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I Forge Iron

Possible English anvil?

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I set up my forge outside in good weather and my Hay Budden can be a little awkward to move outside from the basement.  I was looking for a smaller anvil from 75-100 Lbs that I could move around easier.  I drive by an antique shop everyday going to work and saw this anvil outside on a porch strapped to a metal base.  I will admit that it has been there for several weeks but I just did not make the time to get there to look it over.  I know, shame on me.


I discussed the price with the shop owner and it was his brothers anvil and had it for around 50 years in an auto body shop.  It looks like the horn has an area where a ring or round object was hit hard and caused an indentation.  So i figured it was not cast iron. It is painted glossy gray, so I took a wire wheel to it to find a makers mark.  I looked all over this thing and could not find a mark.     


I have searched the forums here for english anvils and the shape looks right.  It looks like the feet were attached, as well as the top plate.  There is one small chip on the top, so I believe it may be hardened.  There are three handling holes which are not aligned to the center, so I don't know if that means anything.  The hardie hole is not perpendicular down as it has a slight lean towards the horn.


The weight is 141 lbs on a scale which surprised me.  It is stout and thick through the middle. 


I tried to do as much research to familiarize myself with this, but some questions remain.



My questions are: 


Does this appear to be english?


The anvil is overall rough in texture, no makers mark.  The top is pretty smooth with just an 1/8" dip in one spot.  It has nice rebound.


Does the texture give any indication of what it is made of?


I have read here that some manufacturers did not work their anvils smooth except for the top plate.


I've also read here that there were around 200 makers of english anvils, do these pictures give anyone any ideas on who made it?


I'm just hoping I did ok with the purchase.  I can't use it for about two weeks until my vacation.  I try to brush it down a little bit every day, and can't wait to get all the paint off it.     


Thanks for any help.














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The anvil has the English appearance because of the great mass in the center and the triangular shaped feet. If you follow the edge line down to the "foot" you will see that it's triangular shaped as viewed from the side, as in your second photo. We don't know what it's made of, but it looks quite old and is probably of wrought iron with a welded on steel face.


Sayings and Cornpone

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."

     Pancho Villa's last words

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Thanks for the replies.  I like what has been said here.  The maker is not particularly important to me as I was just hoping I picked up a decent piece. 


Blackfrog - I paid $160 for the anvil and base.  The base weighs in at 88 pounds.  I figure that I can try to sell the base or sell it as scrap and come out ok.

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Thanks.  Well, I looked it over really well at the shop and found no id marks.  I just happened to have a cross pein in the truck that picked up at an antique show a few weeks earlier and got the ok to tap the anvil all over.  I explained to the owner that I was taking a chance buying it not knowing much about it.  I figured if his story was true, then it had some age on it, I might be onto to something.  We were both happy at the end which was important.     

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Thanks, face plates were generally sectioned from horn to heel rather than across the face.  Sometimes wear will show the weld lines.  I'm sure that cleaning it up is going to show you the body was welded up from a number of pieces of wrought iron.


When I lived in inner city Columbus OH I used to have to haul my anvil up a set of rickety stairs, across the kitchen out the back door across the enclosed back porch to use it.  I feel your pain!  (I used a 93# A&H)

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Agreed Thomas, lunking these things around is not too much fun.




I brushed it down today with a wire wheel on the angle grinder, it was good to get the paint off it.  I still cannot locate any marks, letters or numbers.  It is rough all around, except for the face.  I checked around the feet, nothing that I could discern..  


Here are a few more detailed pictures.  It looks like I will get around to using it tomorow.




All cleaned off.





Seam where leg attaches. 





Top plate seam line





Ridge under horn by the waist.



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I am still amazed that even with the tools at hand, and the crude metals available at the time, that these early anvils were made.  They certainly have stood the test of time.  To me, they are  a work of art and testiment to creativity.


What made today will be usable in 200 years from now?

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