What are these anvils worth?
I talked with a guy that is selling a couple of anvils. He has a 125lb vulcan that he says is in good condition(no big nicks or blemishes). He wants $200 for it. He also has a mousehole dated 1914 (95lb) that he claims is in fair to good condition. He wants $150 for it. Before I drive 60 miles to look at them, are his prices in the ballpark?
I just paid about $200 for a 100 lb anvil, which was a fairly high quality antique. I've used it and it's great. I wouldn't pay that much for one of those cast, junky anvils from HF, though.
I am not familiar with the other anvil you were talking about but a 125 lb Vulcan is worth every bit of $200 if the face is in good shape as you say. I have a couple of mouseholes in my barn that you can have for free. You can even have the mice that made them.
A check with Mc Masters will give you ballpark new prices which will be a lot more than the guy is asking.
A good anvil is worth what ever you have to pay if you need it.
The prices seem to be fair. I bought a 136-lb. Hay-Budden last year for $100, condition very good. I still can't believe my luck. Around here, $3/lb is typical for a usable anvil. Your seller is asking less than $2/lb, which is at the low end of the going rate for decent anvils. Definitely worth driving 60 miles to see their condition.
Some info here:
Last edited by Sea Farmer; 06-26-2008 at 12:04 PM.
Reason: added link
I would want to see pics. The pricing is fair, but people can be clueless as to what good condition truly is. I went to look at an anvil recently, the owner said it was in good shape, but when I got there it looked like a broken down horse. I have rarely seen an anvil so distorted. I guess it depends on your usage though, I wanted a flattish anvil for more precise banging- The owner saw it as a crude instrument.
Value of an anvil is relative to location, condition, weight and to some extent who made the anvil. A lot of people want an anvil in the 75 to 125 pound range, that drives up the price. Big anvils sometimes sell for less. Not everyone wants a 250 pounder for occasional use. If the current owner did something stupid, like heavilly milling or surface grinding the top, trying to make it dead flat, that reduces its value greatly. Consult anvilfire.com, for more advice in that area. I've purchased two anvils recently, 165 and 185lbs, not more than $1 per pound. You just have to hunt and be patient.
Vulcan anvils are in the bottom tier for desirability. I'd drive 60mi to look at the Mousehole.
Get a ball bearing, drop from 12-18" onto anvil face. A good anvil will pretty much bounce it back into your hand.
I'd also drive 60 miles to look at the Mousehole, if it's decent it would go home with me.
Some smiths like the Vulcan anvils, they're similar to the Fishers, cast base with a tool steel top plate.
I was recently going to buy a Fisher, but a good friend/smith talked me out of it and I got another Hay Budden, which are my favorite.
However a lot of folks tout the Fishers for being quiet, but the ring of an anvil doesn't bother me.
When the anvils get to about 150# the horn is much more usable for me. I have a Hay Budden 160# I like a lot.
A Hay Brudden sold on the bay for $433 152lb. Looked as Fair condition, I have a similar HB 150, cost was a hardy Thanks to the provider. ( my only ever tool gloat)
There is a old, old mousehole anvil in the shop, about 110#s, well used but has a great rebound, it dings easy and has had a lot of use. I paid $100 for it about 15 years ago at a antique shop. It is used for hammerins. The face is great for forging copper key ring medallions as it leaves a nice texture on one side.
The vulcan is an anvil shaped object get the mousehole I have a 200lbs buddin that is great there is a difference between a forged and a cast anvil I just got a 275lbs peddinghause and wow the rebound is sweet it is like hitting a spring I have had a vulcan and I can attest to its crappyness but the logo on the side is real cool.
peter wright for $2.50#
I just saw a 193# Peter Wright for sale in the Spokane, WA area for $500.
That about sums it up.
Vulcan anvils are in the bottom tier for desirability
The mousehole, is an anvil from Great Britain which is prone to swayback condition. Overall though, leaps and bounds above the forementioned US make Vucan which can be brittle and often chipped.
Sold my essentially unused 105 Lb Peddinghaus (or what ever the German job's name was that Centaur used to sell 25 years ago) several years ago for $350.
Ay. Pictures first, then gas money gets spent.
Originally Posted by crzypete
If the Moushole is in any shape at all, grab it.
I never much cared for the Vulcans that I tried. Dead under the hammer.
A ball bearing works well, so does a small hammer, go over the surface of the working face tap-tap-tap, and listen for differences in the sound. Dead spots will sound flat, and usually represent a separation of the tool steel face from the wrought iron body, often from being beaten upon by too large a hammer.
A hundred pound anvil is a nice size for light hobby 'smithing. Somewhere around 225 or a bit heavier makes a really good size for an 'only' anvil.
A bud of mine has a 480 pound IIRC anvil that came out of a railroad shop. THAT one is a regular Immovable Object!
Link is gone now, but I just paid $450 for a 193 lb Peter Wright in really good condition in BF Arkansas.
Originally Posted by PackardV8
I guess some people get it, and some people don't.
I am one who does not get it.
Paying that much money for a piece of iron?
And with no gears or slideways on it?
No place to mount a chuck or tool?
Do you guys also buy those $6000 Snapon tool boxes?
This is Practical Machinist.
You can't machine with an anvil.
And it those prices, it sure ain't practical.
You can't make stuff with a machine. You can tell the the machine what to do but you ain't changing the shape of the metal the machine is. With a hammer and forge YOU are doing the "machining"
Originally Posted by Doozer
with your own eye, hands, and brain. If you can't see that you are correct. you just don't get it................Bob