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This is probably the best condition pattern I saved in 1999 from the Crossley factory before disposal and demolition.  A unique feature of this pattern is that the Eagle logo is on an internal cam setup that allows the Eagle to move out and make the impression in the mold, then be withdrawn into the pattern to allow for the pattern removal(so as not the break the mold.)  The top black part is the preheat pattern.  This made a void in the mold for the molten iron to preheat the steel for welding.  Remember, these were cast up-side down, so the black part in the mold was the lowest part.IMG_20150120_145446794.jpg.0c965d3c1ee82

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Its too bad most of the common sized patterns got dumped long before I got there.  Crossley stopped making anvils in 1979, and I did not get to the factory until 1999.  I wish I had the 50 and 100 lb patterns.  I do have the 150, which is probably the most popular size Fisher anvil.  I will post a photo of that one.  Very well used...

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Super cool - thank you for sharing. Hope to see your collection in person one day -- but until then - the things you share only wet our appetites.  

Interesting to see that they used an actual piece of steel on the horn to mimic the piece that would be placed in the mold. Also the double 

'sandwich' of steel used on the table. One which would leave the swell in the iron to give the impression that the steel top is thicker. At first 

I didn't notice the core print for the hardie. Was a prepunched hole in the top plate used to secure the bottom of the core - thereby insuring perfect

alignment? 

 

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Yes, the top steel plate had the square hardy hole prepunched to match the location of the core .  The steel plate served to hold one end of the core in place, the other end was held by the core print in the clay.

One interesting detail is that at the end of the Crossley years of production, they did not core the hardy.  They drilled and broached it after casting, but before heat treating.  Crossley had a huge hydraulic press to push the broach cutter through.

The pritchel holes were always drilled after casting.

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Broaching would produce a nice uniform hardie hole. Punched holes in Peter Wrights and other are often anything but - often tapered - out of square

not uniformly square etc etc etc

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Josh: Just FYI, you and the museum are on my bucket list. Do you have any plans of ever putting those patterns to use again? Suppose someone wanted to pay the freight and have one poured?

I think that's been asked more times than you want to think about but I just have to wonder. Fishers have to be one of the sweetest anvils around. One missed strike on either of my current anvils really makes my tinnitus scream.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Frosty

With the winter we are just coming out of, you will feel right at home.  Although I read that parts of Alaska have had a very mild winter.

The problem with casting an anvil with the Fisher Process, is that it takes specialized flasks, and a foundry that can deal with the pour sequence.  Also, the horn top plates would have to be made.  They were cast tool steel.  I am sure that they could be done somewhere.  I never found out who did them for Fisher or Crossley.   The faceplates were just cut from W1 tool steel bars of the appropriate length and thickness.  I hope to find a foundry that can work with me to do this.  First off will be a FISHER swage block out of iron.  I have 5 FISHER patterns for swage blocks.  I am working on making the core boxes for one of them,  and hopefully will get all of the stuff to an iron foundry this year.  It is for a 100 lb block.

I thought that making a FISHER anvil might have happened at Qx meet in September, but too many details could not be settled. 

 

 

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It's not as simple a process as it might seem. The steel needs to be preheated to weld properly doesn't it? Are the flasks steel and the molds rammed up in a normal manner?

We have an annual event here called Art On Fire, where practitioners of arts using fire are showcased. I'm a regular with how ever many of the other guys in the blacksmithing club can make it.  A large part of the show is the iron pour. A cupola melter is fired up and every 45 mins or so it's tapped and the good times roll.

Ever since the first time I participated I've wanted to pour an anvil unfortunately they can only handle about 100lbs. in the ladle though casting straight off the tap is possible, it's just not optimum. This is the first and so far ONLY place I've found where old Grader cutting edges might be useful. 1" of Vascowear ought to make a near indestructible face. Forging it into a decent horn would be a job of work for a dedicated smith to be sure.

The stuff is not only wear resistant it's impact resistant in the extreme. Impact resistant enough to survive stopping a 14G Cat grader from 27mph to zero in less than 30" when it catches a high manhole cover/ring or RR tracks. A 14G cat weighs in at around 72,000 - 74,000 lbs and stopping that fast tends to tear the mold board and circle drive right off them, rips the manhole right out of the road and puts the operator in the hospital, if s/he's wearing the seat belt. If not it puts them through the wind screen and possibly in the morgue.

Anyway, grader edge is so tempting it was impossible not to bring some home, the stuff just isn't practical for much of anything. It eats grinding discs like candy, even blue wheels don't last long. Too much tungsten carbide in the matrix. Grinding at med to high red heat seems the most effective.

