Sign in to follow this  
stromam

My first anvil's stump build

Recommended Posts

Here is the stump build for the anvil I made in another thread:

 

http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/31084-my-first-anvil-build-looking-for-advice/

 

It's not quite done, but I was able to get most of it done in a couple weeknights with the help of some awesome, old chainsaws i inherited from my Grandfather.  Here is approximately what it will look like.  On the near side I carved a foot hole so I can stand really close and try to save my already bad back.

gallery_29282_11_156257.jpg

gallery_29282_11_59952.jpg

 

And the far side was left uncut so I can drill some holes for tool holders.

gallery_29282_11_514006.jpg

 

These are the two saws I used and the only two power tools used to make the stump.  The big boy is a late 1950s McCulloch 35A, which needed a minor rebuild and was used to chop the three sides.  The smaller one is a McCulloch Mini Mac and I used that for all the detail work.

gallery_29282_11_1045905.jpg

 

Here is a closeup of my foot hole design, it also shows how I carved three "legs" into the base.  With those legs, the stump sits perfectly flat on the ground, no rocking whatsoever.  Its pretty stout.  Sweet litterbox in the background, huh?

gallery_29282_11_271208.jpg

 

I have seen a few posts of people using routers mounted on sleighs to flatten their anvil stumps, I went with the less sophisticated route, it also only took about 30 minutes start to finish and it is almost perfectly flat.  Here is basically how I did it:

 

First cut the base to a tripod so it sits flat on the ground, make sure it is where you want it because after you level the face, any adjustments to the feet will throw off the level.  Next get a straight edge or level and lay it across the face at various places/angles.  In each placement mark the pivot point of the straight edge.  That is the high spot.  I just put a squiggle with a sharpie to mark all the high spots.  Knock down all the high spots until the face is flat.  Then proceed to leveling (you can do this the same time as the flattening step).  I lay the chainsaw down as flat as I can and slide it across the face as depicted below, using very quick passes, maybe 2-3 seconds to skim across the whole thing.  This brings down one side or the other, but keeps the whole thing flat.  It takes a lot of passes, but at 3 seconds a piece you can do 20 passes in a minute (which is enough to take off probably 1/4-1/2 inch across the whole face).

gallery_29282_11_32817.jpg

 

Repeat the whole process until you get it as flat and as level as you want.  No building frames, sleds, etc.  Just start up the chainsaw and have a straight edge and sharpie on hand.  I'll post some more pictures as I finish the last details.  The key to working with a chainsaw for shaping, which I'm sure everyone would learn very quickly is never to stop moving the chainsaw, if you do it bites in and cuts a deep slot.  Don't even use the weight of the chainsaw, maybe only 1/4-1/2 the weight, it is amazing how quickly it will skim the surface down if you aren't careful.

 

One question, anyone have recommendations for preserving the wood?  It is still pretty wet and I don't want to let it crack too badly.  I was thinking about just coating the whole thing with boiled linseed oil or a nice wood stain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would use cooking oil. it pentetrates better and replaces the sap/moisture. it will take several coats . the end grain will really soak it up.

IMHE linseed oil stays basically on the outside. cooking oil will penetrate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My anvil ended up about 1-1/2 inch short of reaching my knuckles.  I tried it out a bit last night and had a hard time holding my stock level with the face without bending over.  I have basically 4 options at this point.

 

1.  I can leave it and learn to use it.

2.  I can try to find another stump (maybe bigger diameter too) which would also give me the opportunity to correct some of the mistakes I made on this one.

3.  I can make a spacer between the anvil and the stump either out of another stump or 2x4s or a piece of steel or something, then silicone it in place.

4.  I can make a platform out of 2x4s to set the anvil/stump on top of.  That would allow me to either use it at knuckle height, a couple inches lower for heavy hitting, or I could raise the platform and use it a couple inches higher for more detailed work.

 

Thoughts/recommendations?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just cut a 2x4 into pieces and lay them flat on the stump and parallel to one another. Once you have them cut screw them to the stump.

What is great is that the 2x4's are really 1 1/2''x 3 /12'' or something similar, perfect for you.

Buy one 2x4 (about $2 where I live) and you have your solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stump has three legs touching the ground so take three small sections of 2x4 and screw them into the bottom of the feet.  This will raise your anvil without any real trouble, but it also gives you that ever-so-nice sacrificial bit that's going to rot out the soonest because it's in contact with the ground.  Or, you could use a pressure-treated 2x4 lumber so that the shoes last a good long time.  

 

You definitely don't want to be leaning over as your working.  As a fellow member of the bad back club, I can testify as to just how unpleasant the experience quickly becomes!  Putting 2x4 risers under the stump will also allow you to get your feet under it regardless of where you're positioned at the anvil.

 

As for coating the stump, I prefer to used boiled linseed oil that has been thinned down with acetone or mineral spirits.  As has been mentioned earlier, uncut BLO is too thick to get into the pores of the wood and just sits on top.  But if you thin it down 3:1 or 4:1, it's as runny as water and can get into the wood.  Acetone evaporates a lot faster than mineral spirits.

 

My favorite technique for a large chunk of wood like that is to set it into one of those cheap tin dishes they use at potluck dinners (formed tinfoil is all they are).  Set the wood in that, raised a bit off the floor, then add a bunch of BLO.  Then add a bunch of thinner.

