When I lived at Union City I had the luck to find that a previous tenant had
used rail for fence posts. I kept a 4 foot long piece that had rusted off at
ground level and was hanging in the fence. I wonder how long that had been
I put it on the bottom rails of the wood lathe table to hold it steady when I
was roughing out bowls. It got left behind. For some reason I decided that there
wasn’t room for it here. I have a two car garage, half a basement, and a 10 x 16
shed that I call the blacksmith shop.
I did bring along the 3 foot piece and it is in the corner of the shed.
I’m probably never going to do anything with it but it won’t bother me where
I don’t own an ox but I do have a penchant for double bit axes. LOL
Sent from Mail<https://
go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986> for Windows 10
From: Thomas Conroy<mailto:booktoolcutter@y
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2017 6:05 PM
scottg@s...<mailto:scottg@s...>; Old Tools New
Subject: Re: [OldTools] Anvil
David Nighswander wrote:
"I use a 6" long chunk of mainline rail that has been in my family since my
mother was a little girl. We used it to crack walnuts when I was a boy. Mom
would say if we cracked the walnuts she would make fudge. Three boys in an
assembly line could have a cup of walnut meat in no time.
"Now it is my go to backer for riveting, straightening, and flattening in the
"It lives under the bench, ready at a moments notice."
I initially misread this as a six-foot length, not a six-inch length. Gave rise
to some interesting visuals (what color did you say your ox was?...)
Railroad rail is great stuff. I have two nine-inch chunks, though mine may be
narrow-gauge (4" wide base, 4-1/4" high). Mostly I use them as one-hand weights
(i.e. as heavy as I can lift with control with one hand, aided by the inherent
handle-shape of the rail.) They are even more useful as trestles to raise a
finishing press (free-standing "Moxon vise") above bench height, to give
clearance when holding large books. Mine are painted with krylon and have
leather on the bottoms, to avoid scratching the bench or the work.