MC Hammer

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About MC Hammer

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    South Central New York
  • Interests
    Flintknapping, Blacksmithing, Indian Artifact Collecting

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  1. MC Hammer

    Anvil identification help

    Here I thought this was the Attorney model......... SLAG you need one of these anvils! Thanks for the info 101!! I've never heard of this anvil. Probably it has some value in the collector market. You may want to check that out with the way anvil prices are today. You may be able to sell it to a collector if it's rare and buy 2 decent anvils with the profit.
  2. MC Hammer

    Material for anvil stand

    I would agree with that. I think the possibility equally exists that the ancient smith would push the London pattern aside and say "Thank you, but this old gal worked just fine for my father and my grandfather, I'll stick with it."
  3. Clean it using a wire brush attached to an angle grinder. This cleans the rust, paint, and gunk off it but preserves that rich dark brown patina on it. Let the wire brush do the work and don't press down too hard on it. Oh and use safety glasses because those little wires fly off and stick in things. Last time I used one I had a wire stick right into my forehead. After cleaned up with the wire brush, wash it with soap & water then oil it. I used new 5w30, but any clean oil or boiled linseed oil will work. After it's all cleaned up, get yourself a ball bearing and drop it from 10 inches. You are hoping for anything over 70% which is a 7 inch return off a 10 inch drop. Don't clean the edges up or try to grind the horn so it looks "good" or "even". Work hot steel on it for a good long while before doing anything to the edges. Once you grind away good hard steel it's gone forever. You are just the current caretaker of this anvil, so think of the smiths that will come after you and the ones that came before you and used the anvil like it is to feed their families. You got a smoking deal on it so long as the face is hard and the ball bearing test shows it. Show us pictures after the clean-up and let us know how the ball bearing test went.
  4. MC Hammer

    First anvil purchase

    I second Irondragon on the wire brush. Rust and grease and oil can cause a ball bearing test to be way off. It sounds like you have a hardened steel ball bearing. Don't forget your tape measure or ruler and drop it from the 10 inch mark to make the visual easier. Looks like a good opportunity. Let us know if you go and what the outcome is.
  5. MC Hammer

    Material for anvil stand

    I've been following this thread wondering if I want to jump in here or not. I've never used RR track or a Viking anvil. I did however use an ASO as a first anvil so here's my experience with it. My ASO was one of those old anvils sold by stores back in the 1900's that had a seam running down the horn and body but not on the face. The face was beat up pretty badly, but it was free to use. You can't beat free! The face would dent, but not like one of those HF anvils, so it was somewhat least harder than mild steel. I was able to use the hardy and pritchel hole and horn so I did get some experience understanding the London pattern and any advantages it might offer. I even made a holdfast for the pritchel hole that worked. This ASO was maybe 75 lbs soaking wet and moved around a lot even when you tried to secured it. It worked, but left me wondering how well a larger steel faced anvil would be. It wasn't until I got my Trenton that I realized the stark difference. It was like night and day. When I stepped up to the new Trenton I had some experience with the horn, hardy, and pritchel. So in that aspect the ASO was helpful. Other than that I feel the ASO really limited my endurance time because it lacked rebound and moved around a lot because it lacked weight. I was losing a lot of each hammer strike to the anvil moving and the softish face so things took longer and I got more tired making them. So, IMHO, rather it be an ASO or a RR track, or a solid chunk of hard steel, there will be disadvantages to all of them but all of them will work to move hot steel. Kind of how the short stubby handled screw driver will work, but a nicer longer handled screw driver works noticeably better. I think a decent anvil is like the longer handled screw driver, it just makes forging easier. My advice to the beginner would be to avoid ASO's, RR tracks, and improvised anvils if you can and buy even a beat-up / damaged "real" anvil with a decent face. If money is an issue, then you must decide which improvised anvil system will deliver the best results and go with it. We'll never know, but I wonder if you could travel back in time and offer a nice sized London pattern anvil to Viking or Medevil blacksmith if he would have pushed his anvil into the corner of the smithy or not? Would he have seen any really great advantage to the horn, much larger size, and the hardy/pritchel holes? We'll never know. Interesting to think about though.
  6. That's interesting to know TP. What forging methods cause that in the shoe making process? Damage and modification in all, I really love my Trenton. 90 - 95 % rebound with 80 % at the heel. Mine has many more smiths that will use it after me I believe.
  7. MC Hammer

    Shop Build Foundation Question

    Here's an update on the temporary set-up. I got the paver job done first. Nothing fancy, just the cheapest 1x1's I could get. I invested the rest into the foundation material including compactable gravel, paver sand, drainage, and polymetric sand to finish and lock the pavers in place. In the end, I just needed an easy place to roll the forge out of the building to keep things cool and safe. After a couple of days of shifting around my workshop in the basement I was able to settle into this new temporary set-up which I'm really starting to like a lot. In the next month or so I hope to build a tong rack and a hammer rack for the portable work stand in front of the forge. I hope to be able to sheet metal the top and roll my tools to wherever I'm working. I'll also build chisel and punch holders on it so everything is in one spot. So far, so good. Now I need to get busy as I'm behind on forging projects. You should have seen the space prior to cleaning it out enough to work in.
  8. MC Hammer

