Early anvil cuts on a piece of railroad rail

When I went to see my friend Steve Hussey at Burning Specialties in Georgetown last month and showed him some silver pencil marks I made on a 17" long piece of rail he said he hadn't ever seen anything that heavy or with that big of a section and he has worked with a lot of rail in his fabrication business.  Years ago taking a welding class and a weekend shop tour conducted by Mark Rudis at Pratt Fine Arts I met Steve.  A couple of years later after doing several iterations in different materials of my simple Monopoly-like houses I stopped by Steve's shop to ask him if he could cut some houses for me out of 3 1/2" thick steel plate. Steve said no problem and we made two of them after I brought him a solid Douglas Fir full scale model to take measurements from (He still proudly shows it to customers).  I have visited Steve every couple of years since and have watched him continually improve his oxygen/propane ganged CNC cutting machines.  In about 45 minutes Steve adjusted his machine and cut the rail to shape.  The top of the rail behind the horn will be milled to make it flat and a square hole, often called a Hardy hole, that will penetrate the torch cut square hole in the web and another round hole to bend steel or take other accessories will be added.  Finally the horn will be shaped in an oval like cone to take hot metal and bend it into curved shapes.  Possibly will weld a heavy steel plate at the bottom to give it more mass. The round hole with a notch is to take a chain to fasten it to an oak stump or a stand made up of laminated 2x  vertical lumber. More later as the project progresses.  

Entry to the shop Burning Specialties



Torch in resting mode after cutting the throat under horn.


Last cuts on the anvil at the horn.


Burning slag at the base of the anvil from last cuts to horn above.


Slag removed, very rough grinding