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270# william foster anvil


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Hey guys! Picked up a 270# William foster anvil today with the forge date being 1848, over all it is in great condition with 90% rebound judging with a steel ball. Both the horn and heel are still attached and in good condition. I was wondering if any one had any info on these anvils, doing a search on Google only brought up a handful of information. I couldn't beat the price though, it was FREE!!!! there is a somewhat humerous story behind it, I will post picks when I get the old girl cleaned up a little! Thanks in advance!!

Nank

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Alright, I had to switch from my phone to the computer to tell the story.  Two weeks ago my fiance and I decided to change up the route we jog in the evenings, this new route takes us on an old back road not far from the house, it is surounded by farm land.  I noticed the anvil the very first time I passed this old leaning barn, it was sitting in the far corner of a lean-to built on the side of the barn.  My fiance still doesnt understand how I spotted it from the road, but she doesnt realize that when you spend hours looking at these things, you can pick out an anvil shaped object a mile away!  Any how, I wanted to go check it out right then but she was a little hesitant about it, so i let it go and figured I would catch the owner of the property outside one evening and talk to them before I just went up in their barn to take a look around.  So this went on for two weeks, this anvil haunted my dreams because I could tell from the road it had some ass to it!  Today  we got run trying to beat the afternoon heat but this time was different! this time the owner was not only outside he was in the barn!!! So I strolled up and struck up a conversation with him, quickly leading to the anvil he had tucked away in the lean-to.  So we walked over to where the anvil set and he told me that it had been in that same spot for over 50 years, it came with his farm and he had never moved it, so I wound up for the big question fully expecting to be shot down but I asked any ways, "how much to buy it right now".  He looked at me, and down at the anvil and back up to me, smiled and said "f you can lift it you can have it"  A shock ran through me and boys I am telling you it gave me chills when he said that, so I grinned back shook his hand and said "sir, you have a deal" .  Lucky for me i spent my highschool years throwing hay and power lifting so I knew just how to lift it, I walked over to the anvil squared my feet with my shoulders, squated down grabbed the horn with my right hand and the heel with my left and dead lifted the son-of-a-bitch up to my knees!  The old man (whos name was robert btw) said " i'll be xxxxxx I was just joking with you, you are the only person who has ever asked me about it and I was going to give it to you regardless" .  So that is the story of my new anvil, sorry for the lengthy response!

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Also, the anvil was forged in 1847 not 1848, and the english hundredweight numbers are 2.1.9 which would be roughly 261 pounds.  When put on the feed store scale it measured in at 270 pounds so I am not sure where the discrepancy came from.  It measures 27" from heel to horn, 5  1/4" width of face, 13"  tall, base is 13" x 12'',  Hardie hole is 1 1/8" and pritchell is a hair over half and inch.

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Man your a lucky one. Thats a nice anvil, that thing has got to have a huge sweat spot. I know I wouldnt be throwing that thing around. Ofcourse I would give it a shot and my back would probably go out and the old man would be helping me get to the road so my wife could pick me up lol. 

 

Congrats and good eye. 

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Thanks guys! I am sure it will make a great shop anvil, the only thing that bothers me about it is that it is quiet, the rebound is amazing all over it and there is still A LOT of the tools steel plate left, but it reminds me of my fisher, just a little bit louder, so i am hoping there is no crack somewhere inside the body that will effect it, even if there is, it will still bring many years of good use!

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Another thing, the forge date was 1847 so I don't know if this anvil was made during the transition from the English pattern to the London pattern but the step almost looks like it was put on the anvil, as an after thought but there is not a lot of info on these so I'm not sure how its supposes to sound or how it was forged.

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i found a William Foster anvil in one of the local scrapyards that was dated 1832 and the step on that one as well as the horn are both look undersized for the 114lb weight of the anvil i think this just might be the way they were made

that anvil as well has fantastic rebound and is a pleasure to work on

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I have an 1828 WF that was so beat up I only got it as a possible body donor for a face transplant in the traditional way: 90% of the face is missing and the heel was broken off---but it was only $5....

 

Postman told me that they used a fairly low grade Wrought Iron for them and suggested I weld the new face plate to a slab of WI and then do a WI to Wi weld to get it on there.  Haven't found enough folks willing to help to try that out yet---but now I'm down south in NM perhaps I can see if the local smiths want to give it a go...

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So I would say that if they used a lower grade WI on these anvils then they would probably be a little quieter than most. For me to knock the faceplate of this anvil off I would purposely abuse it with large sledges I would say, then again it may crack off the first time I forge on it with a 3 pound hammer lol

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I do not think you will damage the anvil with proper techniques.  After all, it has lasted 160+ years and is still going.

 

I checked my inventory and actually have 4 William Foster anvils.  One is missing the heal.  One is a coachmakers.  It would be interesting to hear from others that have these anvils.  There are probably more of them out there that anyone realizes.

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Awesome! Thanks guys! I will keep looking for smiths in my area, but the closet group to me is actually a several hour drive, but if that's what I have to do then that is what I will do!NJ, I I would say you are right about there being more out there than thought, because the markings on them as you well know are very shallow and could easily be "erased" with heavy use.

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That is a good looking anvil, and I see what you mean, that the horn seems to be a bit undersized for the body, the only thing I can figure is that these were made during the transition between the English/colonial pattern with the small conical horn and adding the step of the London pattern.

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