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building one

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I'm currently in the process of building my own anvil. I just bought some 4"x4" blocks and a 3.375" dia round from work, all 1018 steel. I would eventually like to put a toolsteel face on it, I was thinking O1 .750"x4"x12", but I have a couple of concerns. If I heat treat the toolsteel first, then welding it on will likely soften it up, but if I attach it first, then its just too big to to heat. If anyone has a better idea I could sure use the help. My second question is how well will 1018 perform "as is", if i were to not attach a hard plate on top could I somehow just harden the edges with say a hardfacing welding rod? Finished weight will be somewhere between 120-140 lbs.

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It may be a little late for your project but for others thinking about assembling an anvil Lincoln Electric(the welding people) used to offer very low priced books of projects with both drawings and cut lists in them.Among those projects were at least 3 anvils IIRC.I remember at least one was conventional and one ended up as an abstract bird head of some sort.
All the projects were of work done by owners of Lincoln products and submitted by them so you knew the projects worked.

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1018 will be a bit soft; but you can dress your anvil as needed. Instead of O-1 you may want to look into something like 4340; may be cheaper unless you are getting it as scrap

120-140 is not too big to heat! Just dig a hole build your fire and use a vacuum cleaner exhaust down some black pipe to blow it and then suspend the anvil into it (weld some cross bars to the bottom for handling) and make sure you don't burn it up!! when to temp flip it over and have the local VFD try out their high pressure hose on it.

For O-1 you would need a LOT of oil and a means of pumping it onto the face.

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