CTBlades

RR Rails for Anvils, Thoughts?

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Good afternoon. As I stated in my "interduce yourself" post I have a couple chunks of RR Rails that I plan to use for anvils until the day comes when I find and purchase a real deal anvil or three. As you can see by the photo I made a small anvil (on the right) from a 15' piece a couple years ago. Its small for sure but rings nicely and does the job for small work. I recently scrounged up a larger 24" piece that is also 1/2" taller and 3/4" wider.
 I am interested in hearing what you folks would do with this piece (besides scrap it), i.e. resurfacing, cleaning, stands, fastening it down, cutting, shaping. what ever your thought about it might be. Thanks.....Keep Heatin' & Beatin'.

IMG_3764.JPG

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And good morning to you. (AK time ;))

You put a lot of work in the little rail anvil, she'll be a valuable bench anvil. I don't recommend putting that much work into rail anvils it's not really necessary or even useful in the long run. Regardless it isn't a waste of time it's all useful.

I see Das just posted my suggestion for the long piece of rail you have. An anvil's efficiency at moving steel is most effected by the depth of rebound it has that's the thickness of steel between the work and the bottom of the anvil. Laid flat rail is designed to be flexible so energy from a hammer blow is dispersed in flexing the rail. Stood on end a hammer blow's compression wave is conducted the full length and rebounds. What energy is lost is to compressing high carbon steel full depth and that compression returns with nearly the same force.

You only need an anvil face a little larger than the face of your hammer, it makes it easier to teach new comers proper hammer technique on a small anvil face where they can't chase the stock all over creation. Sorry for the digression, I'm like that you know. Mount it on end at the right height for YOU, radius the edges and grind the web and flanges into what bottom tools you need and you'll have an effective anvil well beyond your expectations.

If you need a large flat surface for something, I've found I rarely do except to hold my hammer for the next step, there is 24" of vertical flange and come handsome inside radiuses where the web meets the flanges and rail. Vertical surfaces are much easier to straighten against than horizontal, you can sight right down the contact to gauge where to strike and more important when to stop.

Anywho, those is my 7 quatlos.

Frosty The Lucky.

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7 hours ago, CTBlades said:

I have a couple chunks of RR Rails that I plan to use for anvils until the day comes when I find and purchase a real deal anvil or three

welcome!

This is kinda my pet peeve about people, and I at one time was one of them. People think that if they don't have a anvil that was made and sold as an anvil, than they don't have one. or if they don't have a London pattern anvil, they cant accomplish what other people are who use one. Now that I've gotten into blacksmithing for about 2 years, using up every weekend and afternoon that I can for the craft, I understand that you don't need much more than a sledge hammer head sunk into a stump, or a piece of rail track stood on end, heck, you could get stuff done on a boulder! what do you want your piece of track to do that it cant already? then we'll go from there.

                                                                                                                                              Littleblacksmith

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7 minutes ago, littleblacksmith said:

welcome!

This is kinda my pet peeve about people, and I at one time was one of them. People think that if they don't have a anvil that was made and sold as an anvil, than they don't have one. or if they don't have a London pattern anvil, they cant accomplish what other people are who use one. Now that I've gotten into blacksmithing for about 2 years, using up every weekend and afternoon that I can for the craft, I understand that you don't need much more than a sledge hammer head sunk into a stump, or a piece of rail track stood on end, heck, you could get stuff done on a boulder! what do you want your piece of track to do that it cant already? then we'll go from there.

                                                                                                                                              Littleblacksmith

Good grief you've changed your tune haven't you LB? :o

Viking blades were and still are renowned as very high quality blades, often on the order of kingly quality and they were often forged on limestone boulders. 90% of what I use the horn for is as a bottom fuller but being tapered it makes an inferior bottom fuller. I forge rings, scrolls, etc. over an edge and on the face.

It's just a matter of knowledge and practice.

Frosty The Lucky.

