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Brian Brazeal Striking anvil

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I drilled a 9/16" hole (the largest size I had on hand) through and gouged out a rather ugly square-ish hole with ox/acet torch and beveled it as deep as I could, cleaned it up with die grinder and various rotary rasps. I then welded in a fabricated square box the size of my hardy tools (7/8" in my case) Probably had about a 3/4" bevel to fill. Ground in flush and, Voila!! Instant hardy hole :) the pritchel, I simply drilled another 9/16" hole. See More Info post# 425 for pics.

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If you have a welder it is much easier to weld up a hardy hole. Just take 2 pieces of 1" thick steel an a heavy piece of flatbar, clamp it all together and to the anvil forming a hardy hole and then weld it together. I would take a piece of 1" square and wrap a piece of paper around it a few times and use that as a mandrel to clamp all the pieces to. The paper will give you some clearance so you can drop 1" shanks in the hardy hole. It will take some good pounding to knock out the mandrel so grind bevels on the ends of the mandrel. Grind good bevels on the pieces of steel for the weld, and clamp it well and tack everything to minimize movement.

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There are pictures here of what I am talking about here http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/8974-anvil-tool-holder/page__hl__%20hammer%20%20tool%20%20holder__st__20 My posts 31 and 40. These are power hammer holders and 1 1/2" but the principal is the same. You don't need the cage of course you can just weld the pieces to the end of your anvil. Use heavy material as you will be hammering on the hole unlike these which have the hammering on the die beside.

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Instant? You use the term loosely I presume.

Uhhhhhh yeah, I was being a little facetious. I figured that it was evident. He didn't ask for "easy" only "how". Frankly weighing this method with the chisel method, I think it was the quickest. Not much different than Thomas' suggestion, albeit messier.
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This is from my notes about what Brian has said about his homemade striking anvil.

I am presently in the middle of constructing one for myself.
I hope my information is accurate.
Brian’s Striking Block Size: Block = 10” Long X 4” wide X 3” thick = Total of 100 Sq. Inches
My Striking Block Size: 9.25” Long X 5.75” wide X 2.25” Thick = Total of 119.67 Sq. Inches.

I believe Brian’s Anvil Height is 27 3/4" high.
He suggests that it should be no taller than 30", but shorter is better.
You want the full throw of your sledge hammer.
Brian said;”While Brian was at the Ag museum in Mississippi my anvil sunk into the ground and
stopped at 18". Bryan said that it was even better for the striker, but a little low for the director.”

Cutting a Hardy Hole Issue;
Thickness of the steel block = 2.25”
Size of Hardy Hole = 1” Square
Process: I drilled a one inch hole first.
To finish; it was necessary to clean and square the corners up.
The process I chose was to chisel and file the hardy hole square.
Tools used: Cape Chisel, Diamond Point Chisel (used is for cleaning out corners),
Round Nose Chisel, and a Machinist’s Chisel, and several different files.

How I did it: By trial and error I found that it was important get a good bite into the steel with the
chisel tilted to an extreme right angle to the steel.
Then after getting a good bite into the steel, I would then lessen the initial bite angle and hammer
the captured piece down and out!

I found an issue with chiseling deeper than one inch with only having a one inch opening.
At a certain point being able to get a good bite into the steel lessons as you go deeper because
of being restricted by the width of the hole.
As you chisel deeper the right angle is reduced for obtaining a good initial bite into the steel to
a point of inefficiency.
The deeper I chiseled the less effective chiseling became for me.

One answer is to work your way into the center of the piece from both sides.
Another answer has been spoken of already: Have it water jetted or Laser cut if possible.
The problem I encountered I am sure is due to my inexperience in doing this process for the
first time.
But I am happy to say that I do not plan on doing it a second time! ;)

If you decide to Chisel a Hardy Hole through a thick piece of steel, take a lunch with you and
cancel your vacation!

The best to you!
Ted Throckmorton

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only the top 1 1/2 to 2 inches is what is important to hold the tool that being said drill the top side to 7/8 and counter bore the bottom side larger, then heat in the forge and drift ...then your going to need two men and a boy to remove it from the fire

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Thank you all for some good after thoughts. I hope this will assist someone else.

Thomas Powers said;”Seems like it might be possible to forge a chisel so the tip has the correct angle to it
even when held vertical.”

I agree that your reasoning could possibly work. I think Phil said it quite accurately.

Phil Krankowski said in part;” Regrinding your chisels so they are flat on one side and only have one bevel
allow for deeper holes to be chiseled.”

While I was in the process (at the time), I had thought about forging a chisel with a point (angled tip) that
would initiate and capture the bite lower into the cut, and then follow through with whatever worked.
But I kept thinking that it would be quicker to just go ahead and peck and punch my way through it!

Jimbob said in part:” only the top 1 1/2 to 2 inches is what is important to hold the tool”
Good thought! I need to be thinking that thought at the time.

After reading another post titled “How to dress a Hardy Hole”, it would have given me some more
latitude at the rim of the hardy hole.
Frank Turley said: An excellent book that helps me in smithery is "The Blacksmith's Craft" from
COSIRA, London, England. I quote from page 4:
"It is a good plan to chamfer the edges of the square hole so that the hardy sits tight to the anvil face;
this is also a convenience when using the hole for setting slightly curved bars."

Again, thank you all for the input!

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Using a chisel is pretty hard. My friend torch cut a hole, and I worked it with a chisel. It took a few months of work, on and off. It helps to have sharp chisels. They get dull, and if you have several, they can be ground in a batch. Also, the noise is extremely annoying. This is too much work compared to the weld and build up method One can weld up a hardy hole in an afternoon, not including the bevels. Drifting it hot may also be workable, but that is a big hot heavy dangerous piece of metal to be moving around. A hydraulic press and a broach is another possibility, but this will probably end up costing more than a water jet shop.

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When I made mine 2"x5"x12" the first thing I did is drilled holes working up to a 1" drill bit. Then placed it in the vice and with a square course file squared up the corners the whole thing took me about 2 hours. When you file work from both sides and have a piece of 1"x1" square bar stock to keep checking. the hardest part was shifting the piece so that the corners were facing down then tightting the vice as I filed into them was not as hard as I thought it would be mild steel cuts easy

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