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I Forge Iron

Anvil ID please

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Picked up this anvil for next to nothing and wondering if someone can shed some light on what it may be. I'm not an anvil expert or metallurgist by any stretch.  I'm presuming its cast-something since there are obvious mold lines.  There also appear to be air bubbles (note the one on top of the horn near the tip).  The face appears to be the same material as the rest of the anvil.  The bottom is flat with no cavities.  Weighs in at 52#.  There is pitting on the face and sides.  There appears to have been possible makers markings on the side but I tried a wire brush, oil and chalk and there are no discernible characters that can possibly be made out.  The rectangular hardy hole is also throwing me off; it appears to be original to the design and not added later but who knows.  This may just be a worthless ASO but I don't have any more in it than I'd pay for a good door stop so no worries there.  I had read about the HF Russian cast iron anvils with diagonal hardy holes but any pictures I could scare up of them showed the duckbill horn with square hardy holes (not rectangular like this one).


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In twenty years of really looking at anvils, I have never found one of these cast knock-offs to be better than mediocre, but usable. Most were just plain awful, and could never be cleaned to a satisfactory workable surface due to porosity and sand inclusions. The material that goes into the pour seems to be whatever was left over at the end of a day's run, and they are never finished well, if at all. Hardness seems to be lacking as well

The real old anvil makers like Fisher & Norris poured them upside down, so any porosity would be in the feet, not near the face. It could never be in the face, because that was a separate piece of high carbon steel.

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I've got  a Peter Wright, Mousehole and Hay Budden to do my real work with.  This was $20 so bought it mainly for decoration.  Surprisingly, using a ball bearing dropped from 10", it has between 55-60% rebound which isn't great comparatively speaking but was much more than I would have wagered.

How's the best way to tell cast-iron vs cast-steel?  Spark test?

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