dustyrode

New face on the rail

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So, after what I felt was an appreciable amount of research I made myself an anvil. I had about 3.5' of railroad rail, so I cut off some (12" or so) of the rail side webbing, milled a smooth face on it, and welded it stoutly to the end of the remaining rail. This gave me a narrow work face, but still a nice flat surface with a lot of mass right under the face. The heel and horn sides of the face piece (I flame cut, then ground a horn on one end) extended past the center of mass, so I added some gussets. Add a 1" hardie hole, and that's what I've been using for the past year or two. The problem at this point is that the gusseted ends are not providing enough stability to forge on.
Now, the point:
I have a piece of 1.25" steel that I would like to attach to the existing face of my current anvil. If I put a good bevel on the narrower current face, preheat both pieces, and weld the heck out of the entire perimeter, will the resulting void ruin my homemade anvil?

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Could you put some pictures up of what you have made so far?  It would help to clear up exactly what you have.

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a picture may help people here to help you

have you looked at some of the home made anvil threads on here to get ideas?

ideally the weld should be across the entire area of a face, a way to do that is to clamp the face on to the body with a small spacer in between like a piece of 1/4" square down the middle leaving you a deep slot to fill in from both sides. like the filling in a sandwich though that is probably more work than you need unless what you are putting on is hardenable and will be heat treated

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Pics to follow. Its mild steel, probably, but I have dreams of hardfacing it. I have LOTS of welding rod that I can use to hardsurface with (railroad repair stuff, stoodie rods, 9018, etc), just gotta identify the best stuff to put on it.

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Looks like a decent home-build, but all the mass is directly under the center of the face.  The gussets aren't substantial enough to give the overhanging parts any real rigidity when it comes to being an anvil.  This isn't very problematic under the horn, but that long thin heel has no real support.

 

On the heel, you would be far better off to run two large gussets down the sides, enclosing the hardy hole you cut, instead of one short gusset that starts before the hardy.  Cut the gussets so you have one leg extending as far down the center post as you can get, and reaching out the heel past the hardy hole.

 

Adding to the top?  Not really a great idea, in my opinion, especially if you're adding mild steel that you hope to hardface.  No upside to adding that mass to the top if you still have a weak heel.  And really no upside if you factor in the time to completion compared to simply buying a london-pattern anvil.  They might be rare in FLA, but they aren't impossible to find.

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Maybe if you cut the piece of steel you have into support pieces and welded it under the unsupported overhangs it would help.

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Thanks for the input. I actually have enough steel to do some serious support work on the heel and the near and far edges, and plan to do it. I also decided today (I think) to cut off the current horn and weld another better one on. As far as it being more affordable and faster to buy an anvil, that's only mostly true. Making it a little at a time allows me to basically buy my anvil in small payments. Also, if I DO mess it up, I know what's there, and can theoretically repair it. Also also, I like to imagine that I'll be able to make my homegrown anvil more specialized to what I'm doing. I do want to make it the best I can, though, which is why I'm trying to figure our the best refacing technique :-)

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I use a section of fork lift tine for the table, about 4" by 2" and maybe 8" long on the smaller ones, then look for a tooth from an excavator or other hard wearing part for the horn

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