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Anvil HELP!!!

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Help me out here...You are showing a shop layout in another posting that has a couple of 'student' stations. Are you building a shop to teach blacksmithing? If so I would think you would have the anvils, forges, vises, etc before setting up the school, or at least where to locate them.

$1000.00 for 2 anvils should not be too hard to accomplish. As mentioned in your other post, check out Blacksmith Supply and/or Kayne and Sons, just to name 2 suppliers of blacksmith tools. Also, check the yellow pages for a farrier supply store in your area, they will have anvils or can order you one (or 2).

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I have a 500+ pound Fisher, a 407# Trenton, a 165# Peter Wright, a 134# Hey Budden and a 91# Arm and Hammer and did not spend US$1000 for the complete lot!

What you *don't* want to do is to use the web save perhaps craigslist for your general area---shipping anvil can be quite pricy especially when there are most likely some in your general area already!

First of all if you want an anvil for a modest price you *don't* want to buy one from someone that makes their living selling them. They know the going rate and will want that or even more if they recognize that glazed anvilless look in your eyes!

What you want is those anvils that are lurking in garages and basements; they used to belong to someone in the family but now just occupy space and leap out to damage the odd shinbone passing by. Shoot sometimes they may even *give* you the anvil once you tell them that it will go to a good, coal smoke shrouded, home.

Or they may ask you to set a price on it. As I am basically a decent fellow I will start at US$1 a pound---or about 1/2 the current rate---but it was the going rate for *many* years and some folks will agree to it. In certain circumstances I'll go higher, in others I'll offer lower *if* the seller thinks it is a fair price. I will not try to beat down a price. If they won't agree to what I am willing to offer I'll get back on the trail to the next one.

Now how do you find these anvils? Talk to everyone! I was given a sweedish anvil from a member of my church out here in NM where anvils are *very* rare---no population back "then". My massive Fisher was from talking with a fellow at a fleamarket---he was selling greasy car parts no metalworking tools at all; *but* his uncle had a 500# Fisher in excellent condition that he wanted to sell and so later that night I paid US$350 for it.

Also at fleamarkets look for "old barn trash" often there was an anvil hidden out there that they just didn't want to go to the trouble of hauling it to the fleamarket---I once picked up a mint 100# anvil because they guy had a hardy for it in a bunch of plumbing junk. I bought the hardy and asked where the anvil for it was. US$100 later I had both.

Auctions have been a waste of time for me, a day wasted and stuff I was interested priced in the stratosphere; except for two: the first was an old car repair business that had been in the same building since 1919! So of course there would be a forge and anvil hidden in the decades of junk. Since it was classic car folk attending the forging equipment went cheap. The other was an HVAC company that moved to their new building in 1935, no antiques, no furniture for Yuppies *and* it was held on a holiday weekend so the number of business bidders was way down too. Got the Hey-Budden in lovely shape for just a bit over us$1 a pound.

Remember that there were often more anvils in cities than in the country---back when *every* factory had a smithy for the toolshop to build and repair equipment; some that I have know about included a glass factory, a sugar refining factory, a metal casting factory all owned multiple anvils. Other oddball places include a Hospital who had an anvil for their orthopedic work---I talked with the retired smith for one who told me tales of all the smithing they did during WWII and that brings to mind army/navy surplus as smithing set-ups for both were made for WWII. And of course the RailRoad---where my large anvil originated as part of a Blacker triphammer.

So start talking with folks---don't think "they wouldn't have an anvil" think "If they did have one they would let it go cheap when they found out I was a beginning smith!"

Put up a card at the local feed store; talk to a local farrier about places that had smithys but now hire their shoeing done.

Get cracking and you might have an anvil by Monday!

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Good grief mate, are you trolling here ??? , cant make a pair of working tongs, cant afford $160 for a used anvil, now $ 1000 to pay for 2 ? designing a forge for 2 students ? put concrete in a forge ...... make your mind up.

Im not flaming this, but people are free and open with their advice and time, just be honest - your not trying to, or going to 'impress' anyone with non existand budgets and workshops, skill levels etc. its a small community, youll just end up looking silly.

Ask, listen, read, learn, people will help you out.

I hope its just youthfull enthusiam and you do have a passion for the craft, but keep it real eh :)

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thanks for elucidating some of my feelings for me. Tom, I envy (in a positive, non-covetous way) your collection and ability to grow it.

M, Thanks for setting the story straight. I have been getting more and more curious about your wants and desires regarding iron-banging. I lurked for almost a year on this site, following conversations and threads, going through the blueprints, trying my bestest to absorb all of the knowlege and experience I could from this site and anvilfire, before even working up the guts to post a question that wouldn't make me look too much like a total wannabenoobie.

