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Hey guys,

I am completely new to black smithing and want to have a go, however before I begin I need some kind of anvil. I've had a look around but no one in my area is selling any so I thought I might try making my own. A friend from work mentioned that you can start by using an off cut section of I-beam as a cheap first anvil. I managed to pick up a section of I-beam 10mm thick 300mm wide and 500mm long and an even wider section of U-beam I was thinking I could weld on top.

I was thinking of welding some SHS to support the edges of the I-beam or even some plate steel between the two sections to add weight and stop it from deforming.
I'm just wondering if anyone has had any success using I-beam themselves or could give some advice on building mine.

If the I-beam idea is no good I also have an old steel weight, that's 150mm wide 200mm long and 100mm deep that I could use however its pretty scratched and would probably need to be ground smooth first..

I know this isn't as good as a proper anvil and I'm keeping my eyes open hoping to find one but hopefully this will do for the basic learning stage.
Any advice is welcome

Thanks
Leon

post-41267-0-78933300-1369039295_thumb.j

post-41267-0-29045800-1369039343_thumb.j

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The I-beam will work,but making it is time you could be forging.It will ring like crazy too.I would use the weight and keep looking for an old anvil.Just my .02 cents. 

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stand that weight on end and just use it.. you will learn loads and can make most things on it the I-beam will only give you bleeding ears and less work done. 

you dont need a large surface as long as it is a bit larger den the face of your hammer then its enough what matters it the mass and that it doesn't move around 

 

get hammering and play safe good luck

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Old N Rusty, How much you need for your Anvil? I think that the airlines would have a fit if you tried to check a 100, small and steel package. Leon, I use rail road track and that works well. I would dress the weight on a narrow end and use it. It should work for now. Also get a hardwood tree stump. You can use that for spoons, bowls and pans.

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Welcome aboard Leon, glad to have you. Check out the down under section, lots of you here on IFI. maybe someone with an anvil. Not to worry, they'll see you're post and say hi.

 

Use the weight, the beam member has too much flex to work well. You really only need to clean up one side and I'd radius an edge.

 

It'll work just fine while you're looking for a better anvil.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the advice guys,

 

looks like ill be starting with the weight and a tree stump and see how I go from there.

 

Frosty, you mentioned a "down under" secion in your post, were do i go to find that?

 

Thanks again

 

Leon

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Thanks for the advice guys,

 

looks like ill be starting with the weight and a tree stump and see how I go from there.

 

Frosty, you mentioned a "down under" secion in your post, were do i go to find that?

 

Thanks again

 

Leon

 

Darn! I keep hearing folk from your side of the planet referring to a down under kid of section but now I look I can't find the darned thing, even looked for upside down test. <sigh> Best I found was a smithing organization, they can put you in contact with whoever's there. http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/80-peel-river-artist-blacksmiths-of-australia/

 

It's on the IFI homepage at the bottom with all the other regional organizations.

 

Frosty The Lucky

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AH HAH! I knew it was there, not what it was called but knew it was there! Thank you sir.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Cheers indeed mate.

 

Some folk call black smithing an addiction but don't worry, it's too late for you already.  ;)  Enjoy the journey.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Have to agree with Frosty, go with the weight, I'd go withe the end opposite the handle, and bed the handle in my stump. Latter you might consider profiling the other faces to make fullers and such.
The big Chanel and I beam look like forge pans to me ;-)

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What you are looking for is the amount of steel directly under the face of the hammer and all the way down to the stump.  An I beam is 90% air and so doesn't work well as an anvil at all

 

However if you can find a broken forklift tine you can have an anvil that's solid steel all the way down.

 

Don't knock old weights---Anstee did his justly famous experiments on pattern welding of early medieval swords using a cheese weight for his anvil!

 

Also I've used the broken knuckle of a rail road car coupler as a nice 80# anvil.

 

A friend uses a cut off section from a large machine shaft---he chiseled his stump so it will hold it flat or up on edge so he can use it for drawing

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I would suggest that anyone with 54 min that they can spare watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXbLyVpWsVM. This guy makes a replica of a famous viking sword and unless I missed something all they used was a stump anvil. From what I saw it was a 4"x4" or 6"x6"  block with a spike embedded in a stump. There is another show I saw where they showed a historical viking village in Iceland or Greenland where the village smith used an "anvil stone". I think the moral of the story is what Thomas said, get some weight and mass under your work and go!

 

The saga says that Skallagrímur couldn't find an anvil stone to suit him, so he rowed out into Borgarfjörður one evening in his boat. He dove to the bottom and brought up a suitable boulder for his anvil stone.

The anvil stone, with its hammer marks, still stands at Rauðanes (left), but it has been moved away from the shore. Ruins (right), which are the probable site of Skallagrím's smithy, are located closer to the shore.

http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/bog_iron.htm

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Here's the Ibeam anvil i was gifted, before cleaning it up. It is 39"x6" and 15" high. And welded on a 13"x15" base.post-24378-0-95208100-1369314024_thumb.jpost-24378-0-79512900-1369314079_thumb.j

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It looks like an anvil Steph. but it's not going to work for anything but really light work. the only depth of rebound will be directly over the web, out on the flanges it's not going to have much resistance to the hammer. Look around for a piece of RR rail it'll be far superior and if you stand it on end it'll suffice for all but the largest work.

 

"I" beam and wide flange are often torched and ground into anvil shapes but don't perform worth diddly, even for malleable metals like copper. Standing on end with a reasonably thick plate welded on top is about where these structural shapes max out on their anvilness.

 

Keep looking Darlin, the dark side is calling. <grin>

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty for that information about the structure and strength.

It works great for some of the copper work. I left the surface as is, which has provided some cool textured patterns. I also have 2 "real" anvils for The Dark Side" :) But I'm always "looking", in support of my tool buying addiction!!!!

:) Steph

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That covers that. Good texture is good and it's plenty heavy for light non-ferrous. Do any fold forming? It'd be just the ticket for fold forming.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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