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I Forge Iron

New Anvil Advice Please

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Hello there,

I'm so excited! My brother-in-law found me an anvil. It's from an old farm shop somewhere in the Melville area. I asked that if he happened to run across one at an auction, that i would reimburse him if he would pick it up for me. This was last Wednesday. On Sunday he was parking his combine over at a neighbours place because they don't farm any more, so he rents the shop to park his equipment. A whole pile of tools just laying around, rusting. He saw this anvil and asked for me and got it for FREE!
Well, I'll be dogged!

I got it home today and sanded off the surface rust and welding splatter so I can see what I'm working with.

I would like your opinions as to weather I should repair the surfaces and edges or just use it as is. there are some rather bad dings and some broken edges. The hardy hole in particular has broken edges. It must have fallen at one time because the tip of the horn was mushroomed and is now missing.

Also, What is the hole through the middle of the base for? As well, what is the small hole next to the bottom edge for? any idea what the "V" shaped marks mean? The 99 on the side, is this the weight?

Can I use my Lincoln welder to fill in the dings?

Is it worth taking this to a machine shop for refinishing work?

Any help would be very welcome.

I can't wait to start pounding on this thing.









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Great result there mate, free stuff is always good. I agree that this ones seen a fairly eventfull life but to be really honest anvil repair isn't somthing you can just go out and do. There are a few guys on here who know a lot about it but if I were you I'd be happy just to pound a little steel over it and see what it's like and what I can still do over it before I try and fix it.
The horn you could perhaps dress a little if you find that you need a tighter circle to work around than whats there at present, as far as the holes in the base and in the middle I'd say they were for wooden rods to fit into to make moving and carrying the anvil around easier. Especially as I think you're right in the belief that the 99 is the weight in pounds.

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Great Score! My thoughts on it are to use belt sander with 120 grit to smooth the bumps and pits a little. use the nose to radius the edge dings and then run it. I would be pounding on it in an hour or so. After you have some experience that would be a good time to start looking at improvements. This is what I have done with mine. As for the horn, it looks about right, if you want a tighter circle, make a bick for the hardy. need a square sharp corner? hardy tool as well. the hardy hole probably got that way from running stock through it cold in order to bend it. Saw a farrrier do that when he didn't want to light a fire. mine is the same way when I make hardy tools it indexes them so they only go one way. That is kind of a pain sometimes but the hardy hole itself is not straight so if I made a tight fitting tool it would still only go one way.

The holes in it are for porter bars, to handle it as it was forged. It looks as if it may be a hay budden or a peter wright. But i am no expert.

With all of that said there is some good procedures on welding up an anvil that can be found on this site as well as others. Irnsrgn has a blueprint on how to do it and Hofi posted his method a day or two ago. An internet search will turn up Rob Gunters method. Bear in mind you are dealing with a tool NOT a hunk of steel to cobble around on. Modifications to any tool need to be made from knowledge and understanding of what you want that tool to DO not just how you think it should look.

I have some very cheap wrenches and screwdrivers that I will bend hammer or grind into a particular shape for a specific function in MY shop. I have tongs the same way. Go to any shop where a lot of work gets done and you will find examples of tools that do only one thing, carefully camoflauged as scrap iron. :) happy hammering with your new find and keep it hot.

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  • 1 year later...

My anvil is in similar shape. I figure I won't make any repairs because I'm not done damaging it yet and also because I don't know things like which radius I would prefer. I don't have the welding skill needed to feel comfortable welding my anvil so for the time being I took a belt sander to the top to get the rust off and am working on it. I have alot to learn before the small dings or cracked edges will cause my work to be any uglier than my hammer does :D

Congrats and have fun! Be safe, everything in a blacksmith shop is hot, heavy and/or dangerous. I don't go in without eyeglasses, hearing protection and my apron. I have a pair of kevlar gloves that have saved my hands numerous times.

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Good find, especially for the price. That was lucky. Just clean her up and use her that way for a while. I noticed your welder in the pick there too, I personally would not recommend using it. If one was to repair some of the dings at some point my suggestion would to be using a hard surfacing rod for that. It would be closer to the hardness of it's top plate.:D

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I spent way too much time dressing the face of my 99 pound Peter Wright. When is started I used a cup rock on a slow turning grinder and then finished it by sanding. What I realized later when I read up on anvils was that I took out the crown the was built into the face of many of the old anvils. Now I have a flat smooth face but I regret taking the crown away.:mad: The point on the end of the horn was broken off on purpose on many anvils. Put the point back on and accidently walk into it and you will find out why. :o

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