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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Sorry, but having too-often had nothing better, I have to take those two phrases in opposition.

    Many a [ serviceable | emergency | field-expedient | half-vast substitute ].. take yer pick ... 'anvil' has been cobbled-up from a length of rail, yes.

    But for MOST work the shape is so wrong that even the sorriest and cheapest of anvils will better serve. MOST rail is crowned, not flat.
    A length of rail is better than nothing. But only just.

    Bill
    Maybe I should have been more specific. Instead of "made from" I shoud have said "based on" then gone on to specify the scale and nature of work a rail based anvil might take. I assumed my readers could fill in a few blanks.

    I agree a naked piece of rail makes a poor anvil but with a little machine work and shaping a hunk of heavy rail would make a fine silversmith's anvil or for a tinker and tinsmith - maybe even a farrier if it was designed properly.

    The rail by itself cannot be scaled up to much more than a light anvil suited for small scale work. Add a welded on base flange an inch thick, an alloy face, shape the horn into an involute solid of rotation and bend it so the upper surface is parallel to the face - and a few other mods and we're still in the "made of" descriptor. Can you forge weld 3/4" link chain on such an anvil? No, but for one working on a small scale an anvil made - carefully crafted and shaped - from rail might be very suitable.

    When I say "made of" I was suggesting something more elaborate than "used as".

    My sister dabbled in silver work for a while. I made her and a number of her friends anvils made of rail. Somewhere in and around El Paso and the turquoise country further north there are more than a few of my anvils and metalworking tools. I think I made three batches to order over a year, maybe a couple of dozen all told. And they weren't just hunks of rail.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    Maybe I should have been more specific. Instead of "made from" I shoud have said "based on" then gone on to specify the scale and nature of work a rail based anvil might take. I assumed my readers could fill in a few blanks.
    Quite a few blanks, given that jewelers have better tools available VERY cheaply, and Farriers (classmate was a damned good one) aren't too keen on not having an anvil with a proper horn AND flat... and piercing tools .. mass .. and more..

    'Field Expedient' is all well and good ... And many things need skill and a new perspective applied....

    But anvils crafted from rail just do not 'earn' the effort of serious upgrading on MY list.

    3' length of ignorant 8" WF I-beam I actually use ... 'til I can justify better ...has a far nicer flat... and it has never been 'shaped' in any way since the local steelyard burnt it off for me...

    ;-)


    Bill

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    I may have misread or an taking things too literal, but I've never seen or heard of anyone forging on an anvil. You can straighten,bend, flatten, draw, and upset on an anvil, but I'm not sure how you forge on one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayJohns View Post
    Okay, thanks for the info!

    Pedding-haus has a 277 lb anvil that is forged steel. That's the one I am considering buying. It's currently on back order for about 3 weeks, so I was thinking I might see about buying just a big chunk of some sort of steel to use in the mean time; I figured if it worked out okay, I might be able to put off buying the Pedding-haus also.

    When talking to the scrap yard, is "S-7" the proper way to refer to the steel? As opposed to a number like 4140 or something? I'm only just learning about the different types of metals.

    Ray
    the scrap yard WILL tell you whatever you want to hear
    remember where you are....it's a SCRAP YARD

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    My 278 lb anvil is s7 it's great. It is also $1600. If you want to use rail road rail set a 5 or 6 ft length of it in the ground or a shorter piece in a bucket of concrete and use the end to beat on. All the mass is under your hammer and will make the rail more effincent the surface of an anvil for forging only needs to be 2 or 3 times bigger than the face of your hammer. If you can get a Peter Wright get it you will be hard pressed to find a better used anvil. They are a wrought iron body with a tool seel face forge welded on, they were the standard for all anvils for years. A chunk of scrap yard steel will not be better than a Peter Wright. My advise, Buy a Peter Wright, Hay Budden, Fisher, Trenton, if you can find a good one or one of the new cast steel that have been mentioned. Just stay away from the harbor frt. cast iron made in mexico, china, russia, etc, junk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    When I say "made of" I was suggesting something more elaborate than "used as".

