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I Forge Iron

what stock would be good for use

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Anything you can get for free and like above something small that will work with your anvil. If you take thn round or square stock and just coil it up you will learn alot about how metal movs. try and not change the cross section as you coil just light taps. Once you have a coul you could dish it into a candle cup or whatever. You have a good start on learning smithing.

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A 20# anvil will pretty much limit you to 1/4" stock and smaller. Oh sure you CAN work heavier but it'll be a PITA.

Nails as suggested, skewers and toasters, "S", "J" drive hooks, cabinet hardware, etc. There're lots of useful and beautiful things you can make in light stock.

Then again, try your local salvage yard or even truck repair shop for something useful as a field expedient anvil. One of my hands down favorite anvils ever was a field expedient. It was an axle out of I don't know what but it was heavy with a large thick bolt flange. Buried to a depth where the flange was at proper forging height it made a wonderful anvil.

Unfortunately I didn't bring it home with me when we left the job site, I was distracted by hauling the loot from the Seward Machine Shop home and forgot it.


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where are you lookngi to get a 70# anvil?...if you looking at someplace liek the hardware store like harbor freight or northern tools. and it's a powder grey color that look anvil shaped. STAY AWAY FROM IT!!! it's 100% cast iron. and the first time you hit the horn or the heel to hard it will break right off. if your looknig for a beginner anvil and you have a harbor frieght around you somewhere ask for there 110# anvil. i got mine for less than $1 a pound. the look god awful ugly but they have quite a bit of mass under the hammer and that are really good beginner anvils. they have a relatively soft face. so it can teach you propar hammer control....don't waste your money or a cheap anvil like the other ones. my $.02. but if you have a source for a good quality 70#er let me know becasue i'll get one. i would say anything up to like 3/8" no more probably

Son Daughtry

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There are charts on what size hammer you can use on what size anvil for decent efficiency; something like a 50:1 ratio anvil to hammer is suggested. Going too heavy a hammer with too small an anvil can result in catastrophic failure with a traditional london pattern anvil. Learning to work over the center of the mass will help if you over amp the hammer; but I won't let anyone use a 8# sledge on my 91# anvil!

Of course if it's a heavy chunk of *steel* then you don't have the failure problem as much. You may dent it but you won't break it.

As was mentioned 1/4" square stock is a great starter material, (or as I say "It's the fastest way between blacksmithing and money!") S hooks, drive hooks, candle holders, nails, drawer pulls, lots of stuff you can make and it's *cheap* and fast to work due to it's size.

Another material is election sign frames *after* the elections are over---be sure to ask if they are on private property! Another is the heavy very soft steel wire they tie bundles of rebar for shipping---not rebar tie wire; but the bundle tie wire. They throw it away at lumber yards and large work sites and it can be used for a bunch of things.

Small diameter stock coil springs, like garage door springs can get you into the HighC world and things like artist's scribes are easy to make. (My daughter took an art class once and reported that there were only 3 scribes for the entire class to use---she had 5 of her own the next class session---the teacher was very impressed...)

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