Cutting railroad rail with a bandsaw

As part of the scrap deal I mentioned earlier (antique stone planers), I also acquired two railroad rails. They were used for railroad
service before, and after that they were used for some custom stone cutting machine.
I thought that I could bring them to my warehouse, cut up into 11 inch sections, and sell as "railroad rail anvils" and ship in flat rate boxes.
However, I do recall that railroad rails work harden from years of use, and I am concerned that they will damage bandsaw blades. Any other cutting method would be uneconomical, so mu question is, can a bandsaw cut used railroad rails. Thanks
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On Thursday, July 18, 2013 8:25:10 AM UTC-4, Ignoramus6946 wrote:

Why not try a hacksaw first? You ought to be able to get a pretty good idea of how well it will cut without going through the exercise (to put it mildly) of moving it to the band saw.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 05:41:54 -0700 (PDT), rangerssuck

I realize you just mean making a test, but I read a book about a Navajo silverworker years ago -- the guy was supposed to be the best -- and he described how he acquired his railroad-track anvil.
He went out to an abandoned rail line and picked out one that looked nice. Then he pulled out his hacksaw, built a campfire and unrolled his bedroll, and spent the next two days cutting off the section of track. <g>
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On Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:02:13 AM UTC-4, Ed Huntress wrote:

Patience is, indeed, a virtue.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 06:24:50 -0700 (PDT), rangerssuck

Unless you have to make mortgage payments on your hogan. d8-)
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Set up for friction sawing, a bandsaw can cut darn near any hardness. But if not set up for friction sawing (absurdly high blade speeds, does what the name implies, DAGS) you'll probably need to experiment and see how the hardest teeth you stock do on a chunk of the stuff. Or set one up for friction-sawing, and have that in your arsenal for the future.
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I think they only work harden on top , where the wheel pounds on it . I have a piece of smaller rail I made a mini-anvil with , had no problem cutting the end off with a bimetal band . Try one , cut it lying on it's side to present the thinner section(s) to the blade . -- Snag
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wrote:

FWIW, railroad rails are made of hypereutectoid (excess carbon) pearlitic steel that work-hardens to around 500 Bhn -- equivalent to 50 - 52 Rockell C -- in service. New, as-rolled, it's typically 400 - 430 Bhn.
That's pretty hard for cutting with a steel blade.
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And what I recall learning as a child....the reason there are so many wheels around a rail yard is they are deliberately made softer than the rails; wheels are easier to replace...
A long-dead machinist friend once found some OLD two-piece rail sticking out of the ground. He cut off pieces and donated them to a museum in Pennsylvania. ISTM he said they figured out they were Civil War era.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 17:05:58 +0000 (UTC), David Lesher

Rolling rails was a real challenge in the early days. At the beginning of rail, they were wooden rails with wrought-iron strips on top. Then there were a couple of interim steps -- I think the two-piece was one of them -- as steel mills developed the capacity to roll the kinds of rails we have today.
It was a major impetus to the development of steelmaking and rolling-mill work. Like firearms and steam power, the demand for rails was a primary motivating force that drove the modernization of several metal producing and metalworking industries.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 09:08:54 -0400
<snip>

How much/far in do they work harden?
I would try cutting them across the top with an abrasive slitting blade for maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and then finish up with a band saw. My 9 inch angle grinder would do that much in a reasonable time frame.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:38:40 -0400, Leon Fisk

I don't know specifically, Leon, but it's usually described as being fairly shallow.

You might be surprised at how they cut. My "anvil" is a piece of track about 8" long, which was cut, originally, with a big mutha O/A cutting torch. I took my big mutha Milwaukee 6", 6.000 rpm angle-head grinder snd ground off the edges, plus I ground the track surface smooth.
I couldn't believe how tough it was to grind. My Milwaukee is the model they use for grinding construction and bridge I-beams for welding, and it usually goes through structural steel like butter.
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 15:21:38 -0400

I haven't tried it so you may be right... but a slitting blade acts much different than a grinding blade. You have to be really careful with them and not let them twist in the cut or you will end up with pieces flying all over. Anyway, I would give it a try and then try cutting it with a hand hack saw and see how it acted...
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 16:16:18 -0400, Leon Fisk

Yeah, it's certainly worth a try. I think it's pretty clever of Iggy to think of selling those pieces. Now we'll see how practical it is to do at a reasonable cost.
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On 07/18/2013 01:16 PM, Leon Fisk wrote:

I've been really impressed with the "ultra thin" slitting wheels made by Diablo, but they are spendy. The HF ones come in second place, and are a lot cheaper so I usually just buy those. The thin wheels not only last longer but they cut quicker as well.
I go really slow and make sure everything is lined up straight and square, and make sure I'm covered up really good (safety glasses + faceshield and a leather apron at a minimum).
Jon
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Yes, thanks. I saw advice somewhere to cut them upside down, to start out with softer material. I will do it that way. My bandsaw blades are bimeetal, 1 inch wide Starrett blades.
i
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On Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:15:16 -0500, Ignoramus6946

Plasma cuts cleanly to the recommended thickness, but will cut much, much thicker stock if you want it to.
Wouldn't a plasma cutter do the job quicker and more easily, except with regard to later cleanup? (if you do clean it up) You could use that to cut the horns, too. Preshaping might get you a better price.
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I live in the real world, I need to cut these rails cleanly and cheaply, a plasma cutter will do neither.
i
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Ignoramus6946 wrote:

Perhaps a carbide tooth blade would do the job if one is available in that blade size.
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wrote:

There as a lot of well annealed rail over in Lac Magentic Quebec.
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