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Hello my fellow metal workers,

 

First, I have found there are many people looking at getting into blacksmithing; but they either do not have the money for the tools, or they do not know how to make their own.

Second, I have found equally as many who do not want to spend a large amount of time and or money making a beginning anvil, only to replace it if they really get into the hobby.

Third, I have found even more people who are young and moving around, and simply do not think they can move blacksmithing supplies around, more specifically an anvil.

 

As an engineer, my goal is to solve problems. To me it seems there is an obvious problem, and such a problem raises a few engineering goals. My engineering goals are as follows:

1. Find a way to make an anvil for under $100

2. Find a way to make this anvil good enough that it will not need to be replaced by a new one, should the user really get into the hobby.

3. Find a way to make this anvil large and heavy enough to be comparable in performance to an elite large anvil.

4. Find a way to make this anvil portable enough that it can be easily moved around; while also retaining foundation stability.

 

With these engineering goals in mind, let's make one XXXXXXX anvil!

 

 

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As you may have been able to tell from the title, my plan is to make this anvil from railroad track. However, I am gong to take the basic RR track anvil to a whole new level.

My plans are as follows:

 

- Cut 4 pieces of railroad track, each 75 cm in length (as an engineer I use metric units)

 

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1: go to the scrapyard and buy a 100# piece of scrap steel. (At my scrap yard this will cost US$20)

2: get to work---it's an anvil that exceeds 2000 years of anvils used for everything from swords to ornate ironwork

 

Honest Bob at SOFA would demonstrate at meetings using a chunk of 9"? shaft with a "stump" carved to hold it on the flat or on the edge---and he sells smithing equipment at Quad-State.

 

If you are stuck on RR Rail and "london pattern anvils" I hope you have read the chapter in "The Complete Modern Blacksmith" on making and heat treating anvils from rail.  You may also want to dig into the archives of the neo-tribal metalworkers who "specialized" in improvised anvils as part of their "culture of metalworking"

 

How familiar with blacksmithing are you?  As an engineer you are probably well aware of people solving problems where they didn't have the background to evaluate their solutions.  (and familiar with the term re-inventing the wheel")

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I you add your general location to your profile, it will be helpful.  If you live in, hmmmm, let's say, Fiji, your exposure to locomotive transportation rail configurations will be limited.

 

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If you search this site you'll find this topic has been addressed many times.  Don't get stuck on a london pattern, easy for me to say as I have one which I bought after having made enough money selling things I forged on this piece of RR track.  If that's what you have it's recommended using it vertically, but as said search this site for alternatives.

 

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Bell Labs used to have a machine shop for it's engineers in Columbus OH---not for the factory but for the engineers to use on their own in their off time.  By the time I got there only a couple of us were using it and most of the "fun" tools were banned from engineer use as work had shifted from hardware to software and losing fingers to a lathe/mill/etc  slows down software engineers.  I sure missed it when they closed it down; every once in a while a smith can profit from a tool designed after 1800!

 

And re Charles' comment---as this is a Friday and I like to post book titles may I commend to your attention: The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb"  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  (Which contains the eybrow raising quote "Sorry to knock you up so early Dr" with reference to Dr Watson and has provoked many a discussion of the differences between English and American...)

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As you may have been able to tell from the title, my plan is to make this anvil from railroad track. However, I am gong to take the basic RR track anvil to a whole new level.

My plans are as follows:

 

- Cut 4 pieces of railroad track, each 75 cm in length (as an engineer I use metric units)

 

 .... and then?

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I'm chronically tech chalanged, but as a former automotive mechanic my opponian is that an enginear should spend his inturnships with the end users and maintenance tecnitians, I think it would make for much better engineering in the long run.
I remember when GM put IFS on the one tons, they chronically broke the tip of the two peice shaft (it indexed the two halves for the vacuum disconnect) it didn't take a mechanic and a machinest long to see that the tit would break off, we ended up rifle boring them and pressing in a peice of drill rod. No more stress riser, no mor failers. Took GM a long time to catch up.

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Post anvil.  That's all there is to the equation.  Spend $100 on as big a chunk of steel you can find at the scrap yard.  Even if you put have that budget into gas to get to a decent scrap yard that sells to the public, you can still get a huge anvil for $50 or less.

 

Anvils don't have to look any particular way unless they need to do a particular job.  I'd be very happy with a post anvil if it was heavy enough for me.  No horn.  No hardy or pritchel hole.  

 

If primitive cultures could make damascus swords, fully articulated suits of armor and pattern-welded blades on something other than a london-pattern anvil, I'm sure I could, too.

 

Still, it'll be neat to see what you come up with.  I'm always interested in learning from other folks.

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Let us hear the rest of his post before we jump to conclusions. 

 

If he does indeed have a better idea, I for one am willing to listen.

 

 

Next post should be by BrokeAndBored as the ball is in his court.

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As an engineer and part-time machinist, I'll be watching this with interest.

Have at it!  ;)

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I had this piece of track surfaced. It cost me 17 for the track and 50 to have it surfaced. My horn is somewhere inside that chunk of steel in the second pic. I just need to go in and bring it out.

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post-48222-0-35089700-1396639286_thumb.j

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I'm with you Glenn, I've found some really innovative ideas come from folk who were really new to the craft.

 

We're listening Brokeandbored, what do you have in mind. Draw us a picture, we're just blacksmiths you know.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just remember that long ago the "crazy" people were the ones that thought the earth was flat and the sun orbited the earth! Discovery and invention is a form of evolution.

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I was not talking about the OP, I sincerely hope he has some technical insight from an outsiders perspective to share, and will come back and finish this thread.

 

 

I was referring to the crowd response to his unfinished missive. 

 

I think we have been trolled, by an expert.

 

"Past performance is no guarantee of future results." But that's the way to bet.

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Well, this ought to be amusing if not enlightening. I need popcorn and a comfy chair, maybe a cool drink........

 

i'm with john .... did we need to re-invent the wheel ?

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Does the $100 include your supplies to make the anvil? Torch gas, wielding rod, grinding wheels, flapper wheels ect... Or is it just for the anvil material?

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I had a comprehensive, if a bit smart-alecy, 'Demand List', including calculations given the information provided.

 

The purpose of my draft was to receive true reciprocation from the OP, as he has named 'us' as his design team. 

 

My draft was in the same format (less any hint of 'Humor') that I have used in the past with an Engineering Department to facilitate Process Design Goals.

 

I copied off my unfinished post and aborted in compliance with Glenn's instructions.  In the event of  Boredandbroke coming back on line and continuing this design activity, I will be eager to restart this engineering support document, edited for 'Humor'.

 

This is Glenn's shop, I follow his rules, except for, with my apology, "Next post should be by BrokeAndBored as the ball is in his court."

 

Robert Taylor

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Just wanted to give BrokeAndBored an opening and opportunity to provide us the rest of the his ideas.

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