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Peter Wright made 2 different value of anvil.. 1st quality was scrap wrought iron put together and welded and was the premium anvil. 2nd quality was new wrought iron put together. 

The scrap wrought iron having been worked more and refined more so when finished actually was a better product. 

Wrought iron is compressible.  So, the more it is worked the less compressible it is or more solid it is.  

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On 12/28/2019 at 11:20 PM, Conrad.blacksmithing said:

 I've always wondered why anvils got chipped edges. Does anyone know? Surely someone can't miss hit along the entire edge. 

Short answer: when a wrought iron anvil was forged to the final shape, there was a relatively thin plate, or several plates of high carbon steel forge welded to the wrought body as the working face. It had to be quenched under a stream of water to harden that steel face.

Edges cooled faster than the center, thus ending up more brittle. Always a balancing act between the edge hardness and center softness.

Modern induction hardening of homogenous cast anvils eliminates this problem.

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John McPherson to add more info to your post:

European anvils (German, Czech, Swedish) had thick face plates.. some had plates up to 1.5" thick..  1" seems to be standard... In the UK they seemed to get a little thinner and then in the USA they seemed to be between 3/4" for a large anvil to 3/8" for some standard production models like USA Trenton and the one with Arm and hammer on the side. 

Different makers have known problems..  Eagle anvils (fisher/norris) used W1 from what I was told and were very hard on the edges so one will see a lot of chipping on the edges of abused anvils..  

Abuse is any hit with a hammer. intentional or otherwise. 

Trenton anvils of German make were very hard in the face and also suffered chipping on the corners.. 

By the way chipping of the corners was a rather large problem for all early anvil MFGs and there were many adverts with companies claiming they had fixed this. 

The American made trentons faired better..  

Hay Budden had some material problems on the 3rd gen and I think they might have used a hardier steel mix..  From what I have seen the 1st gen with steeled wrought iron did pretty well as did the 2nd gen with crucialbe cast steel 2 piece designs though some wil show light corner cracks. 

It does seems that Peter Wright and Henry Wright used harder face plate materials so these can show some corner wear. 

Anyhow this could become it's own book.. 

Anvils today are actually softer than older ones unless you buy a Peddinghaus or a Refflinghaus.. These are some of the hardest anvils produced today both MFG in Germany and coming in about 59Rc..    

Most other anvils are in the 55 range..   The softer the anvil the less corner chipping you will have and can be a safety margin.   On high Rc faced anvils there are a bunch of problems that come in with missed strikes these lower Rc anvils don't have to worry about. 

One other factor that is rarely taken into consideration is the steel used in hammer faces..      Back in the day.. 0.60 to 0.80C was considered Hammer steel and can reach 60Rc.. 

Today 1040 or 1045 is considered hammer steel and can barely reach 55Rc and even with the best quench and maybe 58Rc it is a shallow hardening steel so will dent vs dent the anvil. 

My 5160 steel faced wrought iron comes in about 58Rc in the center and is hard enough to cause some serious carnage if I have a missed strike anywhere on either Peddinghaus or Refflinghaus.  Not only with a chip of the anvil flying off but also of the hammer face coming apart in shrapnel. 

Usually when anvils are in really bad shape its from abuse.. But there is also Erosive wear..    Scale is very much an abrasive and if one produces enough hardware or forged item on the anvil and uses the same spots all the time it will erode the face of the anvil and you will see this.. 

The largest difference between cast steel anvils and wrought iron anvils is : Cast or forged Steel is not compressible...  Wrought iron is compressible and is the reason why they sway.. 

Steel anvils will not sway in the face..  

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14 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

European anvils (German, Czech, Swedish) had thick face plates.. some had plates up to 1.5" thick..  

Amen to that; lots of info in your post. I have 2 czech anvils, solid cast tool steel from naval gun castings, and one Belgian anvil with a 1,5 inch faceplate.

And they used to make hammers from C80 (Railroad track in Belgium), and water hardened them to HRC 60'ies.

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On 12/19/2019 at 8:27 PM, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Good looking MH you have. I hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding on the hardened steel face. The small amount of sway is actually a plus for straightening longer stock. 

I have not tested it or attempted any type of cleaning or restoring.  I saw where one was for sale on Ebay for $700 and was wondering if that was a creditable value.  I saved this one from being taken to the scrap yard. 

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My in-laws got me an antique Hay Budden (I believe that's what it is - markings are very eroded) for Christmas. It's roughly 150lbs. This is my first anvil and I'm going to work with it a while, but it does look like it will need a bit of repair if I'm going to get serious. Any suggestions, thoughts, etc. are welcome. I'm in the process of mounting it to a stand - we just lost an oak tree in a windstorm so I've got a section of trunk that will serve as the stand. So far the only refurbishing I've done is to sand the top with 80 grit belt sander, and hit the bottom with some rustoleum as it's on a fairly green bit of wood.

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First of all, welcome to IFI! If you haven’t yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!

15 minutes ago, GrahamH said:

This is my first anvil and I'm going to work with it a while, but it does look like it will need a bit of repair if I'm going to get serious.

There is NOTHING wrong with that anvil, and it will give you a lifetime of service. Don’t do any more sanding; just let the hot iron and scale polish it up with use. 

(Also, you’re probably about to get jumped on for taking abrasives to your anvil’s face. Don’t take it personally. Folks here get passionate about not risking an anvil’s longevity.)

