Hapiguy

Broken Anvil - Useful or no?

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I have been desperately searching for an anvil in my area since around June. 

I have found two, both of which were priced at $4+ per lb., which I could not afford.

I did, however, happen across the following broken anvil, at a rate I could manage.

Provided it has acceptable rebound via the ball bearing test, would you say that it's usable, or should I be wary??

Take a look, and let me know your opinions. 

If I get a decent response, I'll go pick it up tomorrow. 

Thanks in advance!

 

anvil.jpg

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looks like an english pattern anvil and appears to have a decent face and edges. as long as the rebound is good id have no problems picking it up(for cheap). if nothing else when you get a better anvil you can use this one as an upsetting block. just make sure you use the broken heel and horn as a HUGE negotiating point. im not sure what anvils in that condition usually go for but i wouldnt want to spend too much on it.

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The guy who has it wants $80, says it's right at 100 lbs, and that it's a peter wright, etc.

I'm driving about 4 hours to go take a look, so hopefully it's worth the drive.

I might be able to haggle a little bit, but we shall see ...

I have a couple of sections of forklift tine, but they're not very long and I quite frankly have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to fabricating some form of makeshift anvil.

Thank you for the response.

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I'd buy this in a heartbeat for a good low price. Old European anvils didn't have horns or heels and looked surprisingly like this one you've found, and they were used to make everything you can think of! As a CHEAP starter anvil, you couldn't do better.

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Okay, so is $80 cheap enough?

Or should I try to get it lower than that?

I had an idea it could be decent, as I've seen some that looked like blocks, but I didn't want to buy something that was useless.

That being said, how do I make sure that it's still got enough hardness in it to do the job?  I can't tell that much just from a picture, and I can do the rebound test, but I know little to nothing about checking the Rockwell.

Thanks again for all of the replies, I do appreciate your assistance.

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Wow it looks a lot like the anvils everything were forged on until modern times; so it's completely *useless*  you want to make: pattern welded and other  blades, armour, ornamental ironwork, tools, downhearth cooking gear, historic medical and scientific instruments, traditional farm implements, etc and so on... Remember the London pattern has only been around about 10% of the time we've been working iron so everything made during the previous 90% you are good to do---and most of the rest too...

I have a Powell that traumatically lost it's heel that I bring to demos for just this reason...I put a prosthetic hardy hole on it too.

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TP of the aforementioned TPAAAT has spoken!

Thank you sir, I do appreciate the input.

My main concerns were whether or not it was still viable, due to whatever had caused it to fracture/break in the first place.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether it was intentionally broken like this, or it was just damaged and/or misused and whether that would affect it being used as was intended.

Or if it was something else entirely.  My exposure to anvils has been limited to this site only, and while it is a phenomenal resource, it's nowhere near the real thing.

To be quite honest, I'm very excited now.  I just hope it's as it has been advertised to be.

What should I be wary of?  Any and all pointers are absolutely appreciated.

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Well you already know the most important one: test for rebound.  Many of the old broken ones don't ring much anymore as they are missing their "tuning fork" ring enhancer.

As old anvils were built up by forge welding chunks of wrought iron together and the horn and heel generally were separate pieces forge welded on they often had weld issues that combined with abuse or mistrike with a sledge could result in an "oops" moment.  Shoot even adds from the late 19th century anvil manufacturers often offered anvil repair for such issues.  The older anvils also had the face constructed from a number of pieces of higher carbon steel welded to the body side by side and if a face weld and a body weld lined up (fairly common at the heel) then there is another avenue of weakness that could cause problems...

The trick is that if you buy it at a good price you can relax it's very unlikely you can damage it any more than it already has been!  (I use my heelless anvil for new students who want to use heavy hammers for instance...or for jobs when we use a sledge for striking.)

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Great, thank you for the information sir.

I will definitely try and pick it up first thing in the AM.

I appreciate all of the input, and thanks again everyone!

Currently grinning like an idiot, hoping nothing falls through ...

;)

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Look at it from the other side of the coin. THAT is NOT an anvil, It is what used to be anvil and is now broken and just above a block of steel with feet. What is scrap going for in your area?

What would you pay for a new car with a beat up finder, a flat tire, and a missing bumper?

Nothing wrong with feet on a block of steel, and it should be serviceable as an anvil. The question is can YOU make enough product on that block of steel with feet in order to BUY another anvil. If the answer is yes, then go for it. If the answer is no then you have other issues as there are blacksmiths in 3rd make a living using a lot less for an anvil. 

Take cash and do not lay all your money on the table at once. Make a deal that is agreeable to both buyer AND seller. Let both parties walk away happy.

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Good points, Glenn.  Thank you!

Heading that way today, to hopefully find the old girl a new home!

Thank you all again for all of your help, I do sincerely appreciate it.

B)

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If it bounces a hammer back at you, there's plenty of rebound to work with.  Overall, I'm not keen on the four hour road trip and would do my darnedest to get the price down below $80.  But, if that's the bottom line, I wouldn't feel too bad about it.  A good anvil is a thing of pleasure to work on, and that anvil would look a real dandy if you cleaned up the broken ends to make it look more like something intentionally designed rather than broken to pieces. 

Get her on a stump as soon as possible and start turning out nice little iron bits-n-bobs.

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I agree with Vaughn on the drive, the fuel cost alone adds up, let alone the time -- especially if that is 4 hours each way.... Can he meet you halfway? I would use the travel as a bargaining chip.

The forklift tine you have will make an excellent anvil. Post some pics of what you have, and we can offer some suggestions on how to best go about making an anvil.

 

 

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Many times rather than decrease the price I ask if they have any other stuff that could go in on the deal.  Often get way more for my money than decreasing the price does..."Instead of dropping the price by $20 how about I give you $80 of old rusty blacksmithing tools to go with it..." sort of thing.

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Definitely some solid suggestions, folks.

I do appreciate all of the assistance.

He failed to sell the anvil at the $80 price point, and is now asking for $40.

I think I can manage a trip that way ... B)

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6 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

I'd pay that and be happy!

My thoughts exactly.

Just trying to coordinate the trip.

He also has a forge table he's letting go of, I'll see what I can manage on that ...

Nothing phenomenal, but definitely worth taking a look at.

Thanks again for all of the information, and suggestions.

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