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I Forge Iron

First Anvil of a Greenhorn

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I'm so, so grateful for this forum, it has already proven quite helpful on another page. I've yet another question for the sages here- last week I acquired a 136 pound (as marked) M&H Mousehole, after months of frustrating searching for an anvil I was comfortable with buying. Always good at second-guessing my decisions in areas where experience and knowledge are limited, I got to wondering about whether I done good or not.

On to details- anvil was stamped at some stage of its life with a "130", and was advertised as weighing such. When I got it home and put it on a scale I believe to be accurate it read 127 pounds, nine pounds below its hundredweight markings. I was told on another page that anvils actually lose weight with time and wondered if such weight loss was observed by others; paranoia got the best of me and I got to worrying if some of this was material removed off the face to make it "presentable". The face shows usage which appears in the attached images and the wire wheel cleaning done to the surface. In the center of the last image running left to right there appears to be what could be a small crack- a stress fracture for concern?

On the plus side the left edge of the face is quite clean, like most anvils I've found. The ring of the anvil is consistent across the face, and the rebound seems to be excellent to this untrained hand- letting my wrist go limp and allowing the hammer head to drop from a height of about eight inches, it will bounce to a height of about six inches, then bounce a few more times before coming to a complete rest.

Lastly, how did the Mousehole folks provide a hardened face? Was the top portion of the anvil forged steel as mentioned on the current Hay-budden post or some similar process?

Oh yeah, the ten dollar question: $275.

Much thanks in advance for any advice/input!

Imageshack - 101909anvil006

Imageshack - 101909anvil007

Imageshack - 101909anvil010

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Well that mousehole was originally marked in CWT and so you have at least *2* separate weighings where the scale could be slightly off. 3# out of 127 is very little "slop".

Mouseholes had high carbon steel plates forge welded onto the wrought iron base to make the face. Sometimes you can see preferential wear where the plates came together and there was a bit of a decarb line from the forge welding.

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Thank you much Thomas for your reply. I've got a lot to learn and mainly was hoping to determine if my purchase was a "solid" one. The only line I've detected is a concave one about four inches below the face, perhaps a half inch wide and an eighth-inch at its deepest. Perhaps with enough time and research I'll have a good grip on this anvil's construction and past.

Thanks again!

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