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Hey all so I just bought my first I hope anvil but it looks like it is an unfinished casting as I can see a parting line all the way around and the face is peaked as well as seeing casting flash in the hardy hole I see no markings on it at all but then again it has a thin layer of  paint and some somewhat significant pitting or could be something  else. Previous owner thought it might have been a  blemished cast or possibly  a bad cast that caused the pitting the parting line goes all the way around the  anvil and is the length of the  face. Haven't  weighed it yet but the previous owner said between 200-250lbs. Seems to  ring OK but have yet to hit it with a  hammer. You guys have any ideas? 

Will try to post pics tomorrow.

Here's to hoping  I didn't  buy scrap. 

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Definitely cast, find a bearing and do a rebound test. As long as you get a decent rebound, anything above 50% to 60%, should indicate its not an ASO.

Good luck!

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If you are in the USA and not one of the 100+ other countries participating here I would say it's one of the cast anvils coming up over the border from Mexico.  Does it have a pritchel?  They are using old anvils to make the molds and so they look like a great anvil.  They are cast with whatever is left in the ladle at the end of the shift and so vary in alloy.  Some are quite nice but of course they are not heat treated.  

If you did not pay top price then you *may* have a fair anvil.  Of course you will need to do quite a bit of fettling on it---this may be one of the rare cases where milling the face would be a good idea. If you can get a readout on the alloy used you could even think about having it heat treated---though that would probably cost more than buying an old anvil in good shape.

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3 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

If you are in the USA and not one of the 100+ other countries participating here I would say it's one of the cast anvils coming up over the border from Mexico.  Does it have a pritchel?  They are using old anvils to make the molds and so they look like a great anvil.  They are cast with whatever is left in the ladle at the end of the shift and so vary in alloy.  Some are quite nice but of course they are not heat treated.  

If you did not pay top price then you *may* have a fair anvil.  Of course you will need to do quite a bit of fettling on it---this may be one of the rare cases where milling the face would be a good idea. If you can get a readout on the alloy used you could even think about having it heat treated---though that would probably cost more than buying an old anvil in good shape.

I am indeed in the USA oregon specifically. no pritchel at all previous owner claimed he had it for approximately 5-10 years. also claims to have beat a lot of metal on it but I see no witness marks of any kind.

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That time period would fit the Mexican stuff; but there are lots of other things floating around too.  I once talked with a lady who post WWII had some nickel steel naval armour cast into anvils. (I didn't tell her that that would not be a particularly good alloy as armour tends more towards tough than hard...)

Do the ball bearing test!

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Bearing test with a half inch bearing dropped from about 10" yielded about 50% rebound was difficult to gauge because of  all the pitting the bearing more often than not  flew away. Tried it with my 4 pound hammer and  yeielded similar results  from 4". Took pictures  as well as a video of a spark test with a piece of  known steel and a piece of  known cast iron as well. Found some body filler crammed into a  big void down near the base. Is this a mark of the  beast?  Lots of pictures  hope you  can give me some  good news.

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Could be worse, flatten the face and use it to make enough ready spending money to be able to jump on the next *good* one that shows up! Looks like a casting porosity; but I use anvils with rust pitting (but much better rebound...)

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Here's a ring test of the Anvil. 

And here's a spark test.

 

 

So then the other question also becomes am I better off trying to sell this off to somebody as garden art or just use it until I have money for a better one. Also going to assume this guy isn't worth very much given all the casting flaws would that be a correct assumption?

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Someone cast this using an old high grade anvil to make the mold from.

If you have already bought it; flatten the face and use the heck out of it STOP DITHERING AND POUND STEEL!

If you haven't bought it it depends on the price.  Cheap enough and it will always be a handy hardy hole and horn. Full price for a top brand anvil---run screaming!

I couldn't see the sparks well enough to judge burstiness of them from the anvil

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I agree with Thomas. Grind the face flat and use it. You'll get some use out of it and still get the yard ornament price no matter the condition later plus all the thousands you've made from beautiful iron work. 

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As others have said, grind and use for what it's useful for--better 'n a rock, worse than a fancy anvil--good place to hold hardy tools.   People make a living all over the world on worse. 

Beware the "cemetery anvil".  This one probably isn't because it does have the hardy hole but...could be.  In the past, they were sometimes cast from real anvils cheaply to be part of a smith's headstone.  You'll often see them with heavy black or gray paint over all surfaces, including the face (which shows it was never used as an anvil).  Bottoms were never exposed so rarely have the paint coating.  Casting quality tends to be poor with filler in blowholes.  People are stealing them now because they can quickly turn a couple of hundred bucks as "real" anvils.

On the off chance this is one of those, still use it:  Any smith would rather see it used for something craft related than only an ornamental hat on his resting place. 

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Grind the cast line out of the face, clear the rough stuff out of the hardy and use it.

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Someone cast this using an old high grade anvil to make the mold from.

If you have already bought it; flatten the face and use the heck out of it STOP DITHERING AND POUND STEEL!

If you haven't bought it it depends on the price.  Cheap enough and it will always be a handy hardy hole and horn. Full price for a top brand anvil---run screaming!

I couldn't see the sparks well enough to judge burstiness of them from the anvil

Already  bought it, so it's mine now whatever  I do with it. 

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Machine shops charge quite a lot over here; more than buying another anvil generally.

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Get a couple 40, 60 and 80 grit flap sanding disks for your angle grinder. Start in the mold split line and work all the way up and down the face keeping it moving all the time. Switch grits an do the same till previous marks dissappear. You should be able to get it close enough within a couple hours. It doesn't need to be perfect by any means to function adequately. Depending how you decide to mount it you may have to clean up the bottom as well.

Machine shops are usually around $100/hr and they will most likely have to flatten the bottom as well.

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will try to buy some more flap wheels tomorrow I have a few now but they are 80 grit so should be good for finishing. Will also stop by the local machine shop and see what they would ding me to flatten it.

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Actually a belt sander works far better than an angle grinder. It helps keep the face more even.

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There's going to be a lot of grinding there. For the serious removal of material, it would be worth your time to pick up a fairly coarse cup stone for your angle grinder. Use it first to get it flatish them move on to either flaps or a belt sander. 

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Might start with flattening the sweet spot as you can then be using it while working on the other parts.

 

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thank you guys for all the info and advice, will try to get at least some progress made today, will also try to get pictures throughout the process.

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Yea a belt sander would be easier to get a flatter surface but I dont know if he has access to one. However he does have access to an angle grinder!!  Gotta go with what you know!

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1 minute ago, Frozenforge said:

Yea a belt sander would be easier to get a flatter surface but I dont know if he has access to one. However he does have access to an angle grinder!!  Gotta go with what you know!

have access to both

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