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I'm just starting out in smithing and looking for something to use as an anvil. I plan to upgrade in the future. I understand there are a variety of options for starter types of anvils including rails, however, transporting and then cutting them is still a problem for me. I'm located in Fairbanks, AK and open to suggestions or leads. Thank you in advance.

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Not familiar with what is common scrap up that way, but Frosty and the other snow men should be able to point you in the right direction. Sledghammer heads, large bolts, And other scrap. Heavy earthmoving equipment parts... 

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Most anything with a mass of 100 pounds will work as an anvil. Heavier the better but do not turn down a 50 pound piece of metal. A piece of RR track can be laid down on its side and used as a swage using both the inside and outside curves.

Do not look - see.

IF you look for an anvil only an anvil will do. If you see the possibilities, than many things will serve as an anvil, from sledge hammer heads, to RR track, to wrecking balls, and the list never stops. For outside curves, think pipe in a variety of sizes. For inside curves think drive gears on heavy machinery. For anvils think of hydraulic cylinders turned on end, thick metal plate steel, etc. 

Edited by Glenn

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Check with any machine shops up there that do any work repairing the slope equipment, quite often they have some big pieces of steel left over from repairs and fabrication jobs. Any big old forklift tines can be good. The last anvil I saw for sale up there was listed on Alaskas list. "King of the Mantiques" A 60 lb Trenton. $450.00 a little steep in price even for up here. But if they still have it maybe they will negotiate.

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For scrap I would inquire with mining /excavation  equipment repair shops, heavy marine repair, forklift rental yards, or any other place up your way that deals with large equipment.

Forks off of a forklift make great anvils due to the alloys used to make them, and they are already heat treated. They can be used as is, or cut and welded. 

From what others who live up in AK have mentioned over the years, blacksmithing gear is as rare as unicorn shoes, and expensive when you find it.  In that case I would look at scrap more of the way to go for an anvil.

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Actually I found a piece of granite for free and I'm going to build a base of using wood and sand to add weight and stability. I won't be doing any heavy hammering on it until I get a better feel and nothing large for sometime. I also have some steel with a flat surface I found in a scrap bin locally. I don't like the shape on it much and feel that the granite will serve me better starting out. I haven't been able to complete my 2 brick forge yet, but hopefully tomorrow night it will be finished. 

I did hear there is a place in Anchorage that sells the soft fire brinks. Does anyone know the supplier's location?

 

Thank you for all the great advice.

Edited by MrEdaw

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I personally have a medley of large scrap that I use in place of an anvil, often, more than the Peterwright I currently possess (Borrowed). I started with a square 8x8x3" block, and have added a cylinder 6" tall and 4" diameter. These are my go to equipment. I leave these out, while I have to lock the anvil away for fear of thieves and keeping in accordance with the borrow agreement.

My advise, keep an eye out for the large scrap. It's extremely affordable and extremely customizable.

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I certainly could, but I do still use it when I have the rare opportunity to put hammer to steel. Certain projects require certain tools. I believe you taught me that Thomas. Along with the fact that if you don't have the tool, make it; Even black steel is hot; THIS is the pointy end; if there's a Thomas, there's a way... Too many to list!

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