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jac

Wooden Anvil Stands: To Finish or Not

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I just built a wooden stand for my PW. The stand and anvil will remain out of the elements in the garage. Currently, the wood is bare. Would you treat the wood in any way, or just leave it bare? If you would go for a finish, what would you use? Thanks for the help!

Edited by jac
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I don't finish, save for the distressed look that I get from demonstrating that "cold" to a blacksmith may be 4 times the boiling point of water...  Of course 3 of my stands are old mine timber and were creosoted about 100 years ago, one long stand with several anvils on it was RR bridge timber recovered from a stream during a flood and likewise creosoted in the distant past, 3 more were made from decayed oak boards from the floor of a junked horse trailer and one is a tree stump...(and then there is the metal one...)

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Old school wood preservation was to oil it with anything from kerosene to used motor oil to diesel.  You have to let it air for a long time afterword though.  Platforms on windmills used to last many decades in the blazing sun/weather because the boards were oil soaked.

If it'll get damp, I'd use something like boiled linseed oil to really soak into the end grain.  Do it warm.  If it'll stay good and dry, it'll probably be ok but that depends on the wood.  For example, Elm is hard and heavy as my brother in law's skull but rots very easily when exposed to weather.

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for what it is worth I soaked an elm section in straight antifreeze for 6 months.  That was 18 years ago it is still in one piece and used as an anvil support.

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Get hammering, don't worry about the stand, rebuild it when it fails or you find other flaws with it.  Did I mention get hammering?  There is an anvil on top of the stand, right?  The important pieces here are the anvil and the time you spend hammering on it.

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Boiled linseed oil/turpentine 50/50 mix.  Repeat.  That all you will need for a long time.  If you want it darker, add a bit of wood stain.

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Good Morning,

Put your Anvil on it, Turn your keyboard off and get to it. It will become a colour of it's own, by your doing some work.

It will get a personal Treatment, forget the Glitter!!

Neil

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Many thanks to all! The stand is common nominal 4x4--untreated yellow pine. Outside of the humidity it will experience in my garage, it'll be largely away from any moisture. It is and will be resting on concrete. Does this change your thoughts on the matter?

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See my post above.  Just use a final coat of straight Boiled Linseed Oil on the base, touching the concrete.  Or several.  It will last for years.

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I always like to thin my Boiled Linseed Oil substantially so it will soak into the wood more easily.  As soft as pine is, the ambient humidity and lack of air flow will cause rot and bug issues even though it's stuck in the garage.  

It certainly doesn't hurt to give it a good painting with some BLO.  Not only does it darken the wood and make it look "not new", but it helps to prevent bugs and rot from happening.  

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I'd take a blow torch to it and burn the end that sits on the ground. You could do the sides too if you so wish.

 

Charred wood doesn't get attacked by bugs and it won't rot away so easily either. Failing that a good coat of Boiled linseed oil would be my choice. 

 

Andy

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OTOH charred wood is a bit messy on a concrete garage floor.  If bugs are an issue soak it in a borax solution.

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Forbidden thus new thread

I would guess that Michigan climate is not far from what I have in Sweden and your location (read climate) is important. Here, untreated pine log barns will sit in the fields without rotting for centuries - as long as the roof is OK. I would not worry about rotting in your case. My problem is rather that there is a risk of tree stumps severely cracking from dryness in the winter. (S.C. is different) If your concrete floor tends to be moist, however, you will need to seal the bottom of your stand. I have a dirt floor and I put a piece of plastic foil under my stumps. If you move the stand around and have a moist floor I would suggest a heavy duty paint/lacquer on the underside. The oil treatments will need time to harden unless it is OK that they stain the floor. Otherwise I would let it age naturally and beautifully.

I have zero tree bug problem in my area. If you have bugs you might need to do something about it.

Have a nice weekend

Göte

      

 

Edited by gote

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Once again, many thanks to all! There are some wonderful ideas here. I might throw several of these together: perhaps paint the end in contact with the ground and char or oil the exposed sides.

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if it were me, I'd just seal the bottom from sucking moisture through the concrete, and let it be. If it starts cracking/splitting wrap 2-3 straps around the stand and call it good.

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I'd recommend Gote's forbidden method. Of course in the course of learning the craft you could turn out things like key fobs, wall and J hooks, etc. etc. sell them for a few pennies and by time the stand needed replacing you could afford to.

Frosty The Forbidden.

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Check with the building supply most have a concrete contact paint for wood but you're not building a foundation for a house. I'd just put it to work, my untreated spruce block lasted some 20 years before it got bad enough to replace, the new steel stand can be a problem for the exchequer of my estate.

Frosty The Forbidden.

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I'd prefer not to breathe PT smoke when hot metal hits the stand; I think it likely that a wooden stand on dry concrete will get replaced for re-design reasons years before rot is an issue.

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creosote..       :)         ??????   :(  

The one I have from like 1882 used prodigious amounts of it. It looks like it might have been made from rail road ties. 

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Can you even buy creosote anymore? My untreated spruce block anvil stand lasted for a good 20-25 years before I had to replace it because it was shedding punky bits every time I moved it. There are lots of preservatives available, though I think I'd check to see about the toxicity if hot things make them smoke. 

Level isn't as important as stable, you probably won't notice a little bit out of level and you'll get used to it if you do. What's a real PITA is having the anvil rock in use. hollow the bottom of the stand slightly so it's resting on a rim. This will prevent a pebble or other small object making a pivot under your anvil and you won't have to make sure the floor is dust free clean. 

Your next step up for strong, long lasting and stable is a steel tripod stand. If it were necessary I suppose a person could put the feet on leveling screws.

Frosty The Lucky.

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