm also expecting to learn the 11th fact I know about steel in your answer.
I'm not sure you'll get the answer you seek.

The high carbon spike isn't all that high in carbon, just higher than a regular spike.
It will still bend rather than break, but I honestly don't know why they are used.
 

Captain Awesome

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I'm not sure you'll get the answer you seek.

The high carbon spike isn't all that high in carbon, just higher than a regular spike.
It will still bend rather than break, but I honestly don't know why they are used.
HC spikes are specifically used on tight bends, and sometimes (rarely) trestles. Anywhere with high lateral force or modulation
 
Mar 26, 2012
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Brass or silver accents/pins to go with padauk wood?

Opinions. Discuss. Go.

NB: I'm not going to try stabilize the padauk color, so it will go from orange to dark brown over time
I built this stave snare drum for my drummer son as a Christmas gift. Curly Maple stave shell with a Burnt Sienna dye. Brass hardware. The shell is pretty close in color to the Padauk wood in it's natural state. Just for something to ponder. I'd go brass pins.
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I'm thinking brass would look the best too, but on reflection I'd have to buy some. I'd rather not do that.

Silver/steel color I have all sorts of scraps, wire, nails, etc.

I have a decent amount of copper too in various forms. Could look interesting.
Do you think cut down copper roofing nails would be sturdy enough for pins?
They might work. One problem is that copper can only be hammered so much, it becomes compressed, hard and a little brittle. But for a nail rivet this might not be a problem, unless the copper nails have already been hammer forged. I have no ideas how they harden or if they harden copper nails, but they might as copper is otherwise soft. It could be hard to pound an expansion in them. I would try it first.
 
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I was debating a spike.
I think my first knife ever will be from a file.

Carl.
A classic choice, and a good one. Lots of shot old files around and they make excellent knives. There is one file knife posted here above that I built way back, and it is still works. Nothing fancy, but they don’t need to be, it’s all about thrift and functionality. Old leaf springs, old high carbon cooking pans and saw blades are also good choices. A rail road spike was too thick for knife building for me as a seventh grader. Back then I took a railroad spike and put it in our coal fired home heating furnace. It was my job to keep it stocked and to empty the clinkers so my parents had no clue what I was up to down there. I used the clinker tongs and my fathers giant plumping pliers to remove a RR spike I threw in the furnace. Before melting old aluminum radio chassis or getting RR spikes white hot I would go up stairs and turn the house thermometer to nuclear hot, the blower on the coal bed would kick in and the open asbestos door would put out fearsome heat into the furnace room. I had a cast iron ladle to melt aluminum, which I poured into molds to make rocket motors. Anyway, I digress from the RR spike, which, when white hot could be forged into steel knuckles. I made a few pair for my buddies and I. We never used them but we thought they were cool.
 

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