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Making a 400lb Anvil

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Hello Everyone,

I'm currently making a 400lb anvil.
The main body is made of multiple layers of stacked 1''x3'' Flat Bar. 
It will be 17'' tall, 4.5'' wide at the face, and 40'' long. I will hardface the top
I am making a video series of the process.
Here is the first part.


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The bars I used were 16'' long (or tall). I did add one bar horizontally along the bottom to raise the height to 17'', depending on what scrap is available after i make the horns and supports, I will add more horizontal bars along to bottom to raise the height. 
I don't think adding flat bar to the bottom of the 16'' long vertical section makes it worst then if they were not there. At worst it adds mass that would otherwise not be there. 

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Hi dfsrusa, welcome to the site. 


Delaminating is where layers of a material (laminations) come away from each other. Imagine a stack of wooden boards sitting on top of each other. If you were to hit that with a hammer the energy wouldn't travel very effectively through them and the loose boards would be likely to separate and peel away from each other. This is delamination. 

Stacking the steel flat on top of each other, even welding it together at the sides doesn't produce a strong block. Like the wood it won't transfer energy very well and will likely split over time. 

Stacking the steel vertically means energy can travel down through its length making for a better tool.  Imagine a cardboard tube, lying horizontally it wouldn't take much to flatten it, but flip it up vertically it is much stronger. 




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On 12/21/2015 at 10:45 AM, dfsrusa said:

Paul, in your other videos where you have a plate with different sized holes to secure rivets in, how thick is the plate, and can it be mild steel?


The thickness depends on the diameter of the rivet material. The rivet head should be x1.5 the diameter of the shank, and so should the bolster. Yes you can use mild steel.

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  • 6 months later...
On 12/19/2015 at 9:25 PM, dfsrusa said:

Very nice. Can you educate me on what delamated means and why that would be bad. I'm guessing there would not be good rebound in it, but the internet and this site didn't help me.  Thanks

That is what happens to your wife's hardwood chair from the breakfast nook when you forget to take in from the back porch and it rains. The oak slats start to separate. This caused de-lamination of you and your wife's good graces. The two start to separate in her mind and you need to act VERY fast to re-glue your self in to her good graces. You see it mostly on plywood outside.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello everyone,I'm new to working with steel and want to make an anvil. The material I have is a sheet of steel that's 3 1/2" thick 8" wide and 25" long, I also have a 20 1/2" x 17 1/2" x 1 1/2" plate and two 9"x 9" x 2" plate and a lot of 3/4" x 3" flat bar for filler where needed. The horn I want to use 3 1/2" round bar stock i have and use plate steel around the  bar stock and neck it down to make the horn., I have 12' of the 3 1/2" bar stock. And some other plate steel I've been collecting for a long time.my first attempt I'm wanting to mak at least a 500lb anvil providing I have the right material. Just gathering idea's and instruction, I don't want to waste time or material. Thank ya'll for any help.

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You do realize that to do it properly you will need to do full penetration welds between every piece and so it will end up costing more than buying one right?

I would suggest doing a modified Italian style anvil with a large center chunk and added horn and heel and feet.

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A 400 pound anvil should do a quick job of sucking the heat out of a forged chunk of heated iron or steel. That size anvil makes sense if your power hammer is large, and you, ideally, have a striker or two, and the cost of forge fuel is not an issue.

Just cogitating and saying.


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44 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

my 410# anvil is my backup for if my large anvil isn't available...

what wait is your large one??


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