Jump to content
I Forge Iron

making a railroad anvil, how should I go about it?


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

 

I have very little expericence blacksmithing so I am a complete newbie. I got a 2 foot long piece of railroad tie and I want to make an anvil out of it. If anyone has any knowledge on making railroad anvils, tips would be greatly apprecieted.

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my neck of the woods, rr ties are made from treated wood, and thus are not a candidate for anvil use, what with the burning and all. RR rail would work a lot better, and there are lots of threads here to read. Pack a lunch and a beverage and dive in.

 

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also recommend making provisions so you can mount your "anvil" vertical as well as horizontal.
If you carve the back feet in to a small double horn bick then you have a bick and a post anvil, as well as a sudo London pattern anvil.

Now as Glenn is want to remind us, we payed for all or it use it all, i might suggest making provisions to also flip i flange up as well, as it makes a nice cutting table.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Post a picture of the rail. If it's not to radioused ontop you can grind it flat and roll the edges off a bit if it's pretty round you can stand it up and use the edges but have limited surface . You could also flip it rail side down and use the base for the flat surface. I started with a rail anvil not hardened but it was plenty hard to start with. Some marks in it but nothin an angle grinder can't smooth out. You can cut a horn in it with cut off wheels or a oxy acetelyn torch or have a machine shop ruff it out for relatively cheap and just grind it out to a nice shape depending on what tools you have. If you use cut off wheels it will take some time and quite a few discs but it is possible. I would bolt it to a stump and start hammering away for the time being though.

As a relatively new smith myself enjoy your new addiction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 feet is a good length for many things and light work. Make a stand (of sorts) to support the track side up flat side down, track side down flat side up, laying on its side, and standing on its end. If one end is already cut so it is flat your good to go. If not take a grinder and flatten the end so the surface is smooth to forge on.  If you need a hardie hole, weld a piece of heavy square tubing flush between the web and either the flat bottom or the track side.  If you want a horn weld a piece of round or cone perpendicular to a piece of square tubing or pipe and anchor it into the ground or in a 5 gallon bucket of concrete.  Cost is very little.

 

I have a piece of rr track standing on end between the forge and my real anvil. It gets a lot use. I also have a 2 foot section of rr track available to throw up on the work table so I can use the inside and outside curves of the track. 

 

My opinion, as a beginner the 2 foot of rr track will cover most of what you will need for forging to make things to sell and make money to buy a real anvil.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been slowly shaping an anvil shaped object from an approximately 18" section of rail. I have multiple "anvils" now that range from a block of steel to an industrial scrap cylinder to a homemade bick horn from 2" thick cut off scrap.

The best tips I can give you are:

1. Obtain a copy of The Complete Modern Blacksmith as Thomas mentioned above. The book is gold!

2. Ensure you never force an angle grinder with cut off disc when cutting the rail. Most likely it is used and has been work hardened to the point that you will burn out your grinder if not careful and patient. I opted to shape a rough horn and it took me an ample amount of time to do properly.

3. IF you so choose to drill a Pritchel and Hardy Hole, and lack a Drill press, I found that a small masonry bit works well as a pilot bit to allow you to bite with your larger bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also fabricate an iron/viking age anvile readily from a section 3-12" long, the flange and web cut it then become bicks and other tools.
Lots a ways to skin the rail anvil cat, frankly i would leave it as is (assuming it is 30" or less) and just use it until you know what you need. Carving rail is a slow, dirty process. I think its best to learn to forge on the un modifies rail, instead of chopping up into something you find later to be less than optimal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...