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Hi guys, I've got one of these:

 

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and its a 70 pounder. Rings like there's no tomorrow, and I think its mostly the heel's fault cause its so thin. Severely tempted to saw the heel off, but thats probably just the frustration talking.

 

Truth be told, I bought this anvil a year ago when I had no idea what to look for. The placement of the hardie hole infuriates me as well. Overall I'm not too happy with it, I'd gladly pick up a used 150 lb ish peter wright or other old anvil. Trouble is its hard to find used ones in or near Toronto. Found one on the local craigslist but the guy wanted 600 bucks for it (old 140 lb peter wright, face not in perfect shape), so I think I'll pass. I realize that this thread is mostly just me complaining rather than asking intelligent questions, so i apologize, but any suggestions on where to look locally for a used anvil in the 2.50 per pound range would be appreciated. Advice on how to quiet this darn thing down would be equally appreciated

 

Image from NC tool company website.

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Guest Moderator52

Daniel's advice is good advice. I have chain wrapped around mine and two magnets. If the only problem is the loud ringing then your problems are small. Ear plugs are also an option. 

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That is dangerously close to qualifying as an ASO. Is a poor excuse for a horseshoers anvil which became popular a few years back for several reasons.

1) It's light weight makes it popular among girls. They're the fastest growing segment of new horseshoers entering the trade.

2) It's 70# weight enabled it to be shipped by UPS instead of commercial truck

3) One of thexxxxxxx horseshoeing schools had a deal with the manufacturer of that "thing" that for price of tuition every graduate would get one of those. As a result they were mass produced and low priced.

 

For it to really work right for you you need to by it's clamp on locking stand. That will make it almost usable. xxx that it is.

If you're planning on doing any modifications to it please do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and get rid of those turning cams. They're sacreligious and hurt most of our eyes.

George

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It is on the light side of weight for blacksmithing anvils, but keep it, be happy you have an anvil, and do work with it.  Don't cut anything off as you may one day find a need for those turning cams.  Keep looking for a bigger anvil, but don't be ashamed because you have a light weight.  Show people what you can do with any anvil.   It's not the anvil, it's the person using the anvil that is critical.  I've always been impressed by some of the master blacksmiths how few tools they had and what they could do with them.  Now, start hammering on that anvil.  

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I started out with a piece of RR track. then a RR coupler knuckle. After about a year I got my first anvil. Use what you have and be happy till something better comes along. 

It is better than a rock.

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Suggestion one: try the chain and magnets
Suggestion two: bolt that thing down to whatever base you have, and bolt it down good. If someone nukes our anvil, make sure it ain't coming off the stand! Then bolt or stake your stand to the ground. 1/2-inch rebar stakes, our feet long, work well. A firm mount will reduce vibration. A thin rubber pad between your anvil and stand wouldn't hurt. Tire tube works well. Do that, and then just keep a constant eye out of local deals. Put wanted adds out everywhere. Let your barber know you want an anvil. You get the idea!

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MOST of the news anvils in the showroom at our local dealer have turning cams..........

 

Clamping that thing tight to the tree block works well to help with the ring. I have another one that I use a chain on the waiste and another one I have a tuning fork in the round hole.

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You can also fasten a length of chain to a heavy weight and loop chain over horn or heel ,,or maybe both...a coffee can full of cement with a loop for chain maybe?

As for the comments above on the anvil itself: I could shoe for a long time with that anvil. hot shoes are not hard to shape and neither is bar stock to make shoes. Cold keg shoers would not be happy with this.

I wouild for sure tie it down to a stand, and the one that they sell with and for it folds up to fit in truck easy and works. It will not replace a stump or well made stand.

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Hey guys. thanks for the suggestions and the encouragement. TBH I don't actually even know what the turning cams are for! I've never shoed a horse and probably never will, but yeah it really does seem like a shoeing anvil. I'll try bedding it with something absorbant and then chaining it down to the wood below. After a bit of research and the suggestions here it looks like that's the way to go. I'll still be on the market for a better one though. 

 

The anvil does work. It's just not good. but oh well. 

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The ring of the anvil is a direct result of the horn and heel vibrating.  They're thin so they shake at a different rate and this can be quickly and easily nullified by placing a light magnet for and aft.  If the magnet is in the way of a needed movement, take it off for a second.  

 

Wrapping a chain around the waist doesn't accomplish much.  It's meant to act like a shock-absorber, soaking up the vibrations, but it doesn't.  

 

What really really really works is to bed the anvil in silicone caulk.  I don't have the science down pat, but if you lay down a bed of silicone before you set the anvil on the stump, the joint formed does an awesome job of taking the ring out of an anvil!

 

Here's a video I shot before I caulked my anvil.  The chained didn't do diddly, but the magnets kill the ring.  As quiet as it is, it's even more so since I put the silicone between the two.  No magnets.  No chains.  No bolts/brackets holding it down.  And no ring.  Amazing thing.

