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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 01-19-2013, 07:25 AM
Frag-Out! Frag-Out! is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Virginia beach
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Hey guys. I am a new member and a new bladesmith. Made my first knife 2 weeks ago and i now Im knee deep in bladesmithing! I hope to fill in some of the blanks using this forum.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:31 AM
Frag-Out! Frag-Out! is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Virginia beach
Posts: 3
So my first few attempts at making knives i used H.C. rail ties. Seems to be a good meduim but not sure what else is out there. Any advice?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:10 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Location: Great Falls, Montana, USA
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Welcome to the forums! Glad to have you aboard. I assume you're talking about RR spikes? If so, they will make great novelty items, but won't make a very usable knife. (The "HC" on a RR spike means it only has about .40% carbon) you want at least .50% carbon for a usable knife blade.

Anyway, my suggestion is to go with carbon steel such as 1080, 1084, 1075, or even 5160. All are easy to work with, and will make good blade material.

It's very unlikely that you will find any of them locally.....most knifemakers almost always have to "order" their steel...... try these folks:

I also get steel from Swain Spring service here in Great Falls, MT.
And from Kelly Cupples in Yakima, WA. : 509-949-5231


"Every CHOICE has a CONSEQUENCE, and all your CONSEQUENCES are a result of your CHOICES."
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:16 AM
Frag-Out! Frag-Out! is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Virginia beach
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I used the rr spikes because they were available. Not to mention popularity on the web. I guess I will refine my technique on the spikes while i try to find some better steel. Thanks for the references!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:48 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Location: Decatur, IL
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Here's another advantage to using a bar of known steel. You will not have to spend so much time drawing out the steel just to start forging a blade. Another is that, regardless of how well you make it, a railroad spike knife will never be anything more than second rate. Known steel is not that expensive. Go to The New Jersey Steel Baron and the shipping costs will be lower too. His 1084 is great to start with and he also has 5160.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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