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  1. A short while back I ordered one of the 66 lb Chinese 'steel' anvils that used to be quite ubiquitous on everyone's favorite auction site, but as of late are no longer offered in the US. Instead I grabbed it off of Amazon as it was the only place I could find one in the sub-$200 range. The availability and delivery timelines were completely false, as it shipped well before they claimed there'd be more in stock, and lo and behold, I find this on my doorstep this evening: Looks like the package has seen better days: Opening the box this was contained therein: I extracted the lump of metal from the box, and found it to have a grease and wax paper attached to the surface. Surprisingly, there was no rocking, it sat flatly on the tabletop. Inspecting more closely, I came across a few blemishes that I wasn't particularly surprised to find. There's some ugliness next to the pritchel hole, and a few corner dings on a corner and edge of the anvil. Fortunately these dings shouldn't be a big deal when I dress the edges to take the sharpness off them. . Next, a closer look at the horn: And there was some ugliness in the undercarriage, the flashing and voids make me question whether there are voids just waiting to be found under the working surfaces. I may eventually look at stripping the paint off this to see if body filler was used to hide a multitude of other sins. Next, I used some Goof Off to clean the top surface of the anvil. There appear to be some pinhole voids in the surface, hopefully there's not more behind them: Taking a closer look at the hardy hole, it's 3/4" 'square', but had some serious burrs inside as a result of the grinding of the anvil suface. Here you can see a big burr I bent up, as well as a dingleberry that was stuck to the bottom part of the hardy hole. Needless to say, the hardy hole will require extensive cleaning with a file prior to use. Next, I laid out a grid on the anvil to do some rebound measurements. The grid size over the main part of the face is 1/2", the tail of the anvil had 1" nominal size blocks. Next, I rigged up a quick scale apparatus to do rebound measurements. I thought I had some clear polycarbonate tubes that would fit a 1/2" ball bearing, but it seems that I did not, so I had to resort to a plastic bottle. The manila folder piece at the bottom has a cutout for the bearing to impact, this made sure that the testing stayed close to the point I wanted to test, and avoided excessive marks to the anvil face in case it wasn't hard enough to resist. I proceeded to get at least 2 measurements on every point on the grid, this was collected via video. Unfortunately I didnt realize my autofocus kept hunting the whole time so there are a few points where I can't get a read on the bearing rebound during the test. I can say that for most of the face of the anvil the rebound was in the 80-85% percent rebound range using a 1/2" bearing that was dropped from about 9-9.5 inches above the anvil face (the scale is segmented into 10 divisions). Unlike some other reviewers of this anvil, the part around the hardy was no worse than the rest of it. The bearing *did* leave some small marks in the face, but I wasn't really able to feel them, so I'd say the face is likely to be sufficiently hard (we'll see when I get to do more testing later this weekend. I'll be sure to update this thread as I conduct more tests. I should note that I chose this particular anvil because it was readily available and relatively inexpensive. By investing in this I can proceed with setting up my moveable anvil + vice bench and get on with life. When a deal on a more substantial anvil comes along this one will be relegated to 'travel anvil' status. Right now I'm still working on the basics and my hammer control, so the limited mass shouldn't put me at a severe disadvantage. Plus, if I REALLY need a big anvil, there's a 387 lb chunk of steel sitting on a stump behind my shed I can use- but I won't be dealing with anything bigger than 1/2" stock for awhile anyways.
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