Jump to content
I Forge Iron

My New Anvil

Recommended Posts

After extensive reading of the forums, the one thing that most people have suggested is to just get something to pound on. So this is 100 pounds of steel I paid $25 for at a local steel shop. I'm planing on laying it on its side and grinding the thin piece on the upper right of the picture into a horn shape. I am building a propane forge this week from a old portable air tank. My goal is to attempt knife making for as little money as possible. In the mean time I'm keeping my eye's open for a real anvil. I picked up a half dozen rail road spikes, a few hammers, and a dozen large files for $15 at a flea market yesterday.

So what do you guys think? Am I off to a good start or am I nuts?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely a good start. I wouldn't bother trying to grind a horn on that hunk o' steel, though. Horns play very little role in 99% of knife making, and you can buy or build a cheap cone mandrel for the vice if you ever need one. Fullering is just as easily done using the edge of the anvil as the horn, too.

As for knife steel, buy new stuff that you can heat-treat best. Unknown metals don't work well because you don't know what heat treatment they need to maximize their abilities. Railroad spikes could be mild steel, or high carbon, but the one thing you absolutely know is that they take a lot of work (and fuel) to pound to a knife-shape. It's cheaper to start with bar stock that you know can be made into a serviceable knife.

Love that anvil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That'll work though I'd orient it differently, you want the most steel under the anvil you can get though the open section will make a decent bridge anvil so maybe put it on a stand so it can be rotated as you wish.

Oh yeah, you're nuts. Welcome to the club.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had to look up a bridge anvil. I would have thought having an opening on the bottom would have a negative effect. I would make it a lot easier to secure to a block of would. I'll give it a try. I just picked up a portable air tank and hope build my propane forge this weekend.

Fluidsteel, I will use new stock once I get done messing around with the files and spikes I picked up. I want to get my feet wet before I spend to much loot. I have a tendency to jump into things full force then lose interest once I do it. Although, I used to find it soothing to grind metal while was in charge of the tool room in the Army. Everything had a sharp edge. All my shovels, drill bits, and even the dust pans. I could acually cut rope with the dust pans. If any of you have a metal dust pan, sharpen the edge. You won't have a spec of dirt pass under it when you sweep up a pile. It works mint.

Once again, thanks for the advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah Jay_cat you are nuts..... don't let it bother you the rest of us nut jobs are all doing fine the way we are.
As to the RR spikes you will find a bunch of people that swear you can't make a knife out of a RR spike. Find the ones with HC stamped on the head and then spark test them to make sure. I make knives out of RR spikes as well as many other good tool steels. They all will work for what they are and Spikes are cheap, and AI can sell the knives cheap! Flip that block over to get the mass up top under your hammer and you will have a lot of good luck. Save some of the old files for hot filing and you will be making hay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...