Jump to content
I Forge Iron

first time post/anvil salvage questions

Recommended Posts

I have been a lurker on this site for a couple of months as I am new to forging I never had anything to say. A friend of mine found an old abused bridge anvil on a ranch he worked on. I wanted to ask the experts two questions

1) Can this anvil be fixed?
2) What will it take?

I will give you a list of what I have at my immediate disposal or can get from friends or the father in law that I think could help me fix this thing.
Three large coal forges, a 2003 model Licoln Ranger welder, several grinders, sanders, cutting torch and any kind of welding rods I might need. A fairly reasonable selection of thick plates of steel for shoring it up.

I hope the list helps because I just make knives and small axes so this anvil, if working properly will be all I will need for a while until I get better.

At the risk of sounding like a total newbie, thanks in advance and I have really enjoyed reading this site.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would hit the surface with a belt sander and see how bad it looks .. it might not be tobad.. it will work in a pinch as it is...if you need a square corner make a hearty tool with one...looks like it was used to cut something with chizels .. how hard is it? for knives and axes it will work might add a little "texture" to the blade but your probably going to be grinding anyway so not to big a deal .. if its a little soft those chizel marks will close up as you use it ...good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to IFI, mjollnir!

That anvil looks fine to me. A shame about the chisel-cuts but still usable. Heck it has a hardy-hole and that's more than most did until about 300 years ago! If you want a crisp edge you can make a hardy-tool for that purpose. As you learn hammer control you'll probably be dinging-up your anvil's face whether you start with an abused bridge anvil or a $1000+ Peddinghaus, Euroanvil, Brooks etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before grinding on it, pause for a moment of thought. Is the anvil, as is, old enough and rare enough to have sufficient value that its selling price could allow you to trade up to a bigger and more functional anvil. Some collectors want stuff in original condition, and modifying it could lower the value of some stuff!

If after I found out that it was not old enough or valuable enough to trade up, I would then clean the surface as suggested above and see how it works. If it still has serious problems and the anvil has no antique value, I would plug-weld a steel plate to the top.

Just my thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to Iforgeiron, mjollnir!
Looking at your anvil, it doesn't look that bad to me. I kinda go with the 'wear it smooth' philosophy.

I'd pick one area that is the least abused......sand a little if necessary........and use that small area for finish work. You can use the 'rough areas for heavier forging and smooth your work up on your 'smooth' area.

As you use it, the pits will wear smooth after a time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have such a bridge anvil and took it to a friend who is both a talented smith and a professional welder to be restored.

He tested it and found that it was cast iron and so just ground it smooth.

Bridge anvils like that were quite common in cable tool oil drilling rigs and have seen or heard of them in places like PA, OK, TX, NM and they tend to be beat to he!! as they were considered a shop consumable.

One trick I learned from a 5th generation smith in Stroud OK was that he made an angle iron frame for his and flipped it over and cleaned up the undamaged bottom and used it for flattening things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unicorn forge, the thought about its value never crossed my mind. Where does one go about assessing these types of things because I would sure hate to cheat an anvil enthusiast out of a find? I mean I am all about trading it for something else, or what ever it takes.

Again thanks all for the imput.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...