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The best anvil weight for a beginner

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Hi, I am starting out and I need advice on what size anvil I should get. I have a small 15 pounder and a railroad track that I am eventually going to make into an anvil once I get a torch. In the meantime what is the best size/weight for a beginner blacksmith?

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Steve, he might use a cutting torch to fashion a horn or other such features. Sure it is not required, but It would make for a nicer anvil. 

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I can guess too, that why I asked him. As for needing a  horn?  make a mandril, mass hammer the face, ot  turn it on end. a torch is not a smooth cut.

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I would say the heaviest anvil you can afford.  I would agree that you should just use the rail road track on end if at all.

 

Link removed at the request of Anvilfire.

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Most anything with a mass of 50 to 100 pounds or heavier can make a serviceable anvil. Heavier the better. If you get a great deal on a wrecking ball, counter weight for a crane, etc, grab it and drag it home.  It is the heavy mass that makes it an anvil.  Look for other items with positive and negative curves as they will become your swage blocks.  

 

Add your location to your profile and we can assist finding an anvil near your location. Look up your local blacksmithing group and attend the meetings. They have the knowledge you need on both metalworking and safety.

 

Look at the thread *What size anvil do you use the most?*

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I'd say that 75-125 pounds is a good range for a beginner---easy enough to transport but still enough weight to do "real" work on.  If you can find a large anvil at a real deal then jump on it!

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you.

 

You can get away with almost anything that outweighs your hammer by a goodly margin. I've done work at Ren fairs on a sledge hammer head, RR rail is good for an anvil without bothering with trying to make a horn on it.

 

Torching it will impart carbon in the heat effect zone and heat shock it HARD, you'll end up wearing out a couple few grinding disks cleaning it up. Standing it on end in a bucket of cement makes for an effective anvil you can move without trouble. The length needs to be right so you get the forging surface correct. With a little grinder work you can make a number of useful tools from the flange and web edges. The web is the thicker so it's dandy for a small radius fuller and one section of the flange can be sharpened for a hot cut while another can be sharpened as a butcher.

 

Striking horizontally you can use the areas where the web meets the rail or flange as swadges and straighten down the flange. Striking horizontally isn't as difficult as it may seem, like everything about the craft, practice is what puts the polish on the knowledge.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I wouldn't pass up any anvil you can afford.

My very first anvil was 26lbs. I wasn't doing major work on it but it was fine to begin with.

Anything in the 100-150lb region will serve you very well for as long as you need.

Andy

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As the others have stated any good piece of steel with some mass will suffice as an anvil. I started out on a piece of RR track about 3 feet long stood on its end with a stump under it to bring it to height. It worked well but I had to get creative using the track itself as a swage and what not, I outgrew it quickly.

 

Until the anvil finds a permanent home something from 100-150lb would be the best. Build a nice solid stand for it and it's capable of being hauled out to the forging area from where you store it. Built a solid wood stand for mine out of 2x12 planks and forged some hooks and staples to hang tongs and hammers from so I can tote it around on a dolly wherever I need to go with it.

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