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I Forge Iron

how can i tell if my anvil is cast iron or something else?

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Pictures would help... #1 Check the ring, if it doesn't ring most likely it is cast iron, #2 look for a mold seam running from the middle of the anvil up, #3 who made it, some manufacure only made cast iron, #4 does it have handling holes--little square holes under the horn and tail used to handle the anvil while forging, #5 did I mention pictures? There are other ways, these are just a few easy ones. Where ya from? The UK is fairly big. There could be someone just across the street from you that could help but we don't know that if we don't know where you are? Oh yeah, pictures would help. :rolleyes:

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i have recently purchased a new anvil but have no idea what it is made from, it definately has a plate welded on for the face though

Are you sure it's really a welded on steel plate? Some of the cast iron ASOs are cast so that the face protrudes slightly from the body at the joint between the two, to make it look as if they're separate pieces. Very sneaky. Almost fraudulent, really.

If there's really a welded on plate, it'll be made of steel (never heard of anyone welding anything else onto the face of an anvil), and the anvil is very likely of decent to excellent quality -- unless it's been damaged.
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south lincolnshire
there are two videos on youtube

also my old anvil has handling holes, what does this mean?

what do handling holes mean in terms of quality, my other anvil has them (you can see it on youtube my channel is roglet123)
also the new one has blobs of mig welding on it if that means anything. the face overhang is also noticeable in the hardie
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I can't see the vids from behind this firewall. I'll look later.

The MIG welding means someone has been MIG welding on the face, which isn't a great sign. It means the face may have been tempered back some, or worse.

I consider handling holes a positive sign. They mean someone was welding and/or heat treating the anvil, which means it probably isn't cast iron. It could have suffered all sorts of indignities in the intervening years, but it probably wasn't total junk when it came out of the factory.

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Not to answer a question with another, but as I've found out ( mostly from this site! ) is...Who cares what is made out of as long as you enjoy working with it. To me it looks like a nice flat face, great rebound, and not a nasty ring, so I say go get your rod hot hot and beat it!





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are there any spark tests or something?

When looking into my Anvil, see thread precedent (Old French Anvil), I did a spark test, on the side of the horn, then, I realised that if it had a plate welded on the top, it would spark differently. What I had thought was a work created bulge spreading out around the whole of the upper face was in fact a steel plate. the top sparked differently from the side!

regards, Matthew
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