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I Forge Iron

Metal of anvil

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Have a small older looking London type of anvil, about 70 pounds.  Pretty beat up on the edges, lots of nicks on table and horn.  When I tap with hammer, no ring and a strong tap with ball peen will leave a small ding.  It does have some rebound.  Is this probably an iron anvil or is there anyway to tell? 

Edited to add pictures.  You can see the gouges and dings out of it.




Edited by joe812
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Looks like cast iron ASO from here but that's just an eyeball guesstimate. Nothing you say about it makes it sound too good either. The weight and hardy hole can be handy if it's not good for forging on.

It might be a cast steel anvil that's been through a fire and annealed but heat treating an anvil is not a beginner's project and if it's cast iron won't do any good.

Your best bet is to get with the local blacksmith organization and get some hands on advice. I'm just a faceless voice from the intervoid. Bwahahaha.

Frosty The Lucky.

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From what I can see it looks like a Vulcan anvil with the 70 cast in the body under the horn. They are cast iron with a thin steel top plate that's why you don't get any ring and the top will dent fairly easily. Usually(on Vulcans) the top plate on the face of the anvil was not much taller than the top of the horn as distinguished  from Fisher cast iron and steel anvils which had a somewhat taller and thicker face plate. 

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Probably 1970, the date of manufacture. I see a lot of these in schools from that era.

To refer back to an older post. "What makes you think it's an ASO?"

Obvious cast features: raised lettering and logos, thick square feet, thick false top ledge that does not jibe with table drop between face and horn, thick wedge shape of horn and heel to waist, flat topped horn, undersize or odd shaped hardy hole, pritchel hole missing or too close to the centerline.

Lack of rebound even on cleaned metal face. Worst of all, serious dents in the soft face. Run, don't walk away when someone offers you one at more than scrap price.

Fishers and Vulcans can be repaired by welding, but it takes an expert and $$$ in special rods. ASOs, not so much.

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Does not look like an "older" anvil to me; pre 1850 anvils tend to have smaller sharper feet and did not have cast proud numbers on them...Of course anvils are not really old till you get past the 200 year mark; I have an 1828 William Foster I still use.  Hopefully we will both still be around for me to toast it on it's 200th birthday.

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