    My sister dabbled in silver work for a while. I made her and a number of her friends anvils made of rail. Somewhere in and around El Paso and the turquoise country further north there are more than a few of my anvils and metalworking tools. I think I made three batches to order over a year, maybe a couple of dozen all told. And they weren't just hunks of rail.
    Gee, Forrest, you should be ashamed of selling all those barely field expedient anvils to all those people who just kept on requesting you make more like their friends were using. I wonder why they liked them so well.

    Denis

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacock View Post
    My 278 lb anvil is s7 it's great. It is also $1600. If you want to use rail road rail set a 5 or 6 ft length of it in the ground or a shorter piece in a bucket of concrete and use the end to beat on. All the mass is under your hammer and will make the rail more effincent the surface of an anvil for forging only needs to be 2 or 3 times bigger than the face of your hammer. If you can get a Peter Wright get it you will be hard pressed to find a better used anvil. They are a wrought iron body with a tool seel face forge welded on, they were the standard for all anvils for years. A chunk of scrap yard steel will not be better than a Peter Wright. My advise, Buy a Peter Wright, Hay Budden, Fisher, Trenton, if you can find a good one or one of the new cast steel that have been mentioned. Just stay away from the harbor frt. cast iron made in mexico, china, russia, etc, junk
    I have a line on a 300# Peter Wright for $800, but I was thinking it might be better to put that money towards a brand new Pedding Haus, since the latter is forged steel. The PW is in pretty decent shape though.

    Ray

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    If you spend lots of time with scrap yard steel to make an anvil, when you tire of it it will be worth about $.05/lb delivered back to the same scrap yard. If you shop a little bit and buy a good used anvil or two, when you tire of them they will be worth about the same as you paid for them. And you will have had the pleasure of using a good anvil in the meantime.

    Is your desire to make anvils, or use them?

    on edit: If the Peter Wright was nice, I'd own it for that price. If you turn the Peddinghaus, you can expect to lose at least 25% on the transaction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailstock View Post
    I may have misread or an taking things too literal, but I've never seen or heard of anyone forging on an anvil. You can straighten,bend, flatten, draw, and upset on an anvil, but I'm not sure how you forge on one.
    When I said forge, I just meant to heat metal up in a forge and then hammer on it. I guess what I was trying to get across was forming metal with blows as opposed to casting.

    One of the projects I wanted to do was involving building a raw metal housing for a tailstock on a small lathe. I was originally going to cast it from aluminum and then mill/drill it. However, then I thought maybe if I had an anvil, I could forge weld some metal together and "forge" the basic shape by hammering it out on a large anvil (which currently I don't have). Once I got the basic shape, then I could mill the surfaces and build a tailstock off it.

    My understanding is that forging metal is basically heating it up and shaping it with blows (i.e. like a drop forge or power hammer, etc.).

    Am I off base with my terminology? I definitely don't want to be using the wrong terms to describe metal working!

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    If you spend lots of time with scrap yard steel to make an anvil, when you tire of it it will be worth about $.05/lb delivered back to the same scrap yard. If you shop a little bit and buy a good used anvil or two, when you tire of them they will be worth about the same as you paid for them. And you will have had the pleasure of using a good anvil in the meantime.

    Is your desire to make anvils, or use them?

    on edit: If the Peter Wright was nice, I'd own it for that price.
    All good points.

    I'll see if I can dig up a photo of the PW. I may have already deleted it.

    My goal is more to use the anvil, not so much get involved in making one. Let's define the term "make" here as receive large box from UPS and attach to stump also I've read many of the websites where people make an anvil; that's not my goal here.

    I'm leaning strongly towards just buying the Pedding Haus, but I did want to see if maybe a big chunk of steel might work in the meantime.

    Ray

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    Default Anvils

    I don't shoe horses (thank gawd) or do anything fancy in the realm of forging. However, I sometimes need a surface upon which I can flail away at an errant hunk of steel. I have an old piece of steel that i found on the loading dock at work on the end of my bench for that, about 4 x 4 x 10" long. I'd love to have a real anvil, but that's way too spendy for what I want. My hunk 'o steel shows some dings, and I have had to run a file over the top of it every few years, but it holds up real well for me.