 

The end grain of the stump really sucks up the moisture if it's dry, but having that dish under it allows you to paint the BLO over the entire stump without messing up the floor.  Anything that runs down just gets caught in the reservoir to be used again.

 

Great looking anvil and stump.  You've certainly proven yourself to be a handy fellow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the wood cracking- in whole log form there are 2 kinds of wood- wood that is cracked and split, or wood that is gonna crack and split. No 2 ways about it. Linseed oil won't stop it, nor will tung oil, Danish oil or used motor oil drained from your truck at the winter solstice. It's gonna crack and split.

 

That said, you can wrap it with a steel strap, bolted together with some space so you can tighten the strap as the log shrinks. The advantage to the strap is that you can weld on some pieces of box tube to hold your anvil tools.

 

I just let the crack and split happen- doesn't affect the stability of the stump.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nevermind, answered my own question... Missed that link in the first post on my first pass through the thread.

 

Spruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the wood cracking- in whole log form there are 2 kinds of wood- wood that is cracked and split, or wood that is gonna crack and split. No 2 ways about it. Linseed oil won't stop it, nor will tung oil, Danish oil or used motor oil drained from your truck at the winter solstice. It's gonna crack and split.

 

That said, you can wrap it with a steel strap, bolted together with some space so you can tighten the strap as the log shrinks. The advantage to the strap is that you can weld on some pieces of box tube to hold your anvil tools.

 

I just let the crack and split happen- doesn't affect the stability of the stump.

 

Steve

Here is my take on the stump pictured and the general use of a wood stump. Just my .02 mind you.......

 

The cut-out for the foot is the first I have seen and don't use that. I like a really big stump. Like three times the size of the anvil. It is heavier and I have room to set tools about. I need to act fast as the steel cools. I have no problem working at any of my anvils with a really big stump sticking out from all directions. I don't think I'd want to stand directly over top my anvil, especially when I swing a hammer.

 

The use of iron is a must. I'm not talking about the pretty painted decorative iron straps with all the home made nails. I'm talking about real steel bands that BOLT together so you can tighten them up really tight and have room to adjust.

 

Back in the day they used to use American Elm. That stuff splits very very little. I had one. No bands needed. Now it's fire wood as bugs claimed it. I was able to get another, but used to use oak on the other two and they split. Thus the bands. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on the stump pictured and the general use of a wood stump. Just my .02 mind you.......

 

The cut-out for the foot is the first I have seen and don't use that. I like a really big stump. Like three times the size of the anvil. It is heavier and I have room to set tools about. I need to act fast as the steel cools. I have no problem working at any of my anvils with a really big stump sticking out from all directions. I don't think I'd want to stand directly over top my anvil, especially when I swing a hammer.

 

The use of iron is a must. I'm not talking about the pretty painted decorative iron straps with all the home made nails. I'm talking about real steel bands that BOLT together so you can tighten them up really tight and have room to adjust.

 

Back in the day they used to use American Elm. That stuff splits very very little. I had one. No bands needed. Now it's fire wood as bugs claimed it. I was able to get another, but used to use oak on the other two and they split. Thus the bands. 

 

I am wondering what other people have to say about the undersize/ridiculously oversize anvil stand?  I've heard some people say they like to work VERY close to their anvils (maybe it depends on if you are doing heavy striking or delicate work). 

 

What do you mean by "the used of iron is a must".  Do you mean in mounting the anvil to the stand or in keeping the stand from splitting.  How would you tighten straps further after bolting them down the first time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is your world man, if it doesn't jive with your stature; modify it to do so or make another one... Through example, you're more than capable. 

 

I would glue and nail a 1- 1/2" block of oak the size of the anvil base to bring up the height, slather it in silicon, and place the anvil on top of it... Then build up the sides to box it in... either with steel angle for tooling or more wood. Solves two issues, height and ring... and it doesn't have to look ugly... Your talented enough to throw it out there as "planned"... I won't tell anyone... promise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I meant by the comment "bands are a must" is that in my opinion, wood splits apart as it drys out. The bands clamp it tight/solid. THe bands that simply hold the stump together, not any sort of banding to secure the anvil to said tree.

 

You take steel flat stock......(I used 1/8 x 2") weld a flange onto the ends where it over laps, say two/ three inches overlap, and then slip a bolt through. You'd really want a threaded bolt as opposed to one w/a long shoulder/non threaded shank. The bolt pulls the two ends (welded on flanges) together. Tighten it so it be tight. Obviously, you CANNOT weld the two flanges on so they touch when you begin to tighten up the band. That  would not work out as the bolt would sandwich the two flanges and the band could still be loose around the stump.

 

I have never encountered a situation where I can't stand close enough to the anvil to perform delicate operations with a 12oz ball pien. I simply don't need to stand directly ontop of the anvils face.

 

I have about 4" of "stick-out" at the ends of the anvil's base and 6/12" on the sides. (anvil is longer than it is wide, obviously.)

 

Yes, a secure anvil will not ring. But it has to be tight. Not a couple of nails keeping it from sliding off  Or angle iron or wood framing. It has to be secure to the stump. Tight. I use anvil clamps that employ long lag screws. They draw the anvil base tight to the top of the stump. No ring. None. Very quiet. they sing like an opera star when  setting on top of a work bench though I can't tolerate that..

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Sign in to follow this