Glenn

Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique

Recommended Posts

Thomas Powers can find an anvil by sniffing the air, or so it is rumored.

So, Saturday of last week I put the Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique (TPAAAT) to the test. I went to the flea market. But not before stopping at the bank to get some pocket money, a TPAAAT *must* when making a deal for tools.

At the flea market, there is a fellow there that sells nuts, bolts, and assorted hardware along with some other useful items. I ask if he ever had any blacksmithing equipment. No, but there was a fellow on the other side of the flea market that had some from time to time.

Other side of the flea market and there was a little 6x12 foot *hole in the wall* booth that was dimly lit, and grayish with dust, dirt, and rust. Only thing he had was 3 pair of tongs for $25 each that were, after a hard life, rusted shut from lack of use. Ever get any anvils? No, ok, let me leave my number with you.

I stopped back in as I was leaving and reminded him I was still looking for an anvil, but one to use, not to put in a flower bed. We talked a bit about blacksmithing and old tools and as I was leaving the second time, he said he might have something in the barn back at his place, to stop in Friday next week. A phone call confirmed our meeting and we did get together today to look at an anvil.



The rest of the story?
The wife noticed the car sitting a bit low as I drove up the driveway. By the time I put a notebook in the house, passed her in the hall, and got a glass of tea, she some how knew I have driven exactly 50.0 miles and something about an anvil, hidden under a towel, in the trunk of HER CAR.

Now I need y'alls help.

The Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique (TPAAAT) does work. From a cold start, it took two contacts, and 6 days to get an 143 pound anvil using the TPAAAT method of sniffing the air.

The anvil is marked 1 - 1 - 3 or 143 pounds.
actual anvil weight on the bathroom scales 148#

It has an arm holding a hammer, SUNK IN logo, and a tool steel face, no other markings I can find.

Can you provide any additional information on this anvil?



The wife? I told her to thank Thomas as he provided me the Blueprint on how on how to find anvils, and now they just seem to show up in the trunks of cars. :)

Thomas - thank you !!

The Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique (TPAAAT) does work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glenn-What you have is an Arm and Hammer brand anvil manufactured in Ohio between 1900 and 1950. Mr. Postman devotes 25 pages of his book to this brand and considers them one of the finest wrought anvils ever made.

There should be a serial number on the front foot area and there is a list in the book that will date it.

You better pick it up again though..that 1 1 3 is just that...113 lbs.

My shop anvil is a 156 lb Arm and Hammer.

Cast iron Vulcan anvils used a similar logo of an arm and hammer so this sometimes causes confusion. Two different animals altogether. You got yourself a nice anvil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actual anvil weight = 148 pounds (wife's bathroom scales).

I tried forging on it tonight, and it works for me :) (pun intended). If I can get some time this weekend, maybe the two of us can get acquainted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the pics of Arm and Hammer anvils in the book and my anvil are marked in actual pounds. I can't remember seeing any American made anvils marked by hundredweight. I think yours is a poorly marked 1 4 8. Congrats!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glenn, Congratulations on finding a very nice anvil, I can almost hear your smile from here.
Anvil aquisition is like operating a towtruck on the interstate -exclusive service zones- and anvil aquisition operations within a one tank of gas radius of here is MY TURF!!!!
The Peter Wright I scored at an auction two weeks ago came home with me in my wife's car as did yours, her '06 pontiac G6 is her baby and such grubby things as anvils are NOT allowed! She still is not aware yet so please could you offer me some advice that way as she is sure to find out soon. Dan:rolleyes;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't try to hide it. She is going to find out anyway so tell her, and think of it as a preemptive strike.

What Dodge said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arm & Hammers are often not struck too deep so the 113 might have been a 148 with partials for the last two stamps.

I have a nice little one---in the low 90's that's my travel anvil, I picked it up in Arkansas and ended up bringing it back to Columbus OH where it originally was made---it's a real bell ringer so it works well to bring folks in for demo's.

