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Show me your anvil


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Just thought you might like to hear my Peter Wright story. I found a 514lb Peter Wright on craigs list a few weeks ago for $725 and $189 for freight.I think I got a great deal!! But I called the person right away and secured getting the anvil ,When you find a large one like this you had better jump on it right away because they are not plentiful and will more than likely go quick. I am very thankfull for the anvil.This makes my tenth anvil my other largest one is a JHM Competitor 260lbs I liked it alot but wanted a antique larger one and now I have one .I really like your Peter Wright it looks like it has been taken care of and not abused as mine is. I think Peter Wrights are one of the best anvils that were made and that one can own Thanks,Shawn

CONGRATULATIONS! I know the thrill of the hunt, I have a 700 lb hay budden and a story about purchasing it as big as the anvil!
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here is a pic of my new anvil, a 260 JHM Competitor. i am studying the different stands posted here to best decide how to build mine.

thanks, George

I have one just like this one .It is a very nice large quality anvil ,I am very proud of mine ,My wonderfull wife bought it for me. Most husbands are not so fortunate .Thank you Denise, What a wonderfull wife. Shawn
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  • 1 month later...

Finally got my anvil kinda sorta put together the way I envisioned it with what I had on hand. Works for me so far, but I still need to hard face it, and do some more customizing.

Nuts, evidently just "attaching" the picture don't work. I'll try and figure it out.

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I started on a 200 lb mousehole
graduated to a 560 lb vaughn brooks then on to this one
I made the hammer when Brian Brazeal was here to demo and teach a class.

Mike Tanner


I can stop sweating now.
I was worried you were going to say this was your starter anvil and that hammer was your first project.
Now I don`t have to worry so much about playing catch-up.

Nice gear,even if the hammer is too small for the anvil. ;)

Some serious questions if you will.
Since you worked your way up to an anvil that weighs over half a ton could you say something about why you feel you needed that much weight under the hammer and the differences between the anvils and how they effected your work as you stepped up.
What about that pattern anvil caused you to choose it over the others available and how has that pattern influenced your work or changed/influenced your technique?
Thanks in advance.
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Mainely Bob
As you know the size of the anvil has nothing to do with the quality of work that you can do .
Up to a point you can do small work on a large anvil easier than you can do large work on a small anvil.
No one needs an anvil that large to work efficiently just like no one needs a hemi in their car , thay can just as easily get from point A to point B in a ford escort but whats the fun in that.
I really really like the shape of a london pattern anvil ( i have about 40 of them from 25 to 560 lbs )
But I think the double horn european style is much more effecient to use.
I also have a Nimba Gladiator , ozark pattern by Tom Clark , 500 lb habberman , 500 lb euroanvil,220 lb refflinghaus all of which are the double horn style anvils.
With the square tapered horn you have an anvil face from whatever the width of your anvil is down to about an inch wide allowing a far great range of use , especially when doing small pieces.
I like the cut off hardy to my left as I am right handed and dont ( have to ) remove it while forging,( I usually do any way just from habit from starting out on a london pattern.
There is nothing more pleasing to the eye in my opinion that a big ole london pattern anvil sitting on a big ole stump.
BUT I also think that a european double horn on a fabricated stand is more efficient set-up for me ( other people probally have their own opinions )and I think that as long as it works for them and they are satisified then it just fine.
I'm not sure that I have a technique, If I do its got to be totally random.


Mike Tanner

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Where would you say you reach the point of diminishing return in anvil weight?
I`m assuming you do a wide assortment of work and the fact you own and have worked on so many anvils is what prompts me to ask this question.
I understand that small work can more easily be done on a small anvil and larger work with a striker is better done on a larger heavier anvil but for a lone smith doing what ever comes thru the door by himself what do you think would be a good upper limit for a heavy weight anvil.I see good used 400# anvils up here pretty frequently.Do you feel it would be worthwhile in both time and cash to chase something larger than that?If so what are the practical reasons why?
Thanks again.

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I think a 400 to 500 lb would be plenty heavy
Although a 200 lber can do most anything that would generaly come through the average shop these days
If you want a heavier anvil thats probally more of a personal preference.
Bigger is not always better when it comes to anvils or hammers :)
Its more of what you can do with what you can afford or whats available.
I dont make my living blacksmithing as it is more of a hobby for me.
But I do like to collect antique tools related to blacksmithing though.

Mike Tanner

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I like the coffee cup shelf on that big anvil!

As I recall reading the old books on smithing a "shop anvil" was suggested to be around 250 pounds for general work shops.

The big ones were generally "industrial anvils" for industries doing heavy work often with teams of strikers using sledges.

Didn't France Whitaker use an anvil under 200 pounds for his entire career?