    I HAVE made a few tiny anvils from old RR track. I put em up in the old shaper, flaten the top, and drill some 3/8 mounting holes in the bottom flange. I make em about 8" long, and shape a point on one end. They are pretty much worthless for anything but decoration. I have sold a couple but I doubt that any pro farriers bought any for their shop...

    Motohio

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    I've actually looked at those a few times over the last few years of considering which anvil to buy. The Centurion is very nice and comparable in price and size to the #12 Pedding Haus. The reason I favor the Pedding Haus over the Centurion is because the Centurion is cast steel, while the Pedding Haus is forged.

    Here's the one I'm looking into getting, btw:

    Forged Anvils - RIDGID Professional Tools

    Right now I'm trying to sort out if Home Depot can order it for me, since they will ship it to me basically for free on their local delivery truck. I've been able to find it for around $1600 on-line. HD wants more like $1900 plus tax. I have to go into town and speak with them about whether or not they are willing to do a special order and discount the price or not. I'm not sure how much room they have on pricing.

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by motohio View Post
    I HAVE made a few tiny anvils from old RR track. I put em up in the old shaper, flaten the top, and drill some 3/8 mounting holes in the bottom flange. I make em about 8" long, and shape a point on one end. They are pretty much worthless for anything but decoration. I have sold a couple but I doubt that any pro farriers bought any for their shop...

    Motohio
    Speaking of shapers and anvils, this is a cool video:

    Making an Anvil - YouTube

    Ray

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    Here is the PW anvil. They are asking $895. It's a few hours drive from where I am I believe.

    It's 300 lbs.

    Ray
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cimg0193.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailstock View Post
    I may have misread or an taking things too literal, but I've never seen or heard of anyone forging on an anvil. You can straighten,bend, flatten, draw, and upset on an anvil, but I'm not sure how you forge on one.
    Last time I checked I was a professional blacksmith and I have no idea what you're on about. I plan on continuing to use 'forge' the way I always have and I hope RayJohns enjoys forging on his anvil no matter what kind he gets.

    I couldn't see the prices on the Ridgid page, but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with that Peter Wright at half the price of a new, possibly smaller, peddinghaus. There's also nothing wrong with a Nimba or other cast steel anvil; steel casting technology has made huge leaps in the last century.

    What I wouldn't do is mess around with a chunk of steel from the scrapyard except as a last resort. That's the kind of thing that will make you hate smithing and never buy a real anvil. If you were to wind up hating smithing it should be because it's hard, hot, dirty, and miserable, not because you had lousy tools.

    Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    Last time I checked I was a professional blacksmith and I have no idea what you're on about. I plan on continuing to use 'forge' the way I always have and I hope RayJohns enjoys forging on his anvil no matter what kind he gets.
    I'm not 100% sure. I'm simply going by this definition of the term:

    Forging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Specifically "Forging is a manufacturing process involving the shaping of metal using localized compressive forces"

    So I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that if you are using a blacksmith hammer to compress metal into different shapes, then that is forging. Let me know if I'm off base here some place.

    The way I was thinking about it was like this: if a big factory is using a drop forge to shape metal, I think everyone would agree that that is "forged". Like producing a tool, such as an end wrench or something. It's run through different forging processes, each which successively shape the item. So if I'm the one compressing the hot steel (using a hammer, etc. instead of a drop forge or a power hammer or something), isn't that still basically the same process - i.e. forging metal?

    What is the definition of forging that you are talking about? Do you mean the process of heating up material inside a forge?

    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    I couldn't see the prices on the Ridgid page, but there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with that Peter Wright at half the price of a new, possibly smaller, peddinghaus. There's also nothing wrong with a Nimba or other cast steel anvil; steel casting technology has made huge leaps in the last century.
    I just like the idea that the Pedding Huas is forged vs. cast. I've read that it makes for a better anvil - and that due to the better rebound, etc. you don't have to work quite as hard vs. using a cast anvil.

    As far as pricing, the Model 12, which is 277# seems to run around $1600, give or take, plus shipping. One of the blacksmiths I spoke with said getting a brand new anvil is really nice, since the edges are perfect, etc., so between that and the forged vs. cast angle, I was leaning towards springing for the new one.

