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Peter Wright anvil

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I have a 100lb ?  PeterWright anvil that was found buried in an old stream bed.  The flat bed area ( I don't know proper term) on the top face is badly damaged.  A large area , 8- 9 square inches  is broken off missing. The missing area is approximately 1/2 inch in depth.  Again this is on the top flat face mid way between the horn and the rear hardie hole.    The horn is in good shape, and the rest of the anvil seems solid.  On the side, it says Peter Wright's patent, England.  Below that in a circular pattern are some unreadable words that say something about "wrought."  It has what appears to be a date 0/3/23 stamped heavily in the lower side.  I have two question for those here:  Is it worth anything in the condition it is in other than scrap, and can it be repaired,fixed and be put back to work.

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The missing area is the hardened steel face plate that makes the anvil usable. If you have enough left that's still solidly attached, you might be able to forge on the remaining sections. Tap them gently with a small hammer and listen carefully. If you get a nice, clear ring, you're good to go. If you get a flat clap or a dull thud, then not so much.

Another way to test the rest of the remaining surface is the ball bearing test: drop a ball bearing on the surface from a known height and measure how high it rebounds. Anything over 70-75% is good; Peter Wright anvils tend to have a good bit more. Substantially less than that is a good indication of damage.

The top of the section where the plate is missing is wrought iron and too soft for use as a forging surface. Don't hammer on this, although you can use it as a soft backup for cutting pieces with a chisel.

Can this be repaired? Possibly, but it's a complicated and expensive process, with great risk of further damaging the anvil. There are a number of threads here about how to do that, and why not to.

How much is it worth? Depends. Assuming it still has some life in it, this could be just the thing for someone who is just starting out or who doesn't need an anvil with a lot of usable surface (e.g., a knifemaker). Given the popularity of blacksmithing "reality" shows these days, I'm sure there's someone out there willing to pay more than scrap value for it.

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Yup prices are location dependent; why just here in the USA an anvil might go for twice as much here as where I used to live.  Which of the 100+ countries that participate in these forums on the WORLD WIDE WEB you are in we can't guess...

Any way that's most likely the weight stamp in the old stone/CWT system 0 3 23 =  0x112 + 3x28 + 23  or originally 97 pounds

Having a good horn and hardy hole makes it useful in a shop just not as a primary anvil.  Old anvils had the faceplate welded on in sections and over time sometimes a weld or more will fail.

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Thanks everyone.  After doing a bit more research and before many of you pointed out, the numbers are weight designation.  Pictures are going to be a bit tough, don't like or own cell phone, consider them a major intrusion in my tranquility and leading cause for the accelerated downfall of the country I grew up in.  But that is another matter for another forum.  Maybe when grandkids come visit I can get one of them to snap a couple of pics and post them.  Until then, not going to happen.

I have been using the anvil for small work, mostly the horn, for shaping.  Was just curious as to repairs and if repairs would potentially ruin any antique value.  No real intent to sell.  Anvil was found by our middle son, Travis W. Nixon in his soph. year of high school.  Travis went on to join the Army, Became a Ranger, won the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart before His death in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne in 2005.  I still remember looking up and watching him walking across the open field carrying the anvil.  He might have weighed all of a 150 lbs.   

Did notice a couple more hairline cracks on one small bit of the remaining top face near the heel, but the rest of it rings like a bell when you hit it.

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Repairs vs Antique Value: basically you have an antique car that's been in a bad wreck; as it stands not much antique value and little using value.  Repaired---still not much antique value and some using value.  You can look up the Robb Gunter method of anvil repair; but it will take time, consumables and some welding skill.  If you want to keep it as a memorial then it would be well worth the effort.  I have had 3 anvils repaired at ABANA Affiliate clubs "anvil repair sessions" so far and made use of skilled people with top notch tools and generally had to force them to at least let me pay for the consumables (welding) if not the consumables (potables) afterwards.

I will ring my anvil in your son's memory tonight.

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