 

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i115/VaughnT/Smithing/MVI_0344.mp4

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I am an apprenticed blacksmith and I have worked on many different anvils. From big 400 pound anvils in proffesional shops to small, cheap 20 pound cast anvils at home. For three months i worked in an open air museum as an iron age smith. The face of the anvil was 3x3 inches, the weight maybe 10 pounds. Every day I would forge 25-30 knives. I guess it is down to practice, but of course a brigger anvil is a bit easier and more pleasant to use.

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Howdy, a little bit about how to use the diferant parts.
Turning cams are just turning forks turned sideways. They are designed to bend 3/4" flat stock. But you can work smaller and larger stock if it will fit between the cams.
The heel hardy hole is actually another bending point, use the one in the horn, it's over the feet and closer to the waist.
Learn to work over the waist, to maximize the use of mass, this is a specialized anvil for turning shoes, so it has most of the mass and working surfaces in the heel and horn. When you start turning rings and scrolls it will become more usefull.
As to ring, as already said, bolt it to a stump and bed it in silicon.
I use a similar one in my truck, but I mostly hot shoe, so I don't carry heavy hammers. I have a larger shoeing anvil in the shop, and as its still prodomanantly heel and horn, it's great for turning, but you have to keep over the waist for heavy forging.
Youl find uses for the other parts, like the clip horns , it's better than a rock, and even when you get a more substantial anvil, will still prove usefull.
One point to remember on farrier anvils, don't exceed the 1/20 hammer/anvil weight ratio. With the thin waist your only working with about half as much anvil, so it will bounce and vibrate if you take a heavy hammer to her, especially on the horn or heal. So, 3 1/2 # would be a heavy hammer for this anvil.

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I have that same anvil - it was available and I could afford it. There's nothing to be ashamed of - it's made of good steel.  It may never become a collector's item but I think it's a reasonable choice especially for someone starting out. It seems unreasonable to dislike a product that pairs its products with a school.  Lots of manufacturers have a "starter kit".  Culinary schools often get a visit from cutlery dealers offering packages for students.

 

 

I've found that putting a U shaped bolt in the pritchel hole quiets it immensely.  It's not ideal but it's not difficult either.  Proper mounting makes a big difference, I've been around 100 pounders that were raising a racket too.

 

The hardie location in the horn is weird compared to the rest of the anvils I see but it's never really been a problem for me either.  I've used the turning cams many times and the little shelf off the horn can be used like the sideways beak on a Hofi style anvil.  The bending hole at the heel is useful in it's own right.  I've used it to drift tomahawks and hammer heads.

 

I've had opportunities to try heavier old Peter wrights and they're certainly nice.  I'm still learning - I doubt I'll out grow my anvil any time soon.  That said, if I had a fortune on hand, I'd probably upgrade.

 

One thing I've never understood about anvils is why it's so rare for them to have a provision to bolt them down.  

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Chaining is worth a try.  My 105# HB rang like a bell until I wrapped about 10 ft of lightweight chain around the waist. Cut the ring down by about half.  Horn and heel were still pretty loud, so they got magnets, which made them almost bearable without earplugs. 

 

Next is going to be caulk bedding and trying a different anchoring system and/or stand.  I really wouldn't mind it being quieter.

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It's a lot better than a rock and that's the truth. Don't complain when you have an anvil, many don't have it as good as you in the third world and turn out many useful products. Light off the forge, get your iron hot and make something, you'll feel better about the anvil in a week or two of steady forging.

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"I've found that putting a U shaped bolt in the pritchel hole quiets it immensely. "

 

Placing something in the pritchel is called a "mute".  Very old technique to quiet the anvil, and if you make a serious curly que, the mute absorbs the vibrations.  It'll quiet an anvil very well.

 

Chains around the waist simple don't work.  10'?  Really?  What if you need to bend a leg that extends down past where the chain is?  Or, you can bed it in some silicone and not impede your work surfaces.

 

Took me a very long time before I listened to the guys that went before me.  Thought I had all the answers, but I was wrong, as usual.

 

Use the silicone first.  If you don't like it, you've done no harm and magnets, chains, bolts and bits are still there waiting for you to employ them.

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Vaughn,

 

I originally got the U bolt idea from a book I think it was  by Charles McRaven.  "Mute" is a good name for it.  Quite a while back I figured out that stuff is mostly just news to me since blacksmithing's been around much longer!

 

I've got to try the caulking.  I've also heard of sand bedding an anvil as well.  I still don't know why most anvils don't come with some way to bolt them down.

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If you want a nice quiet anvil look around for a Fisher and they even have bolt holes. My wrought iron anvils I would clinch down so solid that I never had a problem with ringing. My anvil stands were made from structural box tubing, 10" square filled with sand, 1" steel plate top and bottom with 3/8" mild steel rods welded to the top plate and then clinched over the anvils feet, no ringing.

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Chains around the waist simple don't work.  10'?  Really?  What if you need to bend a leg that extends down past where the chain is?  Or, you can bed it in some silicone and not impede your work surfaces.

 

Took me a very long time before I listened to the guys that went before me.  Thought I had all the answers, but I was wrong, as usual.

I guess I need to ignore my own observed results then.  My apologies for suggesting something to the OP that I found to be quite helpful in solving the exact same problem.

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