As for the TPAAAT (is that pronounced like a Bronx Cheer?); I keep telling folks it works; nice to hear that I'm not the only one it works for...The real skill comes in being able to suss out possibilities to be able to narrow down the shotgun approach to the rifle approach...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dan take anvil out of car as DODGE says:THEN USE BARRY WHITE!
P.S. NEVER OVER USE BARRY IT CAN B TOXIC TO THE FEMALE[sHE WILL KNOW U SCREWED UP W/ TO MUCH EXPOSURE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TPAAAT (is that pronounced like a Bronx Cheer?)

Close as I could get without a spell checker (grin)


This thread has developed into a Lesson in Blacksmithing
LB0009 Living with a Blacksmith
Good reference material.

Thanks for the support. I am still trying to figure out how the new anvil works.

Ahh the joys of blacksmithing.
I did not realize that I measured by the dimensions of the old anvil for many of the repeat projects. Length of the face, width of the face, heel to far end of the hardie hole, etc. It is weird using a ruler to measure the old anvil for proper dimensions, so I can make the same project on the new anvil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I have had very little at applying TPAAAT. Heard a lot of stories, though. My favorite one was about the old farmer with his 400 pound anvil (which some how disappeared and he doesn't know what happened to it). He said that nobody ever used it to forge, they just tried to show off lifting it. Only two of the fellas could lift it, and one was him. When I expressed some doubt, he grabbed me by the front of my jacket and lifted me over his head with one hand. "You're a lot lighter than that anvil, I reckon."

Recently, I have sort of acquired an anvil, but in doing so, I may have violated a blacksmithing ethical code. This is difficult for me, since I consider ethics to be the measure of a man. A while back, at a fundraiser, I noticed two beautiful anvils sitting unused at a historical farm. I inquired with the board of directors and found out that they were lacking a resident smith, so I volunteered. They do not pay me, but I get full use of the facilities, and they assigned me a few students :D. In return, the students and I make some stuff for the farm. All in all, a decent arrangement, or so I thought.

A fellow blacksmith from another historical farm heard about this and reminded me that the worst thing that a blacksmith can do is to sell his goods too cheap. And I have cheapened other blacksmiths' production, that they may have depended on for their livelihood, by giving away things to the farm. I really do not see it this way. The staff at the farm has always treated me with the greatest degree of warmth and respect. Because of the budget, they are not able to pay market price for the product. During the recession, they had to cut programs and staff, due to lack of donations, and it was truly sad. The other blacksmith said that it was OK with him, because I did not directly compete with his line, but that did not excuse me from the violation of an ancient ethical code.

It is quite a dilemma, since I hold both parties in the highest regard, and do not wish to offend or goad either. I wish the TPAAAT worked for me. Instead I hear about all the ways that other people are scoring anvils, especially Thomas with his $5 anvil stories. The other blacksmith even told me about how people just drop anvils off at his smithy. Then, when I come up with some creative way to sidestep TPAAAT, he does not come up with any anvils, just warnings and criticism :(.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" so I volunteered. They do not pay me, but I get full use of the facilities, and they assigned me a few students :D. In return, the students and I make some stuff for the farm. All in all, a decent arrangement, or so I thought."

----very good arrangement it makes both parties happy and no one is hurt

"A fellow blacksmith from another historical farm heard about this and reminded me that the worst thing that a blacksmith can do is to sell his goods too cheap."

----True you should never sell your self cheap, but this applys to everything in life not just blacksmithing.

" And I have cheapened other blacksmiths' production, that they may have depended on for their livelihood, by giving away things to the farm."

----untrue. you have given away product yes but they have also given you something..space to work use of their facilities...fair exchange if both parties are happy.

"I really do not see it this way. The staff at the farm has always treated me with the greatest degree of warmth and respect. Because of the budget, they are not able to pay market price for the product. During the recession, they had to cut programs and staff, due to lack of donations, and it was truly sad. The other blacksmith said that it was OK with him, because I did not directly compete with his line, but that did not excuse me from the violation of an ancient ethical code."

