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Hello there!

I am brand new to this site (made an account 5 minutes ago) but I have a question on making a slab anvil. I recently made my own forge/foundry in my backyard and have begun hammering iron and steel cutoffs that my friend gives me. Unfortunately, my current makeshift "anvil" is just a 3/4 inch by 15 inch by 6 inch plate of high carbon steel. Which it works fine I'm not complaining about that, my issue is that it is set on cinder blocks in my suburban neighborhood, the ring from hammering on it is extremely loud and probably annoys my neighbors. If anyone has any idea of what I could do that would be much appreciated. I do not have the funds to buy a nice anvil as I am still in high school but I'm pretty handy at woodworking so maybe a wood stand? Thank you for any advice!

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although 3/4" seems very small try using it on edge, will be quieter and will work better as more mass below the hammer.

a sledge hammer head makes a reasonable anvil or any block like that ( mostly the useful part of an anvil is only as big as the face of your hammer, mass is more important )

 

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I would be worried that those cinder blocks could crumble and drop your makeshift anvil on your foot.

Good advice in the replies above, spend your time learning and progress to  making some of the smaller tools you'll be needing long before you need to upgrade your anvil. Who knows, in the meantime an "real" anvil may find you.

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On 2/6/2016 at 0:26 PM, the iron dwarf said:

although 3/4" seems very small try using it on edge, will be quieter and will work better as more mass below the hammer.

a sledge hammer head makes a reasonable anvil or any block like that ( mostly the useful part of an anvil is only as big as the face of your hammer, mass is more important )

 

I apologize if this is a stupid question but do you mean stand it up so the face that hits on the sledgehammer is the top of the anvil? And should i just cut a hole in a tree stump for a stand?

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yes, a sledge hammer head in a hole in the top of a stump would work fine and historically would be recognizable as an anvil moreso than a modern london pattern anvil.

1000 years ago a smith would be happy to use such an anvil.

at my place we have 2 anvils we made based on the mastermyr finds, one is like a giant nail and the other is a bick, we use them sometimes, also a section of rail and cubes or cylinders of steel

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Hmmm, See the anvil is one of the things keeping me from going ahead with learning blacksmithing. I like this suggestion for the sledge head. I think I might do this to get started since it is inexpensive and it wont be terrible if I destroy the sledge head while I am learning. 

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Daghrim, mine came from a metal recycle yard.  120 lbs; I added the hardy hole.  Keep your eyes open.  A real anvil is nice, but sure not necessary when you're just checking it out.

 

anvil-and-hardy_small.jpg

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Quit looking and FIND a reason to get started.

Anything with mass can work, the heavier the better. Parts from agriculture equipment, rr track stood on end, heavy plate steel an inch thick or more, sledge hammer heads, FIND something and get started.

Do a site search for TPAAAT and ask everyone you can for either a piece of heavy metal or an anvil. Carry cash as it moves an anvil into the trunk of your car faster than anything else you can put on the table.

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20160215_154814.thumb.jpg.6046cd6c08a6ac

Like Glenn said - FIND a reason to get started - get a claw hammer, a rock some coat hanger wire and SAFETY GLASSES. Get pounding. If you and the forge are meant for one-another your passion for the craft will call you out. Here I am using 6013 welding electrode, which may even be worked cold if you are driven enough to Just Strike the Iron!

Robert Taylor

 

Edited by Anachronist58
software malfunction

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I hear ya guys, I am putting together my forge now actually, when it gets closer to being finished I will post on here to show some progress. I have actually had the opportunity to work on a friends anvil and forge in the past, It was simple stuff, I was only helping him with my arms essentially. He would place his hammer and I would strike it from the other side with a sledge and made quicker work out of some of his projects. I loved it personally and that is why I am trying to get into it myself. I have since moved from there and don't have someone near by to give pointers and all that so that is why I am here. Thanks for the encouragement and suggestion guys!

PS: sorry for the story, figured I would give ya my reasons for starting to some degree since we were on the subject. 

