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I Forge Iron

Finally got a new anvil

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I heard it through the grapevine that somewhere there is a set of instructions that said we are not supposed to lust. Oh well!
I was born in 1940 also. That anvil looks much, much better than I do.
Looks to me like you got your self a prize. Good for ya!
Be safe.

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Quick ship that anvil to *ME* before the "too good to be true" karma truck runs you over!

That's 1 sweet anvil---now tell everyone how you found it.


Bought at the cabin fever model engineering expo' s auction(cabinfeverexpo.com). Paid about $2.50 a lb but she was worth it. Cleaned me out. My chin almost hit the ground when i saw a 14-15 year old guy there with a wad of cash as thick as my wallet and they were all 100's( he had to have at least $5k, maybe 10). Actually saw a smaller cannon ball in one of the box lots and in my mind i was thinking- hmmm..... that would make a great tool or something to work on. A lot of melting cauldrons and ladles, something that looked like a flat anvil(no horn and was about 2 ft long- wasnt a rrr track ),plus a ton of other stuff. Saw a large number of older metal lathes- they were going for $200-300 each and now i am seeing them on the local craigslist going for $800 +( same exact ones too).

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"cannon balls" are usually mill balls---from a ball mill. Real cannon balls were traditionally cast iron and so a pain to weld and not too tough as a stake. Mill balls are usually the other way around---hard to weld and very tough.

Of course you buy old mill balls at scrap price and cannon balls at "historical artifact" price...


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Mill balls are available from at least 2' in diameter down to probably an inch or so.

I bought my first ones at a scrap yard in Fayetteville AR; a freind got his from a ball mill used to pulverize coal in WV.

There is a guy selling a bucket full in Las Cruces NM but wants $5 a piece---too rich for me.

Also fleamarkets...


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Sources of round balls: I find 1-2" ball bearings at fleamarkets fairly often and pick them up when they are US$1 or less. I also look for the trailer hitches that have a round top rather than a flat also for a dollar or two.

Ask at a crane or dozer rental/repair shop about used large ballbearings

Mill balls I found at the junkyard, fleamarket

Shotputs from used sporting goods stores

Flagpole balls---scrap yard

Ball ends from heavy machinery "ball joints"

My largest "working sphere" is the headache ball from a crane

A friend has a curved section from a *VERY* large valve, SS to boot! that he uses for armouring.

I picked up a globular O2 tank (small) once that I choped the top and bottom off of and welded full of junk to make a ball stake for armouring.

For light duty work we once found several 5 gal buckets of curved cast iron cups and balls used to grind eye glasses---various radii

and finally I was once in the shipping department of my previous co and a fellow had a 3" ball bearing that had been sectioned and etched he was using as a paper weight---it had been left there when the tool and die dept moved out back...he very nicely gave it to me.

Arcwelding on strange possibly high alloy balls requires pre/post heat and generally stainless rod is a good choice.


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Definately a nice anvil. I saw it at the auction, too, but I didn't have that much to spend. I was mostly checking things out, but I bought a few box lots. I got 4 pairs of tongs in a box of old soldering irons, a bunch of morse taper drill bits and adapters, and a few sets of hold down clamps. I recently bought a camelback drill press so I was looking for tooling. I agree, there were a lot of resellers there, and people with lots of money. Overall the prices were pretty good, though.

Take care of that anvil. It's lasted this long.

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