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Anvil, vise and blower ID help?

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After quite literally years of trying to gather together some decent equipment, I lucked out and managed to purchase a fair collection all in a bundle. An anvil, a leg vise, a 5-gallon bucketful of tongs, another bucketful of hammers, plus a forge blower, all for less than I could have bought a new anvil for and had it shipped up to Alaska.

Now, half the hammers are poor quality, and some of the tongs appear to be first-year apprentice work, but there's enough there to use and work with. Several of the hammers are very good quality, there's some good hardy tools, etc. I'm happy.

Now, I don't necessarily need the leg vise- if it is a leg vise- or the blower, as I plan to build or buy a propane forge. So if you could help ID these and give me an idea of their value, it'd be much appreciated.

First, the anvil. (Pics linked to save dial-up users.) It's 139lb by my bathroom scale, and has been heavily beat on the side where the name was. Looking at this side photo, there's a semi-clear "P" and "E" with what might be a "T" after that.

The second line is almost entirely obscured. (I tried the flour trick, and then welders' chalk- the surface is far too beat up and actually made the lettering even more illegible.) But the third line is almost certainly "PATENT", and there's the ghost of some semicircular writing below that.

Looking around the 'net, it's likely it's a Peter Wright, and by one reference, due to the ledge on the feet, it's post-1860. I'm presuming it's the three-piece wrought iron/steel face construction? Any way to nail down a closer date of manufacture?

I'm also told PW's are pretty common, I assume I won't be ruining an antique if I refinish it, either by grinding or welding and then grinding? I'm looking for a working iron, not a display piece.

Second is the (incomplete) leg vise. It's quite beefy, and there's a socket at the bottom for the leg or rod. I'll likely be passing this on to someone who can use it, so what might an average value be? It's not the classic leg-vise style, so it might even be some oddball plumbers vise or something. Any info here?

And last is a Champion blower. Another quick look online indicates it might be a rivet forge blower rather than a blacksmiths', but it'd work for either application. I don't know if it's new/unused, or was sandblasted and repainted. But again, I intend to get a propane forge, so I'll be passing this on to someone who'll be working with coal. What's a fair price? Turns smoothly and the gears are quiet.

Thanks for your time.





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Champion made a bunch of the 400 blowers

This is what an old add says:
Now Over 374,000 No. 400 Champion Steel Blowers and Steel Forges
in the hands of their very happy users.
The Blower for first Quality -First ,Last and Always.
The No. 400 Champion " Whirlwind " Blast Anti-Clinker Heavy Nest Tuyere Iron is furnished with all No. 400 Blowers Without Extra Cost

No. 400 Champion Steel Blacksmith Blower. Fan 12 inches in dia.
with " Whirlwind" Blast Anti-Clinker Heavy Nest Tuyere Iron and Piping Complete. Weight 160 lbs. $37.00- year 1909

<a href=Champion400Blower.jpg'>
I see more of the 400 Blowers than any others.
I dont really know what the blowers is worth
Are you looking to sell?? I might be interested in the Blower
You say it works good , can you see the fan blades are they in good cond.?
Let me know

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According to Postman's book: Your anvil doesn't have the "England" stamp, so this would indicate manufacture before 1910. The "Solid Wrought" and "Patent" stamps indicate after 1860. If you can tell if the face was put on in one piece, it would indicate manufacture after 1885. If you can tell if it was put on in several pieces, it would be before 1885.

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A Champion 400 has all the air you need for any regular size forge. The one you have with that stub out the bottom was made to mount on a stand like the one in Ron's pic. I do have a sheet metal pan style forge (some were rivet forges but used on a lot of farms and small shops too). It has a Champion 401 blower, same gearbox with an 8" blower. Probly worth $100 especially up there but if you sell it some day you will wish you hadn't. I love my gas forge(s) but burn coal a lot too. For localized heats on the end or in the middle of a bar or when you are just dinking around or have 15 things going on at once a coal forge is more useful and cheaper to run and the heat won't run you out of the shop. Now, when I need to heat the shop sometimes I have a little gas forge going for heat and the coal forge going for the work.

A Peter Wright that says "patent" on it but does not say "England" under that was made between 1885 and 1910. The words you see in a circle are "Solid Wrought".

That is not a post vise. I have seen these around, don't know what they called em. If you wire brush it real good somewhere on it it will say "Not a Very Good Vise" LOL. Probly worth $15-$25 to blacksmiths, more to collector types. Consider keeping this too. Grease up the screw real good and mount it on a table or a stand built off a tree or something outside somewhere. Real handy for odd jobs.

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To any of you in the continental US who are interested enough in a Champion 400 to have it shipped from Alaska I think I can piece one together and let you have it for $225-$250 (FREE Shipping!!!) :)

Doc, if you do sell this to someone up there you will make them very happy I am sure. A good blower.

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The 400 blower is one of the best hand types for coal forges. As others recommended, I would hang on to it just in case the propane forge does not get hot enough to do what is needed. It's pretty easy to build a decent forge if the proper blower is available.

Although the vise is not a post type, it's better than nothing so would be fine until you can get something else. A vise is a must for most types of general work. The anvil will clean up enough to use and as you concluded, it won't be destroying a precious antique to do so.

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Thanks fellas. Appreciate the help.

On the Home Shop Machinist board, the vise was positively identified as a Cole vise, which, as I suspected, was more of a mechanics/plumbers vise.

I already have a roomful of vises from cheapy imports to a 150-pound Wilton, so while this one isn't completely superfluous, it's not terribly vital either. (And, I need to recover both a little shop room and some cash- I brought home four truckloads of new tools just in the past couple of days. :D )

I figured the blower was pretty common, and yes, it's in good shape. I'm not yet sure whether it's basically new, or has been sandblasted and repainted. If the cast housing indicates it's fairly old, I'd suspect the latter. Fan blades looked pretty good, other than some surface rust, and it turns with no gear noise.

I'm sure it'd make a fine charcoal forge, but at the moment I'm a machinist first, and blacksmith.... oh, about seventh. Maybe tenth. :D I have quite a few projects I've been wanting to make, or at least try, which will be far easier to forge than mill from bar-stock, and a propane forge will be somewhat easier, quicker, cleaner and won't take up as much storage room in the shop.

Again, thanks for the info. Expect me to be back and asking some stupid newbie questions before too long. :D


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Keep searching for a leg vise! They are made to take the pounding with a hammer that even a hefty machinist vise would break under.

Saying you don't need a leg vise is like saying you don't need an anvil cause you can use the ways of your lathe or mill to hammer hot steel on!


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