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Railtrack anvil too soft?

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Hello all, first post here. I've been having problems with my small railtrack anvil, which I bought at a hardware outlet here in Kyoto, Japan. I guess I shouldn't expect much for the price I paid, but it seems to be WAY too soft - like, hammer blows easily leave gouges in it. What troubles me the most is that I've been getting such little rebound from it, that I can't get much of a rythmn and I'm doing way too much work lifting the hammer every time - and it's causing me some wrist pain.

Is this normal for a railtrack anvil? It's small enough I could probably heat treat it in my forge easily enough, but would this help? I feel like I was getting much more rebound out of it when I first started using it - did it somehow get annealed by working the hot metal over it? I'd really appreciate any advice!



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Most RR track is going to be a manganese steel, this steel is work hardening. The more you strike it the harder it should get. Pick out a section and get a small hammer with a flat face and pein that section. You don't have to hit it hard, let the hammer do the work. You should notice that the hammer will start rebounding a little more as you do it. If that doesn't work then a hard facing rod is what you'll have to do, in that case find another anvil because hardfacing can get expensive. I'm guessing that track hasn't been used? Normally a used section will be hard from the train running on it.

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