    Rapid Togs and Quick Tongs

    Dillion - yes I've used these tongs sets and they are really easy to make. I prefer them because they take less time to make than the traditional methods. I think it's the cheapest way to go to get a nice set of tongs to begin with. Buying new tongs ready to use is an expensive venture and making your first set as a first project can be frustrating. I bought used antique tongs to get started with and only paid between $7 - $10 a piece, but you are very much at the mercy of the hunt and what turns up. What I like about the quick tongs is that you make them how you want them. Do yourself a favor though and make each set to be able to hold stock straight and sideways like a wolf jaw tong type set-up. This doubles the effectiveness of them and maximizes the money you invested. Do yourself a second favor and watch the videos he puts out that shows you how to make them. It's easy to twist the jaw the wrong way and wind up having to fix it. Black Bear Forge on Youtube also took these tongs and did an instructional video on them. I personally prefer the quick tongs as they have longer reins.
  9. German Trenton anvils were imported for 15-20 years before 1898. They don't have a serial number and the weight is stamped between legs on the same side as the Trenton mark. Some American made ones were first made with the steps on the feet like the German ones. This is an opinion of mine, but I believe the ones stamped "Germany" were not as old as the ones lacking the Germany stamp. Clean it up with a wire cup brush on an angle grinder, wash it with soap & water, dry it really well, then oil it. You should be able to find the weight as you clean it up. Try not to hit the area with that large chip. Use the anvil for a while before you redress the side where the chip is to see what if anything needs to be done. I've been using my German Trenton for 2 years an am now just thinking about dressing the edges........probably won't, but I'm just saying it takes some use before you know what needs to be addressed and what should be left alone. Don't grind the face (top). For $40 you got a super smoking deal! Makes me wonder if the German Trenton's had a flaw in them. I see a lot of them really chipped in the same place. Here's what a smith long, long ago did to mine to remedy the problem or as a modification for some kind of work they were doing. Notice where the weight is stamped. Yours should be stamped in the same place.
  10. Quite a project, I tip my hat to you for figuring it out and doing all the fabrication. Once you get that baby bolted down I think you'll be in fine shape. The great thing is that you built it so you can fix it
  11. MC Hammer

    Trenton or arm and hammer?

    Don't Trenton's usually have a bell shaped concavity on the underside of the base? The exception of course being the early German Boker Trentons.
  12. You could use more chain around that base JHCC
  13. MC Hammer

    Shop Build Foundation Question

    Yeah, the humidity is what was bad here. Our dew points are in the 70's. We are used to a few days of weather like that, but we've had a lot of hot days for an extended period of time here in NY and we just aren't used to it. TP - I bet you get tired of hearing "Sure, it's hot but it's a dry heat".
  14. MC Hammer

    Shop Build Foundation Question

    I was supposed to break ground on my forge Monday, but when I did a last minute price check on my foundation materials I realized I was short in the wallet department. I could have skipped insulating the foundation,, but just as I was thinking about that a 60 year-old guy appeared and slapped me on the back of my head. He said he was me back from the future and that I better not make that shop floor cold to work on Plan B emerged to get me by. The big problem I have is rolling our 300 lbs of anvil + stand, my portable post vise, and everything else. My garage / basement has a regular person sized door that's blocked by my scrap pile and I never used it because it just stepped out onto the lawn - easier to just open the garage door. So Plan B involved me buying concrete pavers and making a 8x5 patio just outside the door. The plan is to set up my anvil in a permanent spot by the door and just wheel the forge outside. What used to take 40 minutes will take 2 minutes to roll the forge out the door onto the patio. Prevailing winds will take the heat and gases away from the open door. Stepping in and out of the door will be a pain, but it's only temporary . The dedicated shop will have to wait until next year. That's ok, I want to do it right and not skimp just to get it built. Now before anyone thinks Plan B was easy, well, it was 97 degrees Monday and I had to dig down 6 inches by hand removing the dirt for the 8 x5 area, level and slightly slope it away from the building, compact the compactable gravel, lay the sand and the pavers. Finished it just before dinner. I've never sweat so much in my life. I spent this morning regrading the area by hand so that water would run away from the patio and cleaning things up. Now onto setting up the basement smithy.....well, I'm beat so probably that will be for another day.
  15. MC Hammer

    Largest vintage anvil

    A few years ago I made the longest stone celt (hatchet-like head for those who aren't familar with Indian Artifacts) just to see if I could do it. I researched the biggest ones found archaeologically and made mine a few inches bigger. My point is, go for it Foundryguy! Not for bragging rights, but just to see if you can do it.