On 2/15/2016 at 11:02 AM, Quench. said:

Daghrim, mine came from a metal recycle yard.  120 lbs; I added the hardy hole.  Keep your eyes open.  A real anvil is nice, but sure not necessary when you're just checking it out.

 

anvil-and-hardy_small.jpg

Gotta say that is actually really nice! I sorta assume, but I figure I will ask, did you harden it yourself or was it already fairly hard?

On 2/16/2016 at 6:15 PM, Anachronist58 said:

20160215_154814.thumb.jpg.6046cd6c08a6ac

Like Glenn said - FIND a reason to get started - get a claw hammer, a rock some coat hanger wire and SAFETY GLASSES. Get pounding. If you and the forge are meant for one-another your passion for the craft will call you out. Here I am using 6013 welding electrode, which may even be worked cold if you are driven enough to Just Strike the Iron!

Robert Taylor

 

I was actually considering doing just that, I really want to start with either making some tools for the craft or possibly some cruddy knives to get started lol. 

On 2/15/2016 at 11:12 AM, Glenn said:

Quit looking and FIND a reason to get started.

Anything with mass can work, the heavier the better. Parts from agriculture equipment, rr track stood on end, heavy plate steel an inch thick or more, sledge hammer heads, FIND something and get started.

Do a site search for TPAAAT and ask everyone you can for either a piece of heavy metal or an anvil. Carry cash as it moves an anvil into the trunk of your car faster than anything else you can put on the table.

I definitely agree, money in pocket goes a long way in acquiring anything really lol. My reasons are more or less hobby based. I don't have a crazy amount of needs yet, but I am sure I will find them as I progress in skill in the craft. I am going to be heading by a scrap yard soon and I am working on the forge, so progress is happening, but just want to make some solid decisions to begin with. 

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Check with local welders, especially if they do any oilfield welding; I've bought both heavy chunks of steel and "real" anvils from them and most are probably feeling some financial pressure right now.  (Don't want to tell you how many anvils i bought in OK and took with me when I moved away...)  There was a 5th generation Blacksmith is Stroud that would have to be 6th generation now...

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On 2/17/2016 at 8:22 AM, Daghrim said:

[Bunch of photos]

Daghrim, just a practical detail: it's generally better not to include copies of photos in your quoted sections. It really eats up bandwidth in the forum, and people will understand just fine if you refer to them without actually including them. Thanks!

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You may want to try making a wooden tray-type holder for the plate with a layer of sand underneath, then mount the tray to a base of some sort (stump or sawhorse?)...

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1 hour ago, JHCC said:

Daghrim, just a practical detail: it's generally better not to include copies of photos in your quoted sections. It really eats up bandwidth in the forum, and people will understand just fine if you refer to them without actually including them. Thanks!

Sorry about that, I will go through and get rid of the photo portions. 

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1 minute ago, Daghrim said:

Sorry about that, I will go through and get rid of the photo portions. 

You may not be able to; there's a time window on how long you can edit posts. Just something to keep in mind. 

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1 minute ago, JHCC said:

You may not be able to; there's a time window on how long you can edit posts. Just something to keep in mind. 

Yeah, Oh well, I will make sure I don't quote photos in the future. 

11 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Check with local welders, especially if they do any oilfield welding; I've bought both heavy chunks of steel and "real" anvils from them and most are probably feeling some financial pressure right now.  (Don't want to tell you how many anvils i bought in OK and took with me when I moved away...)  There was a 5th generation Blacksmith is Stroud that would have to be 6th generation now...

I actually know a bunch of machine shops and the welders there, but I don't know any Oil people honestly. Though I do know exactly where to go to find them. I appriciate the suggestion. Gonna see what I can do. 

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4 minutes ago, Daghrim said:

Yeah, Oh well, I will make sure I don't quote photos in the future. 

You are learning, Grasshopper. Now, try to snatch this lump of coal from my palm....

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Just now, JHCC said:

You are learning, Grasshopper. Now, try to snatch this lump of coal from my palm....

LOL, next thing will be a fly from the air with chopsticks eh? lol

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