David R.

Where did you find your anvil ?

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I thought it might be interesting to hear some stories about where folks found their anvils. I was in the barber's chair getting a hair cut and saw mine sitting in the barber shop floor. This is a rather unique barber shop, the barber inherited an antique store that his grandfather started years ago and he turned part of it into a barber shop but still trades in old stuff. The anvil was a really nice Hay Budden 170# but I didn't have the cash at the time. I ended up selling and old rifle to get the cash and traded my AL0 on the Hay Budden.
What's your anvil story?

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Wife bought me my first at a used tool store, turned out to be a cast iron aso but thats ok, She bought it for me, I'll keep it.

Found my second , a mousehole broken through the hardy hole at a scrap yard, 127# for $100. Got my third at a farm store, it was on commission, a 75# Lakeside in very good condition. Paid to much but I really like that anvil.

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In order of purchase

 

 

260# Fisher-   through a friend back home who saw it listed up in Lincoln CA, $250

306# Sodefors-   machine shop auction in Bay Area of CA, $200

150# Vulcan-   Vallejo CA high school that was selling off all of the shop equipment, $50

170# Hay Budden- Las Vegas Craigslist $175

125# JHM- Las Vegas Craigslist $250 w/gas forge,folding stand, and a bunch of tools

50# old no name- Las Vegas Craigslist $60

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I found my first in Elgin TX on Craigslist. He was asking 270. It is a hundred pounds and only marked with a M. Awesome ring and rebound. Got it for 270 with two pair of Heller Tongs. 18" and 20". He also brought it to Fort Worth for me! My second was also found on CL. It was listed as a very big and very old anvil.. No photo. Asking price was 90.00. I called instantly. Said it had some numbers on the side and was well over a hundred pounds in great shape. I told him I'd take it! He said another guy was coming to look at it. I said I'd pay more and leave right then. He said he'd call if the other guy didn't want it. Ten minuets later he called and told me he informed the other guy it was sold and then told me to come get it. When I got there it was a 96 pound Mouse Hole Forge welded to a heavy stand and painter red. I gave him the requested 120 and went home. I cut the welds off and when I wire wheeled the paint I could hear the horn singing. Beautiful ring and good rebound. I love them both and. And wait to find my third. Btw the stand from the Mouse Hole makes a great leg vise stand...

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I inherited my first anvil.  About a 75# Hay Budden.  The face was broke clean off ½ through the Hardy hole all the way forward.  I recon what was remaining had work hardened because it was a good anvil even with the face busted.  I used it for years.  It finally developed a crack running around the waist so I started hunting a new anvil. 

I put the word out with friends  I was hunting an anvil.  Had a guy at work offer me an old rusted anvil he had bought for $20.  He wanted $75.  I think he thought he was taking advantage of me.  Turned out to be a 109# Peter Wright.

Ken

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I wasn't even looking. I have always made things but had avoided blacksmithing because I am not fond of the whole re enactment thing so popular in some circles. No offense intended, just not my thing.
My older friend is a millwright who built his own forge but had gotten frustrated with not being able to forge weld and asked me if I wanted to buy his stuff. Including a 170 # 1941 fisher.I tried it out one hour and had such a blast I bought it and never looked back.

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I bought my 200lb peter wright with a large post vise and cobbler shoe making kit for $300 on ebay.

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I've already posted the tales of some of my anvil in threads on finding anvils.  I've probably run through a good 20 or more of them getting to the dozen or so I have (and use) today.

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My very first anvil was a birthday present from Pops.  Neither of us new what made a good anvil, but he knew enough to look for size, face quality, etc.  Never could find markings on it, but looked like a Wright and weighed over 150.  I was thoroughly pleased and hated to get rid of it.

 

My second anvil was a 120lb Wilkinson that a friend inherited from his father.  Was in the family for generations and he let me have it for a song.  I promised to make him a knife in partial trade, but I haven't gotten around to that, yet.  My bladesmithing skills are sadly lacking!

 

Third anvil was a 300lb Fisher I got off ebay.  Even with shipping costs, I was able to get it from Massachusetts to SC for less than $3/lb. That's a very good price for a large anvil, and you absolutely never see Fisher anvils around these parts.  Almost new condition and plenty big.... that's a definite win!

 

Fourth anvil is a Soderfors  66lb cast steel job.  Small and light, maybe too light for some uses.  But, I got it locally simply by asking folks I ran across.  Doesn't hurt that I got it for a very sweet price, too, and can pass it on to a new smith without feeling too bad about it. 

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I live in Central Texas, but the prices for anvils down here is expensive (or so I thought at the time)  I had a co-worker who was from Pennsylvania planning on moving his stuff down in a few months that offered to bring one down from there is I could find it.  I searched the Pittsburgh cl for a few weeks and then found one that looked good, a 190lb unknown maker for $250.  I called & talked with the seller who emailed me more pictures, held the phone up to the anvil while he tapped it.  The ring from the base and the pictures, at least to me confirmed it was wrought iron and very likely a Peter Wright.  The man was very considerate and promised to hold onto it until I could find a way to get it down here.  At least 3 months later, eventually everything lined up and we were able to get it down on a moving truck.  As a thank you for holding onto it when he could've easily sold it to someone else I forged a RR spike kso for him which he was delighted to receive.

