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I Forge Iron

Possible block anvil source

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Pacific Machinery and Tool is offering 25 lb bundles of tool steel (H-13, S-7) on Ebay for $25 plus 24.19 shipping. I was interested in hand tools, but they said that the pieces are big. One piece per order, could be up to 2X3x27. These might make good block anvils or anvil tops.

Why does a medium piece of steel bedded in concrete make such a good knifemaker's anvil? Wouldn't the concrete crack? It turns out, for hand hammering, not really. A simple calculation of the impulse force shows it to be below the safe compressive strength for concrete, neglecting side friction.

What's a good way of heat treating one of these big pieces for either a block or a hard top? I have heard that dunking causes cracking, primarily due to large vapor pockets, but a spray might work. These tool steels are deep hardening, so the firehose trick may not be necessary.

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