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Anvil Advice Needed

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Hello, I am a blacksmith enthusiast.

I have seen an anvil which is 600L x 230H x 180W and weighs 40kgs. It is new and being sold for $350.

I intend to use it for light construction, door furniture, and door construction.

I am unsure if this anvil would be a good deal for what I want to use it for, could someone please give me some advice or suggestions.

Thank you,

The C Teen

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As you are using measurements which are metric, you could be anywhere in the world except in the USA (grin).

IF you can show us a photo of the anvil, it would be a great help. The price of 80 kg at $350 could be good or bad depend on the anvil and where in the world your located.

Please provide us with a little more information so we can better answer your question.

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You're using metric measurements and quoting prices in dollars, you sound kind of Australian!

Additionally, that description and those measurements seem remarkably familiar, so it seems you may be referring to a certain 40Kg anvil I have seen on eBay for pickup in Ballarat. I know nothing about this anvil except that this is at least the third time recently that it has listed for the same starting and "buy it now" prices - each time with no bidders.

Now, I'm no expert, but based on the two photos, it looks like a decent anvil. It certainly has crisp corners and a very clean machined face, but at 40 Kg (88 Lb) it certainly is a small one. Be aware though, that for whatever reason, it has failed to sell at that price at least twice before. Caveat emptor, young C Teen!

Actually, I didn't originally provide a link to the auction, but I have since done so.

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Thanks Glenn, we have updated our profile, thanks for the tip. For the photo Blubrick was kind enough to provide a link to the eBay item. thanks for that!

Thanks Blubrick I just got the net here, so was not aware it has been listed a couple times. We really appreciate the help. We will heed your advice and choose carefully. ;)

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an anvil's weight is much like a hammer's weight
it's your "other" hammer, the more mass, the more "work" it can do in a given blow.

I have a forged 1844 William Foster that size at 0-3-5 stone.
89lbs 40Kgs

At work we have a 200Kgs Czech cast manganese, and a Peter Wright around 100Kgs or so.

While a bigger anvil allows you to get more done in a shorter time, sometimes its not a question of moving a lot of metal in one blow. Small anvils tend to get short shrifted on forums, but they served our grandfathers and great great grandfathers well. And are far more common in metalworking trades other than general blacksmithing.

Sounds like that one might be functional for door hardware ect, but using an 8lb sledge on a 2 inch square stock with it wouldnt be advisable.

But weight alone isnt the only criteria
Anvil Names
Blacksmith's Gazette Project Anvil Page
eBay Guides - Purchasing an Anvil
Metalsmith - V5.3 History and Development of the Anvil by James Cran

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Probably the most import detail is: "What it it made from and has it been appropriately heat treated?" Without that info the guesses are almost random as in "I'm looking at a 2 door car should I get it for a race car". Could be a Yugo, could be a supercharged Ferrari.

If you can inspect it in person Anvilfire.com has a good bounce test for anvils described on it's site that uses a large ball bearing and has rebound heights for "good" anvils on it. This can help when the seller doesn't know the details of the anvil.

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The C teen,

I concurr with others to be very careful about buying anvil over the internet unless had a chance to inspect it in person or have a trusted blacksmith inspect it. If I had a name brand and photos of the anvil with the brand name clearly showing along with other identifying information I would feel better.

Ask the person listing the anvil
* Who made the anvil?
* What steel is it made from?
* How hard is the anvil?
* How many has he sold and a list of buyers?

OF course a brand name is not always a guaranty. I bought a William Foster for well under a dollar a pound but it was dead soft. Must have gone thru a fire... Oh well live and learn.

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Thanks for the advice Ice Czar. It does sound as though I should hang onto my money and save up for a beefier version though.; which would probably last longer in the long run, and provide scope for making heavier items, should I want to branch away from door furniture in the future (you never know!).. Those links you supplied have also been enormously helpful!! Much appreciated!!

Thanks ThomasPowers for the link to the bounce test.. Will definitely be a big help when looking at secondhand anvils, especially in circumstances you mentioned where the seller does not know the brand, or in the situation exemplified by R Funk

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Although I am new to blacksmithing/bladesmithing I have done a lot of looking into anvils, as I just bought one myself. If you don't want to give yourself a head ache all day, go with forged instead of cast. Casts' ring is very loud You may be doing light door work right now, but may want to go heavier someday;give yourself some room either way is my advice. For example I went with a 155ibs Peter Wright anvil. The best in a lot of blacksmiths minds, including mine. Peter Wright made anvils from 1850-1886 in England and his anvil design was and is still considered the best. Long horn is great for artistic work and the softer iron base welded top of tool steel is better than the old 6 piece style in terms of wear and tear any day. The 155 ibs range gives you versatility for traveling w/anvil and ability to do medium sized work as well as the light door work you enjoy now.
The weld between the tool steel and iron must be checked by testing the C range ring of the anvil w/ a light ball peen hammer from about8-10 in. above the table where the table is directly supported wiron base, for the bounce of the hammers' own weight only. If you hold it 8 in above, let it fall and it has a good ring that isn't real short in duration and hammer bounces 80-100% back up to the height you dropped it at, your anvil is good. If it doesn't bounce well the two pieces of metal are vibrating against eachother. 2-3 US dallars is what you might expect to pay per ib for a good anvil. Surface damage is up to the individual on what they will put up with in my estimation. Make sure the anvil is sitting on wood when you test the ring and bounce, or it will be muffled and won't give you an accurate test.

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