Can the ball of a section of 110 pound railroad rail be hardened in some manner, to be okay to be used as dies in a 60-75 pound treadle or power hammer? If not what is the best way to obtain the proper metal for the dies? in advance thanks...
1000 series steel.... heat to 1600, quench in water or oil, draw at 375 to
400 for two hours, cool to ambient, go to work. Should deliver a final Rockwell in the mid fifties C scale. All temps are farenheit. Merry Xmas...
GDay theChas, I'm not sure of the differences between the weights of rails, I suspect that we don't have near the variety here in Oz, that you Seppo buggers have :-) (no offence intended).
What I do know is that rail is very tough steel, it has to be to take the pounding that it gets with thousands of tons of railcars passing over it. I use it to make hardy tools - I slice a bit from the end of the rail and then cut the web off the bottom, then forge the top to shape - makes great cutoff hardies amd bottom fullers. I don't even bother to heat treat it after forging, other than normalizing. Used rail would be even better as it gets work-hardened.
Now to your question. The local blacksmith shop/teaching station/ construction works - its a backyarder who does all this stuff, including building treadle hammers and power hammers - uses rail as basic dies for the hammers. I've looked at the dies after they have taken a flogging over a couple of years, then I spoke to the guy about them. He said that he doesn't heat treat them, just grinds the sharper edge to a nice radius then bolts them on. They worked fine.
I'd be thinking, that you could just bolt the bit of rail in place, use it, then see if it does show any sign of wear or deformation, after a couple of weeks of use. If it does, then you know you have to heat treat that length of rail. I'd suspect that you will not have too do so.
Let us know how you go, Regards Rusty_ir> Can the ball of a section of 110 pound railroad rail be hardened in some > manner,
We would replace rail on the mainline that'd been in service, right in that spot, for 15 to 20 years (then use it somewhere else like a siding and be good for 100 years there).
What was really cool was the severe damage the first loaded train would do to it. I swear it looks like it won't last more than a week or so.
Railroad rail is "control cooled" they call it, but everybody else would call it "normalized" since it's pure fine pearlite. And will work harden to beat heck. I've had reasons to cut with a hand hacksaw blade (65hrc HSS) and file (67hrc 1.22%C steel) some of that work hardened crap hangging over some of my insulated-rail-joints.
No luck, no kidding. Instead had to basically dull the crap out of my cold chisels (name brands) and break off the lip bridging the rail ends. Whatever it took to clear the signals so I could go back home, was fine with me. ;)
Alvin in AZ (retired signalape) ps- seppo = separatists (?)
No offence intended, I have a Seppo cousin and he wears the nickname as a badge of honour. Despite what my Tree hugging, latte sipping, democrat voting, twitt work mates may say, I like you Yankies. Keep up the good work.
Many of the guys I worked with thought of "wet back" that way too and were proud of it. ...like Ayn Rand said "what did you do to be a US citizen? Get born? :/" Me too, wet-back is cool ;) the first thing they want is to get on the tax rolles because after being on the tax rolls for 10 years a judge will grant them citizenship.
Alvin "way-doe" in AZ ps- "way-doe" = "blondy" because of my arm hair color ain't black