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ACME Anvil Markings to ID

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Recently joned the forum, and figured I would start posting.


Attached are pictures of an ACME Anvil I saw for sale on Craigslist recently.

There are quite a few numbers stamped at the foot of the base, see picture.

It appears to be stamped '120' on the left. Perhaps the right side is a serial number? (A38215 ??).

For ACME anvils, is the 120 indicating pounds, or is that marking the stone weight? (which would make it 168 lbs).

In the picture of the side, is the top plate delaminating, or is the top plate seam just visible?


They are asking $600 - which seems a little steep given the condition.

I was considering offering $350 for it (about $2/lb.), but that is well below the asking price.

Is this anvil worth buying for my first anvil? If so, any thoughts on a fair price?



Matt O'Driscoll




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ACME's were made by both Hay Budden or Trenton.
Yours appears to be a Trenton-made version to me.
Trenton (mostly) put the weight stamp on the foot opposite the serial number.
HB's had the weight stamp on the side under the logo, and the HB ACME's I've seen have the ACME logo higher toward the top face and centered on the anvil.

120 would be the weight, anvil makers in the U.S. marked in actual pounds, not english stone weight.
Lovely anvil in fantastic condition, but quite steep on price.

Funny you posted this now, I was just looking at an ACME anvil this morning myself ....

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You'd be hard-pressed to find a top-of-the-line anvil name in nicer overall condition, the face looks almost unused for the most part.
You can see where someone caringly dressed the far egde of the anvil toward the horn.

ACME's are not all that common, for an anvil collector with deep pockets that $600 isn't out of the question if put on Ebay.
For a smith looking for a working tool it is quite steep on price.

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There are not that many anvil collectors out there so it may be a while to get that price $US5/# for an anvil sold by Sears & Roebuck in their catalog.


Price also has a location factor to it.  Tons more anvils in Ohio than in New Mexico...if you are not in the United States an Acme might be rare indeed!

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mtodriscoll, Forgot to mention that top plate is not delaminating.
That is the visible seam from the top plate being forge welded on.
You'll see that quite often on HB's, Trentons, A&H's, etc.

If Matchless Steve was selling this ACME on Ebay, I'd not doubt he would get that price for such a beautiful example.
He has got $5 to $6 a pound for similarly sized HB and Trenton anvils in this nice of condition....

Now would the ACME-branded stamp be a more, or less desirable version of a HB or Trenton for an anvil collector?
Only the free market of buyers would say for sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am now the proud owner of the pictured anvil! I was able to talk the seller down from $600 to $350! 

I live in Virginia and the anvil was in northern NY near some relatives of mine, so I had my Uncle stop in and do a ball bearing test.

It had good rebound (about 80%) so he picked it up for me. I should see it in a couple weeks.

Maybe by then I'll have my coal forge ready to go and I hammer out my first project.


Thanks for your help and advice!

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  • 4 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 4:07 AM, ausfire said:

A picture please!!





On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:50 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Hey Larry; those Canadian dollars; or Australian ones; or Hong Kong; or Singapore,...

Over 100 countries participate here; why I use US$ for at least the first time I post a price.

There is $ in front of my prices.

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Which is used by dozens of other countries; like Canada, Australia, Singapore. Just like using English does not necessarily mean you are in the UK; the $ sign doesn't mean it is US dollars; why I try to use US$XYZ the first time I use $ in a post.  Welcome to the World Wide Web! (I'm posting from Mexico right now...)

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Why is ever comment so negative??I really enjoy the fact that I can get into blacksmithing with my grandkids and get a big smile when I find a great old piece of history.No reason to be so critical of others equipment there starting out with.God Bless 

5 hours ago, ausfire said:

Looks like it's had a savage resurfacing. Why do they do that!! I bet it looked better before.

The top working surface is flat and plenty of life left in it.Thats what matters too me.It will get better “looking” as I use it.

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Everything is not all about you.  In general we are trying to teach the greater world that grinding and welding on anvil faces is a very bad thing to do.   Notice how they didn't say *you* had done it; just that it would have been better not done at all.

Anything posted goes out to the world; not just the person previously posting.  If it was specific to one person we could just use pm's and save the bandwidth.

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Hi Larry, nice anvil.

I wouldn't worry about the resurfacing. It is not ideal but it will serve you well.

Concentrate in building your workshop and start forging. Yes, you will encounter lots of insensitive comments. It's the internet after all. 

Stay away from anvil threads, as you would from religious debates, and try to pick the little knowledge that is here to learn, if such is even possible online, how to make whatever it is that you would like to make. 

You will soon learn who to ask questions and who to avoid.

All the best,



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Not critical at all, Larry. This is a thread about anvils after all. Just an observation. It's a pity your 'piece of history' has been treated like that (not by you!) but, as Marc said, it will work well for you.

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10 hours ago, Marc1 said:

Hi Larry, nice anvil.

I wouldn't worry about the resurfacing. It is not ideal but it will serve you well


Black Frog,

Thank you for your insight.Im still not understanding if my Anvil surface is flat,evenly thick,what is not ideal about it?Yes it has lost some of its character but it will work for my needs.God Bless


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The hardened face of an anvil is of limited thickness; it's thickness also controls the uselife of the anvil---think of it like tread on your car's tire. If your car got a bit out of alignment would you then grind the tread down on all your tires to make them smooth and even and matching again?  Or would you fix the alignment and rotate the tires and continue driving on them?  What would happen to the use life of your tires if you did grind them to match?

Anvils generally do not need to be FLAT, my favorite blade straightening anvil is the one that has the most swale to it for example.  Removing DECADES of life from an anvil that didn't need it to be usable is generally considered by blacksmiths to be a bad idea. (Throwing away money!)   

Trying to replace material ground off can often ruin an anvil if not done absolutely correctly, (most welders do NOT know the proper process!!!!!) And it is generally quite expensive.  I had a friend who had had his first anvil milled flat with sharp edges---(another bad thing in smithing as they result in cold shuts on your work.) He found that the face was then too thin to use as an anvil. So he paid good money for an anvil and paid good money to have it ruined---he kept it for around 20 years until there was an Anvil Repair Day hosted by an ABANA Affiliate only 225 miles away from him.  After the long preheat to the proper temperature; a skilled blacksmith and welder---teaches welding at the local college spent 5 hours using industrial equipment building a face back on it using the correct alloy rods and correct post heat.  Guess how much a 5 hour job by a top end professional welder would cost on the open market instead of being a donation to the craft?  Lets just say he could have bought a replacement anvil the same size...

So does this explain why we are a bit gunshy of ground/milled anvil faces?  In 38 years of smithing I am finally up to 4 anvils I have seen that I would have suggested grinding on before using it, vs several thousand used anvils that I would not recommend doing so.


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Thanks for the educated information.I agree,I would never have ground on the Anvil I purchased.I made the decision based on location,total price(not shipped)and the condition of the Anvil.The top plate still has plenty of thickness for many years after I’m done with it.I was just sharing my excitement of getting my first anvil.God Bless

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