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I Forge Iron

Anvil Horn Alternitive

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So, I have a piece of rail to use as an anvil. What I do not have is something to use as a horn. It occurred to me since I was going to use a horn primary for shaping that a large Dock Cleat would work. I was talking to a friend of mine about my idea and he happens to have one that he will give me. Below are the pictures. As you can see the center section is hollow and a rusted though in places but I think the cleat over all is still sound. The idea is to clean it, mount it and grind one of the two horns into a taper. The other side I will smooth out but not alter for larger bends. Thoughts?





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Probably not rusted though as much as casting voids and probably cast iron.   I have one myself for armour work, (and how a large cleat came to be in a scrapyard in the desert with no body of water large enough to float a boat to use it in the State is a puzzlement!  My bet is a retired Navy guy's yard decoration...)

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Thank you all!

Tommy - I had not even considered using the cutouts as hardie holes

Thomas - Probably one of my Boatswains Mate brothers

C-1 - That is the plan

Daswulf - Free is always good

JHCC - Agreed. Wanted it more for shaping.

BigGunDoctor - I am thinking of thinks like S hooks.  (Note - I do not have something to use as a hardie hole to hold a jig)

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As for the s-hooks, those can be done right off of a flat face. Most of the scrolling I do is very small, and tight, so the horn is not even considered. I mainly use the horn as a large radius fuller.

A simple bick would be easier to make than grinding that cleat down. Being cast I would leave the cleat as is, and look at making a bick that drops into it. 

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A few things that i might do if i didn't have a horn or a London pattern anvil-

-first thing I would do is to do my bends over the edge of the anvil. It will take some practice, but once you got it, there is basically no use for a horn. A horn is just something that you run into and wish you never did.

-I would also make a portable hardy hole, or some other hardy hole alternative. That way I could make a hardy horn (basically a tapered bar that fits into the hardy hole. for larger curves obviously a large horn, and for smaller ones you could use a smaller one). If I did make a hardy bick I wouldn't do all of my bending on it. I would probably start my bend over the edge of the anvil, and then true it up on the bick.

-Also if I had some sort of makeshift hardy hole (or even a vice) I would make a series of bending jigs. Even I, who has a horn has more than one bendin jig. They are great if you are doing any bit of production work (or even if your not) or if you are trying to get more than one bend, and are wanting them to be the same, Ex. an S hook. Not only that but they are quicker, or at least for me they are quicker most times, compared to using the horn. I'm not saying not to ever make bends and curves over the edge of the anvil or on a horn, because it is a very important skill to have. Also, you cant bend everything in a jig. Well, you probably could, but that would be a lot of jigs!

when I started typing this I thought I had another alternative, but now I cant remember it.....



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A European style horn is quite useful for getting bends right. Mainly for increasing the diameter of the bend. I recently straightened some scrap iron that was thightly coiled and the horn made it very easy. I have never run into a horn but it might be a case of shop layout.

Ths is just another case of the two blacksmiths giving five different answers on how to do something. ^_^

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