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I found my anvil, a 450# of an unknown old English make sitting covered with few layers of paint and more than a little rust in an old architectural salvage yard not far from the village where my family originates from.  There were quite a few anvils there, in varying conditions, but this is the one i chose,  It's a beautiful old piece of iron, in good condition despite it's age and the obvious years of work that it's been though.  Seeing it sitting there with paint flaking off the face where it'd been used as a garden ornament, it was crying to be put to use again.  It's funny how you become attached to something that others see as just an old lump of metal, but cleaning it up and putting it back into use has been an absolute pleasure.

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I spent a long time looking for my first anvil and couldn’t find anything worth what was being asked, when my grandfather heard I was looking for one he gave me a 150+ pound Peter Wright that was slightly swaybacked and the edges were chipped badly in a couple of spots. He had it in the shop where they repaired heavy equipment, that was about 30 years ago.

 

My second anvil came from a body shop I was working at, it was sitting in the corner when I started a 108 pound Trenton with only a couple of very minor chips on the edges and a very flat face, when I saw that no one ever used it I asked the boss if they would sell it and he said no. A couple of years later we were doing a major clean up of the shop and the boss came over and asked if I still wanted it, I said yes and he said get it out of here, that was 20 plus years ago.

 

I think I’m over due for my next free anvil, a 200 pound pristine Fisher would be nice. J

 

Richard

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My first anvils were whatever heavy hunk of steel I could find and lastly I kept my third welded up RR rail anvil and used it for a number of years. I kept my eyes open but hadn't heard of so wasn't using the TPAAT till one day I mentioned looking for a real anvil to one of the guys at work. Next day he told me a neighbor of his was selling his blacksmithing gear. Turns out the fellow was a farrier who's knees and back were giving out so I bought his kit. my much beloved 125lb. Soderfors Sorceress#5 got a pallet of tongs, a 12v coal forge his anvil stand with shoe vise, etc. etc. BUT. . . the Soderfors was MINE! And worth the price without the other stuff that came with.

 

Some years later the new shop foreman at Heavy Duty wanted the welding area cleaned out so I got a call asking if I wanted this really heavy thing, take it or it's going to the scrapper. It's my 200lb. Lancaster pattern swage block.

 

See guys, donuts and coffee pays off.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I got my 860lb bridge anvil from a classified ad in the newspaper.  Also wound up buying a large camelback drill press and a rolling cabinet full of Morse taper 4 drills the guy wanted to get rid of... $750 for everything.

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My very first anvil came from my dad. My second one I found on ebay. I still love and use both of them. :)

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My first anvil was what got me started blacksmithing. I've always been interested in creating things... stories, paintings, drawings and small sculptures. My wife inherited her grandparents' house. It had a small cargo container on it that her mom and stepdad had thrown some stuff into. They kept saying they were gonna come and sort through it and clear it out, but never did. Finally they said for us to just do whatever with it and everything in it. Well, two of the things in it were a 1930's era Mousehole 150# and an old Champion Spiral Gear blower without stand. So I started googling blacksmithing and learned I could build my own forge cheaply. I'm just starting and learning, but I enjoy it. My mousehole is not in great condition, so I'm trying to employ the TPAAAT. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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I got my 225 or so pound Hay-Budden from my step-father. He showed me the basics and I took off from there. I get a phone call a year or 2 after I started and he says "You're going to be better than I ever will, come get all my tools." A short list is a 225 Hay-Budden, a 175 or so Hay-Budden, a pair of mint Yater blocks, bunch of tongs, 2 forges, and a bunch of other stuff.  Got rid of the 175 Hay-Budden-it was kind of beat, still have the other stuff and use it all.

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I recently bought mine at an antique store in Wells, Maine. I saw it sitting outside and it looked in pretty good condition. There was no name on it. He said it was 225 lbs and wanted $300. The guy told me he had 7 more Peter Wrights showing up the next day. I went back and looked at everything he had. Only two of the PW had my attention because the others were too warn. I ended up taking is one. To me it was a better deal. It was the biggest in the best shape and half the price of the others. I know PW is a good name (and I actually wanted a PW), but this one was at a good price and in good condition.

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my first anvil came from a southern Indiana auction it is a small columbian about 40# did not realize it was quite as small as it is but makes a nice little bench top flat surface but is in near perfect condition. The second one is a Peter Wright about 120#, mentioned to a neighbor that I was looking for a decent size anvil to start out on, a friend of theirs had this one and sold it to me at a real good price. Edges are not perfectly square but close and top is pretty flat.

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