Jump to content
I Forge Iron

another anvil, what is it?

Recommended Posts

Well since I got my first anvil I seem to always be on the look out for them now. Much to the wifes dismay I saw this one and picked it up. I am not sure what it is though. Its got no markings what so ever. Its a little beat up but the top is flat (flatter then it looks in the pics) but the edges need dressing.

Its got the pritchel and hardy holes, plus its got a hole in the bottom, and two on front and aft that go about 2" or so deep. I have no idea but then my experience goes off the one anvil I have so not much.

Its about the same size as my 200lb sodofers. Thanks for any help guys.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Mac. Looking online it looks like Peter Wrights are wrought iron? I assume I should dress up the edges to keep them from chipping off. Are these still a good anvil if they dont have a steel face to them?

Curious as I wont have a chance to use it for a little bit, really liking my other one but its a steel anvil so different critter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A century ago, all wrought iron anvils came from the factory with a tool steel face originally, as did all (real, quality) cast iron anvils. Cleaning it up with a wire wheel will generally show the line between the face and body.

Cracks, chips and missing sections from that tool steel face can be repaired with modern arc welding by a skilled and knowledgeable weldor. Or totally ruined by a well meaning attempt.

Only the no-name knock-offs were and still are solid cast iron, the infamous, totally unusable ASO. (Anvil Shaped Object) Well, that's not fair, they are fit for doorstops and lawn ornaments, if a bit ugly and lacking in refinement.

Modern solid cast steel anvils run the range from adequate to awesome, pretty much based on price and pattern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second the Peter Wright vote as it looks like both of mine. Looks like the cutting deck has copped a beating but the tool steel face looks to be in fairly good nick. I got my second one sandblasted as it was even rustier than yours, it came up looking good and it really shows the difference between the face and the body. Yours probably only needs a workover with a wire buff. I wouldn't bother dressing any edges until you've used it for a while as those rounded edges can be handy for all sorts of shapes.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this surfing about and thought it interesting. I reckon it's safe to say PW's are the most prolific wrought iron anvils.....

Peter wright anvils were made from about 1830 till at least around WWII,
these Anvils, at least the older ones were made with steel faces forge
welded on wrought iron bodies, never cast iron,[about the only quality Anvil
that has a cast iron body is the Fisher].Wright actually marked most of
their anvils "Solid Wrought" so that you wouldn't think they were made out
of Cast iron I guess. Peter Wrights are very popular anvils today and sell
for a premium, must have been popular when made too judging from how many
old ones I see, with out the doubt the most common English anvil.I used to
work on a Peter wright and personally I thought it was very noisy and I
think their faces are kind of soft, many that you see have a sway back to
them.I much prefer my old Fisher which sounds like a bag of wet cement and
has a hard face.Also the faces on the older PW's are made out of several
pieces instead of just one plate like most anvils and I have seen them with
one piece of the table plate busted off.Toward the end of their
production,[1930's] they apparently made the anvils out of solid steel,
these were not marked "Solid Wrought" apparently.
Dating PW's involves a little guess work, earliest pre 1850 ones have a
thick blocky look about them, between 1852-60 they are marked with the word
"Patent",this was when they started the very distinctive "Lip" that runs
across the top of the feet. I think PW was the only anvil like this and you
can spot one from 20 feet away when you know to look for it. Between
1860-1885 [and later] they were marked solid wrought, between 1885-1910 they
finally got a one piece table plate, after 1910 they are marked
England.Probably most that you come across were made between 1880 and 1910
or so.....Most of this and more info can be found in the book Anvils in

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I got my peter Wright it was a bit rusty like yours. The edges were good. No chips Like yours. After a good wire brushing which allowed a close look at the anvil face. It was pitted as yours will likely be. After considering cleaning the face up with abrasives I decided to use it as it was with the pits and see how my forgings looked. They looked OK so I just kept using it as it was. Although the pits have never completely disappeared they have worked out and down so that there is no visible effect on the forging and the anvil face feels smooth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insite guys. Its like a new learning experience both times Ive found anvils. Interesting stuff as I was wondering what date it was made which would be hard to guess but assume its between 1860 and 1910 because of the lip and I am pretty sure the body is wrought and it has a top plate. So the only way to narrow it down more is to find out if it has multiple plates or a single plate on top. Interesting stuff, Ive gotta pick that book up and have a read thru it.

Knots the top is not to bad but there is some pitting, I will have to see how it looks and performs after I finish cleaning it up.

Thanks again everyone.

Oh and wanted to add I did make out some of the numbers on the side where the weight was marked. The hundreds is 1 and the singles is 11 but the middle one is indiscernible. Ill have to get it weighed to figure out how much it actually weighs. I am guessing 170 to 200 just from feel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

Sorry about reviving an old thread but figured it wouldnt warrant starting a new one. So I got this guy mounted on silicon on a green pine stump. Wrapped a chain around it and got a little forging in today. 


First thing I noticed was it is very quiet. Decent rebound, not as good as my sodofors but its much quieter which is why I decided to try using it since I live in a neighborhood. The face is pretty soft compared to the sodofors though. I missed a hammer stroke (its been a while since I had a chance to forge anything) and it left a little dent so I made sure not to do that any more. Probably good I started out first on the sodofors because I was really suprised at how soft the top was in comparison. 


Overall not too bad, works pretty good and is quiet but gonna have to be careful with my hammer strokes. Probably a good thing to make myself more concouse of my hammering.  

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...