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I Forge Iron

What is it ?

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I am looking at an Anvil.

The first one is as follows: Only markings are on the side, "CMO, 1887", and on the base just under the other markings, " US".
Measurements: Size: Length- 20" Height- 10" Depth- 3.5" Base dimensions- 9" x 8.5" Between 110-120 lbs.
I have searched the web for two days, almost every waking hour, without success, nothing ; I am stumped.
Does anyone have any info on this one like "Who made it ", "what is it made of" and maybe "when was it made" ?

Second one: "Vintage blacksmith Vulcan anvil, length is 20.5" and the width is 3.75", weight is approximately 120#.

I don't need a large anvil, something smaller for a small retirement Metal
Working Shop, will be good and these might work if I knew more about them.

Anything, anyone can help,me with would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading my first post and for any assist.

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it is cast
there are several types of cast iron and steel it could be made from, most cast anvils are not very good.
I have a good cast steel anvil

How do you tell it is a casting ?

Can it be determined if it is cast steel or cast iron ?

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the raised lettering,

the seam down the middle of the horn and table,

the shape of the feet


a forged anvil will mostly have handling holes in the waist, one under the horn, one under the heel and often one in the bottom, these are tapered square holes used when the anvil was being made

a pic of the bottom of the anvil  may show more clues

not all cast anvils are bad

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Can you visit these in person? If so take a ball bearing and drop it on the face. If it bounces more than say 70% it's O-K-A-Y. If it goes thunk and bounces 25% its dead and not much but a weight.


Everybody calls old things "vintage" if they called it an "antique" like they're implying the auction site would charge a large %. I don't buy "vintage" it's just old unless it is really something special. You want proof if they claim it IS special, provenance is important or it's just old.


Markings set proud of the surface are cast not stamped. Cast anvils can be good, some are the best there is but they MUST pass the bearing or small hammer test. Virtually any anvil you're going to spend money on should pass the bearing test even if you know just what it is.


Anvils can be damaged and it may not show.


First example being a delaminating face plate, the high carbon steel face is forge welded to the wrought iron body but occasionally a weld is bad or something else causes the weld to fail. Delamination isn't usually visible except in extreme cases but the ball bearing or hammer will NOT rebound much if the face is delaminated. That spot will be dead and sound it too.


Another example is a fire If the anvil is heated too hot the steel face will have the hardness run out, naturalized or even annealed. the entire faceplate will be dead and it's now yard art. Unless you know darned well how to reharden it. It can be fixed but is seriously advanced process.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for all the info guys.
I will get this one for the front door decoration, the wife will like that !

I guess I will bid on the PW anvil on e-bay, the shipping will kill me but it is worth a try.


Just wish someone knew who the manufacturer is/was ?

Added: just found there is a "B" on the bottom, can't be there just to let you know it is the Bottom.
Any ideas on that one ?
Also, is that the year it was made, "1887", or a model number ?



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Vulcans have a cast iron body with a thin steel plate for the face.  They are about the bottom of the quality tier for "real anvils"; but they are on it and for light duty may suit many people well.  They are also a quiet anvil and do not ring; handy if you have neighbors close.  Beware though as many people try to sell them at the same price as top of the tier anvils---asking Mercedes prices for Ford Escort anvils.


If you find a cast anvil where the casting seams are still visible on the face it generally means  cast iron otherwise it would have been worth cleaning up the casting.  Sometimes it will be random cast steel but with no heat treat; unlike high grade cast iron anvils cast from excellent alloys, cleaned up and heat treated.


Unfortunately people selling anvils often either lie or just don't know about them and post falsehoods anyway.

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If it's made in 1887 then it can't be Chrom Moly.  CMO is probably the company that had it made, I'd bet the 1887 was a model.  Some folks will use deceptive practices to sell junk.  Take a ball bearing or small hammer and check it out.  If it fails walk away.  It only took me almost 5 years to find my Fisher.  Anvils are like women, there are a lot of fakes; the good ones are hard to find and you'll want to keep them.  ;)

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Uncaught typo!!!:  high grade cast iron anvils cast from excellent alloys
should have said: high grade cast *steel* anvils cast from excellent alloys

The old mom & dad difference ie. Mom irons & Dad steals hence the family is in the iron & steel business.

Sorry Thomas, could not help myself (grin)
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I was hoping someone could come up with the manufacturer of this anvil but I guess not.
I like it, the shape that is and would have liked to have had it in my new shop.

Thanks to all for any input, if anyone comes up with anything please post of contact me on PM.


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CMO.....Chinese Metal Object...... :ph34r: .......Two things; one, the 1887 looks to me like that was put there to fool someone looking for an antique.......and the other is I doubt it's made in the US.....The fact that it's so boldly stated makes me leery........ :unsure: ........Keep looking.

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My name is Sisco, but they call me Crisco for shortening.


I have dealt with these anvil questions privately by e-mail, but perhaps my answers were not good enough. The anvil is probably cast iron; it is really ugly, and it is maybe a one-off cast by a private firm, and marked and used by that firm only.

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I broke down and bought an anvil.
It is a Vulcan, cast iron but I think it has a steel plate in the top.
Doesn't look too bad, in fact to me I like the looks, clean top.

See the picture !

What do you I think ?

My intended use is a hobby anvil, something to bent metal, straighten metal, maybe even make some tools on but not much else.

Thanks for comments !


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