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I Forge Iron

Cutting Plate?

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Hot rolled mild steel it's much cheaper and your chisel should be hard enough that mild steel should not dull it. Softer backing plates can cause burrs on the back of what you are cutting.

I'm with John.
I use a 3/8" mild steel plate and it works just fine.
If it's going to be a sacrificial cutting surface, then cheapest makes more sense to me.
Not to mention that mild steel is easier to get a hold of that brass in the same thickness (at least for me - your mileage may vary wink.gif)

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I use mild hot rolled steel for a cutting plate. I welded a couple tabs on the underside so it sits over the anvil like a saddle. I've used it for a number of years now with no ill effects.

Put a chisel on the step of one of my anvils and I'll say HARSH :angry: things to you.

Copper, brass or al would work fine but draw off heat quickly as well as deform more than a few chisel cuts. I'd also be using the copper and brass for projects unless a very soft tool was needed. A cutting plate is a tool, a bottom tool to be more specific.

Frosty the Lucky.

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I don't have a cutting plate on my gladiator and I would throw a ninja star at anyone who even looked at that anvil wrong. It's worth more than my car. Maybe I'll try the bronze or the mild steel. As an expendable tool I don't want to spend to much on it, but it will be nice to have. Thanks all for the good suggestions.

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  • 8 years later...

Having come into possession of some chunks of structural steel, I made up this cutting saddle that covers almost the entire face of the anvil. Works great for any job, but I especially like it when making split-rein tongs with the treadle hammer. 

Basically a big piece of angle iron:


And flipped around to show the extra piece welded on the open side:


Note that the pritchell hole is not covered, so I can still use a hold-down. 

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1 hour ago, JHCC said:

My only complaint is that it's REALLY loud

Same with my saddle plate. Try a little masking tape or duct tape on the underside, it helps a little. It will need removed and reapplied on occasion. 

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Now I'm thinking that a very thin layer of silicone would work well, especially if I first cover the anvil with plastic wrap to keep the plate from sticking. I also have some inner tube rubber that could work. Ideas, ideas....

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Short knap carpet, preferably with a rubber (or rubberized) backing.

You can get scraps or cut-offs from a carpet installer,  usually for free.

Use silicone or other suitable glue to attach the carpet scrap to the underside of the saddle.


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I would vote mild steel as well because both copper and brass will work-harden.  Also, brass has a tendency to leave residue on hot steel.  Maybe not a big deal, unless you're welding.

I wonder if anyone has ever tried sinking a mild steel plate into a wooden stump for a cutting anvil.  That seems like it would be pretty quiet.

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