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stuarthesmith

Three Wet Smiths and a Swage Block

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THREE WET SMITHS AND A SWAGE BLOCK....

The auction was posted in all the local papers. It was a farm auction, complete with the blacksmith tools that had been around the farm for four generations. In the middle of the field, along with the flatbed trucks, John Deere Model B's, cultivators, balers, tetters, rakes, mowers, manure spreaders, farm generators, welders, hit and miss engines, chevy blocks, pallets of pulley blocks, rope, baling twine, barbed wire, and other farmacopoea, was an anvil, a forge, and a swage block. Right in the middle of the auction, AFTER I bought the anvil and rivet forge, a big dark cloud approached the participants hovering around the swage block in the middle of the field, with the auctioneer with his battery powered megaphone about to "hammer down" the swage block. Almost as if scripted, it started to rain. Not just a drizzle, or a normal freshet, but a thunderous downpour, torrenting over our heads. The crowd scattered, except for the four of us, the three interested parties, and the dripping wet auctioneer. One hundred, one fifty, two hundred, two fifty, at three hundred I dropped out, fleeing for cover from the torrential downpour. They still proceeded, ending at five hundred and fifty lusty dollars. The FUNNY part about this story is that it was 36 years ago..........apologies to the folks who think "blacksmithing is a passing fad" and that blacksmith tool prices will eventually level off,  anyone believing that anvil prices will eventually taper off are living in la-la land

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or had an anvil land on their heads, makes for a good outlet for all our stuff when our kids get rid if it, mine are in for a big surprise on that account! 

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36 years ago was about the time I bought my swageblock in Oklahoma; it was a small add in the local trading paper just saying "anvil".  I called the guy up and he said it was funny shaped with all these indentations around the edges and holes through the middle.  I said "that's not an anvil it's a swage block and I'll buy it and be right there with the money."  Called my boss and told him I would be late for work and went and paid about US$1 a pound for a nice usable swage block which I still have and use as needed. It was during an oilfield boom and anvils were going high.  I had my first anvil stolen back then too.  10 years later I moved to central Ohio and started picking up good anvils cheap.

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