----Quite frankly this other blacksmith is talking through the wrong end of his anatomy his words and attitude stink and should be taken as they are spoken , as the words of a bitter and jealous hypocrite.

keep on working the way you are I wish that I could work out such an arangement, passing on the skills you have learned in a historical setting such as you seem to have is wonderfull and I envy your luck

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They do not pay me, but I get full use of the facilities, and they assigned me a few students. In return, the students and I make some stuff for the farm.
Please clarify. You get use of the facilities in return for making things for the farm. Where do the items go? Is this items for use on the farm, sale items with the funds going to the farm or for sale to the public, or what?

If you make things for the farm to use, sell with the funds going to the farm, etc, your paying for use of the anvil, rent so to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I inquired with the board of directors and found out that they were lacking a resident smith, so I volunteered. They do not pay me, but I get full use of the facilities, and they assigned me a few students :D. In return, the students and I make some stuff for the farm. All in all, a decent arrangement, or so I thought.
(.


evfreek, which farm if you don't mind me asking? Back in the late '80s I lived in the Fremont CA and used to volunteer at Ardenwood Farm. Their resident smith was a man by the name of Jack Ladd, and I would strike for him. In return he let me use his equipment for my own projects such as knives and such.

Small world we live in, eh?

BTW, don't worry about what the other smiths are saying. If you feel good about your arrangement, your intentions are good, and you are helping the farm stay above water, that's what matters.

Stevo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My $0.02 is that for the longest time bartering was the way to do things, and is still common place, especially in rural areas. Money was and still can be a rare luxury, particularly for farmers, ranchers and such. All you are doing is bartering for you work. But what holds for money, holds for bartering. Don't barter your work away too cheap either. However, if this blacksmith is mad that you are doing charity work for a good cause, well lets just say what goes around comes around to those who don't help others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To take just a bit out of context here- somewhere in my travels through old books and such, blacksmithing newsletters, etc. etc; I came across something Mark included in his post-
"The worst thing a blacksmith can do is not charge enough for his work".
It seems to me if memory serves that this was one line of a three part admonition that I read somewhere from long ago, words from a smith to an apprentice (?) about "three sins a blacksmith can fall into" or such. I cannot remember the other two which go along with it.
Can anyone out there enlighten me as to the original quote, parts 1,2, and3?
Dan:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan
I quoted that from the original message. I too have heard the "message" to an apprentice one was "The worst thing a blacksmith can do is not charge enough for his work" the second was "never strike cold metal" and the third escapes me

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know about 3 sins. The way I always heard this was that there were only 2 blacksmiths in hell. One was there for not charging enough for his work and the other for striking cold metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please clarify. You get use of the facilities in return for making things for the farm. Where do the items go? Is this items for use on the farm, sale items with the funds going to the farm or for sale to the public, or what?

If you make things for the farm to use, sell with the funds going to the farm, etc, your paying for use of the anvil, rent so to speak.


Hi Glenn. Thanks for the reply. All of the items go to the farm. The two largest commissions were small gifts for the volunteers one year and the summer camp counselors (big kids). They are such things as key chains and letter openers.

Another thing, which was initiated by the students, is hardware. If one of four old time hinges breaks or rusts through and it is replaced by a new one from Home Depot, the students hate it. It is relatively straightforward to forge a replacement that looks waaaaay better :).

The idea of rent makes me feel a lot better. :cool: This makes a lot of sense. I think that the advising blacksmith pays his "rent" by his demo agreement, since he has a regular schedule.

Occasionally, I will give a small free item to an enthusiastic child. I don't consider this selling it for cheap, because the child is showing priceless enthusiasm, which is rare. In fact, I contribute the majority of my donations to various universities and schools because I feel that education is of major importance. The amazing thing about kids is the huge spread in their aptitude. Most are bored or indifferent, but there are those stars...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.