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New Anvil

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I was given an Anvil last night when I got it home and cleaned off the rust and dirt it says M&H Armitage mouse Hole 1.1.25
as near as I tell it is a Mouse Hole made between 1820-1835 weighting aprox 165 lbs. has a few chips along the edge the cutting block has been used also some light cuts on the horn, seems to have a sweet spot worn into the face.

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This should give you some ideas on how to find a larger anvil.

IForgeIron.com > Lessons in Metalworking > Blacksmithing > LB0005 Blacksmithing Anvils

Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique (TPAAAT)
Ask everyone if they know where an anvil is located. From there, put cash in your pocket follow the leads. When you finally locate the anvil, cash goes a long way toward transferring ownership.

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Hahahah! That was hilarious! :)

I sure hope that technique is cross-continental! I live in a really small country, and blacksmithing's near extinct. I'll have to give it a go, though. I'll have to go to all the scrapyards I can find and start from there.


P.S. Oh, and I might be able to get my hands on some rail track! Maybe long enough to be a two-person anvil! My mom wants in on it too! *grin*

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Luckily, we've been cutting some trees at the farm, and we've plenty of sections of pine trunk. That's what I'm currently using, with the small anvil screwed on. It doesn't move... much ;)

The floor is concrete inside, and full of stone on the outside! Oh, grassy, grassy lands, where are you? :P

Using the TPAAAT today, I found a shop that sells anvils! First day I tried it too! I'd like your opinion on it though. No photos, but they don't seem very blacksmithingy... they're painted (the horn too, not the face), so I doubt they were made for putting hot metal on them. The horn is also really small and chunky.

They can order an 88 pounder for around $200... seems like way too much. Sounds a bit worse than the $5! ;) But I've still got to hit the junkyards!

Thank you, Thomas Powers, whoever you are! I seem to be on the right track! ;)

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Warning signals flying! Do those anvils have the hardy hole oriented on the diagonal with the face? Is the horn rather flat and "duck bill" shaped? If so it may be an infamous chinese cast iron anvil shaped object rather than a real anvil and you would be better off buying a chunk of scrap steel at the scrapyard than them. If it is one of them they sell for $28 on sale at Harbour Freight...

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I'm really sorry, I somehow missed these replies! Thank you both very much! I'm not going to go for it unless I'm really, really desperate then. Thanks!

A friend of mine managed to pick up some rail, two pieces about 19 pounds each. It's not perfect, but with some drilling&screws they should be nice and solid on some tree trunks I've got. I can also grind the rails and get a pseudo-horn.

Also, I've heard they're pretty hard. Is it still OK to use an angle-grinder with one of those slim cutting disks? The hacksaw is out of the question, and I think the blade on the jigsaw is too short. What worries me is the hardness. I -HATE- angle-grinders, and one of those disks "blowing up" on my face is not a thought I cherish! I can use the regular grinding disks, but it'll take ages ;)

Thank you again!

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You can cut rail with a saw but you have to do it from the underside. The rail's contact surface is induction hardened and will kill a saw blade almost immediately. However if you cut from the bottom it isn't a problem as the hardened area is very thin so the teeth take it from beneath without having to actually cut it.

Not that I'm recommending a hack saw for RR rail but it isn't as difficult as you might think.

A cutoff blade in an angle grinder or a hot saw will work but they will harden the rail in the heat effect zone. Not as much as torch cutting but it'll harden it up regardless.


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I've cut trolly rail from the top down using a section of a metal cutting bandsaw blade mounted in a 3' Sandvik bowsaw frame.

19 pounds is light for all but a jeweler's anvil I wound not cut any mor weight off it!

When using rail that size I would probably cast it vertical in a bucket of concrete and work on the small end to get all the weight possible under the hammer instead of to the side of it. A full penetration weld of a block on top of the crossection will make the face for you.

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Good point about not cutting. I guess I'll just use them as-is.

Maybe I can find a nice, thick plate to weld on it... I think we might have some leftover cement, but then I need to make a stand. I'm on a tight budget, can you tell? *grin*

Anyway, I guess I'll just screw it down to the trunk. The top should be pretty hard from what you've said, which is good. Any risk of shattering? I had a small piece of steel cuddle itself inside my arm this summer from a piece of steel that was too old&hard. I can use the side (cut) part of the rail for setting, which should be pretty square. I can round one side, and keep the other nice and sharp.

Thank you all for your suggestions. This weekend hasn't been spent on the Anvil Quest, unfortunately. I'm trying to finish a bellows for re-enactment :)

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