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A fellow that I have the pleasure of swinging a hammer with on occasion recently picked up a 230lb peter wright. while in overall good condition some of the edges have been chipped and he feels that it needs to be welded up and milled flat.  I am not sure that I share his sense of urgency for the repair, but he seems determined to do it. I own a milling machine so that is actually the easy part. My concern is what type of rod to use. I know I have seen detailed discussion on here regarding what type of rod to use, but I cannot find it today when I went looking.  Searching ebay I can find several different types of hard facing rods, but some say that they cannot be machined.  The local welding shop says that he can order me in some steel on steel hard facing rods, but I believe I have read about them being prone to cracking. I cannot remember if it was here or somewhere else, but are steel on rock rods less prone to the spider cracking from hard impact?  Any help here is appreciated. It is a beautiful anvil and I hate to see us ruin it trying to make it "perfect"

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*PLEASE* remember to mill the bottom of the anvil parallel to the face before flipping it over to mill the face!
 
Anvils were generally freehanded under steam hammers and are often not parallel face to bottom.  I have personally seen several anvils ruined when they were milled "flat" and ended up goping all the way through the face at one end or the other.  (and another where the face was milled too thin to use)
 
In general I feel that milling the face of an anvil is about as good an idea as cleaning the Mona Lisa with a belt sander
 
And please check out the search function as there are probably a hundred posts on the subject of "anvil repair" and the proper rods to use.

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  Also, if that face has chips in it, I would not be surprised if it has seen a fair bit of use.  This use may have included being used for striking operations.  A lot of anvils that have been used as such have a tendency to lean toward the side that the striker was on. 

  For this process there are 3 things I would do:

    1) Before any welding on the face, I would set the anvil on the mill and then use a bull's eye level while tack welding on shims to make it sit level with the mill.

    2) Before welding I would take a weed burner to the anvil and use a tempil stick to about 400°-600° to ensure a good pre-heat.

    3) I would lastly put the anvil in some sort of enclosure full of vermiculite, such that there are at least 4 inches of vermiculite on all sides.

  Step 1 is for the reasons that Thomas stated previous to my post.  Steps 2 and 3 are to prevent any Heat Affected Zone cracking resulting from welding on a tool steel anvil face.

  It sounds to me that the rock-on-steel rods are the high manganese, abrasion resistant rod.  My understanding is that these do not get hard until there are hit HARD and REPEATEDLY, which means that they will dimple and warp when you hit them.  Abrasives are almost useless on this stuff.

  I haven't heard of or used steel-on-steel hard facing rod, but by the sound of it, those may actually be what you want.  If they have problems with cracking it may be because they're air hardening?  If that's the case, I imagine that they will need a pre&post heat as described above will solve most of those problems.  To be extra sure, you could take the weed burner and heat up the anvil again to temper that hardness out.  Be aware that milling such surfaces without annealing may be a very expensive idea, as you would probably go through a few carbide end mills with this stuff, and that's with a good cutting oil.

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Ok, I just googled hard facing rod and the first thing I came up with was a rather handy document by Lincoln that sounds like it confirms what I've been thinking for awhile now, you don't want a manganese rod, they're listed for abrasion or rock impact (quarry) applications.

 

Document Link: http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/US/EN/literature/C7710.pdf

 

Here are a few very pertinent excerpts from the Metal-on-Metal rod table on page 5 (beginning of section 2):

'Description:
Weld deposits are martensitic. Harder deposits have higher wear resistance. Wearshield MI offers impact resistance.'
...
Deposit Characteristics:
a. Resists edge distortion and “mushrooming."
b. Wearshield T & D and Lincore T & D have a deposit similar to a type H-12 tool steel. Both can be used to rebuild dies and metal cutting edges.
...
d. If required, grind or anneal, machine and heat treat.'

 

After reading this document, I'm very convinced that Lincoln Wearshield T&D is practically made for facing anvils. It is made to be used on dies and cutting edges, both adequate descriptions of an anvil face.  It even says that it basically deposits H-12 tool steel.  The "H" is for hot work right?  I think I've seen anvils that are made of H-12 advertised before.  It also states that the deposits are martensitic, in other word already pretty hard.  As I stated above, you'd need to anneal before milling, and then harden and temper as required/desired, or you will chew up some milling tools.

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It took along timke for the anvil to become like it iws,,holding off any changes for a whiel will not hurt one thing. Theinformation youi looked for in here is indeed here..spend the time. One thing repeated in here is folks talking about anvil repairs that say they will post pics and a recap of how everything went and we never see them again...then there are those that do it well and share. That anvil will likely work well for alog time as is or with minor dressing..with a rush repair that may all change.

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thanks fluid its funny you linked that. I actually was reading that article the other day. I do agree Rich, it seems like he wants to do all this without swinging a hammer on it once and I am honestly not sure why. It looks fully usable to me. Here is the only Picture I have of it, as it sits right now.

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Sounds like a youngster wanting the "perfect" tools for the job. It's a very common misconception we're all probably guilty of at one time or another. This is the link to an anvil I rebuilt for a young man this summer.

 

Sorry, these aren't my pics, I would've been able to show the damage better. There are a couple pics of it as finished in the Alaska club section. I also list the rod I used, how, why and what I think of the results without having had the opportunity to put a few days  work on it. As welded the Washington Alloy-700 didn't dent and I gradually upped the power of the blows to moderately hard. It will work harden over time but not a lot.

 

Steel on rock rods are one thing but steel on rock crusher rods are a class of their own. They are high impact moderate abrasion resistant rods that can be laid in thicker passes. Steel on steel hard facing is generally very high abrasion resistance usually high manganese and not something I'd use on an anvil. Manganese hard facing was a special, day long class in the hard facing "schools" I attended, I ended up auditing and leaving after a little while. We didn't use tools or equipment you'd find manganese alloys in so . . .

 

This looks to be a more harm than good on all levels, there's not a thing wrong with that anvil. An experienced smith would just put it to work.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I recently dressed  a PW faceplate and about an inch down the sides with a flap disc on an angle grinder. the plate looked rough when I started while it was rusty but as it cleaned up and I smoothed the sides on a couple of dents in the top I found most of the small marks disappeared leaving some nice big flat smooth areas to work with. It's pretty hard to do any damage to the face with a flap disc, cos it is really tough.

 

once I cleaned it up, and had a quick forge on it I could see it was not marking my work on the backside I am happy to leave it alone. Its not the best anvil for making tongs because the edges are well radius-ed and it doesn't have a nice square corner to work over. If it was my only forging option I might consider welding and hand dressing the corners and rebuilding three inches of both edges across the middle of the anvil. The one in your photo doesn't look like a candidate for milling to me, it looks to be in quite good condition.

 

Most hard facing rods will only do two layers before they start to crack, the stoody rod is a little unusual to be able to do unlimited passes AND make a good join with the plate material and the base.

 

I guess one thing you need to consider, if the idea is to patch any shallow dents in the plate with some 1105 or something similar, is that you may get some undercut along the edge of your weld if you use a bigger rod, this could possibly be deeper than the original dent, then you weld the undercut to patch that and pretty soon you have welded a lot more of the plate than originally intended. It pays to have a bit practice on angling the work and getting the weld to stand proud of the surface in a couple of short passes and getting good control of the heat before tackling the real thing, just so you know what you are up against.

 

cheers yahoo

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Good advice from everyone, I have repaired a number of anvils all of them were in rough shape. It takes a lot of time and money. That anvil looks fine the way it sits, I would start forging on it! I would never recommend milling the face down as the face plate will be thinner, less rebound ect. Hopefully you can convince your friend to just be happy with it the way it is! Good luck

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