Spruce

How to weigh a heavy anvil...

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Hey guys... stupid question here, but does anyone have a clever trick for weighing an anvil too large for a bathroom scale? preferably a cheap method... I'd rather avoid just buying a big scale of some sort. 

 

This weekend I picked up a Fisher anvil, but I can't for the life of me find any weight markings on it. I'll try to get pictures up later, but for now, it has FISHER indented on one foot, some makers marks like LI   III, and 4 dots stamped in the front of another foot. The only other mark I can find on it is a blob of some sort on the outside of one of the feet, but it is unrecognizable.

 

I thought about trying to balance it on a lever or some such non sense, but that seems tricky and not incredibly accurate... I know this thing is quite a bit bigger than my 150 pound Mousehole and Peter Wright. Conservatively I'm going to say 50 pounds more, but I really think this thing might be quite a bit more... It's on a stump, and I can lift it, just, but not move with it. I'm a 6 foot 4, 210 pound guy, who can lift quite a lot... If it wasn't attached to the stump, I might just barely be able to take some steps with it, although I don't think I could lift it off the ground into a carrying position.

 

Also, this anvil has another peculiar feature: the step has a huge drop down - about an inch and a half. And, instead of running straight across the anvil at a perfect 90, it has a 45 in the middle of it, if you get what I mean. Anyone ever seen this? Pics would help I know... working on it.

 

Spruce

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Sounds like a plow anvil.  Not knowing where you are makes it hard to make suggestions.  Me I'd take it to the feed store and use their scale (and forklift to move it!)

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Post pics, and take full measurements. Length, height, face width, etc. I bet once Josh sees the pics and the measurements he'll be able to tell you the weight.

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Thanks for the quick replies guys. I'll have pics of it up tonight.

 

Good idea about the feed store - I might see if they can help. Only problem is getting it into my truck...

 

I picked it up in Cortez, New Mexico. I live a little ways outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, in a town called Blue Diamond.

 

Spruce

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Lifting: cherry picker, comealong from a tree branch, swingset, rafter---I used to support the rafter with 2 lolly columns when I was lifting the 500+# anvil; tie a couple of pipes to it and use four stout lads who made the mistake of showing up to a meeting at your shop.....(would that they had waited until after the shop door was unlocked and opened from the inside before they had lifted it...)

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2 pulleys, some rope and some known weights would work. Weight A should equal weight B.  You can also do a balance type scale using a beam and a pivot. Distance from pivot times weight A should equal distance from pivot times weight B.

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Use whatever method necessary to get it into your car or truck. Drive it over a truck scale. Go home and offload it. Go back to the scale without the anvil. Difference between heavy and light tickets will be your weight.

George

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Ditto on the truck scale, but also our local landfill weighs your vehicle upon entry and exit to determine the weight of what you dumped. Around here at least those guys would get a kick out of a "weigh my anvil" request, they'd be fighting over who got to do it.

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Thanks for the suggestions all. I have the photos now, but think I'll start a new thread to not steal the anvils glory... will post a link here when I'm done.

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Hi George I recently bought an old wilkson put it on bathroom scales came at just over 18.5 stone or 262 lbs.scales go up to 20 stone or around 290lbs so you might still get away with ordinary bathroom scales.

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I have a Fisher plow anvil identical to yours.  I will weigh it  tomorrow if the snow is not too deep.

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The answer is simple mathematics.

 

Take two bathroom (or other) scales and a board.

Put one scale under each end of the board.

Put the anvil on top of the board.

Add the weight shown on both scales.

Then minus the weight of the board. 

----------------------

 

Or if you want to go old school

 

Put the anvil on one end of a board. 

Put a fulcrum in the middle of the board.

Stand on the other end of the board. (think teeter totter or child's balance beam) 

IF the board does not move the anvil is heavier than you.

IF the anvil rises, then you are heavier than the anvil.

 

Move the fulcrum until the board balances.

Measure the distance from the fulcrum to where you stand.

Multiple this distance by your weight.

Divide that number by the distance from the fulcrum to the center mass of the anvil.

You now have the weight of the anvil.

---------------------

 

Anvil weight times anvil distance equals your weight times your distance.

Anvil weight equals your weight times your distance divided by anvil distance.

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You guys are awesome. A whole bunch of good ideas!

 

Two bathroom scales - genius! Only I don't have two bathroom scales... actually, I don't even own one. But, I can obviously remedy that...

 

As for the mathematics - thanks, I may just undertake that process, unless I happen to be going by the feed lot or somewhere who has a scale handy, and I can wrestle it back into the truck.

 

Njanvilman - thanks, that would be cool!

 

Spruce

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Not sure if this would work.. but measure the volume by difference.  Put water in a large pail, add salt, favorite spices.    Mark a line, gently add anvil. Do not stir.  Mark second line. Remove anvil, let dry.  Record the volume difference of the water, and using the density for steel, calculate the mass.

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Nicole  For a minute there I thought you had a recipe for Anvil Stew.  Thought after the add Salt and Favorite Spices there would be "cook until tender!"

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Here's how to weigh it. Put a piece of 12 inch angle iron on bathroom scale point up. Now measure 4 feet from that and place another piece. Take a board that will support anvil and lay it across angle iron to make a bridge. Note the scale weight. Place a mark on board half way between angles. Now center anvil on mark and read scale. Double what the scale reads and you have the weight of the anvil minus the weight of the board.

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Put anvil on stump. Fasten down. Use while thinking "it doesn't matter how much it weighs if it does what I need it to do!"   Enjoy!

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Thomas - I agree Besides - will it make a difference if it's more or less by 10ish pounds? - Use it like you stole it!

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Oh, I mostly want to know just for my own edification - it's going to get used no matter what. It's just cool to know about these old tools - from when it was made, to where, how, what it's made from, how much it weighs, etc. I feel like it's part of its story. None of that matters when you're hitting metal on it, but don't you wannna know anyway?

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Get the book "anvils in America" and compare measurements of your anvil to those that are in the book.

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Get the book "anvils in America" and compare measurements of your anvil to those that are in the book.

 

That will not work with this anvil.  This is a different design than the standard Fisher anvils.  I will post the weight on my twin to his anvil later today.

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