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Forklift fork anvil mistake

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Aloha folks,

I'm new to blacksmithing and just getting started collecting all my tools. I live in central Florida and I'm looking for an anvil to get started with. I called all the local scrap and recycling places looking for some thick steel drops or forklift forks, or just some scrap iron I can practice with. Unfortunately, no one was interested in letting me come and poke around or had any drops or forks. One of the shops referenced me to a blacksmith in my area who was extremely helpfull and gave me a section of railroad tie for free if I came and picked it up. He also had a couple hammers for sale which I happily bought.

While driving out and back to his place, I ran across several auto repair shops and even a few houses with barns & scrap. I had better luck here than I did on the phone and got 3 auto springs, a break drum, and a couple pieces of stock for free.

One of the salvage yards I stopped by to poke around had a old battery operated forklift. They said they'd cut the fork off for $25 but didnt know if it was solid steel or not.  It was half buried in scrap and I couldn't get a good look. I agreed and they hauled it out and went to work with a torch.

I was bummed to find it was not solid steel. It looks like quarter inch steel formed into sort of a frame, see the pictures below. I ended up giving them $35 for it since the guys helped me load it into the truck and needed beer money.

It's pretty clear to me that this won't work as an anvil, but maybe I could use it as a stand for the railroad tie?

The fork measures 47"L x 9"W x 3"H

At the very least, there is a Blacksmithing conference I'm headed to in a couple weeks where maybe I can trade it for something more useful. Did I get hosed paying $35?

What do you guys think?






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stupid forbidden

Yeah that's a fork off a battery powered pallet jack not a fork lift. You can tell because of the wheel in the front.


While the price might be a bit steep, making a contact with someone at a scrap yard can be priceless.

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I wouldn't say you got hosed, the guys probably weren't clear on what you were after or the practical difference between the pallet jack and forklife tines either.  Chalk it up to learning, we've all done things of the sort at some point or another and you'll be better prepared and know exactly what you are looking for next time you're out scrapping.  Sounds like you did alright on some auto parts for free, call it a wash in the great cosmic balance.  :)

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John, since you are in Florida and will be at a blacksmithing conference in a week or so I guess that you are going to the Alabama Forge Council Blacksmithing Conference at Tannehill State Park about 30 miles south of Birmingham.

Come by my canopy and visit.  It will have a banner on one of the tables with my name on it.



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Rod in the center can probably be re purposed fairly easily as forge stock. possibly some of the top linkage can be used maybe as tooling. Hard to see exactly in that picture. rectangular tube can be used for a number of purposes as stock to make stands etc possibly. With a limited amount, the question is if you have enough to make using that worth while. Depends on the project.

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I can see fullers in the wheels, the Yoke can be used for a guillotine style tooling base or as a bending fork. The Rod is easily used for forging stock if it's solid. Which it looks like it is from the pictures. The Main frame can be used for stands or as a anvil protector for cutting/punching/etc. I'd say you did ok for $35 for that and the gained knowledge.

Also, that's RR track, not RR tie. The tie is the wood pieces below the track that keep the tracks "tied" together at the right width, and help keep it from sinking into the ground as the heavy loads go over them.

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