Bob123

Best way to turn heavy steel into anvil

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I am one of those poor folks on a "fixed income"  LOL and have not been able to find an anvil I could afford.  So have done the done the next best thing.  I purchased a chunk of steel 13x39x1.5 inches for $25 and hope to make it do as an anvil.  I got out of a foundry/machine shop that went out of business.  I do not know what kind of steel it is, but think it might be tool or low 10xx.  I has been machined very smooth on all sides and one side looks to be polished under the fine grained rust.  Plan on mounting it on a 14 inch diameter hard wood stump I had cut for the purpose of mounting an anvil.  Have been toying with the idea of cutting it in half, cutting a hardy hole some how in one half and then welding the two halves together before mounting on the stump. 

This newbe would love to hear what you all think and have learned the hard way.  :)

I hope I have put this request in the correct place, and if I have not please set me straight as I am an old goat trying to get into the new century.steel02.thumb.jpg.e091098d00f942e019d768f1779d3d6c.jpg

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If you can mount it as it currently stands in the photo it will give you the best rebound - don't get sidetracked by the idea that you need a hardy hole - tools can be held in a vice or a piece of heavy wall box section welded on the end of your 'anvil'. The only thing I would say is 39" is pretty tall so knocking a few inches off to suit your own height might be needed in the future, just try it as is first. What do you intend to make? Some knifemakers have their anvils set pretty high to stop them stooping so much. I have my anvil set at 33" from the floor which is wrist height for 6' me - I don't make knives though.

 

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Thank you for the quick reply.  I plan starting with knives.  Is 1.5 inches is enough width for a working face to work with?

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Yes, it is; strictly speaking, you don't need anything bigger than the face of  your hammer. Just build yourself some kind of stand to keep it upright and stable. 

As far as the height goes, try it as-is for a while. If you feel you need to shorten it, start by building up layers of boards to stand on while you're working. Once you've got a comfortable height, subtract the total thickness of the boards from the height of the anvil and cut it off.

Before you start hammering, make sure to put a slight radius on all the edges of the top. Sharp corners can dig into your workpiece and start cold-shuts. You could also add an inch or two of 1/4" and 1/2" radius off to one side; those can come in handy as well.

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That plate should weigh 215 pounds, or so.

After you find a comfortable height, you can always dig a hole in the ground to match the height.

 

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Yes that is what I came up with Glenn.  Wonderful this internet found a calculator from a steel mfg that allowed me to figure it out without using my brain.  LOL  Have my RR iron mounted on a stump so am thinking of mounting it on the unused end side of the stump on end like it sets

Thanks for the heads up JHCC would never have given a thought to sharp edges until I screwed something up.  LOL 

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Quick weight calculations for plate steel is 12 inches x 12 inches x 1/2 inches is 20 pounds.

Note all the 2's in the calculation, makes it easy to remember.

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If you have access to a torch , heat up a corner to a bright cherry red-yellow and quench it with water to see if it gets harder. 

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On ‎3‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 10:14 AM, Glenn said:

Quick weight calculations for plate steel is 12 inches x 12 inches x 1/2 inches is 20 pounds.

Note all the 2's in the calculation, makes it easy to remember.

Thanks Glenn even an old goat can remember that, at least for a little while.  lol

Hmmmmmm biggun think neighbor has one and he is in carrying distance. 

I did do a spark test.  compared to the sparks off of an old pitch fork.  seemed the same.  they both looked like the sparks off of a 4th sparkler.

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Back in March I posted a picture of a piece of steel and asked for ideas  on the best way to use it.

The picture is what I came up with.  The strike plate is 5x13x1.5 inches thick and weighs in at about 28 pounds and has a 1 inch hardy hole.

The plate it is mounted on is 13x14.5x1.5 inches thick and weighs in at about 80 pounds. Legs are 2 inch schedule 40 pipe.

I haven't road tested it yet as I just finished it.  Comments good or bad  are welcome as I  am still a newby 

20170901_183807.thumb.jpg.eb28a003f5601787b9e0dd0a7fbc4797.jpg

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3 hours ago, Jonnytait said:

looking good, have you put it to use yet? are you happy with how it works?

Yes I have used it.  Finished up and put together a set of tongs from Kens Iron.  Liked the way it worked for them.  As I have very limited experience with a real anvil I can not say which I would like better.  6 to 9 US dollars a pound was a little rich for my blood so went this direction.  Have had a couple mention it might work better mounted on a stump or solid wooden stand I make myself.  My next project will be a set of tongs from scratch and will know better then what I think. 

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sounds good, im sure it will do the job until you find an anvil at a sensible price. good luck with the tongs! I am still in the middle of making my first few pairs of decent tongs

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