Large railroad spike, 7 1/2 inch blade,
11 3/8 inches overall. Handle is twisted. Carving style point-Great for
carving, camp, butcher, survival, defense. Comes with a sheath--very
This is a great all around style
bowie from a large spike. Blade is 6 3/4 inches and is 11 1/4 inches
overall, The handle is beautiful zebrawood. Very unique. Feels great lots of
authority. Comes with a sheath. Ask for more pics of this one $189.
A beauty!!!- a
large spike knife with a clip point blade of 5 inches, 9 1/4 inches
overall. Comes with a sheath. The handle is beautiful bocote
hardwood. $160 postage and
RAILROAD SPIKE KNIVES
My first spike knife was made in the summer of
1990. It was made as a lark and
turned out to be more than expected.
After hardening and tempering, the blade would shave hair and cut
through steel rivets by pounding on the back with a hammer and still
remained shaving sharp. Many
experiments were performed to determine the best quenching medium for
hardening and the tempering colors that gave the best edge.
The goal was to make a reasonably priced knife that
would perform as well as higher priced knives and was unique. Currently old spikes are used that show
a particular spark when ground that definitely is not mild steel. Some of
the railroad spikes used are higher in carbon
near .55 to .6 %. These spikes
have a designation H C somewhere on the head, it
stands for “hard core”. They have a higher
carbon content than regular spikes. These were typically used on curves
and switch yards where a tougher spike was required.
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.
After shaping and grinding, the blade is normalized
then heated to a hardening temperature and quenched in quenching oil.
Spikes with lower carbon content are quenched either in water or brine.
The result is a knife that is hard on the cutting edge
and softer in the back and handle area. The cutting edge has
tested at a Rockwell C scale hardness of 55 to 58 and the blade back and
tang at 40.
The finished product is available in many blade
styles. Laminated Birch wood
slabs or elk and deer antler attached on each side of the handle with the
spike head polished to a bright luster makes an attractive knife. Popular styles are trailing point, drop
point, skinners, Clip point and fillet/boning knives.
The head of the spike on the end of the handle is great for cleaning the
blood along the backbone of large fish. It also allows a positive grip
when drawing the knife from the sheath.
The sheaths are made by sewing along the blade edge
with a welt in between to keep the blade from hitting the stitching. They are all hand stitched from quality
vegetable tanned leather.
Small narrow gauge or mine rail spikes make
excellent neck knives. These small knives can be worn on a thong around the
neck or on a belt. The popular
blade shapes are a straight point, drop point or a trailing point. These
also make an excellent belt buckle knife.
The total package is an affordable, durable, unique
knife of almost any blade shape. They make a good backup knife for
skinning or other unique applications or make a good everyday knife that
performs well. Reports indicate
they out perform many commercial knives for sharpness, edge holding and
ease of sharpening the convex ground blade.
Handle choices vary from antler to natural woods
and the very beautiful laminated birch. If desired the handle can be made
by twisting the spike and polishing instead of laminating handle
materials on the sides of the flattened area. Write, call, or email if
you have questions or a special request.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been forging iron, steel and knives since
1974. My products are different
than most you will encounter. My doctorate degree in physics from WSU has
helped immensely in understanding the complex task of forging, hardening
and tempering steel.