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Hey everyone! So I spent all of Sunday driving through Washington to get down to SE Washington for an anvil. It looks like a Vulcan to me and what I found online indicates that that's probably what it is, but naturally more opinions than one makes for a more accurate diagnosis.

I paid $180 for this guy and I estimate it weighs around 100#

 

I did chalk rubbing on anywhere I thought likely to find some additional stamp or markings but I didn't find anything.

 

All of the markings on it I found are in the pictures. I found (it looks like) LL&B Co. under the heel, the number 10 under the horn, and near that on the base I found what looks like 104 (the third number is hard to make out but its definitely 10_). I also noticed under the face, on both sides there is what appears to be a square bar that possibly runs through to each side, I'm not sure, I haven't really seen that before and I was wondering if anyone knew what it was, why it's there etc. I circled them in one of the pictures.

 

You can see in the pictures that I have an "old" ammo can, if I turn it on it's end and set the anvil on it, it's almost perfect working height, so I was wondering how well you guys thing it would work as a stand if I filled it with sand, closed it up and turned it up on it's end?

 

I put a $20 in two of the pictures for a size reference.  Anyone know anything else about it? 

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post-9772-0-98818500-1407810691_thumb.jp

post-9772-0-28158500-1407810756_thumb.jp

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That would be Illinois Iron & Bolt Co.

I'm wondering if this is before or after they had the arm and hammer casting logo...
Interesting!

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I couldn't find any indication of an Arm and Hammer logo. I looked close, I cleaned it up, I felt it, I chalk rubbed. Doesn't look like there was anything that used to be there. If it was there at one time and someone removed it, they did one hell of a job removing it.

 

The face looks like it's really thin, I don't have a ball bearing to use for a test, but when I hit it (lightly) with my hammer, it seems to rebound only to about 40-50%, but I could be misjudging, or affecting it somehow without my knowing.

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You have one of the more rare and early Illinois Iron and Bolt Co anvils that does not have the arm and hammer logo.

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Fill the ammo can with sand and place the anvil on it and a few sessions later the sand has shaken down and the anvil is bouncing on a thin sheet metal tympanum. find a traditional tree stump, build a wooden stump or weld up a metal one.  Now if the ammo can was the correct height in it's usual configuration you could fill it full of sand and place the anvil on top of the sand... 

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I see your point Thomas. I'll play around with it and see what I can do, or what I can find. There's enough trees up here there should be a stump somewhere I can get.

 

Black Frog, cool it's neat knowing that my anvil has a long history behind it, even if I don't know exactly what that history is.

 

Anyone know anything about the other markings I found on it?

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Is there some lettering I'm seeing in pic #3 centered between your circles just user the face?

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I see what you're seeing in the picture, and I went to check again just to be sure. I can't see anything on the anvil in that location, there is some heavier uneven metal in that area but it doesn't look like it used to be anything. No more so than anywhere else on the anvil, aside from the obvious markings that I have pointed out.

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Those slightly raised areas just under the face look like casting sprues or vents to me. Cast body/steel faced anvils were cast upside down, with the face plate already inside the mold. Fisher had a patent to run the first bit of liquid iron over the plate to pre-heat for a better bond, would not surprise me if other makers did something similar.

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So the face would be in the mold and they would cast the anvil through those points into the mold?

Or would they leave those spots open perhaps and allow the iron to flow out of those holes to ensure they get a solid cast, before trimming the excess down?

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I've seen several Illinois Iron and Bolt Co which was also Vulcan anvil. All that I've seen with II&B Co logo are the smaller sized anvils under 100#. Fred Moore has a few in his Vulcan collection.

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Mine is 104 pounds, just weighed it today after I got home from work. Cleaned some of the dirt off it too but didn't uncover anything new. Going to work at it a little more tomorrow. Looking into getting a stump from a friend who just cut down a tree. Anything I need to be worried about with a green stump as opposed to a weathered and dry stump? Any extra precautions to take to protect the anvil from the stump moisture?

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The little bit of moisture shouldn't hurt it. I've seen them fastened to live stumps that had to have new growth trimmed once in awhile. DO take off all the bark, or you may have problems with insects/fungus, etc.  If I was really worried about it, I'd put linseed oil on the bottom, but opinion on oiling or painting the "non-working" surfaces of your anvil varies.  Hardwood stumps are prefered, and it also helps to bury 2 or 3 feet of the stump if you're not planning to move it.

 

And try not to put the staples/screws/whatever too close to the edge as they may be fine now, but as it dries out they may chip out to the side on you.  Have fun. Green stumps are HEAVY.

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