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Old 08-11-2023, 05:34 PM
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Default Old Rail, Any Value For Smithing?

My FIL found 16' of old railroad rail at his house that had been buried under a hedge. He had no clue how to get rid of it so I was volunteered. When I say old, we are talking 1895's vintage. I wacked it half with a abrasive saw to make it manageable, and it was absolutely miserable to cut, air hardening as it went not only on the wheel contact surface where you would expect it but throughout. I have cut rail before and it was nothing like this.
Does this mystery metal have any value for smithing, or should I just repurpose it for something else?
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Old 08-11-2023, 08:00 PM
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I use a 10’ long piece as a road drag. Possibly another use for it.


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  #3  
Old 08-11-2023, 10:25 PM
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Generally rail is high carbon steel, 0.6-0.8% C. Modern rail is Manganese steel, rail that old is like just plain carbon steel. Starts hard gets harder.

If you wanted to heat and beat it, could make good cutting edges.

Quench and temper for a durable blade.
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Old 08-12-2023, 04:34 AM
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Craigslist anvils have been going for $5 - $10lb.
I have seen people listing rails at $50, for an 8" length.
may try listing it for $100 a foot. cut to length, bring a saw
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2023, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GWIZ View Post
Craigslist anvils have been going for $5 - $10lb.
I have seen people listing rails at $50, for an 8" length.
may try listing it for $100 a foot. cut to length, bring a saw
Thats a good idea. Its way more than than the $5 at the scrapyard.
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Old 08-12-2023, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
Generally rail is high carbon steel, 0.6-0.8% C. Modern rail is Manganese steel, rail that old is like just plain carbon steel. Starts hard gets harder.

If you wanted to heat and beat it, could make good cutting edges.

Quench and temper for a durable blade.

Exactly what I was looking for, thanks. I probably will not bother with it. Barring selling it, its already in the perfect length for a ATV bridge, I have some equally vintage 7/4 maple flooring that would be a delightful deck.
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Old 08-12-2023, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Cavalry View Post
Exactly what I was looking for, thanks. I probably will not bother with it. Barring selling it, its already in the perfect length for a ATV bridge, I have some equally vintage 7/4 maple flooring that would be a delightful deck.
Sounds like a good plan to me.
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Old 08-12-2023, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
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...its already in the perfect length for a ATV bridge, I have some equally vintage 7/4 maple flooring that would be a delightful deck.
How's the compound/shop coming along? You've been conspicuously absent for a number of years...
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2023, 03:30 PM
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How's the compound/shop coming along? You've been conspicuously absent for a number of years...
I stop in every now and then to see whats up. The shop is complete but is likely as far as I am going to take it. Of course it needs to be bigger, but that will be the next owners dream. I am over wasting money in this state, waiting on my wife to retire which at one time sounded like a long time away but its going to be here soon enough.
Pretty much all the standard excuses for not being around. Running a 250Ksqft factory gobbles up a lot of my time. I hate it, but the money and benefits floweth freely. Family duties, keeping the compound going and a smattering of events with friends take up the bulk of the rest of my time. I work on my junk and projects when I can, but the uncompleted and dream pile is turning into the never to be completed pile.

I honestly think life was better when I had nothing, scraping by and making what I needed or wanted out of someone else's garbage.
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Old 08-12-2023, 05:32 PM
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I honestly think life was better when I had nothing, scraping by and making what I needed or wanted out of someone else's garbage.
The happiest people in the world are NOT those who work for the most toys & riches, but those who DESIRE the least of these.
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