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I Forge Iron

Aussie anvil?

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In short, yes, by a number of manufacturers in fact


BK, was Bradford and Kendall, now known as Brad-Ken


Still in business, making mining tools and some rather out there items too. Search for the company on-line if you must have more info on it's activities


Anvils they made - and if someone feels the need to correct me, be my guest - ranged from 13lb to 6cwt, all in London pattern


Made anvils until about the 1970's, I think, and they are not that difficult to find in Australia


They'll still cast anvils for you today, if you are really serious about it, in 2cwt size, as that is the last of the patterns they have available to the best of my knowledge


They are reasonably priced, when compared to other modern-era anvil-makers fare from various parts of the world


Their anvils were of good quality, and are of good, workable proportions. Some might think the table is a little soft, but when steels loose approximately 80% of their strength at forging temperature - except for higher spec. steels - just how hard do you really need an anvil face to be?!


It was common for BK anvils to be found in schools and those anvils often come out of the education system in nearly new condition. Thanks to the anvil gods for those tough, old-school trades teachers and for them keeping their young, unskilled and overly-enthusiastic charges under control!


If you are looking at buying that anvil, get onto it, check it over thoroughly and don't be a silly bugger in offering the seller some moronic amount short of what he wants, cos someone else will grab it


Jim Deering

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Thanks for the detail Jim! I really appreciate it. Hi Ian, im a trucker and i travel a lot and i keep my eyes and ears wide open for anvils and old tools. You will be surprised as to where i find anvils. Sometimes they are right there under our noses and we dont know it. In fact they are everywhere and not that hard to find. Regards..... Your friend just over the hill

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Those lugs are an identifying feature for 'spotting' BK anvils, I can't remember seeing a Fisher in Australia (though surely there are some). 

I tell the story of how much quieter the ringing a BK makes when you bolt it down to timbers using just those two holes.  I my case, this anvil went from being never used because of the noise, to quite acceptable.

Jim has mentioned what others have noticed; about the soft hard-face.  Abused ones (in schools I have seen) could have 1/4" of 'mushroom' along the edges!  Speaking of the edges, they appear to have been made new as a real sharp 90 degrees- instant cutting edge!



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have seen a number of European anvils with the bolt lugs. I do not know who made there anvil like that first, it may very well be Fisher. But claiming that it was a copy seems a stretch. It's not a big leap of through for cast anvils to add bolt down holes. I have also seen some anvils with drilled and tapped blind holes in the bottom of anvils. So some bolts can be used to fasten the anvil to heavy iron stands from underneath.

I built a anvil when I was 17, welded it up from heavy iron blocks. I welded a web in between the feet and added bolt holes. At the time I did not know of Fisher anvils. I would not say I copyed Fisher.

Some ideas are to simple to really claim

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As a point of reference, FISHER first put the mounting lugs on their anvils in 1892.  They used them on anvils from 100 lbs to 350 lbs.  There are a few 400's with lugs too, but most 400's do not have them.   Does anyone know when the BK Australian anvils were first made?   And did they always have the mounting lugs?  Just curious.

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All BK anvils I've seen have the lugs, all sizes. There were a few other lesser known AU made cast steel anvils of the same vintage that also followed the BK lug pattern. Some new anvils that have appeared recently made in AU have been without lugs.

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I have a 3cwt BK anvil that was used to make the shoes for Captain Thunderbolts (Fred Ward) horse. I brought it years ago from a guy named Herbie Bugg who was a blacksmith in Wingham, Mary Ann Bugg was his great grandma, and he came by it when he inherited the Cobb and Co stop depot that was in Wingham NSW.  Google Mary Ann Bugg if you're sceptical.



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  • 3 weeks later...

A mate of mine grabbed a photo of this anvil for sale in a second hand shop in south Queensland.
I like the casting on the side with the Australia and kangaroo design. Emerald is a central Qld town so they must have had a foundry there at one time.
Guy wants $485 for it and I reckon if I could get down there (1000 km away) I would come home with that.
Whadyareckon the two circular lugs are for? Would be handy for bending?


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