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I Forge Iron

Old Trenton has a new home


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I was out with the family, hitting some garage sales today, and we came across a huge sale. The guy had a ton of everything, and I'm guessing he runs this sale every weekend.  As soon as we got there, I started the conversation, the same way I start every conversation... "Would you happen to have an anvil that you'd be willing to sell?"

He seemed surprised, and pointed to a corner of his garage, and there was this old beauty, covered in cobwebs.  We wheeled it outside on his cart, and the negotiating began.   The edges have a couple of nicks, but nothing a little dressing won't take out, and the horn looks like it was blunted on purpose... again, nothing a flap disc can't fix up. 

I couldn't make out the serial number, and we could only guess on the weight.  From my best guess, I'm thinking its in the 150 range.

He told me he wanted $450 for it, which seemed quite high to me.  So we started chatting about how long he'd had it in the corner.  He said he picked it up a while ago and when he was thinking about getting in to blacksmithing, but he never did, so its just been sitting, gathering dust, ever since.

I eventually threw out and offer of $250.  We finally settled on $325, which I think is probably right in the ball park of being a "decent" price, left him a deposit and will head back out there later this week with the Jeep to pick her up and bring her home.

Not the best anvil in the world, but a huge step up from the beat up 70 pound Vulcan I've been using for the last year and a half.

Wish I had taken more pictures, but did grab one that I can look at fondly until I have a chance to run back and pick this one up.

 

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That's an excellent price. I'm sure you'll give it a great home. The work you've done on your Vulcan is proof positive that it's the craftsman, not the tools that create beauty.

But all that aside...few things are more fun than "getting to know" a new anvil! ENJOY

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16 hours ago, Black Frog said:

Please take close-up pictures of the side logo stamp, and of the serial number on the front foot under the horn!  

I am picking it up Friday evening, and then the cleaning begins.  Figured I'd start with a soft wire brush, just to get all the caked on crud off, and then make a determination on if/what to do about any remaining surface rust.  Hopefully the first brushing will reveal its secrets.  I'm just as curious to know its history.  Since I'm putting it right to use, I'm not to worried about getting it squeaky clean or anything, but it would be nice if I was able to figure out when it was made.

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Nice score and better than decent price. I don't know what it is about Trenton horns, most I've seen are a little mushroomed or at least flattened. Once you get her brushed off might I recommend you finish her with a carnuba paste wax after you get her well warmed up, cup of fresh coffee warm is perfect but it doesn't need to be that hot. The gang is waiting for me to say it and I won't disappoint them, I like "Treewax," It's the stuff they polish bowling alleys with and it requires a sander to strip. It's tough as all get out and when applied warm is an excellent penetrant so it fills all the tiny nooks and crannies.

I'll be watching for pics as you spruce her up. Were our positions reversed I'd be tempted to make something for myself, probably the shop as her first job, something I could look at as years go by and reminisce about bringing her home.

Frosty The Lucky.

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5 hours ago, Frosty said:

Nice score and better than decent price. I don't know what it is about Trenton horns, most I've seen are a little mushroomed or at least flattened. Once you get her brushed off might I recommend you finish her with a carnuba paste wax after you get her well warmed up, cup of fresh coffee warm is perfect but it doesn't need to be that hot. The gang is waiting for me to say it and I won't disappoint them, I like "Treewax," It's the stuff they polish bowling alleys with and it requires a sander to strip. It's tough as all get out and when applied warm is an excellent penetrant so it fills all the tiny nooks and crannies.

I'll be watching for pics as you spruce her up. Were our positions reversed I'd be tempted to make something for myself, probably the shop as her first job, something I could look at as years go by and reminisce about bringing her home.

Frosty The Lucky.

Thanks for the info.  I was just starting to research what to do to protect it after I get it shined up a bit.  The horn isn't horrible, just a little flat on the end, like someone took a hammer to it, but its just bad enough that I'll have to do a little grinding on it to get it usable for some of the smaller projects, like bottle openers.

As for a first project, I have been thinking about it, and one of the most rewarding things that I have made is a small section of chain and a specialized hook to hang the waterer for my wife's chickens.  I know it sounds weird, but all the damascus knives, and everything else, just hasn't given me the same feeling of accomplishment.  Something about making an actual farming type of implement that I get to gaze upon whenever we're tending to the flock, just hits me the right way.  She has a bunch of projects on the honey-do list, and I think the first project will be something off that list, that's in the tool family.  I'm leaning towards a type of scraper she asked me to make so she can reach in to the coop and scrape off the roosts... basically a big paint scraper, with a little bend and a long wooden handle... not unlike a garden hoe.  She makes fun of how my spatulas look, but now she wants, what is basically, a giant spatula.  I WIN! lol

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5 hours ago, HEAP of JEEP said:

Thanks for the info.  I was just starting to research what to do to protect it after I get it shined up a bit.  The horn isn't horrible, just a little flat on the end, like someone took a hammer to it, but its just bad enough that I'll have to do a little grinding on it to get it usable for some of the smaller projects, like bottle openers.

As for a first project, I have been thinking about it, and one of the most rewarding things that I have made is a small section of chain and a specialized hook to hang the waterer for my wife's chickens.  I know it sounds weird, but all the damascus knives, and everything else, just hasn't given me the same feeling of accomplishment.  Something about making an actual farming type of implement that I get to gaze upon whenever we're tending to the flock, just hits me the right way.  She has a bunch of projects on the honey-do list, and I think the first project will be something off that list, that's in the tool family.  I'm leaning towards a type of scraper she asked me to make so she can reach in to the coop and scrape off the roosts... basically a big paint scraper, with a little bend and a long wooden handle... not unlike a garden hoe.  She makes fun of how my spatulas look, but now she wants, what is basically, a giant spatula.  I WIN! lol

 

There are few things that feel as good as using a tool you made with your own hands, The chain for the waterer is the same deal just like thumbing the gate latch, etc. Making the wife things is a good thing. She has to love anything you make her, it's part of the deal.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Picked it up tonight and started on the cleanup a little bit.  Took some pictures after the first go around with the wire brush.  Its actually cleaning up really nicely.  There's a couple of spots on the front of the face on each side where the edges might need to be filled some day, but plenty of usable edge on both sides, once I give it a little attention with a flap wheel.  The horn needs just a little bit more attention than the edges.  The end is blunted just  a little to much, and the very end looks just a tad higher than the rest of it... maybe it was dropped at some point, and that's what caused both issues?  The face is pretty dang near perfectly flat, so I'm not even going to worry about flattening that out.

Rings like a church bell, and with a ball bearing, just sitting on the 4x4s I have it resting on now, I'm getting about 80% rebound... or maybe just a hair more.  I'm dropping the ball bearing from 10" and its rebounding  up to 8-8.5.  My old Vulcan only has 55-60%, so wondering if I'll notice much of a difference. 

I'm curious to know what some of the Trenton experts think the weight is.  When I look at the stamp from one angle, I clearly see 181... but from a different angle, I clearly see 131.  All I know is I guessed, from lifting it, that it was in the 150 range, so I either guessed a little low, or a little high. 

As for marking on the side, Only about half to two thirds of the Trenton label is visible. I might try the baby powder trick, if that isn't enough of the label to learn from.  It is clearly stamped U.S.A., and that's it.  I know some had stamps saying Wrought, or something like that, but I'm not finding anything else.  So, either it got worn away, or it never had it.

 

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