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Old 03-10-2012, 11:04 PM
musicguyguy musicguyguy is offline
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Default Beginner here, looking for an anvil. Is cutting railroad track worth the trouble?

I want to make a good, relatively long-term choice, so I didn't want to go with a cast-iron one for less than $100. Unfortunately I can't spend $500 for a quality one, so I set out looking for railroad track, which I've read is a "mild steel", depending on the type of track. Still, it's around 125lb/yd, which is definitely heavy duty.

I found several large ~10 ft pieces, which is impossible to bring home and probably inconvenient to use. Should I try cutting it or look elsewhere?

An intensive google search has revealed that a cutting torch (acetylene? would anything else work?) would cut it, albeit slowly. The track is at most I think two inches thick in some places, but if I push the track onto its side, I can cut from three sides--unless this is not advisable.

I've also read in another forum that a hacksaw will do it but I seriously doubt this.

I don't have a huge budget; I hesitate to spend over a hundred dollars. But if I were to buy a cutting torch and perhaps a grinder I could make several and sell them.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:15 PM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Check this link out.
Forging an anvil
http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...ad.php?t=32366
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:27 PM
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Welcome to the site.

Here is another link.
http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...light=railroad
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:46 PM
musicguyguy musicguyguy is offline
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Thanks for your links and welcome. It seems this is now a viable--but difficult--project.

I couldn't find anything in the thread about how he cut the track, though. How did he cut the top so flat?
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:24 AM
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jonowono, it would probably be somewhat helpful if you would say what you plan to do with an anvil.
There are some differences between what's required for sword making or shoeing horses and just beating the snot out of a piece of iron to make your ears ring.
Help these guys help you and you're likely to get more help.

btw, welcome to SFT.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicguyguy View Post
Thanks for your links and welcome. It seems this is now a viable--but difficult--project.

I couldn't find anything in the thread about how he cut the track, though. How did he cut the top so flat?
Hello, welcome to SFT.

I have seen how the railroad workers cut the track, It is an engine driven chopsaw with a special large heavy duty cutter disk for cutting the rail.

The rail anvil that I have, I bought at an farm auction. It appeared to be have been cut with a torch. I used a 4 1/2 grinder to smooth it up and it makes well for me.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:15 AM
musicguyguy musicguyguy is offline
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I'll probably be working with knives and other small objects. A sword would be really cool, but I've heard it takes at least a year's experience.

Any tips on what type of torch and grinder to use?
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:19 AM
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I have cut rail line for an anvil with an oxy torch.If you are an experienced oxy cutter it is no problem. The following is based upon cutting 90kg/metre coal train line.
  1. Ensure you are wearing at least a leather coat, headgear and a visor as they will be sparks ,lots of them and hot.

  2. You do need to mark your piece out with welders chalk fairly neatly.

  3. The torch nozzle needs to be the equivalent of a 15 ( 1.5 mm) diameter which will likely be different to your US nozzle sizing, as our Ozzie standards designate the torch nozzle size by the oxy stream delivery orifice hole diameter.

  4. Heat the areas you are about to cut with the flame for a minute or two because if you go in and cut a cold piece the cut quality will be crap and you will be certain to get covered in sparks as the jet is reluctant to cut through when cold and sometimes comes back at you.

  5. A tuned neutral flame will give you a sharp edge and will make your cuts look so much better cleaned up.

  6. Remember to to keep the oxy stream lever depressed fully when cutting
  7. Finish up with a 9" angle grinder and a flap wheel on the horn and striking face .

    Does this help you ?

    Ozwelder


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Old 03-11-2012, 03:51 AM
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Default Abrasive disc

Would an abrasive disc in a 9 inch grinder do the job?
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicguyguy View Post
Thanks for your links and welcome. It seems this is now a viable--but difficult--project.

I couldn't find anything in the thread about how he cut the track, though. How did he cut the top so flat?
I haven't had the pleasure to cut a Rail, I hear some can be tougher then others to cut.

When I have a piece of steel in question to cut I test it with a file, if a file can cut it you can generally use most steel cutting tools and cut steel.
The harder the steel the harder it will be to cut with a file.

If the file cuts decently then a good hacksaw should also cut.
In other words the teeth on a steel cutting hacksaw blade should be just as hard as a file in comparison to cutting.

As for cutting the Rail, my first choice would be a 14" abrasive chop saw, but most do ok up to 1" square after that you may have to rotate the part around and cut thinner sections. it will take time.
Some blades are better then others I had one that would melt thru 1" like butter and others that had problems on 5/8" steel.
I think the good one was listed as 24 grit and most others are 36grit, and most do not list grit size.


The torch would be my second choice. a hacksaw would be to slow.

===

In the first link he milled the top and sides flat, that would be using a milling machine.

The last two pictures in this link is basically what he did to cut the top flat but may have use a different style of cutter.
http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...12&postcount=1
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