Discussion:
Anvil questions
(too old to reply)
Steve B
2006-09-22 04:30:20 UTC
Permalink
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?

I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want
to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been
ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone
quite a few hours to do.

I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.

I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?

How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.

Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is
that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think
the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just
guessing.

Thanks in advance.

Steve
Trevor Jones
2006-09-22 13:06:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want
to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been
ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone
quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is
that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think
the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just
guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
Try to avoid cast iron anvils, they tend to mark easilly and be a bit
dead under the hammer. The giveaway for cast anvils is usually raised
lettering as opposed to stamped into the surface. Cast steel anvils are
usually very good.

Names to watch for (good) are Hay Budden, and Peter Wright. They are
not the only good old anvils out there, but they are very common.

The weight is usually marked on them. Hay Budden anvils are marked in
pounds, PW anvils in hundredweight, quarter hundredweight, and pounds
(if it is marked 1 1 1 , thats 112 pounds plus 28 pounds plus 1 pound).

Wood stands are pretty normal. Tree trunk is traditional.

Try to tap test the face of the anvil. A small hammer and light blows
will help to tell if the face plate is delaminated. Tap tap tap along
the surface at about half inch intervals and listen to the sound. iIt
should sound solid and bounce cleanly, with a dead noise from
delaminated areas. Dealmination is not good.

Try over on alt.crafts.blacksmithing

Get an anvil you can move easilly. 100 or so pounds is a nice sice for
casual use, bigger is generally considered better, but consider your needs.
In general terms, $2 a pound seems to be the price point below which
guys start to gloat a bit.

Cheers
Trevor Jones
John
2006-09-22 13:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Trevor Jones
Wood stands are pretty normal. Tree trunk is traditional.
This may be traditional but it adds a lot to the weight. For occasional
use, I'd go for a steel frame. Best not to put it on castors though :-)

John
Trevor Jones
2006-09-22 19:32:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by John
Post by Trevor Jones
Wood stands are pretty normal. Tree trunk is traditional.
This may be traditional but it adds a lot to the weight. For occasional
use, I'd go for a steel frame. Best not to put it on castors though :-)
John
If your shop has a smooth floor and you need the mobility, some
casters welded on hinges would work as long as the base was wide enough
to safely lift one edge at a time to flip the wheels under.

I think a pallet jack would work better.

Run some sheet lead around the contact points and that'll cut down
some on the intensity of the ring.

Cheers
Trevor Jones
Joe Gorman
2006-09-22 13:19:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want
to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been
ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone
quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is
that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think
the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just
guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/anvil/anvil.html
http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/
http://www.anvilfire.com/
Joe
AndrewV
2006-09-22 13:12:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I
want to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was
just about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It
had been ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took
someone quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees.
Is that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would
think the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm
just guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
Try www.abana.com as a starting point for blacksmithing stuff. also
www.magichammer.freeservers.com is a great resource. I'm in VT and would
expect to pay $2-4 per pound for a working anvil used new ones start @ about
$6/lb. A good anvil is more then "a big piece of steel" it will have some
"action" it will hit the workpiece just as hard as you do. What you mount
it on is more dependent on how often you will be using it and what is handy
then anything else. If you plan to use it allot then a hardwood stump cut to
put the face of the anvil @ knuckle height would be a good start otherwise
make it easy to move around the shop. Railroad track makes great material
for a do-it-yourself anvil for light use I have one that gets used for
smaller stuff quite often.

Enjoy the hunt

AndrewV
Ignoramus29761
2006-09-22 13:53:23 UTC
Permalink
I have a railroad rail (for a light gauge R/R) and also some 4140
stock (cutoffs etc) can be seen here

http://yabe.algebra.com/~ichudov/misc/ebay/4140-tool-steel/

(someone bought it from me and disappeared, so I still have it)

Can I simply weld some pieces to the rail and hope to get a decent, for
hobby purposes, anvil?

i
Too_Many_Tools
2006-09-22 15:51:37 UTC
Permalink
Ig,

I would say "Yes" based on my first "anvil"

My first "anvil" was a piece of train rail with a car spindle welded on
the end and a small piece of bar welded endwise on the other end of the
rail by someone years before I got it. They were both attached by
electric arc and I have seen no problems with temper or action on the
"anvil".

I have gotten several other "real" anvils since then but that original
POS is still used regularly.

The lesson I learned is even after you get better anvils, the size and
shape of a piece of rail is still very useful.

