I just posted a story which disappeared, so I am posting it again 30 some odd years ago, before CL, Ebay, and the internet, I looked up junk stores in the Yellow Pages. In North Philly, a very bad neighborhood, some guy tells me he has an anvil in his store, so I ride the subway down there. After paying him for his 125 lb fisher, we load it in his trunk, and he rides me back to the subway. You should have seen the looks the commuters gave me on that train! 30 years later, I put it up on Ebay, and the buyer ended up being Joshua Kavett, who owns the Fisher Museum in New Jersey. Happy ending for everyone!
35 years ago, before internet, CL, ebay, et al, I looked up the word junk in the Philadelphia Yellow Pages. I call this junk shop in North Philadelphia, a very dangerous area, and the guy says he has an anvil in his shop. I ride the Broad Street Subway to his shop, and lo and behold, he has a 125 pound Fisher Eagle sitting on the floor I pay him his cash, and he rides me back to the Subway with my new acquisition in his trunk. We get to the North Philadelphia Subway Station, and I grab the anvil out of his trunk, and go down the stairs to the subway platform. I take the anvil home on subway and bus, and walk it two blocks from the bus stop to my garage door. The UPSHOT of this story is that I advertised this anvil on Ebay, and the winning bidder is none other than Joshua Kavett, owner/operator of the Fisher Museum in New Jersey. Happy ending for EVERYONE involved!
you gotta move quickly when opportunity knocks Three years ago, during Hurricane Sandy, some guy put an anvil advert up on CL He only wanted fifty bucks for a 300 lb clean fisher, painted red, sitting on his front lawn as an ornament. I called him, and he told me there were downed electrical wires sparking in his driveway, and that he was on generator power at his house. He said "20 people called me, all promising to buy the anvil" I said "you don't know me sir, I am insane" I drove right through the Hurricane to his front door, handed him sixty bucks, and asked for ten dollars in change His WIFE helped me load the anvil onto my Suburban, as I circumvented downed electrical wires in his driveway. The next day, I posted the pictures of this anvil on the tailgate section of this webpage, and sold it for ten times what I paid for it Some member of this forum lamented the fact that I beat him to the punch on this particular anvil Moral of the story: move like a mongoose when anvils are available, there is no prize for second place!
Part 2 of my anvil stories. I have another big Hay Budden in my shop that I got from a member of this forum. I drove from Philadelphia two years ago to purchase a beautiful 325 pounder that Mike Nelson(Divermike) bought from the widow of a blacksmith. He promised her that if he ever sold it, it would be to another blacksmith who would USE it, rather than employ it as a lawn ornament. Mission accomplished, I use it every day in my shop! When I got to his shop in Rochester, NY, he made a telephone call, to another blacksmith named Dick Rightmeyer, who also had a big shop anvil for sale, a 300 lb. Peter Wright, which I ended up buying also. Lastly, en route back home, I spied a 150 lb vulcan on craigslist up there, and bought that also!
I am sure you see my profile avatar, my 700 lb Hay Budden. There is one heckuva story behind its acquisition. I told a good friend named Jim Kieffer, back in 1977, that I was looking for a big anvil. He sent me to a guy named "Mike", who had two perfect big hay buddens, a 700 lber and a 485 pounder. I offered him 650 dollars for the larger one, and he took the deal and accepted my five dollar deposit. In with the deal was a Revolutionary War Sword forged by a master named Starr. I get there with the balance of the money, and he renegs on the Starr Sword, but still offers me the anvil. I lusted after that anvil so badly, I bought the big Hay Budden without the sword. When I got home, my parents and brothers were bitterly disappointed that I didn't get the sword in the deal, especially since we shook hands on the deal the day before. I was so excited by the big anvil, I let the sword go. I also made the mistake of NOT even offering to buy the other huge hay budden. It was a bittersweet purchase!
with the horn to the left, Sir, if you look at your anvil, the opposite side of the top plate of the face is the sweet spot, which is located about 2-3 inches to the right of the little table attached to the horn, where folks do most of their tapering, because they deliberately radius that spot...on worn anvils, the sweet spot sometimes gets bellied from overuse
What I am saying, Joshua, is that with the horn to the left, if you stand in front of the sweet spot, which is obviously on the opposite side of the anvil, if you hold your left hand straight forward, it will be OVER the horn on most london pattern anvils, and Jeremy is correct, with the anvil set up that way, your hammer hand does have to REACH to make a bend over the horn.... set up this way
That settles it, I am going to do a you tube vid to show what I am talking about!
well, we have a difference of opinion, Jeremy, won't be the first, won't be the last, lol.......a lot of ornamental guys do it your way, whereas almost every industrial smith I know does it my way.....
the less YOU move, the more you hit.....I have seen too many shops where heat is wasted by moving around too much, I have seen triphammers fifteen feet from the fire, which is very uneconomical regarding retention of heat
better to crossover hit than to crossover HOLD, because it makes positioning harder to accomplish. You are correct about the crossover hitting, but for repetitive industrial work, easier to do that than to worry about positioning the piece in a crossover HOLD
in that case, Joshua, you wouldn't be perpendicular to the anvil's "sweet spot", with your foot position. Blacksmith work is generally sedentary, without a lot of hopping and trapesing around. Matter of fact, in most cases, to utilize the most heat per heat, a half-turn from forge to anvil is all the foot traffic one should indulge in
let me explain it thusly.....holding the hot piece straight and perpendicular to the horn with your left hand, rather than reaching across an anvil to a horn on the right side, makes it easier to bend a hot piece around the horn....simple geometry, sir!