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Show me your anvil

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My heart really goes out to you, Thomas.  Must be really frustrating.  I can't even imagine.  It must truly be painful.  Now you do realize, don't you, that I DO have electricity and DO NOT (and more than likely will NEVER EVER) have even one single power hammer.  Surely that fact must tug at the strings of your sympathetic heart.........just a little bit, huh?  You do know I'm not really that far from you and would be more than willing to adopt one of those lonely hammers you have malnourished ...............right?  :lol:

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/15/2019 at 5:51 PM, KingAether said:

Took me months to find something local and within my budget but it was worth the wait. #301 John Powell all ready to put in some work

John Powell! I am the one who posted the other thread on this site looking for information. I was wondering what you might know? Where did you find information/ images about the heels breaking off? Thomas Powers, here on Iforge, has one with a broken heel but I believe it was because it was made with vertical plates. Mine, and by the look of it, yours seem to be solid body. Have you seen a copy of Anvils in America, there is supposed to be some mention of Powell in there but I cannot find a copy I don't have to buy and it is not cheap so I have not . Any thoughts?  Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all, 

I think this is the correct place to post my anvil in progress, if not let me know. Let me start by saying yes I'm a little nuts to spend this amount of time on this project, but I was on a budget and work didn't mind me using filler as we have alot of waste anyway.. 

It started out as a chunk of RR, and then I got this crazy idea to make a full sized anvil from it.. I still need to weld the horn, and heel and feet on, but after 6 months on all my breaks at work, after multiple passes of Tig welding it is finally almost done..total cost of material was 40 dollars, I bought some rod of high carbon steel off a guy to weld into cavity to speed up the process, but every square inch inside is all welded together, no seam welding or the like at all so no gaps to cause vibration. I know I will lose most of my hardness when I do my pre and post heat for the welding so I'm trying to decide if I want to risk re hardening the face but I'm not sure of the best idea, I might just go the route of work hardening it with an air hammer instead of risking a heat and then quench... Let me know what you think, as well as any ideas! 







Phil The Bearded




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From Wiki: "Besides his works in sculpture, painting, photography, and wood engraving he is a published author in fields as diverse as philosophy, blacksmithing, and the creation of tools. Some of his most popular titles are The Modern Blacksmith, The Making of Tools, and The Recycling, Use, and Repair of Tools; the first is sometimes described as the bible of blacksmiths. All of these have been compiled into a publication released posthumously in 1997 with the title The Complete Modern Blacksmith."

Here in the USA; I'd suggest you ILL it through a local public library; but it would have to wait until things were open again. OTOH  Amazon has it in stock for US$16.70; also a kindle version cheaper.

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Ah, ok so he is a sort of legend in the blacksmithing community I take it? 

I'll probably buy it off amazon, it'll be 20some Canadian but I'm sure it's chalk full of good things too read, that or kindle, I think my wife has one of those things. 

Thank you for the information! Much appreciated! 


Phil the Bearded

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Read the complete wikipedia entry for Alexander Weygers; he was a polymath and highly skilled at a wide variety of things.  I like his smithing books because he was very much a scrounge and build it yourself type person---I hauled trolley rail 1500 miles to my place out here just because I had read the chapter he had on making custom dies for a triphammer for forging woodcarving gouges and 15 years after that move I now working on getting power to my shop to run triphammers!

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This is what I was planning on using as my anvil as I do NOT have the money right now to buy one. What do you think and how would you make it work for you?


My file wont upload unfortunately so I'll describe it.

c beam 12" wide x 3 1/2 tall x 31 length.

Middle of c is 3/8 thick 

top and bottom of c is 5/8 thick. 

 4 x 1" holes already drilled in middle of c beam

Didnt want my first post to be super long but I found this chunk of steel and figured I could mount it as an anvil. Maybe on a 4x4 in the ground. I have some ideas just looking for more experience.

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Welcome aboard Pirateforlife, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you'll discover how many members live within visiting distance.

Bad choice for an anvil Pirate, you'll lose most of your hammer force to it flexing under the blows. That structural shape is called "Channel" and it just isn't rigid enough for an anvil. Look for piece of RR rail or shaft 3" sq or in diameter about that length. Mounted on end Rail or shaft makes an excellent anvil. There is a section here about improvised anvils, they're everywhere.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You are looking for the maximum amount of steel between the hammer face and the base of the anvil.  The hammer pretty much "sees" only the steel directly under it's impact point so it sounds like you have a 3/8" thick anvil.

Did you look through this thread on all the items folks have used for anvils that were better?


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Many thanks for the reply. 

Sorry. I've read enough on here to know that and I did it anyways. Location: lithia springs ga. 

So the channel either horizontal or vertical is a bad choice? I have a lead on some RR planned on looking at but it's a ways away. Just trying to use what I have. 


But I've heard of people using sledges as anvils but havent really understood the surface area needed to start working. 

That being said the main thing I'm trying to do is make specialty tools and knives. I've made plenty of tools by welding and cutting but some thing are only achievable by forging. 

And yes I have looked through and googled many things. I just cant find anything near me besides the RR that people have used. I've been culturing around repurposed material sites and cant find much. Not trying to be spoofed just looking for a nudge in the right direction. 

Thanks for the help and info guys. 

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You're welcome, it's my pleasure. I had to do a web search, Lithia Springs looks like a beautiful town/city. Maybe someday I'll get a pic sitting on Frog rock.

Ask a heavy equipment repair shop, big rig trucks or earth moving equipment. They almost always have heavy sections of broken steel: Axles, shafts, pins, etc. Dozers are made of anvils and dozers, heck ANY earthmovers break regularly. Honest they do, I've broken them and I'm pretty easy on equipment.

Even a smooth grained boulder makes a fine anvil, Vikings did incredible work on boulders. Appalachian gneiss is very smooth grained and HARD. 

What you need is solid steel between the hammer and the anvil stand. A sledge hammer head makes a fine anvil for hand work, just sink it a little ways into a wood block. 

What you're looking for in an anvil is "Depth of rebound" this is the distance compression waves from an impact travels before reaching the end of the anvil and returning. The compression wave moves at the speed of sound through that particular alloy of steel, sound wave, same same. The Rebounding compression wave will arrive back at the bottom of your work WHILE the hammer is still decelerating on the top. This increases how effectively you can forge steel. Make sense so far?

Structural steel is designed to flex, rigid structures tend to break. Laid flat it's like trying to forge on a trampoline, the energy of your blows are absorbed by bending the full length of the shape. Stood on end it's much more rigid but now you're forging on something 5/8" wide. There are times this is useful but not for general forging.

Stick around, we'll get you going. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Howdy Gang,this is my 1st foray into the world of Anvils...So here goes...I bought an Aussie BK 224lb/102kg  unit.Wanting to start from the ground up I disassembled the stand cleaned up the timbers as necessary and gave them 3 coats of Linseed Oil...I have started to fine tune the Anvil body...So far so good so much to learn...regards Peter...Hope everyone is well with the stuff going around....Cheers from Australia.










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Welcome aboard... Have you read this yet?  READ THIS FIRST  It will help in getting the best out of the forum. We won't remember your location once leaving this post, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show your location. There are a bunch of great folks down your way, even have a thread OZ Roll Call.

OZ roll call - Everything Else - I Forge Iron

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My local scrapyard charges US 20 cents a pound; of course that's pretty cheap even for scrapyards.  It's a nice chunk of "compact mass"  Can you weld a spike on the bottom and make a traditional anvil from it?  (For 3000 years an anvil has looked more like a simple cube of metal, for under 300 years it's looked like a london pattern anvil; so which design is "traditional"?)

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