The other lesson that was reinforced is that you never can have too
many tools. ;<)

TMT
Post by Ignoramus29761
I have a railroad rail (for a light gauge R/R) and also some 4140
stock (cutoffs etc) can be seen here
http://yabe.algebra.com/~ichudov/misc/ebay/4140-tool-steel/
(someone bought it from me and disappeared, so I still have it)
Can I simply weld some pieces to the rail and hope to get a decent, for
hobby purposes, anvil?
i
Ignoramus29761
2006-09-22 16:00:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Too_Many_Tools
Ig,
I would say "Yes" based on my first "anvil"
My first "anvil" was a piece of train rail with a car spindle welded on
the end and a small piece of bar welded endwise on the other end of the
rail by someone years before I got it. They were both attached by
electric arc and I have seen no problems with temper or action on the
"anvil".
I have gotten several other "real" anvils since then but that original
POS is still used regularly.
The lesson I learned is even after you get better anvils, the size and
shape of a piece of rail is still very useful.
The other lesson that was reinforced is that you never can have too
many tools. ;<)
Sounds good. The point of welding on a bar on about half of that rail,
is to get two surfaces, one is slightly round (on the rail itself) and
another that is flat.

i
jgandalf
2006-09-22 13:56:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by AndrewV
Try www.abana.com as a starting point for blacksmithing stuff.
You'll have better luck with www.abana.org

Joe
AndrewV
2006-09-22 15:22:29 UTC
Permalink
"AndrewV" <***@SPAMTRAPevolutionironworks.com> wrote in message news:***@news4.newsguy.com...
sorry for that ......

Iggy for a light duty anvil out of RR track I would just cut it to shape
and then just grind it smmoth/flat where needed. If you want to weld your
tool steel to something there anvil plans out there for that.

AndrewV
Ignoramus29761
2006-09-22 15:48:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by AndrewV
sorry for that ......
Iggy for a light duty anvil out of RR track I would just cut it to shape
and then just grind it smmoth/flat where needed. If you want to weld your
tool steel to something there anvil plans out there for that.
OK, got it, thank you...

i
Too_Many_Tools
2006-09-22 16:29:05 UTC
Permalink
Ig,

I also have a small anvil that someone made out of rail....looks great
and makes for a very nice small anvil.

It also took someone forever and forever to grind it to its final
shape.

My point with my original post was to note that one can weld pieces on
to a piece of rail without ruining the original temper of the rail.

Also note that there are different types of rail in different sizes. If
one is planning on grinding out a "railroad" anvil out of a section of
rail, I would make sure you get the right size of rail to start with
since it will be alot of effort to grind it out.

Good luck with whatever approach you take.

TMT
Post by Ignoramus29761
Post by AndrewV
sorry for that ......
Iggy for a light duty anvil out of RR track I would just cut it to shape
and then just grind it smmoth/flat where needed. If you want to weld your
tool steel to something there anvil plans out there for that.
OK, got it, thank you...
i
rigger
2006-09-22 16:07:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want
to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been
ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone
quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is
that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think
the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just
guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
When shopping for a used anvil another idea is to take along a 3/4 to
1" bearing ball. This is used to check the rebound on different points
of the anvil face; I find this easier than using a hammer. If you hold
the ball about 10" above the face you'll see a soft cast anvil face
will cause no more than a 4 to 5" rebound and a really hard face will
rebound 9" and sometimes higher. By moving to different points on the
face you'll be able to detect things like repairs and loss of temper.

Just a small note here. If doing extensive work use a dipper to splash
coolant on the face periodically to prevent loss of temper. I don't
see this mentioned as often as I think it should be. A quality anvil
should be cared for like any fine tool.

Size depends on use. If you want this for occasional light weight use
a 100# anvil should work fine. If you're doing large structural work
(large gates for example) you'll want all the weight you can get. An
acceptable alternative for some, rather than buy a larger more
expensive anvil, is to build a heavier base. Now, when you start to
really hammer and twist on that puppy, you won't have to chase it
around your shop.

Someone had a great idea a while back which consisted of a hollow
wooden stand which could be filled to any level required using sand
(which could be removed when not needed); damn clever. The addition of
retractable wheels would make this a very versatile unit.

dennis
in nca
spaco
2006-09-22 22:08:10 UTC
Permalink
I think I aleady answered a post like this on alt.crafts.blacksmithing,
but here's another input. Go to my website,

http://www.spaco.org/anvils.htm
and take a couple of the relevant links.
It's not a "priner", but might have an interesting thought or two.

Pete Stanaitis
--------------------
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want
to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been
ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone
quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around
$200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I
believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a
"general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start
answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would
use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is
that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think
the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just
guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
Tony
2006-09-23 02:53:16 UTC
Permalink
A well stocked paint store.
Post by Steve B
Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
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