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I have been searching for a beginning anvil in my area. It seems everything I find in my price range is in really bad condition. The anvils I am finding have a lot of chips off the edges and the middle is really swayed. They are looking for at least 600+. I am looking to spend under $400. I have found several Ferrier anvils that are between 70 and 112lbs for under 300 plus shipping.  These are NC and  Cavalry anvils. I am leaning to the 112lb Cavalry at $440 plus shipping. But if the boss (wife) does not approve the capital request probably looking at the NC anvil (70lb) at $268.  If I am doing mostly small stuff, axes and knives would these be ok?

 I have the railroad track already on end and a 3”x12” steel block that I have been using, but I was looking to upgrade and be able to use some hardy tools.

 Suggestions / help is appreciated.

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You have to be patient. You are in a good area for anvils, but may have to travel a bit, say 2 hours each way. Down side is that there are also a lot of people in this area who are willing to pay top dollar for anvils for decorations and many times you often find those offered. The cheap ones go fast as many people buy them up and then jack the prices to resell them. Get the word out to everyone you can and chances are you will locate one. Have cash in hand, and if you have to clear money with the "boss" have a budget cleared in advance. That way when one pops up on CL or elsewhere, you can jump on it right then. If you have to wait and check with the wife, chances are it will be gone when you get approval.


Those anvils you listed would work. Not really the style I prefer, but certainly usable. I'd need to see what you have, but it certainly sounds like you already have some decent stuff to work with. The hardy tools can be used in a vise, or a separate "portable hole". I seldom use hardy tools like my hot cut in the anvil. Instead I prefer them in a separate holder so I don't loose time taking them in and out of the anvil.

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I have gone to 9 auctions this summer for equipment. Every time I get outbid by antique dealers. I was able to get three hard tools at one auction which I was happy with. The anvils are just crazy pricey. I have asked the group I belong to list my contact information and told all the old-timers at work I am looking.

 could you please elaborate on the portable hole.


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Auctions are usually the last place I go. Anvils always sell high around here. Try using Searchtempest to search CL listings over a larger area. best bet though is to attend blacksmith meetings and see if anyone has something they are selling tailgating, or simply individual connections. I got one anvil thru a friend of a neighbor of one of my customers. ( yes third level removed from the seller. ) My big anvil came from the guy who I was sharing machines with at the tech school taking a machining class at night. My Chiropractor also pointed me towards someone with an anvil they had that they were willing to sell. That one I passed on because it was beat pretty good, but the price wasn't bad as a starter anvil for someone. I've also found things at the farm where I help teach 4-H archery. I've told them I'd like dibs on 2 decent post vises they have if they want to sell them, and I know of two blowers I think they have when they get around to cleaning out the old barn.


Sorry, about the confusion.  Frosty coined this my "portable hole" and I've posted it fairly regularly lately to new guys who have "anvils" with no hardy hole. It's simply a piece of 3/8" wall 4x4 square tube on a 6x6" 1/4" thick base with a piece of 1" thick steel welded to the top with a square hole in it matching the 1" hardy hole in my smaller anvil ( bigger anvil has a 1 1/2" hole). Not shown in these picts are the hole in the base underneath in case you need to drive a tool back out if it gets stuck, and the 4 mounting holes in the base I drilled after taking these picts.







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Thanks all. I understand. I am starting to like the RR track on end more and more I use it. It would be a pain if I was doing larger projects but for knives, hawks, and little odds and ends it is working fine. My wife reminded me of the bigger picture and that is starting to save for college for daughter.


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Rail makes a good anvil but what really makes a good anvil is a good blacksmith and that only comes with practice.

Frosty The Lucky.


And thank you "forged in fire" now everyone wants to make sharp pointy things and prices are through the roof even worse then a year ago today.



Edited by root
I can't type!
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