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I Forge Iron

Saw an anvil welded

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Well now it's been done, and I'm darned proud to know the folks that did it. I just got back from the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil [sOFA] annual Quad State Roundup. This an annual Blacksmiths conference that posted nearly a thousand registrants. You can read all about it at Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA) Blacksmith Association. Well Friday nights have gotten, over the years, to have some great demonstrations. This year topped them all. These boys decided to forge weld a faceplate on a wrought iron anvil. They said that their research revealed that three times in recent years this was attempted but never achieved. They did a test run a week ago and had near perfect weld. This was verified with an end mill and some hours of fact finding. So Friday afternoon they got the fires going and by 8:00 they had the anvil up to over 2000 degrees. The short version of this process is to bring both the anvil's weld area [the top] and the steel plate to be welded to it, simultaneously up to over 2300 degrees. Now folks, there's a lot of btu's there, so don't touch. Then the anvil is brought out of the fire, wire brushed, fluxed, and set on a large metal block. As the anvil is getting to the block, the face plate is brought out of the fire and brushed and fluxed and placed on the top of the anvil, and if all is right in the world, it will stick together with welding blows from two or more strikers with sledges. Three times the attempt failed and with all tired and sweating they decided to try it a fourth and that was the ticket. A successful weld. Then a finish welding heat, then several shaping and flattening heats. And there it was, a welded anvil. The crowd cheered, handshakes were given and photos were taken and I'm proud to say that those folks that did that are friends of mine. Here's to ya boys. Well done. They did something that hasn't been done in a century or so. You probably won't hear about this on national news but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up on the youtube.

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I was there also.
I tried filming but ussually got the back of one ore more of the strickers.
When I would move to a differrent spot for the next heat that is where the strickers moved also.
It was a spectacular site to be seen. Took 4 tries to get it right but I am sure they did not want to burn it up like the BAM group did years ago and with that manny people watching every thing that can go wrong ussually will.
It was publicised as the first anvil being welded in years but I know Tom Latane made three this year. The largest one he did was welded up rfom pieces the old way in a charcoal forge with a water cooled ducks nest. He said he boiled out all the water from a large tank that was his resivour.
Great job SOFA.
The 5 or 6 demonstrators they had working the weekend were spectacular also.
I watched Ryan Johnson doing hawks and all the bleachers were full so they moved in more and still had standing room only. Rarely did anyone leave his demo until he stopped and he came back after supper and worked till midnight.

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