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Armitage mousehole anvil

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This is my first post here and I'm trying to find out a bit about the anvil I just purchased. I've got the date between 1820-1835 per the ABANA forum, but was wondering if it is something I should use or display? It's right at 100lbs and looks to be in pretty good shape aside from the chunk taken out of the hardie hole (which is something I could easily fix if necessary since I'm a fair welder). I paid $200 for it, but feel a bit bad beating the heck out of something that's almost 200 years old... I hear there are a good number of these kinds of anvils about though, so maybe it wouldn't be as sacrilegious as I think? 


I'm not planning on doing anything huge or crazy, mostly knives and some artistic-ness. I do a lot of welding and sculpture out of recycled metals so figured blacksmithing is the next logical step...post-51562-0-99932200-1391624559_thumb.jpost-51562-0-28410400-1391624584_thumb.jpost-51562-0-22482400-1391624602_thumb.jpost-51562-0-59198100-1391624631_thumb.j

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised at how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.


Put it to work, it'll be far happier doing what it was made to do. The only sacrilege I see is what was done to the hardy. I wouldn't worry about it too much though as long as the bottom tool's shoulder is wade enough to go beyond the injury. I probably wouldn't do heavy work on bottom tools on that anvil though I'd use the post vise, lay my swage block on it's side or make a portable hole.


That girl is in good shape and has a couple generations of work in her before she needs help.


A couple tips for the beginner: 1, Work HOT iron, the sound of the blows will tell you when it's time to go back in the fire.


2, Be careful NOT to hit the anvil with the hammer, especially the edges, chips aren't good things.


3, get hooked up with the local smithing organization, you'll learn more in an hour with an experienced smith than days or maybe weeks learning on our own.


There's plenty of reading to do here, most any question a boy could ask has been answered many times and some of us old farts can get cranky about repeats. It's organized by section and topic. If you check out the section of organizations you'll be able to locate the ones near you. When you start reading, pull up a comfy chair, pack a lunch and something to drink, it's quite the library.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the advice. I'm actually taking a class at the John C Campbell folk school in a couple months so that should get a lot of my basics out of the way (it's a week long course). For now I'm just trying to get a shop set up... I'm a pretty decent welder, should I fill in that chunk taken out of the hardie and file it back evened out or just leave it as is? It looks intentionally done, any ideas why someone would chisel out the hole like that?

As for the site, I've been reading constantly for days now and really appreciate you guys who post frequently and help out us newbies. This is definitely a great resource for metal heads!

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That's the best-looking Mousehole I've ever seen.  Looks almost brand new..... and I'd be hesitant to use it.  I would use it, for sure, but I'd be really careful to not ding it up any worse than it already is.


I certainly wouldn't try to repair any of the blemishes.  That hardy hole is still 100% functional, so anything you do to it is purely for cosmetics.  


The damage is probably from some yokel using it as a drilling platform and not getting the drill bit lined up with the hole well enough.  No reason for them to intentionally dig through the hardened face plate as making a swage to fit the hardy would have been a lot easier and faster... without damaging the face of the anvil.

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Yeah, I was surprised when I got it home and found out how old it was. Definitely thought it was MUCH newer. I guess I should clarify that if it's going on display it won't be in my collection. If it follows the trend of my other tools it will get used, and well. I take care of my stuff, but in that same vein I'm very hard on it. I can't afford a $200 wall hanger either...

As for the hardie hole. Those gouges go pretty deep and allow a little more wobble in any tools than I'd really like. I'd hate performing surgery on a 185yr old patient, but if I'm gonna beat on it a little work now may prevent a bigger chunk taken out later...

I'm in no hurry as I have no forge set up yet. If I find someone along the way who wants to trade I may pass it on. Although I do love some old stuff and she rings like a bell...

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