Reading through some of the past questions you have posted, I realize that you are looking for the quick answer and instant knowlege. My suggestion is to pretend you're a doctor and get some patience. You are young and have a much easier time and better cranial capacity for learning new stuff than an old gasser like myself. Make use of the time wisely.

My first set of tongs link removed at the request of anvilfire, which I still use on a very regular basis were designed by a then-10 year old. I figured if he could do it, I most surely could. (Thanks Sean, yours was a brilliant work of simplicity.)

Be cool and say a prayer. Answers are out there

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You are very lucky; I've moved 10 times since I got out of college. longest I have ever lived in one place is 15 years. Shortest 1 year.

My suggestion it to not overthink this at this stage. Build a forge that's right for *you* ; but in a way that it can be extended/expanded later when you want to start teaching. Who knows you might find yourself timber framing rather than smithing when you get older...

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m, if your dreaming of the future may I suggest the following for your dream shop.......

1, small power hammer, an everyday user, somthing like a 50lb lg or airhammer,

2, bigger hammer, somthing like a 300lb / 500lb nazel (well, a Massey would be better really) - you will only use it for the same size work as your small hammer, but it will impress you mates... :)

3, a nice, fast acting hydraulic press, 100 / 150 tons, you can use this for the same purpose as no 2, above or for some real nice knife billet forging.

4, a small 'Grant' induction heater (to those in the know would these work on 50hz without mods and would they be good for 300 heats hour on the end of 12mm titanium for bolt heading?).

5, qty 6 anvils, you will only use 1 of them most of the time but you will out anvil t.p :)

m, seriously your best bet is to get good at a job with a mass market, programming , databasing etc - you might not think it now but get good at it and you will earn more than enough from this to have a better hobby shop than most full time smiths and you can work from home ,

(no offence full time smiths, :)

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Shoot it's easy to out anvil me; but to out cheap me takes a bit more effort!

When I was living in the happy hunting grounds for used smithing stuff I finally decided that I would only keep a certain number of things and if I found another one at a good price I would sell it off to another person who couldn't find one at a decent price or upgrade to it and sell one of the other ones off.

That number was 10 for post vises and around 5 for anvils. (Fisher, Trenton, Peter Wright, Hay-Budden, Arm and Hammer). (I didn't include my stake anvil for medieval Rennaisance LH smithing, my "lump" anvil for early medieval LH, my bridege anvil, or my wall of shame anvils) If I find a nice mousehole I may bump my number up by one.

I've already found two free anvils out here that I didn't keep but made sure they got to the Fine Arts Metals shop at NM Tech---they broke their last anvil---it's a vulcan and now a member of my wall of shame...(the ones I found were a bridge anvil and a swedish cast steel anvil)

And I will freely admit I have *bought* an HF 55# anvil---we drilled it out and made a propane stove out of it for use at the MOB camp at Quad-State. It drilled like butter and had so much graphite in it you could have used it for a pencil!

There is an anvil collector out here that has over 300 anvils; none of them doing anybody any good. Someday there will be an estate sale...I don't want to be a hoarder; if I did I wouldn't tell everyone my secret methods; of course the ability to "feel" an anvil burried in a collapsing barn as you drive past it at 60 mph can't be learned...sorry!

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John N speaks the truth. I'm a software engineer, and iv'e got a pretty nice shop now. If I had to make money doing it, I'd have hardly any shop and I certainly wouldnt own a house to have the shop in my backyard in the first place.

It's great to see that you're enthusiastic, but temper that enthusiasm with some realism. Take it slow, take your time, only get what you absolutely need for now and no more, and make what you can as you go along, that's half the fun of smithing.

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I know a ton of web design, programming, and databasing. I make a complete website with anything in it. That is one thing that i've been taught and learned on my own. Name a website and I can make most likely. For any of those out there who know any of the following, i know them really well: HTML CSS PHP MySQL CSS Javascript....and so on. But mainly those six. I like computers, sports, smithing, and the outdoors. And everything that goes with those.

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You have any pics of that anvil stove?? that sounds like the best use of one of those things I have ever heard of.....

JPH (Shopwise...if it can't be with a hammer,drill press and a file I ain't gona do it...)

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"Shopwise...if it can't be with a hammer,drill press and a file I ain't gona do it"

Nice to hear that Jim! Alot of times there is a massive emphasis on getting all these kinds of tools when there is a simple and effective way to do things. I also would like to please see that stove Thomas!

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