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I Forge Iron

How to identify Steel vs. Cast Iron Anvils


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Guest DanielT

I am going to be looking at an anvil that I might buy but want to make sure it is steel instead of cast/

What is the best way for an inexperienced person to figure this out? I have worked with a steel anvil but haven't ever worked with a cast iron one so I don't know what the differences in hit would be.

If the price is low enough does it even make that big of a deal for an amateur like me? or should I just buy it and wait to get specific after I get better.

Thanks,
Daniel

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Guest DanielT

Daniel, if the price is right and it's what you can afford at this time, go for it. You will get a lot of use from it, either way. Just don't go nuts pounding on a cast one with a BIG hammer, or you may end up with two smaller anvils. :D



Nothing like finding out the breaking point of something right after hitting it "yeap that is how much force that can take"

But then again who doesn't need 2 anvils :)
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  • 9 years later...

I have these old round weights about 12”. In diameter and about 4 to 6” thick  it is very heavy the weights were used to measure the amount of water flow in a water treatment plant.  How to tell if the weight would be a good anvil material

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Spark test it to see if they are steel or cast iron. If steel you have an improvised anvil. If cast iron you don't.  (You can also use the drill test: steel you get silver shavings, cast iron you usually get black dust.)

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Thank you very much for your time and experience not sure what a spark test is.  I have been grinding the paint off ansd as i have done this the grinding wheel has been spitting sparks (is that the spark test?).  I will try the drill test this afternoon though.  Thank you for helping me.  

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When I type: Spark Test Steel into my browser's search function I get 48 million hits and at least the first page are appropriate hits.

When I type: spark test steel site:iforgeiron.com into my browser search function I get 540 hits.

Go thou and do likewise!

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Well they are steel. Not sure what grade of steel but definitely steel.  Very heavy   Now just design a table to hold them firmly in place.  Thank y’all 

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Cast iron throws of hardly any sparks. Cool improvised anvils. Unlike most, it looks like they come with something you can insert Hardy tools in, and they have handles. 

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You may want to look a the thread “Justin’s Smithing Progression”. He just came across similar weights and the was some discussion on uses. If you have two, with some work, you could end up with both an anvil and a rotary swage.

David

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On 6/30/2020 at 1:32 PM, Jvc said:

I deserve that,

Welcome aboard...

We all deserve a little jab once in a while. Have you read the "Read This First" thread that's up in the blue banner. It's full of tips like how to do the most effective search like Thomas did. Other tips like editing your profile to show your location as so many answers depend upon knowing where in the world you are. Some of the tips may help in staying off the moderators radar.:)

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Or how to get on it!  The Forums built in search function has a lot of known issues (like it can't find any mention of axe); which is why using the browser's search and directing it to this site is strongly recommended!    Read This First has a lot of handy tips in it.

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