I managed to get hold of a couple neat old railroad spikes, and thought maybe I’d try turning one into a chisel. I know they are made of really soft steel that’s not really suited for tool making, but the novelty of the idea was too great to resist. First I removed the many decades of rust using a wire wheel on my grinder, then brought the freshly shined spike into work with me. Taking some time in the evening, I made good use of the machine shop at work to mill flat three of the sides and make the primary bevel (~35 degrees). After a bit of honing on my oil stone at home, I ended up with this fine creation:
(Note my poorly-made secondary bevel… I need to work on my sharpening skills). It seems to work, though the edge was slightly degraded just from chopping this test mortise in cottonwood. Next time, I’ll have to make one out of good tool steel. Still, I can’t help but like this thing :) .
Edit: here’s a couple more pics: