After I was bitten by the bug I began buying anvils like they were candy. I purchased three in fairly quick succession. There is a wealth of information out there on how to buy an anvil, but I'll repeat here some of the tips I followed: Buy a 1" steel ball bearing. Place the bottom of the ball bearing 10" above the anvil. Drop it. Record the highest point the bottom of the bearing makes on its bounce. I used an iPhone on the slo-mo setting which makes it very easy to scrub through and find the bounce height. Take the bounce height and divide it by 10, this is your rebound %. The first anvils I purchased rebounded 60-70%, my final anvil rebounds 95-97%. You may want to perform the bounce test a few times to get an average reading.Check for any discoloration around the edges that may indicate welding. You don't want a welded anvil unless you're pro enough to discern if it was done correctly. I checked the edges with a file and light pressure to make sure the file skittered across a hard edge.Lightly tap the entire anvil with a lightweight ball peen hammer. Anvils are fairly consistent in their sound, and get a little higher pitched as you go to the heel or horn. If you come across a spot that sounds different, dull, dead, crackly, snap (?) the anvil may have internal damage.Of course, I followed none of advice when I purchased my first anvil. I had been looking on Craigslist for a couple of weeks and nothing was coming up in my area. Finally, a blurry imaged anvil showed up in Caldwell, Idaho, about 2 miles from where my grandmother lives. And I hadn't visited in a while...road trip! I was nervous when I went to buy my first anvil. I also lacked my tools: ball bearing, ball peen, and file. But the anvil looked like an anvil. And that was about as discerning a customer as I felt like being at that moment. I bought the anvil, loaded into the trunk of my car and drove off happy. It turned out to be a Vulcan 200 pound anvil. It was in okay condition, but needed some work done. And then, three days later, a beautiful looking Peter Wright showed up in Astoria on Craigslist. I drove halfway there and met the owner. After my first purchase, I felt a little more confident. I tested the edges, tapped with a ball peen, and determined the anvil was worth of purchase. Now with two anvils on hand, I had done enough research to stumble across the ball bearing drop. I tested both anvils, and they were rebounding about 60-70%. I was a bit disappointed the Peter Wright wasn't doing better, and I suspect those shiny edges were due to welding that may have sapped some of the hardness from the anvil. Lesson learned. At around this time I began working on my forge, but also trolling around on eBay a little bit. That is when I found what looked like a nearly mint Fisher anvil in Portland...Maine. Somehow I won it for a fraction of what it is worth (even after freight costs). I have no idea how since there was plenty of other action on much less worthy anvils that week. I guess everyone was scared off by the very blurry images that must have been taken by a circa 2002 flip phone. Waiting the 7 days for the anvil to freight was torturous. Portland to Portland is not a short trip. But it turned out to be worth the wait. The Fisher arrived with just a couple nicks in it's far too sharp corners, but otherwise looked like it had never been struck with a hammer in its life. Testing it with the ball peen was interesting as I had come to expect a much sharper sound coming out of an anvil, not this dull thwack. I was a bit worried I had bought a dead anvil. Dropping the ball bearing relieved my worries as the ball rebounded 95% over the entire face. So it took three anvils to find my anvil. I have been happily forging on the fisher for half a year now. In the next post, I will show the stand I had fabricated for the anvil.