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diy ASO project help needed

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I have acquired some materials that would be suitable for a ASO build. I have two sections of forklift fork, two CAT excavator bucket pins, a piece of hydrolic rod,and a hunk of RR rail.I am interested in building my first ASO and am hoping to get some guidance. I am including a few pics of the material and a sketch of a couple ideas but aside of that I  have never tried to build an anvil so someone who has or has a good plan on how to use the  materials I have please contact me for your help. So if anyone sees a better way your help is appreciated. 


Thanks, Martin 20160808_105633.jpg











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First off, your looking to make an anvil. Anvils come in many shapes and sizes. For the first few thousand years they were just lumps of iron with no horns. The shape we see in road runner cartoons is a London patern, and only about 200 years old. 

An ASO is a cast iron lump or fescies shaped like a London patern anvil, but because of its construction it absorbs your hammer blows. 

So all that said, you have several usable anvils, the peice of rail, the pin or the peice of fork mounted on end (so the mass is under the hammer will work great, of you wer to mount on pin vertical and one horizontal you now have a post anvil and a bick. 

If you try and combine the chunks you have in to a single lump, be aware that unless you space them out and weld threw the full thickness, you will creat an ASO, as simply welding a plate around the edges will creat an energy sucking void. 

So do you have access to a big welder? Do you have the right rod to weld the stock you have? Can you pre and post heat the stock? Can you heat treat the anvil after you build it? 

As long as the anvil face is at least the same size as your hammer your in buisness. Myself I would either mount my pins and described above, posably doing the same with the fork chunks ( tho if you can cut a hardy hole threw the fork (drill and broch?) and mount one flat you now have a "striking anvil" and a "portable hole". 

Further more look at " another rail iron anvil" for an idea of what to do with the rail. 

Honestly a flat spot and some mass is all one needs. 

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Thanks for the replyand yes I  do have access to a large welder and I am able to preheat, post heat, and HT.I am trying to figure out a good way to utilize the materials I have . Another posts suggested to use all and mount them for use at a comfortable working height. I am considering that route, I was trying to see if someone may be able to offer something different though. The other thing  is should some of the material be used in a different fashion like hammers or other tools?Ultimately I would like to use it in a manner that is not wasting good materials on something not nessasarry for the build.


 Thanks, Martin 

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Why don't you start by trying each out for a month or so, and see if there is anything that you can't do with them as is that you could do with them combined? 

You can always build up, but its harder to tear apart if your welds are good. You could even start cutting up what you have duplicates of and have some good anvils AND some good tools of the same alloy. 

Railroad track is good steel for tools, somewhere in the mid-high carbon range, I think, about 80 points carbon if I recall correctly... 

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Mount the stock on end and give them a try then decide which you like best. Save the rest in your resource area (scrap pile has such ugly connotations) till you find a use. Charles has already laid out what I was going to say in essence. The shape of the anvil has little to do with the quality of the work produced on it, that's in the hands of the human being working on it.

If you have access to a cut off band saw almost anything you have there can be cut up and used for other tools, any and all of it is good quality steel the rail being high carbon, the rest medium, forks typically in the 4140 range.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks guys

This is what I was thinking, thedrawings are just an idea. I was considering using them as is or even more than one as is . Charles, Frosty this is as noted above I suppose I will be mounting them individually to see which suits me best. 


Your mentioned the fork being in the 4140 range other than that I done some research on the bucket pins and was under the impression they were also 4140 range. The CAT guy I got them from didn't know the type. The inter web basically said 4140 . As far as I  was thinking it would need a good tinsel strength and have a reliable flex or I wouldn't want to be working under that bucket, you know. What am I  thinking your a retired operating engineer aren't you ? So is it 4140 or just a carbon? 

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I am very sad to have to tell you that there are no requirements as to what alloy(s) something has to be; it always makes me think of people saying "all cars must be Fords"; well a lot of them are; but there is no mandate that all are.  I have seen forklift tine that tested as 5160 and I'd bet that tines from the 1940 would be a plain medium carbon like 1050.  If you HAVE to know; then pay to have it tested!  In 35 years of smithing I have even run into a low alloy strain hardened automobile leaf spring as in: would not harden even when quenched in water! 

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Bad wording on my part. What I meant by "in the 4140 range" is by it's performance and need to take abuse and it's a common modern alloy for forks. If they're found stock they're mystery metal.

My bad, good catch Thomas, thanks.

Frosty The Lucky.

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