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3 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Good grief you've changed your tune haven't you LB?

sorry, I  didn't mean for it to sound rude, please don't take it that way, just kinda went of on a small rant, but I guess you probably know how that is.:D

                                                                                                                                  Littleblacksmith

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4 minutes ago, littleblacksmith said:

sorry, I  didn't mean for it to sound rude, please don't take it that way, just kinda went of on a small rant, but I guess you probably know how that is.:D

                                                                                                                                  Littleblacksmith

Oh no you didn't sound rude at all, you're perfectly right it just brought back memories your hunt for a "real" anvil. I think a couple years seasoning and you have the potential to become a fine young curmudgeon. B)

Frosty The Lucky.

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23 minutes ago, littleblacksmith said:

welcome!

This is kinda my pet peeve about people, and I at one time was one of them. People think that if they don't have a anvil that was made and sold as an anvil, than they don't have one.

Well LB thanks for the welcome. I guess my sarcastic sense of humor didn't come glowing through. I didn't mean to grind your metal and shower any sparks at anyone. I've been moving metal for some time know using a chunk of rail and I had a nice anvil on loan I used for about 5 years. In my travel over the years I've past up on buying prolly 75 anvils and in fact I know where there is a junk shop right now that has at least 15 in the back room. For me its about low cost/no cost my friend. I'd rather make due with what I have and spent my money on more Harleys because 4 just isn't enough. Heck I prolly have enough change in the side door pocket of my truck to go buy on lol

And no worries I didn't take your comment as being rude....Its all good.

7 hours ago, Frosty said:

And good morning to you. (AK time ;))

You put a lot of work in the little rail anvil, she'll be a valuable bench anvil. I don't recommend putting that much work into rail anvils it's not really necessary or even useful in the long run. Regardless it isn't a waste of time it's all useful.

Frosty The Lucky.

Frosty I replied earlier but I guess the software didn't like me responding from my phone IDK. Anyway good morning or afternoon now heck prolly evening. your not just across town but across the country and then some. LOL

Truth be told I made that little anvil for my bride to use as a bench vise as she is a silversmith. When I was finally health enough to heat and beat I stole it from her to use until I could figure out what to do with the large piece. Well as luck would have it, she spotted me posting earlier and yep, she wanted her anvil back so its back in her shop area again.

I read the link Daswulf post (Thank yo0u Daswulf) about standing the rail vertically and coupled with your comments I fully agree that this is the way to go. Now I just have to figuer out a way to mount it. I think I've got a plan in my head that I will put down on paper in the morning (my time est lol) and post it to see what others think. Again for me its about low cost/ no cost using what I have kicking around and making it work.

I've enjoyed reading many of your posts and look forward to hearing more from you and your unselfish willingness of sharing your knowledge.Hopefully you'll jump in when I post in the gas forge sector about building a gas forge from a small kilm (yeah I'll prolly have to spend a few bucks this time lol).

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CTBlades, feel free to point me in the direction of that shop!  I already got one for a good price but I can't help but want to see others!  Since you are in CT I'd suggest you go to Logan Steel in Meriden and grab a cylinder of A36 for some mindless metal mangling.  They have huge slabs up to 14" diameter by 7" deep and smaller.  I grabbed one to check its weight and it was 155 pounds but it was one of the larger ones ($1 per pound).  They also have some posts from 4" to 12" diameter and as long as 4'.  You can use the heck out of it and grind it when it gets beat too badly.  

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18 minutes ago, Lou L said:

CTBlades, feel free to point me in the direction of that shop!  

Thank you Lou I know right were Logan is. I'm just down the road in North Branford. I'm up that way often as I hand pick my knife and razor scale material at Mazecraft just up the road from Ted's Steam Cheese Burgers....lol

The shop I was speaking of is up in VT just south of Rutland on RT 7. We ride bikes up 7 all the time. I don't recall the name off hand but up that way again soon before the weather gets to cold to ride up. I'll let you know.

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Ted's steamed cheeseburger!  That place is iconic.  I've never been to Mazecraft.  I'll have to check it out, thanks.

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3 minutes ago, Lou L said:

Ted's steamed cheeseburger!  That place is iconic.  I've never been to Mazecraft.  I'll have to check it out, thanks.

Yep, I've eaten way to many lol..If you plan on going to Mazecraft and buying anything, go before lunch and bring cash, you'll get better deals lol!

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7 minutes ago, CTBlades said:

Yep, I've eaten way to many lol..If you plan on going to Mazecraft and buying anything, go before lunch and bring cash, you'll get better deals lol!