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Looks like a perfectly usable anvil as is. Yup, Hay Budden.

Wire wheeling to clean up is fine. 

 

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G.H.,

Wire wheeling is fine.

But please do NOT use a knotted wire wheel.

It chews hades out of the anvil surface.

Use it as is.

Welcome to the gang.

SLAG.

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3 hours ago, JHCC said:

(Also, you’re probably about to get jumped on for taking abrasives to your anvil’s face. Don’t take it personally. Folks here get passionate about not risking an anvil’s longevity.)

Got it. No more sanding! Thanks for the tip and the warning. I've also now read the intro post and some of the links thereof.

The wire wheeling suggestion from Daswulf makes sense, but I think I may leave the rest of the surface with the aged finish unless someone wiser than I suggests it's risky. I imagine the old rust is actually a pretty good protective surface and it looks great, in my opinion.

And, FWIW, I did my first bit of hammering today to make some brackets to secure it to the stump. I'm leaning towards the chain attachment method that Essential Craftsman used in this video, as I have all the bits and pieces: 

 

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2 hours ago, GrahamH said:

Got it. No more sanding! Thanks for the tip and the warning. I've also now read the intro post and some of the links thereof.

The wire wheeling suggestion from Daswulf makes sense, but I think I may leave the rest of the surface with the aged finish unless someone wiser than I suggests it's risky. I imagine the old rust is actually a pretty good protective surface and it looks great, in my opinion.

Sanding in general is bad, as it removes material from an already thin faceplate, so in general, don't do it.

Wire wheeling, is OK for cleanup. I don't get why the braided/knotted wires would cause an issue over normal wires ... I find normal wires to be "floppy" and "softer", but the material removal rate is the same as for braided/knotted wire ... 

For mounting; please check this one - especially the video in it, and listen-. 2 identical cast tool steel modern anvils. one secured with straps, one glued down to the stump. 

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/61423-glue-to-hold-an-anvil-down/

Oak is fine for a stand, just make it absobutely seamless (or fill it with glue :D) and make sure it resonates as "one" object, not as two seperate objects (anvil & stand). This is why bolting it down securely is so helpfull in reducing the noise.

 

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You may want to put the chain on the anvil 90* from that was suggested in the video. With the adjustment under the horn or heel there is less chance of hitting it with your knee or leg.

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2 hours ago, GrahamH said:

I've also now read the intro post and some of the links thereof.

Now if you edit your profile to show your location, we won't dunn ya for it when answers require knowing where in the world you hang your hat.:D Like JHCC said, that is a very nice Hay Budden and it requires no repairing, which usually does more harm than good.

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31 minutes ago, BartW said:

Oak is fine for a stand, just make it absobutely seamless (or fill it with glue :D) and make sure it resonates as "one" object, not as two seperate objects (anvil & stand). This is why bolting it down securely is so helpfull in reducing the noise.

I like the glue idea - really nicely damps the ring in that video. I've got easy access to a variety of epoxies - I'll see if I can find one with high toughness and low brittleness. Probably still add straps/chain just to share the load with the epoxy. And Glenn's right about putting those brackets 90 degrees out from the video - I like my knees and don't want them notched up. 

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7 hours ago, GrahamH said:

This is my first anvil and I'm going to work with it a while, but it does look like it will need a bit of repair if I'm going to get serious.

Not to let JHCC's warning go to waste; my first thought was, "Well, if you're going to get serious, the first thing you need to do is, stop with the repair idea."

I had all the same thoughts go through my head when I got an old anvil, fortunately I listened to the inner voice of caution before I did anything more than wire wheel the loose rust off and oil it. :)

First you need to see your new anvil cleaned up by fair use, it really is in great shape. Congrats!

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KingAether, 

It is nice to see another JP. Thomas Powers said JP anvils are mentioned in the Book Anvils In America. I would like to see a copy  without spending $80 for the seemingly small bit Postman  mentions them but I have yet to come across a copy. That 300#er looks nice, congratulations! More photos! 

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JA Did you try ILL at your local public library? From a small rural town in New Mexico I was able to ILL a copy of a book I had on search at Amazon and ABE (before they merged), for 10 years!

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Hey guys,

New to the forums, but excited to be a part of it all! My dad was a metal worker back in the day and gave me his old anvil a couple years ago before he passed. Took a bit of digging, but I found out it's a 106 lb Swedish Northstar. Ground off the welded base and in the process of mounting it to it's new home. Also, I'm in the Baton Rouge area for anyone out there wondering. 

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Edited by Mod30
Resize large photos.

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burger-------

I may be wrong----but it appears the spike you have in the hardie hole may be tapered for trouble-----a few good smacks could seperate your heel.

yt

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Hey there, thanks for letting me know. I just put it there for the time being as a placeholder. No intention of driving it down. My dad had a bunch of old punches that I'm still sorting through. 

Edited by Mod30
Remove excessive quote

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Hey Burgersmith, you might post a picture of all the punches and accessories here on the forum.  Number them as in a list and ask their purposes if you aren't sure.    As yt said, you could seriously damage that beautiful old anvil if you use something incorrectly on it.

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Welcome aboard...Swedish North Star anvils are very good ones. I hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding on the hardened face, not that your anvil needs any. Have you read this yet? It's full of good tips on how to get the best out of the forum like resizing pictures, using the quote feature and stay off the moderators radar.:) READ THIS FIRST

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