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Countryboy39067

Homemade anvil question

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I recently acquired a piece of conveyor shaft approx. 30 inches long with a diameter of about 3 inches. I was wondering if welding a piece of grader blade cut to fit the end and sunk into a bucket of concrete would suffice as a portable anvil?

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It might work a little, every part outside the 3" would be "dead" and any part inside the weld would also be "dead". You might be better off to use the 3" shaft as the face, it would be livelier but really small.

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Welding the grader blade to a shaft isn't going to do much, you'd only be able to let about 1/2" overhang and still have a solid face. Inside the weld area will have some rebound but probably not as much as the shaft. Grader blade is some serious stuff to try working, forget grinding at less than red heat and don't try quenching it. Vasco wear is the only brand name I'm familiar with, it has a significant % of tungsten carbide grains in the mix and the steel is somewhere between 150-200 points of carbon. There's more to the alloy but it's propriatary so I don't know what's there. However I can tell you from personal experience that a 72,000 Champion grader rolling at max speed around 27mph. will come to a dead stop if you catch an edge on something solid enough, say a manhole ring. These incidents sometimes tear the circle off the grader, WILL throw the operator through the windshield if you're not belted in, bend the moldboard and otherwise do some serious damage to the grader and whatever caught it. Usually the edge is unmarked, Vasco Wear is tough stuff.

Anyway, I don't know of many guys who've made anything actually useful from grader edges outside shears, skid plates (shoes) and such.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Try this. Take a piece of 2x4 lumber (just scrap) and saw it about 3 feet long, squared on both ends. Place it on concrete and hold with opposite hand. Hammer on it with remaining hand and any hammer available. Wood will have grain and you will get an idea of the solid factor involved. Now, screw a piece of other lumber crosswise on top of this piece. Hammer on it. In just experimenting with this lumber you may get an idea of how steel will react without having to sacrifice any steel stock. As noted above, the solid shaft of steel will give you a fairly good surface to hammer on with HOT steel.

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Yes I understand the principle of your statement. I'm thinking of heating up the end of the shaft just to see if it will harden. Tempering it correctly should give me a longer lasting tool, right?

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Do a spark test first which should tell you if heating and quenching will make it harder or softer! Very mild steels get softer when heated and quenched...

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When you look at anvils, for anything but straightening only the area your hammer face hits is used for forging. If it's bigger than your hammer face, it will work stood on end if it has some rebound.

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When you look at anvils, for anything but straightening only the area your hammer face hits is used for forging. If it's bigger than your hammer face, it will work stood on end if it has some rebound.

That's exactly how I plan to use it. I'll post results when I have time to experiment.

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I've been giving homemade anvils a lot of thought lately and after the video posted by Glenn in "What do you need to get started in Blacksmithing?" it got me to thinking what makes an anvil a good one or a awful one? assuming mass placement and the quality of the face (hard, soft, rough, or smooth) are the key factors I've got a 5"x5"x1' piece of square stock (very heavy duty stuff used to make drive shafts for larger electric motors) sinking it vertically into a stump about 6" hardening the end (face to be) i figure it would make a fine anvil even if its basic can you think of any reason this wouldn't work? or how to make this better? I've got very little experience with this. so this is mostly based off logic (which can be quite faulty at times) so any tips or tricks or general knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

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Would be a great anvil, so do it!

Now if you have access to the tools you could mill the sides and have a swage block out of it as well...

5x5x12 should be about 85 pounds a good weight for a starter anvil and with it all being "sweet spot" it will act like a larger one.

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That's great to hear! Found out its only mild steel though so I'll need to figure out how to go about getting the proper hardness on the face

I was weighing my options heat treating it my self I don't think I'll be able to heat the whole exposed 6 inchest of the block would the first 2 or 3 inches suffice?

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Early anvils were low carbon wrought iron and they forged low carbon wrought iron on them---but you forge it HOT and SOFT and so the anvil doesn't suffer from it.

Start forging---if your anvil face gets messy, grind it clean and keep forging repeat as needed.

One of the favorite hammers in my shop is a dead soft, (went through an european factory fire in WWII), dressed as needed it's been used on mild - 5160 and is still going strong!

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Mild or tool, perfect size for a Brian Brazeal style striking anvil. The key to this anvil is very secure footing. The anvil is relatively light but well anchored to the ground so you don't loose effort to bouncing.




Phil

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I'll hopefully be picking up the steel tomorrow then I'll have to find the proper stump maybe try to get some pictures up in the process (if there is intrest)

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