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I Forge Iron

neophyte metal banger from felton


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good morning!  my name is bill, and i hail from the great state of california.


i was turned onto these pages by my friend michael (aka michael here on ifo).  he and i started banging hot metal the same day back in '04 or so, but he was bit deeper than i, and now has a fully-running forge setup in his backyard.  i have a fisher sawyer's anvil in my shop :)


long story short, michael is helping me forge some pintle strap hinges for the new garden gate i'm building.  he posted them in the blacksmithing general discussion under the thread "big hinges".  needless to say, there's still a lof of work to do on them, and i look forward to having the time to get them finished.


what the visit to michael's forge did, you see, was rekindle my desire to beat hot iron.  to that end, i need some equipment, and so i started looking for an anvil.  my little 65lb fisher would have sufficed, but i decided to go for something larger and more anvil-shaped.  craigslist became my boon companion, and for a couple of weeks we travelled fruitlessly around the electronic bay area and beyond in search of something suitable.  michael was a prime enabler, as well.


last week i found an ad for this:




the seller and i talked, and i decided to try to buy it.  drove an hour to his place at lunchtime, and checked it out.  i was a bit scared because of the lack of ring (in my excitement i neglected to bring my ball pein, my 1" bearing, and my moving dolly!!!) when i hit it with a plain hammer, but the bounce was decent.  i decided the lack of ring was because the anvil was embedded in the concrete, and pulled the trigger.  we got it in the truck, and i strapped it in for all it was worth:




i didn't have a chance to do anything to it until saturday, when i knocked the anvil off the cement base, salvaging the iron rods.  it was too heavy for me to move around as i might need to until i get my forge set up, and too big to easily introduce to the wife.  midday sunday i hit it with a wire brush, then hosed it off, and found this:




thus do i now have a soderfors 125 lb anvil in my garage!  there are some chips out of the table edges:






but all in all i feel happy to have paid just a scoche more than $1.50/lb. for the dingus. B)  it even came with a bottom fuller (i think that's what it's called, michael told me it was a fuller, not a hardy):




that's my story, at least for now.  craigslist and i are currently spending time searching for a coal forge in relatively nearby locales, and hopefully soon this will be mounted on a stump and being used for its intended purpose...maybe even the finishing touches on the big hinges!


thanks for listening...



felton, ca


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Welcome aboard Bill, glad to have you. Please put your general location in your header so we won't have to keep asking.


That's a genuine super score! Wait till you get it on a wood block and give it a tap, it'll ring your chimes. I have a 125lb. Sodorfors and it'll make your ears ring through plugs AND muffs. I morticed mine into a spruce block and that made it bearable but it's still really loud.


Take chalk or baby powder to the other side and see what's there. Mine has the year of manufacture and model name. Mine is a Sorceress #5 made in 1933. It's in better shape than yours but you have a gem. Mine moves iron faster and easier than my 200lb Trenton.


Yeah, yeah, I get a little excited seeing one of these beauties brought back to life.


Frosty The Lucky.

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cheers, frosty.  thanks.  i fixed my location.


i plan to mount it on a plum stump, or an alder stump, or maybe a big piece of douglas fir.  is there anything in particular i should be thinking of when choosing the wood?  also, how much bigger than the feet should the stump be?


i'll check the other side, but i didn't see any evidence at all of other markings.


i'd seen your posts and re-read them while i was getting my head straight about whether i wanted this one...thanks!




felton, ca

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The main concern for a stand in my book is some form of sound damping, above and beyond a magnet or chain wrapped around the waist. I morticed mine into a green block and set in some clay for additional damping. It's far better than chaining or spiking it ON a block. When I had it mounted on a block it'd make people wince 30' away and I was hitting the work, not the anvil. It has a brutally loud and piercing ring.


My next stand will be steel, the different resonant frequency will damp it much better than what I have now. A steel stand made my Trenton a civilized anvil, even working on the tail or horn. There' are pics of both in the anvil section somewhere. If it's standing empty the steel stand will ring loud and unpleasantly as will the anvil but put them together and the anvil's ring imparts a ring to the stand but they're different fequencies so they buzz at the interface and that's the end of it.


Frosty The Lucky.

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