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Shop-built vise from railroad track

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Planeman41 View Post
    Where does one go to find a piece of railroad track? (I have wondered this for a good while)
    Good question. Every inch of track (in the US) is owned by a railroad- even track that hasn't seen a train in years. When track is pulled up it usually winds up being re-rolled into angle iron (bed frames are re-rolled RR track) or other similar shape. Mills love the stuff because its metallurgy is know and consistent. The railroads sell directly to the mills, so there is little chance of legally obtaining a decent size chunk.

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    • #17
      That is what I have heard in the past. I keep seeing anvils and things "made from a piece of railroad track". It must be coming from some place. I would love to find a piece to make myself an anvil one day! : )

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Planeman41 View Post
        That is what I have heard in the past. I keep seeing anvils and things "made from a piece of railroad track". It must be coming from some place. I would love to find a piece to make myself an anvil one day! : )
        I tried to score a 6 inch chunk (to make bookends) from a removal crew- they said they had to account for every inch of the stuff. Of course, maybe they just get tried of people asking.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by CarlByrns View Post
          I tried to score a 6 inch chunk (to make bookends) from a removal crew- they said they had to account for every inch of the stuff. Of course, maybe they just get tried of people asking.
          Next time ask for a 12 foot section and I'm sure they would be more than happy to let you remove it and haul away

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          • #20
            Another source of RR track can be places like quarries, mines, and other heavy industrial facilities where it is used in some types of materiel handling applications. If you have such places where you are, of course.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Planeman41 View Post
              Where does one go to find a piece of railroad track? (I have wondered this for a good while)
              One of my local steel places advertises it. http://www.coyotesteel.com/products_rails.shtml. The SP mainline runs along the edge of my property and there has been a 6' long piece laying along the right of way for the last few years tempting me. ;(

              lg
              no neat sig line
              near Salem OR

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              • #22
                Back to the vise. Its a great small vise, and bolted down properly will probably be much more useful and take more abuse that the typical cast vises people own. I may very well roughly follow his design and make one for my assembly bench.

                I have two bench vises myself. Well two that are mounted to benches anyway. One is an HF cast double swivel vise. It gets used when I need to position things at odd angles, but when I need to really beat on something or use the vise as a press I go to the old Columbia on the other bench.
                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by larry_g View Post
                  There has been a 6' long piece laying along the right of way for the last few years tempting me. ;(
                  Give in to the dark side. It's a vise, afterall....

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                  • #24
                    SERIOUS cred here!
                    I have a small section of rail for use as a bench anvil that came from the rail siding of the Hendey Machine plant.
                    Ha!
                    Len

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                    • #25
                      It's an interesting video and the guy is obviously skilled and talented with an angle grinder. There are some clever machining "workarounds" presented.
                      However, my foremost thought at the end was "What an incredible waste of time and talent".
                      That guy should have built a milling machine instead of a cheap weak vise.
                      Bill
                      I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Seastar View Post
                        It's an interesting video and the guy is obviously skilled and talented with an angle grinder. There are some clever machining "workarounds" presented.
                        However, my foremost thought at the end was "What an incredible waste of time and talent".
                        That guy should have built a milling machine instead of a cheap weak vise.
                        Bill
                        So are expressing definitively that a welded steel vise is weaker than a "cheap" cast iron vise of similar size?

                        If he needed a vise that's what he should have built. He could build the best milling machine in the world and he still wouldn't have a vise. LOL
                        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                          Next time ask for a 12 foot section and I'm sure they would be more than happy to let you remove it and haul away
                          At 115 pounds a yard (that's how RR track is graded- pounds per yard. 115lb rail is pretty common), I can't see a scrap crew giving away that much weight.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CarlByrns View Post
                            At 115 pounds a yard (that's how RR track is graded- pounds per yard. 115lb rail is pretty common), I can't see a scrap crew giving away that much weight.
                            Last time I checked local scrap yards were only paying 8¢ per pound for steel. They were charging local buyers and scrap pickers 30-50¢ depending on how much they bought. That's less than $30 at scrap prices. Some mills might pay more in large lots because its a known grade of steel, but in a world where sometimes companies scrap machines worth thousands of dollars it not out of the scope of possibility.
                            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                              Last time I checked local scrap yards were only paying 8¢ per pound for steel. They were charging local buyers and scrap pickers 30-50¢ depending on how much they bought. That's less than $30 at scrap prices. Some mills might pay more in large lots because its a known grade of steel, but in a world where sometimes companies scrap machines worth thousands of dollars it not out of the scope of possibility.
                              That is pretty cheap.

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                              • #30
                                Around here if you show up with a bunch of railroad steel the scrap yards won't touch it. They say that steel belongs to the railroad.

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