dancho

Bogdan Popov's Anvil

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Popov,
Your hammers and anvil are neatist tools for this craft I have ever seen. I would imagine that celtic smiths used similar tools as they developed the use of iron. I agree that a smith might consider both a flat and convex anvil in the shop. I have a double horn flat face for general work and a 60lb RR track ground convex for weird stuff.

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Saw this anvil months ago at another site ... seems perfect for those who want basic/primitive/inexpensive as a total outlay/ portability and stylish. It crosses so many thresh holds. Copying one by casting your own or doing a serious weldup from suitable scrap would be fun. Concave tops, as dicussed here in other threads, seems to maximize your work force without having to go to a heavier anvil that you may not be able afford. Also, to some extent it seems it would be very helpful in working with a striker ... a tool that is so wonderful to look at. Seems fresh out of nature, maybe Fairie made with just a bit of magic hidden in there. Thanks for sharing!!



Thank you !

Yes I also percieve it as magic. Actually this is the only way I percieve blacksmithing in whole and that's why I am still in no matter how tried to escape to ecological science. It is a kind of magic and we never able to understand and exlpain it completely.
I think you meant convex top insted of concave. It might be as you put it but I still feel it is not about maximazing the force but rather feeling the strike point better and having the ability to tilt both the hammer and workpeice properly in accordance with the flow of metal.

I can definetely afford any size of anvil (up to 300 kg) if needed one but I found I do not. Actually the heaviest work (forging a 3 kg hammer from 50 mm round) I do on that small anvil while actively use the ordinary shape anvil for general artistic forging works when I need hardie and round holes and big flat surface. To put in short I use my stake convex anvil when I FORGE in its true sense meaning I sculp the metal like clay in hands.

The effiecincy of the strike reception I think comes rather not from the top but from the bottom of the anvil -- the way it set up. In ordinary anvil (no matter how heavy it is) the energy of blow might spread over the surface of anvil stand (stump) while in the stake anvil is concentrated into the stand and directed to the Earth turning the last one into your GREAT ANVIL.

I think that my biggest design input and real upgrade was to use the metal shape pipe for the anvil seat instead of wood stump with slot as it was traditionally used in old times. The metal pipe really improved the efficiency since I made it working like a pile in architecture. It is long and has a thick plate underneath.

My explanation of course can be discussed but the fact is the fact.

The 27 kg anvil of ordinary shape is a toy. 27 kg stake anvil on metal pile is a powerfull tool you can do almost anything.

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I think this is a very handsome anvil.
I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with having an item like this cast. I have in the past loosely enquired about having small bladesmiths anvils cast and would be interested in how you found the whole process.



Hello Owen! Nice to hear you!

Well in short making you own anvil involves:

1. Lots of hand work and time.
2. Finding the right foundry to work with. The biggest problem is to get good face quality.

I am not really familar with the process of casting. What they do there is a mystery for me. As I said I simply made models and then took the castings to work with. What really makes sense before the grinding, filing and heat treatment is to heat the surface and hammer it to create the forged texture. It really makes difference for the perfomance and this is something you never get on ordinary factory anvil. It is turned into somewhat forged anvil instead of simply cast.

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Also, to some extent it seems it would be very helpful in working with a striker ...

True! The only thing I am not enjoing to work with a striker any more but became I striker myself while my Sweetheart holding the workpiece and moving and tilting it properly. We both enjoy it. I work with my 5 kg sledge like with an ordinary hammer with so many opportunities I never had with a striker (they are all bastards who tend to kill me :) ). She is having fun in the smithy still staying tender and delicate I want her to be.

But that's diffrent subject. We need to start another topic about working with two or more hands. And about the role of women in the forge :wub:

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oh dear! :ph34r: i cant comment too long on that subject (one very close to my heart) becasue you will end up with very deeply dredged up subject matter and it will very soon veer off the point of BLACKSMITHING which is why we are here!!! the wonderful symbiotic deformation of the metal... i will comment, as example though, on the subject of your sweetheart, may god help her if she really MUST remain tender and delicate in every last facet..!.. that does not allow for the Wild :) and the Wild is the whole.. :) i tell you, its a can of worms....... :ph34r:

its very interesting hearing you talking about your tools popov because you can Feel the effect of what your talking about, it is very vivid. my most wonderful friend who i think your in contact with has made me a hammer similar to your design, so when it arrives i will try , and hopefully too, with the convex surface... i do not have this pipe thing clear in my mind though... i appreciate also your talk about magic becasue i think that the best things in life, the best activities, im talking about wether its bread making forging singing, or anything else, adds up, when its right, to way way more than the sum of its parts, there are extra factors outside of our knowledge or control, and that is exactly what goes into making these things the best practises :)

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to way way more than the sum of its parts, there are extra factors outside of our knowledge or control,



Thank you, Beth! You just mentioned two basic ecological laws.

And this my main interest and challenge -- blend blacksmithing and ecology together which I study both.

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i was just thinking, also, that when you are Feeling the subtle movements at the strike point, this must benefit massively, you are able to work more unconsciously, and therefore WITH the nature of the material, not against it , sometimes, with the help of the Ego :) this instance metal, is free -er to speak, this is much more like sculpture than anything and when you talk of clay - this is how i would love to be with forging, i can use clay easily, i have found metal much harder to get in step with... it is a case of learning to listen and notice what it s character is and what it is comfortable doing, its essential Nature. i am interested in how you define ecology, it sounds like the perfect pairing, if its what i think it is, then it is what i try to mix with my drawing and sculpture to get the best result, the unconscious Reaction to many variables including the material and the information from the senses. the brains involvement , directly, at the time of making, is not always a good thing in my opppinion. i dont know how this pans out with tool making and such, becasue it is the expressive side of forging that i am interested in at the moment.

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PLUS of course, i think, the added ingredients along with The Magic ( the ecology?) with capital letters, but plos importantly, the individual, which is what is taken out almost entirely in mechanised processes, its the individual energy, directly affecting the material, the uniqueness - our own magic, when free flowing is powerful thing! another great combo, i think its threeway, then, the ecology, the bsmithing, and the individual...

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i am interested in how you define ecology,


Well, ecology is how things interconnected in Nature and how they interrelate with each other. Both living and non living. about how they affect each other. It is not the things we study in ecology but the connections. We study the world (from the Earth to a drop of water) as totality of systems. And a system is a totality of connections.

The right connections reduce the enthropy and make the systems last forever and self-organise or putting simply they sustain LIFE

I am interested in how to put these right connections between blacksmithing and the world around. I love blacksmithing. I want it to last forever and fit into Natural Laws and Cycles .

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At the Roman Museum in Bath, UK there is an early anvil that has a lovely convex face on it due to it being worked on for a very long time and the fairly soft wrought iron sagging a bit.

My Y1K stake anvil was based on it but is starting out with a flat face and perhaps in the next century or two it will work convex.

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I worked with smiths in india and at first they used a small rail track for an anvil, they suggested to me they could have a better anvil if they could afford one, so i paid for them to buy a square-ish lump of tool steel, about 200mmx200mmx300mm and they forged it into what I described as a square mushroom, (I used mushroom stakes for silverwork and it was similar, but flatter and squatter) It was very similar to dancho's anvil, minus the horn. Worked very well for them, portable and very functional. It was great to watch them forge it, three strikers, one of them the tender age of 12!

this looks like a great design.

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