BryanWillman

Drilling Holes in forged anvil?

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I cannot get search to show me threads relevent to this, so I'll have to ask this again.

Are there any issues with drilling holes into my forged anvil?

In this post and #59 Hofi shows pins sticking up from the base, which apparently fit holes in the anvil base: My link

Do I dare turn mine over and just drill a suitable hole? (I have milling machines that can do this task.)

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I wouldn't think it would be a problem. I bought a 88lb H-B last yr without a horn. I drilled and tapped a 3/4hole 2" deep into the break. Did the same
with a 3 1/2 X 8 round bar. Screwed in a 4" stud. V grooved and welded. Shaped with O/A .No issues with it at this point.
Ken

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first, it is YOUR tool, adjustments, alterations, and improvements are YOUR choice.

If it is hardened, use a carbide bit with plenty of cutting fluid. I lack specialized equipment and made some holes in chilled cast iron using masonry drills (Bosch diamond ground carbide tipped)using water straight from a garden hose as a cutting fluid/coolant. Phillip in China recommended this technique, but the new site has been fighting me on search today, so no link.

Phil

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You should have no trouble drilling into the bottom of your anvil. Only the top faces were hardened. Just do a careful layout. I have seen many anvils with extra holes drilled through the feet for mounting with lag bolts. Blind holes from the bottom should be easy on a mill.

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The base will be wrought iron, mild steel or cast iron depending on the anvil type and age; *all* should drill easily.

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What kind of anvil do you have? Most older ones would be soft on the bottom. Some newer ones are heat treated overall and could be quite hard.

I see now your title says "forged anvil". In that case the base should be soft.

Edited by nakedanvil

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I have a 150# haybuden with 4 holes drilled for mounting probably been there for over 50 yrs with no problems.

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Forged anvils were typically made from either a wrought iron base with a shear steel face or entirely from steel (e.g. I think Peddinghaus). I understand the grade of wrought iron was typically the crudest that could be found, both for cheapness and because it was largely self-fluxing. This may be an issue when drilling due to the slag inclusions.

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Some anvil brands used very high grade wrought iron and even made it a selling point. After 1900's some companies used cast mild steel bases that they would then weld to the tops.

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All good to know.

This particular anvil is a new peddinghaus, so I presume it's all "mild forged steel" but who is to say? I'll start with HSS drills and go get carbide if need be. I guess I'll report back on how it goes.

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I would suggest using a freshly sharpened bit, low speed and an aggressive feed rate(keep the bit cutting a good chip) with cutting fluid or oil.One of the biggest mistakes made is to use too high a speed when trying to drill.Let the bit do it`s job.The larger the bit the slower the speed.
If the anvil is older material or newer semi hard(or hardened) material it`s important to also keep the bit firmly engaged in the cut.Older anvils may have slag inclusions you will need to break up and power thru and newer semi hard anvils will try to resist the cutting action and chip the bit`s edge if not aggressively engaged or used dry.
When too high a speed,no lube or not enough pressure is used to try and cut steel there`s always the danger of the bit just spinning and work hardening the bottom of the hole.Once hardened it`s a bear to get through with anything less than carbide.
If the bit stops cutting don`t keep at it.Clear the hole and bit,look to see what`s wrong and fix the problem before you waltz yourself off into trouble using a ham handed approach.

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At least the top 1/2 of the newer Peddinghaus anvils made by Rigid are all 1045C steel (45 points carbon and not much else). The bottom half could have a steel with a lower carbon content. Either way it shouldn't be hard to drill the bottom. Try it and find out. If you are just interested in fastening it to the base or stump you could use 100% silicone caulk and glue it down. Not easy to remove, but quite a few blacksmiths do that. If you want to remove it periodically then chains, bolts and clips, can be used. Personally I would not be satisfied if my anvil were just sitting on a base with just pins to keep it from falling off. I think it is important to have the anvil fastened very tightly to the base/stump.

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At least the top 1/2 of the newer Peddinghaus anvils made by Rigid are all 1045C steel (45 points carbon and not much else). The bottom half could have a steel with a lower carbon content. Either way it shouldn't be hard to drill the bottom. Try it and find out. If you are just interested in fastening it to the base or stump you could use 100% silicone caulk and glue it down. Not easy to remove, but quite a few blacksmiths do that. If you want to remove it periodically then chains, bolts and clips, can be used. Personally I would not be satisfied if my anvil were just sitting on a base with just pins to keep it from falling off. I think it is important to have the anvil fastened very tightly to the base/stump.

I need to ask how heavy is your anvil? I do not use pins on mine. I know I can't hit even my small 88 lb hard enough to bounce it off a 1/2X1" pin. Most of the school teachers I know just use sand filled bases with no solid mounts.
Ken.

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My main shop anvil has 4 fence wire staples holding it in place 2 on each side in the curved sides. Of course it's a 515# Fisher and doesn't bounce much...

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My main shop anvil has 4 fence wire staples holding it in place 2 on each side in the curved sides. Of course it's a 515# Fisher and doesn't bounce much...

Thomas, Ya not hitting it hard enough. 10 to 1 rule says ya need a 51.5 lb hammer. Use at 220bpm if possible
Huge Grin.
Ken

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Ken; you're running the rule *backwards*! (Did you see that prop sledge they had in the latest Sherlock Holmes film?)

And I did put in the staples when I found that I was *moving* the anvil with my hammering.

It's mounted on a section of 3 bridge timbers bolted together that I found floating in an OH stream during a flood. I clambered aboard it and paddled it with a branch to where a friends 4WD could pull it out with a chain. It is long enough that I have the 410# Trenton on the other end and can have a swage block in between.

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Somebody referred to my post on this subject from a long time back. You won't believe this because nobody ever does but.......... get a masonry bit- yes just like you use for drilling a wall! Ideally get a magnetic bed drill with a waterproof base. Put the bit in the drill, stick the drill to the anvil and start drilling. Use water as a coolant/lubricant- nothing eslse needed, nothing else is as good! Just when you start thinking that that guy in China has been fooling around it will suddenly strt to bite and you will be drilling at an amazing rate.

In a previous incarnation I had to drill through some seriously hard steels which were specifically made to be undrillable and that method works!

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Drilling a hole in the base of the anvil does a whole lot less to mess up the structural integrity of an anvil than punching a hardy hole and or drilling a pritchel on the face does.

Now if you are wondering about messing up the "antique" value; then yes any modern changes does; but then many anvils are sold as tools rather than antiques!

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