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Ser Menalak

Anvil Identification

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Hello,

 

I have been using a railroad anvil and I feel I should move on to something bigger. I spotted this anvil in my local craigslist and I contacted the seller about whatever markings there may be on it but he has yet to get back. Could you guys help me identify the brand and what type of body this anvil has? To me it appears to have steel welded to the top but I honestly don't know. I also do not know the dimensions or if the face is very concave as it's somewhat hard to tell. What do you guys think?  It is also going for $2-$3 a pound!

 

http://worcester.craigslist.org/tls/4556620165.html

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I'd be skeptical of the quality of that if I were you.  Might be a medium quality lesser known brand (for the USA) like Brooks given the blue paint and cast look but more likely it's an ASO.  Usually some good anvils on southern New England craigslists, keep looking.  If you want to drive I have a Hay Budden plus some other kit on the Vermont craigslist right now, but you should be able to find something closer.  

 

Have you joined NEB yet?  We'd love to have you!  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org

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Brooks I've seen all have a much thicker heel on the end.
Cast anvil of some sort, who knows without looking better. ASO a real probability.
I'd try a ball bearing test to see what happens...

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I'd be skeptical of the quality of that if I were you.  Might be a medium quality lesser known brand (for the USA) like Brooks given the blue paint and cast look but more likely it's an ASO.  Usually some good anvils on southern New England craigslists, keep looking.  If you want to drive I have a Hay Budden plus some other kit on the Vermont craigslist right now, but you should be able to find something closer.  

 

Have you joined NEB yet?  We'd love to have you!  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org

 

What makes you think it's an ASO? Also, Vermont is somewhat far but I would be willing to travel potentially. I am not a member of NEB or ABANA, I only took my into to blacksmithing class about a month ago (Prospect Hill Forge in Waltham under Carl) so I'm just starting. There is something called the Bolton Fair here in MA that has a blacksmithing hut with like 3 blacksmiths who work it during the fair so I'm not sure if there is any discussion of that within NEB.

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"What makes you think it's an ASO?"

 

Obvious cast features: thick square feet, flat horn, undersize hardy hole, pritchel hole too close to the centerline.

 

Worst of all, serious dents in the soft face. Run, don't walk away!

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"What makes you think it's an ASO?"

 

Obvious cast features: thick square feet, flat horn, undersize hardy hole, pritchel hole too close to the centerline.

 

Worst of all, serious dents in the soft face. Run, don't walk away!

Thankyou, these all sound like fine identifiers. Is this what I should look for to know it's an ASO when I can't see it in person? What would these have been used for if they're so inferior to actual anvils?

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They would have been used to separate the unknowing from their hard earned cash, IMNSHO.

 

This has been going on for at least a century, best I can tell. At least in the old days, reputable companies had the honesty to advertise and sell anvils in tiers of quality and price: wrought with a steel face, cast iron with a steel face, both with a one year warranty. And then for the misers and gullible, plain cast iron, usually unwarranted and nonreturnable.

 

I forgot to add the fact that there is about a 3/4" thick ledge with a 1/8" overhang around the face that makes it look like a really big top steel plate. Real steel faced anvils almost never have this feature: I have never seen it on a Vulcan, and it is rare on Fishers and Badgers.

 

In going back and looking at the ad, this turkey has sat on CL for a month now. Really good deals are gone in hours, if not minutes, now that you can run an app to notify you when something pops up.

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As mentioned:  the shape of the horn, the look of the damage on the face---and for me the real danger sign is the protruding "false face plate".  As to why---because they can; shoot they even sold Yugos in the USA!

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You see some like this that are cast steel (i've got one squirreled away somewheres), but they're still usually junk (mine is) and far too soft. They're better than the cast iron ones, but I'd still pass em by.

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They would have been used to separate the unknowing from their hard earned cash, IMNSHO.

 

This has been going on for at least a century, best I can tell. At least in the old days, reputable companies had the honesty to advertise and sell anvils in tiers of quality and price: wrought with a steel face, cast iron with a steel face, both with a one year warranty. And then for the misers and gullible, plain cast iron, usually unwarranted and nonreturnable.

 

I forgot to add the fact that there is about a 3/4" thick ledge with a 1/8" overhang around the face that makes it look like a really big top steel plate. Real steel faced anvils almost never have this feature: I have never seen it on a Vulcan, and it is rare on Fishers and Badgers.

 

In going back and looking at the ad, this turkey has sat on CL for a month now. Really good deals are gone in hours, if not minutes, now that you can run an app to notify you when something pops up.

 

 

As mentioned:  the shape of the horn, the look of the damage on the face---and for me the real danger sign is the protruding "false face plate".  As to why---because they can; shoot they even sold Yugos in the USA!

 

 

You see some like this that are cast steel (i've got one squirreled away somewheres), but they're still usually junk (mine is) and far too soft. They're better than the cast iron ones, but I'd still pass em by.

Thanks for the history John and all you guys. A lot of the anvils I see have a large amount of concavity to the face, right in the working area. Now, from what I've seen a lot of people say this isnt a big issue, especially for a beginners first real anvil. I did find one that doesn't seem to have this though but it has a crack on the heel, as in broken off. You can see it in the pics. So, would a concave face or a repaired heel be better? I know the right answer is probably neither.

http://worcester.craigslist.org/tls/4608086368.html

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I'd go for the repaired heel as one of my most used anvils has the heel broken completely off; but has a very nice hard flat face!

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