two awful tales I was driving down a dirt road near my shop in 1978, and passed an open barn door. Lo and behold, there was a 500 lb fisher, pristine, sitting in this farmer's barn. I hit the brakes on my pickup truck so hard, I made a dust cloud 200 yards long. Backing up, I asked the inevitable question, to which the farmer replied "300 bucks cash". What did I need with another monster anvil? I already owned a 700 lber and a 450 lber. So, being mister nice guy, I called another blacksmith friend of mine who ended up with that anvil in the bed of his pickup truck. Fast forward, the goof has never ever used the thing, but he is currently selling it for 3500 bucks.......cad that he is!
Story number two: when I bought my 700 lb Hay Budden, the guy had another one, 485 pounds on the hoof. I was so excited to buy the bigger one, that I neglected to make an offer on the smaller one. Big mistake! Long story short, a guy with a house boat with a blacksmith shop on it bought it. Big storm came, and the boat sank, with the 485 pound Hay BUdden ending up in Davey Jones' Locker at the bottom of a river
These are the gates, in Philadelphia, for the Widener Memorial School for the Handicapped, in Philadelphia, PA, commissioned by Widener's widow, who's husband perished on Titanic, right after the disaster. Samuel Yellin's company did these magnificent gates, which I accidentally discovered during a dental appointment, lol
as a curmudgeon myself, I can help people seeking advice. In order of importance, here is how you approach me. 1. Bring beer: beer is a "lubricant" to any discourse I might deign to give. 2. God gave you two eyes, and two ears, and two nostrils for a reason, and ONLY one mouth. You should listen, look, and smell twice as much as you speak. The nostril part is for the waft of BS that might come from my direction, from time to time. 3. I wear a signet ring for a reason, like any potentate. I suggest that folks seeking advice kiss my ring, for I am king! 4. Wear safety equipment when approaching me. A silly question could occasion flying hammers and such, me being a curmudgeon and all. Carry on!
what Jeremy K said.....in 1977, I paid 650 dollars for a 700 lb. Hay Budden, which today would be equivalent to spending 3 thousand dollars for the anvil. I forged over a million dollars worth of product over the years on that anvil, which puts this in profound perspective....
I blame the people running this website for the price inflation of anvils. 30 thousand members certainly indicates an enormous demand of this craft and the tools that occasion the practice of this craft. I admin a facebook group for blacksmithing which is only 8 months old and has a membership of close to 14 thousand people. Every last one of them needs an anvil. Anvils are a better investment than gold. And for the naysayers who think this is a momentary spike, when membership of this site exceeds 100 thousand people, what do you think anvils will cost?
Buyer's regret is a disease I have NEVER been afflicted with, regarding blacksmith tools. Buy it and never look back. The only regrets I have, after forty years, are anvils I DID NOT buy, lol. Even the "clunkers" have a place in my heart, albeit like breaking up with a girlfriend, the parting was amicable
here is the link to the thread I just heralded http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/30214-move-like-the-mongoose/#comment-309339
This is a piece of business advice that really works for me. Anytime I see a deal on craigslist, or a buy it now deal on ebay that I just have to get, I move like LIGHTNING. The reason a mongoose always defeats a cobra is that the mongoose is FAST. The other reason the mongoose wins is that the mongoose has sharp teeth (in other words, I always bring cash to the deal, and not promises or checks). I also never delegate a deal to someone else. No emissaries can be as enthusiastic as I can be, so when I go to buy something that I want or need, I do my own dirty work. Second place just doesn't cut it when you are trying to purchase a bargain, especially on the internet. Buying a deal is a FOOTRACE, and there are no silver or bronze medals on craigslist, only a winner who walks away with the deal. Procrastination, when trying to buy an anvil or forge, will insure that an earlier bird gets the worm or bargain
Some guy on Facebook nicknamed me the Anvil Whisperer. I have five empty stumps at all times in my shop, in anticipation of anvils crowning them. Go to the top of the main page of this website, and type in the word "mongoose" on this site's browser. I wrote an article here on failsafe methodology for finding and OWNING anvils. You gotta move fast and with vigor! During Hurricane Sandy, an anvil appeared on Craigslist in Pennsylvania for fifty bucks. It was a beautiful 300 pound Fisher Eagle painted red, and was being used as a lawn ornament. Braving 70 mph winds, torrents of rain, downed sparking electrical wires in his driveway, and the National Guard, I rolled up his driveway with cash in hand. Previously, over the phone, he said "are you crazy, coming here in this storm to get an anvil"? My response was "yes, I am crazy, for anvils"!!! The next day, after I bought he anvil, I remembered that the guy told me he got 50 calls on the anvil. I had told him "I am the 51st, and I shall be up your driveway in less than an hour"! To make a long story short, I put the anvil up on the tailgate of this website, and the NEXT DAY, sold it for 12 times what I paid for it. Some member of this site complained that the seller had promised the anvil to him. My response: there is no silver or bronze medals in anvil chasing. Only one medal, the GOLD MEDAL, for the person who scores the deal. In other words, MOVE LIKE THE MONGOOSE!