Will do, thanks.

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WHAT!! you were sarcastic and I missed it? :o I really must be slipping or something. LB is a young man and a coming blacksmith, he's still a bit over careful of getting on folk's wrong side.

The IPS software Iforge operates on stinks it loses posts frequently has put our archived pictures and many posts under a rock somewhere, the IPS search engine is equally sub standard use Google and add Iforgeiron to  the search terms it works a lot better.

Heh, heh, heh. Deb has one of my  little bench anvils.She discovered fold forming and enameling at the same gathering and inherited my little 10lb. anvil for herself. I'm pretty careful not to show Deb posts on Iforge or I'd be making things for her way above and beyond what's necessary to make her happy.

Do you have a welder or access to one? A little scrounging and a stand is easy to make I'd need to lift it about 6" to be my working height, a little higher if I wanted it for fine / close work. A piece of plate and a couple short hips to stiffen it up. Easy peasy.

You maybe ought to take a closer look at those anvils for a cast Swedish steel anvil, Soderfors say. You can't buy better.

Frosty The Lucky.

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10 hours ago, Frosty said:

Oh no you didn't sound rude at all, you're perfectly right it just brought back memories your hunt for a "real" anvil. I think a couple years seasoning and you have the potential to become a fine young curmudgeon. B)

Frosty The Lucky.

why thank you sir, that made my morning, thanks for the smile!

7 hours ago, Frosty said:

he's still a bit over careful of getting on folk's wrong side.

yeah, I guess so.......but that's not bad or anything? Right?

                                                                                                                            Littleblacksmith

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No it's not a bad thing so long as you don't over do it. There are folk the good guys should be on the wrong side of, happily they seem darned rare on Iforge.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You know what Frosty, I made a great generalization this weekend going to the my first New England Blacksmiths meetup.  Here it is: Blacksmithing appears to be a past time that attracts intelligent people.  The level of discourse was a significant improvement to my average experience in any random crowd.  

I believe this fortunate reality is the reason that troglodytes are uncommon on IFI.

Oh, and I really enjoyed my first meet up.

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Honestly Im confident to say that in my opinion, blacksmiths are probably one of the nicest, most friendly group that I know of.

                                                                                          Littleblacksmith 

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1 hour ago, littleblacksmith said:

Honestly Im confident to say that in my opinion, blacksmiths are probably one of the nicest, most friendly group that I know of.

                                                                                          Littleblacksmith 

I certainly agree with you LB. Everyone is always so willing to lend a hand, offer suggestions and generally take time to chat or what ever is needed to get it done.

Unless you toss those with pet peeves in the mix. LOL

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On 9/26/2016 at 0:58 AM, Frosty said:

You maybe ought to take a closer look at those anvils for a cast Swedish steel anvil, Soderfors say. You can't buy better.

What Frosty means to say, of course, is "Unless they have a Mousehole."

14 hours ago, CTBlades said:

Unless you toss those with pet peeves in the mix. 

Oh, heaven forbid.

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6 hours ago, JHCC said:

What Frosty means to say, of course, is "Unless they have a Mousehole."

Oh, heaven forbid.

Mouseholes, gotcha.....

LMBO

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7 hours ago, JHCC said:

What Frosty means to say, of course, is "Unless they have a Mousehole."

Oh, heaven forbid.

Of course that's what I meant. I don't want to see your mice homeless, I'm not cruel. :P

Frosty The Lucky.

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41 minutes ago, Frosty said:

I don't want to see your mice homeless

The ones that escape the pit bulls, anyway. 

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Wondering if I'm even qualified to answer... I beat on a 8 inch long piece of track mounted (a bunch of deck screws around the "foot" and some chain)  to a small work table I made. 

I notice that after sanding the top with 120gr grinder sanding wheel, I can push steel a lot faster and easier than what I had the first couple days. I also rub a little olive oil on the surface to keep rust at bay in humid TX every now and then (probably a sin). Looking at your setup, I'm already jealous. I will say that the RR track is soft-ish, so I'm careful with swinging the hammer full force.

I plan to to get an old 100lb (actual) anvil soon, since that's just what I would be personally be satisfied with. 

 

 

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