Sorry about the long side track but I've been thinking about this for a long time.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, long side tracks are where you get the best of the story! Every post you have gets my mind spinning!

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Ah good. A spinning head is more stable. Stable friends aren't easy pushovers you know. <grin>

Frosty The Lucky.

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Limited iron capacity is one of the problems that doomed the demo at Qx.  They could only do 100 lb at a time, and wanted to do a 60 lb anvil.  I told them the ratio was not doable, when you include sprues, risers, and the gating system + the preheat metal needed.  I suggested a 20 lb instead, but that is not what was "approved".  Plus they wanted to keep everything that was made.  I told them that the #1 Fisher anvil that ever gets made is going in my museum.  Things fell apart pretty quickly.

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Preheat metal? They poured molten iron in the mold then poured it out to preheat it?

How hot did the the inserts need to be? There's no way we could do a preheat pour but I have a portable welder that'll make real heat if you hook up the leads directly.

I was also thinking of pouring directly into the foot, no sprues, risers or gates, just filler up.

I'll have to get my caster buddy in on this. He has very different ideas about getting a good weld between the steel and casting.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes, the tool steel plates were preheated in the mold.  And the metal was not poured out.  Ponder that for a moment. 

Look at the pattern above, and rotate it 180 degrees.  That is how it was in the mold.  The black part of the pattern formed the cavity for the preheat.  This was filled from the side of the flask, and molten iron flowed through to another hole on the opposite side.  When enough had flowed through, the holes were dammed up with clay and the plates sat for a predetermined amount of time to get to a red heat.  Then the anvil mold was poured in a manner that the iron and steel welded themselves, and the rest of the mold was filled.  The gating was fairly complex, but they knew what they were doing, after all they did it 500,000 times or so in 125 years.

Let me know what your friend has to say.  I am curious.

All of this will be in my book, eventually.

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180* which way, left, right, towards or away? Doing a partial preheat pour and leaving the iron in the mold would mean orienting it face down. Yes? Any other orientation would mean all kinds of weird dams and such to keep it where needed. Then of course they'd have to have a way to clear them so the rest of the pour could make clean contact.

Yeah, I get the complex gating and plugging them. That'd only work if there were separate voids in the mold and unless gravity kept them separate there'd have to be dams. If gravity then just fill it from the bottom up no need for complex gating. If there were dams then how'd they clear them to continue with the next phase of the our?

This is getting complicateder and complicateder.

I don't suppose you have any shop or training manuals, a video would be sweet if a long watch.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I was out getting the dog from the day pen so my mind was off trying to picture how Fisher was casting anvils when it dawned on me. The preheat cavity is on TOP of the face and horn, the face and horn plates ARE the dam. The preheat iron can't weld to the face/horn plate because it's too cold but the molten iron hitting it's other side will weld. Once the mold is broken out the preheat iron will break free of the face and horn.

That would account for the 40lbs missing from a 100lb. tap. I can wrap my head around that but I've been wrong so many times nothing surprises me. Unless it's coming fast from behind of course.

Is that close?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have always pondered how advancements in technology lead to loss of experience and knowledge being passed on. Unfortunately during the 70s and 80s we had the technology to move foward but no easy way of storing the old  methods and information.

It seems like there is more information on how an anvil was made in the early 1900s than what was left at the Fisher factory when you rescued what was probably going to be lost forever! Does the Smithsonian have any additional information available?

My wife graduated from Boston University and she wants to go back some time when we do the Fisher Museum is on my must do list.

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I thought I made it clear that the anvil was cast up-side-down.  The preheat was the lowest part of the mold.  The horn and faceplate were prepped by grinding and fluxing the weld side, and leaving the preheat side in its oxidized state.  These plates were placed in the molds cold, and held in place with cut nails!  The founders knew exactly how much molten iron to use in the preheat pour from experience.  Also, the same experience told them how long to wait before the big pour, and how fast to do the pour.  The individual moldmakers participated in pouring their own molds.  The small letters and markings on some Fisher anvils are the code for who made the mold and anvil.  It was a way to do quality control. 

Fisher made molds all week, closed the molds on Friday morning while the iron was heating, then did the pour.  The molds were left to cool all weekend.  Monday morning everything was opened, the clay was mulled and prepped for new molds, and the cooled anvils were sent to the part of the plant that did the finishing work.

All in my book eventually.  The Smithsonian only has what they decided to collect.  I have only found a few photographs in their collections.  I have more than they have.

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