For most hobby smiths I'd think that a 150 pound anvil would be a good choice for a shop anvil.

Massive large anvils for folks who never work anything heavier than 3/4" stock is rather overkill and probably more a factor of "anvil envy" than efficiency.

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I think a 400 to 500 lb would be plenty heavy
Although a 200 lber can do most anything that would generaly come through the average shop these days
If you want a heavier anvil thats probally more of a personal preference.
Bigger is not always better when it comes to anvils or hammers :)
Its more of what you can do with what you can afford or whats available.
I dont make my living blacksmithing as it is more of a hobby for me.
But I do like to collect antique tools related to blacksmithing though.

Mike Tanner


Thanks for the info Mike.
I realize that most of my questions were a matter of personal choice but you and some of the other fellas here have given me some input that will help me decide what to do when it comes time to pass on my present 200# anvil and procure another.
That`s what I was trying to figure out BTW as my son is getting to the point he wants to set up his own shop and not just wait till he can use mine.
I may step up to a heavier anvil and give him a great deal on the one he`s used to using.
If he passes then I`m sure he`ll want me to scout out a bigger one for him as they are much cheaper up here than they are in Jersey. :)
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Well, its been a long row to hoe. I cut this anvil several a few years ago while I was a CNC shape cutter operator (See previous post) and due to life, procrastination, and other reasons I have yet to invent B), I haven't finished it til now. Just finished grinding the welds from the hardy area this morning. I first drilled a hole through the face along with the pritchel and then in a process involving my O/A torch and die grinders with a couple configurations of roto rasps, expanded the hole to and ugly gaping wound. I then welded a box made of angle iron in and ground flush. The pritchel is 9/16" and the hardy is 7/8".
I may eventually put some kind of identification on it after I get it on a scale and determine its true weight, but for all intents and purposes, IT IS DONE!!

For you consideration:

post-38-092570200 1284480037_thumb.jpg

post-38-063489000 1284480039_thumb.jpg

post-38-005148200 1284480041_thumb.jpg

post-38-034642900 1284480042_thumb.jpg

post-38-062317200 1284480043_thumb.jpg

post-38-095375600 1284480044_thumb.jpg

post-38-015329700 1284480046_thumb.jpg

post-38-043215200 1284480047_thumb.jpg

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That's a good looking anvil Dodge. Nice work!


Thank you, Sask


Looks good. How's it work?

Frosty the Lucky.


Frosty,
Its mild steel so it is what it is ;) But I've been using it since I first brought it home. Of course, it doesn't have the rebound my Trenton of about the same size has, but as long as I hit hot steel it works great. It does have a ding or two, but the nice thing about it being mild is that I don't worry a great deal about dings. I'm not careless with it but if I miss a hit, repair is just a mig zap away :D.


I could use one of those. looks great, how;s the ring?


Edge,
If you saw my original post on this anvil you may have noticed the feet were just tack welded on. The ring at that time was adequate. I haven't used it very much since I final welded the feet but I notice that the ring has improved a great deal. I have learned something though; a good ring does not make the anvil. My Trenton doesn't ring as much as this anvil. Does that make this better than a Trenton?? If the ring determines the quality of an anvil, then RR track must be the best anvils around!! :P

A word about finding and anvil: I originally made this anvil simply because I wanted a classic looking anvil and I had the resources available to do it. It was before I bought my Trenton which at the time was actually on loan to me from Jr Strassil (irnsrgn), but I didn't know then that I would eventually get to buy it :). My point is, and its been said here many times, "an anvil doesn't have to look like a "London Pattern" to be a serviceable anvil"; especially if you are a budding blade smith. A heavy block of about any steel will work. Yes, high carbon is better than mild but mild shouldn't be balked at if your having trouble finding "that perfect anvil". I know what the search is like and I know about the frustration of not finding it.. Persevere, improvise adapt and overcome. Your anvil will find you! :)
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Scott, your anvil sure looks nice!It's something to be proud of.I do like the London pattern(shape) the best.I like your comment to Edge(Your anvil will find you) :) .Kinda like what happen to me.During my long search for a "real"anvil.I drive by this antique car restorer's place day after day,never giving it much thought that he may have an anvil to sell.So I stopped by one day on my way home from work.I found out he does fix-up then sells the cars.He also sells other things he comes across.I told him what I was looking for,he says...I just recently bought 2 old barns full of antique cars and trucks and I think I saw a few anvils in there,when I go back I will look for them and let you know.Well...he had 3 of them.He asked me how big an anvil did I want?I told him I couldn't afford anything too big,bring me the smallest one you have.Anywho,turns out the smallest one weighs #178,and it was a HB in great shape!! :lol:I bought my first anvil for $150!Something just told me to stop in and ask,what could it hurt? B)

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