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I Forge Iron

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I do appreciate all the help. That looks like a pretty good anvil on craig's list, but by the time I pay $190 and drive to and from Topeka, KS that would be a fairly expensive anvil for me. I will keep an eye on craig's list though. I go to a lot of antique shops and flea markets all over in my travels to black powder events. I go to estate auctions also. I've seen anvils at these but they were either in real bad shape or went at an unbelievable price. I think collectors must go looking at auctions. Any way, I will keep looking and I'll let you know if I ever get one.

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Good attitude Cindy you'll find a good deal if you don't get anxious about it.

I just had a thought. For a temporary (maybe) stake anvil you could buy a short 3-5" piece of 4" x 4" +/- steel bar and have a short piece of RR spike welded to the bottom, just a couple inches should do fine.

Frosty

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I bet if you would travel the byways around Columbia, especially Callaway county you would find anvils. Never know what you can find in the Ozark region, just need to let people know what you are looking for.
I use an old railroad iron for bullet pullers and patch worms, even have used it to make silverware jewelry, coat hooks, camp utensils. The light anvil serves the purpose for trade goods and trinkets.

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I've got a piece of railroad track that might work for a while. If it's not long enough, surely I could locate a bigger one at a scrap yard or welding shop or some place like that. Maybe I'll try that til I find that perfect smaller anvil. I'm only anticipate forging small quick demo pieces.

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There are lots of options Cindy, virtually any reasonably heavy piece of steel will do. RR rail makes a fine anvil, I used one for years and it's still handy. Other things are pieces of round or square shaft 3-4" across. If you end up with round, set it end up so you have a flat. You can use it sideways for a horn. Axles and spindles also make good anvils and horns.

Next time you're in the scrap yard look around for pieces of steel around the weight you want. The more interesting the shape the more useful forms you'll have to work with. You don't really need a large flat face, only a little wider than your hammer.

Good hunting.

Frosty

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I'm so envious of you folks who have the ability to wander scrap yards at will. I haven't yet been able to find a scrap yard around here that'll let me past the front office. And even then they're not much interested in selling to me. (Around here they don't even call themselves scrap yards. They're recyclers.) They only seem to want to buy scrap in bulk and sell it to the Chinese (or to some company that sells it to the Chinese) in bulk -- period.

Cindy, here's a search that I run pretty regularly. By looking at the URLs you can get a good idea of where most of the results are without clicking on every individual link -- at least if you're reasonably familiar with U.S. geography

site:craigslist.org anvil -case -drum -micrometer -crate -cases -guitar -speaker - Google Search

Some of the links will turn out to be expired, but many won't.

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Matt,
Thats the way it is here. The place I used to work sold good plate scrap to the public but anymore, even they are reluctant to let individual rumage. Blame lawyers and lawsuites.... :(

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So suborn the staff! Doughnuts, a few hand forged trinkets, (a dragon business card holder for the secretary's desk worked wonders at one place). You still may not be able to dig the piles but sometimes they will start placing things aside to show you on your next visit!

Also look upstream. I used to get hundreds of pounds of useful steel from an ornamental iron place---they were small enough that they had to pay to get their scrap bin dumped and large enough they didn't store drops from projects. I suborned the staff and got free run---always wore proper safety gear, never interfered with their work and left the bin neater than I found it. Great finds! (including some real wrought iron from a fence they replaced after someone hit it with a car!)

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  • 1 year later...

Don't know exactly the coverage on the stores (I wouldn't waste the money on shipping) But for any future people reading this post you can get an anvil shaped chunk of cast iron 50-100lbs depending on what they're selling at the time from harbor freight. I wouldn't recommend it as a first choice particularly, but it'll get you going and if you don't beat the hell out of the face (which you shouldn't do to a steel-faced anvil either) it'll last you for awhile. The seem to run $1/lb or less and mine needed a significant amount of grinding on the horn to get it to a decent shape, but for the small amount of time I have to devote to forging right now it's a reasonable compromise between cost and value.

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