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I Forge Iron


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    Spokane, WA
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    snowboarding, windsurfing, writing, lapidary
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  1. Rhino anvils are made in America, Incandescent Ironworks is an American company, and I am American. I designed Rhinos to have the combination of features I wanted in an anvil, then went looking for a foundry that could make them and guarantee top quality while keeping the costs down. It was interesting to discover that some of the top-name anvils are made in China. I tried that and found the logistics too complicated. The reason I get Rhinos made at a local high-tech American foundry is because that's the best way to ensure excellent quality and keep the costs down. I like being able to inspect each anvil at the foundry before it's loaded onto my truck, then drive just five miles to my shop to unload. I dress each anvil myself before shipping: grind a tapered radius on the edge, and polish the edge and face. Dressing these anvils is not an easy process because the alloy is extremely tough. lt was designed originally for the liners of rock crushers.
  2. I am American, my company is American, and Rhino Anvils are made in America. My objective in designing and making Rhino anvils is to provide the very best anvil I can provide. Aside from the design features which are exactly what I want in an anvil, I want Rhinos to be made using the best available alloy and heat treatment process. As it turns out, making Rhino anvils at a modern, high-tech foundry 5 miles from my shop in Spokane is the best way to do that and keep the anvils affordable.
  3. In addition to brand, it's a good idea to look at an anvil's features. Does it have a step? Location and size of the hardy hole? Location and size of the pritchel hole? Width of the face? Shape of the heel? Shape of the horn? I personally advocate a step, a 1" hardy hole toward the heel, an offset pritchel hole, a wide face, conical horn and tapered heel. Unless you're doing really heavy work, I wouldn't recommend an anvil heavier than 300 lb -- it's just too difficult to move around the shop. Hardness and composition of the steel is very important: Below about 52 Rockwell it dents too easily. Above about 58 Rockwell the edges are likely to chip. High chrome content helps make it tougher.
  4. Bob McRee said: Bob is right. It is very difficult to maintain good quality on products made in China unless you can set up a quality assurance system at the factory. I did find a reliable manufacturer for my anvil stakes there, who uses a very sophisticated lost wax process to cast steel. But anvils are another story. I wasn't able to QC the anvils at the foundry in China, and ended up losing money because I had to reject some of the anvils that arrived here. Quality guarantees from the factory don't mean much when shipping costs as much as the product. So early in 2011 I moved the anvil manufacturing to a foundry just a quarter mile from my shop in Spokane, where the quality is perfect and if there ever were a problem I could just have them melt down a reject and re-cast it. These folks fully understand metallurgy and my specifications for the alloy, heat treating and finishing. It costs a bit more to get the anvils made here, even when shipping is taken into account, but this way I can actually oversee production and ensure that every one of the anvils meets my quality specs. By the way, Rhino anvils are made from a white chrome steel widely used in making the liner plates for rock crushers. The alloy is designed to be hard, tough and wear resistant. It's an air-quenched steel, so heat treating basically consists of a few days of letting it cool to room temperature after casting, then raising it to tempering heat in an oven and letting it cool again. As a result, the anvil is uniformly hard (HRC 52) throughout.
  5. No current plans to make any Rhinos in the 500 lb range. If enough people express a strong interest, it can be done, of course. Only the Papa Rhinos (240 lb) are currently being made in Spokane. Later this year the tooling should be ready to produce 140 lb Baby Rhinos in Spokane too.
  6. Rhino anvils are now made in America, near Spokane, WA. Their composition is a "nickel chrome" alloy, (nickel/chrome/molybdenum/manganese/carbon) used for making rock crusher liners. It's a very tough air-hardening steel, which allows the hardness to be HRC 52 all the way through.
  7. 112 lb is okay for a farrier, but is a bit small for general blacksmithing, Nimbas are certainly good anvils, as are Rhino anvils and Vaughan's anvils. For a blacksmith, I would recommend the following features in an anvil: at least 200 lb (on a massive anvil you will move metal faster and your arm will last longer) a conical horn for scrolling and drawing out a tapered heel for shaping and riveting a step for a lot of unexpected uses (This is fairly important. Without it, you'll end up having to make a hardie stake to serve the same purposes, and it won't work as well as a step.) a 1" hardie hole (has become a standard among blacksmiths; most anvil stakes these days are made for 1" hardie holes)
  8. Bryan, The subject's been pretty well beat to death, but I'll add my bit. I recommend using a hand-held belt grinder. It will do a smoother job than an angle grinder. A file can get pretty tired before it makes much progress on the Rhino -- which is, after all, hardened steel. I also recommend radiusing the tapered heel on the Rhino. The heel is really handy for those pieces that happen to overhang in such a way that they just can't be hammered anywhere else on the anvil face without being flexed to death. When you use the heel that way, you definitely don't want a sharp edge. I recommend a radius of at least 2 mm on the heel. But: keep a sharp edge on the step and on the face edge back near the heel because you can use it almost like a cutoff hardy. Steve
  9. I have been able to do zone heating in my propane forge by placing a piece of Kaowool over the sections of the workpiece I want to keep cool.
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