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I just saw this "redneck" anvil for sale for dirt cheap and I was wondering if it would be worth the effort at all. I am just getting into forging knives and I know that this would not be the anvil of my dreams but if I could snag it for around 20 bucks do you guys think it would get me by until I saved up enough money to buy the real deal? It looks like its an I beam that was cut and welded onto a stand. It has obviously gotten some use so it should be good for something right?

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I disagree. It's a crappy anvil, don't get me wrong. But for $20, it beats hammering on your work bench. Can you get it for $15?

If you buy it, and keep smithing, find a real anvil, and move forward, it will be the best $20 you ever spent. You will win every "my first anvil was worse than yours" contest.

But seriously. For $20, buy it. Don't think for a moment it will be satisfying, but at that price, when you find another anvil, you will feel like you can cut up the remnants to use in other projects, and feel like its money well spent.

And, you'll know why anvils are shaped the way they are.

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It will be very loud and not very efficient---too much "bounce" engineered in. Will using it cause your neighbors to gather with pitchforks and torches and drive you from the village?

but for 20 bucks it is worth it just to make a postvice stand from it later...

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you buy it, and keep smithing, find a real anvil, and move forward, it will be the best $20 you ever spent. You will win every "my first anvil was worse than yours" contest.


I used a rock when Iwas young to work copper, something is better than nothing
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For 20 it's a good starter. That being said some day I'll put a pic on here of a real redneck anvil. If it wasn't so funny and worked so well it would be embarrasing. Take a little ball pein hammer and give that anvil a little tap with the pein. This will give you an idea of how hard it is. If that hammer has good rebound it will move metal better. I have a bad case of tennis elbow from a "dead" anvil. Don't try to hit the work too hard, that is a mistake I had to learn the hard way. Dead anvil + 4lb hammer + going Thor on the metal = OUCH!

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Lousy anvil, of that there can be no doubt. But, as has been suggested, it would be well worth the money as a stand for your post vice, or as-is for a cutting station when hot cutting or trying to punch/drift a hole in some stock.

The only thing I would add would be to backfill the rim with cement to give you a bit more mass. This will also deaden some of the sound and some of the bounce.

$20 could be spent on a lot worse ideas.

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I started out on a 75 lb chunk of I beam. Over a year hammering on the center of the top plate, to keep as much mass under the hammer as possible. Later on, C-clamped a jack hammer bit to the center web to make a "horn". Kept me hitting metal though. Night and day difference when I found a 100#PW. My slack tub now sits on top of that I beam. Get it, how often does a smith get RID of a big chunk of metal?

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i would not buy it for use as a anvil... but its cheap enuf to buy it for the metal .. as far as a anvil a old sledge hammer head would work better for knife making ... at least it is going to be hard...and they can be found cheap also...just my opinion...

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I forged my first blades on a piece of rail that weighed about 15 lbs that i welded a half inch thick 4 inch wide piece of flat bar to the top and bottom. It worked until I bought a 75 lb cast iron ASO made in Mexico that was also a piece of junk but worked until I could find something better. To make a knife or anything all you need is something to heat the steel, something to hold the steel while you hit it, something to beat the steel with and something to beat it on. You also need a strong desire and a little bit of talent. For $20 you can't go wrong. After you find a better anvil you can find a multitude of uses for this thing in your shop. Use it as a cutting block for one. In your career you will encounter many nay sayers. some of them are the "I can't forge unless I have Pocohantus #3 coal, I can't forge unless I have a London Pattern anvil, I can't forge unless I have a Wisper Baby Forge." Quite a while back Bill Epps said "I knew old Ike Cant, the dumb son of a gun died in the poor house." You will be amazed at what you can make with rudementery tools and a little ambition it is much more than you will ever turn out with the most well equipped shop and no get up and go. Welcome to the world of blacksmithing. Enjoy the ride

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I wouldn't waste my time or money on it. My first anvil was a piece of cold rolled steel that measured 3x4x21 and weight something close to 70 lbs. Used on end it put a lot of steel under the hammer and worked pretty well for what it was. Think solid! Stay away from beams and such. It would be more noise, vibration, and frustration that what it's worth.

My two pesos worth...

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