Railroad track as an anvil? (Ig)

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Dad had a nice very heavy rail chunk about 2' long ground and turned - ta= per horn...
Nice curves put on it by a mill.
Naturally this was in a BIG shop where using a 50 ton hoist to pick up wo= rk was normal. Think - do a ring job or a bore job on a B-36. Replacements were handy, = but training for when parts were short always took place. Nice time for Machinists.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net=
NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
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Proctologically Violated=A9=AE wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I think that is called the Frog. Been a while. Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net=
NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote: > Proctologically Violated=A9=AE wrote: >=20 >>Awl, >> >>Apropo if Ig's anvil, a guy I know has used (read: work hardened) railr= oad >>track that could probably be delivered saw-cut to length. >>Is this a useful thing for shops, HSMers to have? >>What do you think the value of such stuff would be, per foot, and what >>length would you find most useful? >>I think it weighs about 30 #/ft, but I'll get a more accurate wt, dims.= >>Mebbe ig knows what his weighed. >>I think it's pretty much the same gauge over most of the country, butme= bbe >>there's a railroad buff out there who knows. >>If this stuff does have any value, it may be swamped by shipping charge= s. >>:( >>Thoughts? >>-- >>------ >>Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY >> >>Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: >>Absolutely Vote, but NOT for a Democrat or a Republican. >>Ending Corruption in Congress is the *Single Best Way* >>to Materially Improve Your Family's Life. >>The Solution is so simple--and inexpensive! >> >>entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I just finished doing a set of tires for a main line steam locomotive. The bore on the tires was about 48 inches diameter. The prints were from 1917 and called for a +- .003 tol. I also have a maintance customer that has a vertical boring machine that was made in 1881. They still use it. I redid the ways and got the machine to hold better than .001 .
The only thing that they lacked was good cutting tools like carbide. A history of cutting tools makes very interesting reading. What took all day in the 1800's can be cut today in less than five minutes. The only thing they had was carbon steel. Later on Muntz metal and hss. After that came stellite, a host of other metals and ceramics. CBN and diamond is one of the last additions to the cutting edge inventory.
John
Reply to
John
We've got the last Union Pacific main-line steam loco at the Museum of Transport here in St. Louis. It is 500 tons, 1 MILLION Lbs! They used to run the thing for excursions, but it is SO MUCH heavier than anything they run these days that they had a derailment every time they took it out.
Yeah, a 2' diameter cast iron disc a couple inches thick! They built that stuff HEAVY! The trucks that hold the axles are just massive, too.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Oh, they made REALLY big stuff back in the mid to late 1800's. The Smithsonian has a low-pressure piston out of a steam engine that is the size of a room. I think it is about 30' in diameter.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Not quite, Jon! But I will admit that when I first saw that piston I had the fleeting impression I was standing under a beach umbrella. That piston is from one the old NYC subway system alternators, circa 1904. In those engines the high-pressure cylinders were 44" and the low-pressure cylinders were 88" in diameter. Each engine, running at best efficiency, had an indicated 7,500 HP.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
That's quite amazing what people could do with much more limited resources... I am reading stuff that John posted, right now about using compressed air in railroad shops from the turn of the century. Very fun stuff.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29962
Railroad track makes a pretty mediocre anvil. People like em for the folksy, old timey do it yourself look, but from a real blacksmiths viewpoint, they are bassackwards in design.
The idea when using an anvil is to put the maximum force into moving the metal, with each hammer blow. This is particularly true when you get old, weak, and sore, like I am. I suppose if you are built like Popeye or Arnold, it wouldnt matter, but I like to get the most bang for my buck out of every hammer swing.
So the ideal anvil, in terms of moving metal, is a big square block. You want absolute maximum mass right under where you are hitting. The horn was a later addition, after anvils had been used for a thousand or two years, mostly for shaping horse shoes. Same with the heel, that little skinny shelf you see hanging off the back of a London pattern anvil. But for 99% of most blacksmithing, the heel is not needed.
A railroad rail has a tall, skinny, relatively wiggly cross section. When you hit it, really hit it, the force goes into wiggling the rail, not moving the hot metal.
A much better design for an anvil is the european style, which is very blocky and solid in the middle. Short and fat. Or, as the song goes, "low and slow". An anvil should look like a Rhino, not a Stork.
Check out these anvils- this is what you want it to look like.
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Reply to
Ries
Ah, well, it's been 30+ years since I last saw it. I guess it gets bigger in my memory every year? 88" = 7.33 feet. Gosh, it impressed me so much, it just seems like it should be bigger.
7500 HP! Wow! Yeah, it must take a BIG boiler to feed engines with pistons measured in yards!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
A mentioned elsewhere in this thread, RR track is not really good anvil material. Lack of mass is one reason and a rounded top is another. RR rail is not flat, thus the business surface of it when used as an anvil leaves a lot to be desired. Unless surface ground as Gary has said, RR rail would be almost useless as a serious anvil.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Not only is RR track rounded when produced but it ground now and then back to the rounded shape. The engines with the grinders make a HUGE noise. The workers get all black except where covered with respirators and etc. I used to find slag when walkin along RR tracks as a kid. Looked just like the slag that forms in the wheel guards of a bench grinder. I wondered what it was from and learned about 15 years ago when the RR track grinders came through town. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
Well, strictly speaking, gauge is the distance between the two rails and doesn't have much relation to the rail weight.
I remember my dad telling me that rail is specified by the weight of a 3' length and that 50lbs might be suitable for a siding and that a heavily used mainline might be over 100lbs. This was 40 years ago and times and my memory may have changed.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I work at Cleveland Track Material. We do job shop work for railroad yards. There are smaller rail but since I have worked here the smallest rail is the 100RB class. We have used this for the New York City Transit System and transit systems in Boston, Washington, New Jersey and I think Toronto (It has been years since we did any work for them). The rail used by the railroads for cargo tends to be 132RE, 136RE and 140RE rail. Rail specifications are per A.R.E.M.A. standards. I am not an engineer so this is about the best I can supply you with in information. Hope this helps.
Reply to
Ron Ungemach
I've just been taking a lot of pictures of the new RR work being done on the "Rail Runner" line here in NM . The new stuff is 136 I think, that is pounds per yard of length. Pretty intresting operations cutting drilling and especially the welding (in a loose sense) rail. The cutting ends up with slices of rail between 1/4 and about 1 1/2 inches long (thick)? The welding is by using a "thermite" like mix that actually forms a continouos metal joint. Very intresting! ...lew...
Reply to
Lew Hartswick
I'm sure if there's lotsa those slices laying around they'd sell for a modest price.
Hey! There's a place not ten miles from here that has fifty or sixty whole sticks of it lying around rusting.
Anybody got a _really_ beefy trailer? I've got a bandsaw.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

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