    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    What I wouldn't do is mess around with a chunk of steel from the scrapyard except as a last resort. That's the kind of thing that will make you hate smithing and never buy a real anvil. If you were to wind up hating smithing it should be because it's hard, hot, dirty, and miserable, not because you had lousy tools.
    Probably very sage advice! Thanks! I'm starting to see that my idea of just using a hunk of steel maybe isn't the best route to take.

    I'm brand new to all this and just trying to get started, so I really appreciate all the input and advice. Thanks again Lewis.

    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    If you were to wind up hating smithing it should be because it's hard, hot, dirty, and miserable, not because you had lousy tools.

    Lewis
    .. and with the right tools, you WON'T end up hating it.

    No part of metalworking has ever given the same level of visceral, tactile satisfaction as drawing-out a chisel or punch with just you, the furnace, anvil, and hammer, where you sort of 'feel' the things in the metallurgy textbooks happening as you work.

    And knowing from the previous ones you've made ...that it will hold its edge longer and stand up to tougher use than any 'store bought' counterparts.

    Bill

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    I have aquired several Anvils over the years from Ebay UK for people who didn't know where to start getting one. Just searched 'advanced search' selecting max distance away that I wanted to go to pick up and Hey Presto, OLD heavy anvils at a FRACTION of the new price.
    Always went to look first ,and hit with a hammer to test the bounce and the ring . Seems to me the older the better. Any surface rust soon comes off with a flapper wheel.
    Suppose it depends whether you want one to look at and gloat about the name on it , or one to USE .
    Typical Examples :-

    Anvil Blacksmiths farrier, Large 32.5 inches long, | eBay
    OR.............

    Blacksmiths Anvil 283lb | eBay

    compared with new price For Vaughan's Single bick Anvil:- (pictured below)

    S001-005 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 5KG (11LBS) £85.50 Shippable
    S001-012 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 12KG (28LBS) £178.50 Shippable
    S001-018 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 18KG (40LBS) £192.83 Shippable
    S001-025 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 25KG (56LBS) £238.25 Shippable
    S001-038 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 38KG (84LBS) £357.16 Shippable
    S001-045 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 45KG (100LBS) £397.51 Shippable
    S001-050 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 50KG (112LBS) £436.26 Shippable
    S001-063 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 63KG (140LBS) £488.30 Shippable
    S001-076 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 76KG (168LBS) £619.80 Not Shippable
    S001-088 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 88KG (196LBS) £687.55 Not Shippable
    S001-101 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 101KG (224LBS) £789.50 Not Shippable
    S001-127 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 127KG (280LBS) £1002.25 Not Shippable
    S001-152 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 152KG (336LBS) £1168.50 Not Shippable
    S001-177 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 177KG (392LBS) £1329.80 Not Shippable
    S001-203 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 203KG (448LBS) £1530.80 Not Shippable
    S001-228 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 228KG (504LBS) £1680.90 Not Shippable
    S001-254 SINGLE BICK ANVIL 254KG (560LBS) £1956.68 Not Shippable

    Can you not do the same via Ebay USA ?

    Davycrocket
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails single-bick-anvil.jpg  

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    Circa 1978 I worked with an old blacksmith in Thailand. His anvil was a fairly good sized sledge hammer head (12 lb.?) embedded in a really hard log about 15 feet long. He mostly made machetes with blades about 12-14" long plus a tang, out of leaf spring steel. Forge it, machine it down with a draw knife (yes, a draw knife) and file. He'd wash it thinly with some magic mud to prevent oxidation and quench and temper in one continuous operation. He was about 70 years old and had quite a local following. He knew his shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by USMCPOP View Post
    Circa 1978 I worked with an old blacksmith in Thailand. His anvil was a fairly good sized sledge hammer head (12 lb.?) embedded in a really hard log about 15 feet long. He mostly made machetes with blades about 12-14" long plus a tang, out of leaf spring steel. Forge it, machine it down with a draw knife (yes, a draw knife) and file. He'd wash it thinly with some magic mud to prevent oxidation and quench and temper in one continuous operation. He was about 70 years old and had quite a local following. He knew his shit.
    That's pretty good.

    I've seen videos of Japanese making swords using similar anvil setups. Basically just the business end of a sledge hammer that is held upright for them.

    Ray


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