Recommended Posts

I'm a beggining 14 year old smith and I have finally acquired the last piece needed to complete my forge. My mother and I took a long trip to multiple flea markets and antique stores looking for an anvil. We found multiple but many were outrageously high. We found one 200+ pound anvil but it was 500 and I simply didn't have the funds. Near it was a 50-60 pound small anvil for 200. Eventually after viewing another small one of similar price we found a slightly damaged 100 pound Vulcan anvil for just over 200$. The very end of the horn was broken off and the edges were slightly chipped but the face was smooth. Was I right to purchase this one? It also had a five on the heel of the anvil and I am curious as to what this is for. P.S. I know about the thin faceplate being brittle.IMG_2396.thumb.JPG.6f1c87954103781481a70bee6808d58a.JPGIMG_2398.thumb.JPG.688d5012456c56a7ede2773786a34919.JPGIMG_2399.thumb.JPG.537c22d07371797cbd4d556a8812705a.JPGIMG_2401.thumb.JPG.0592d3a24a05a1f6abe17902891b8a13.JPGIMG_2400.thumb.JPG.8cda704db17840741d7850202fc13f7c.JPGIMG_2393.thumb.JPG.0edf0a81a55db807ebdf4d8ee5f107ce.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Hermet, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

Anvil prices are regional, different places different prices. She looks a little beat up but there's still lots of life i that lady. Don't worry about the horn tip, if you need a sharp horn forge a bickern that fits the hardy hole. Same for needing a shiny smooth face, another bottom tool for the hardy hole. 

How about making your Mother something nice on your new anvil? Do you have any forge time? Be ready to have a lot of fun while you work hard, sweat, get burned, bruised, and pungent.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice and as soon as I am  all set up I plan to make her jewelry. Will this anvil be good for general bladesmithing at least on a beginner level?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course! But I'd stay clear of blades early on because they require high carbon steel which is easy to wreck if your not well practised. Bangles are a good starter project; they work on drawing, tapers, twists and bends. You can make them more elaborate as you progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would railroad spikes be good to use to 'practice' for knives because they have such a low carbon count? I have plenty of those

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Forgehermet said:

Would railroad spikes be good to use to practice because they have such a low carbon count? I have plenty of those

Yes, they're excellent. Plenty of stuff you can make with them. If lucky, sometimes you can find real old ones made of wrought iron too.

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Forgehermet said:

Any ideas on what to make with them?

Well....

I've made small pony shoes, belt buckles, things like that. Some people make railroad spike knives which are pretty neat after throwing in a twist and polishing up. Basically you're only limited by your own imagination. Steel is steel. 

If you're new to forging I'd suggest not making anything in particular but use them for practice. Forge the square shape into an octagon. Then forge the octagon round. Then forge back square again. Practice drawing, tapering and upsetting. Basic fundamentals. Is all good.

If you do find some wrought iron ones you'll learn proper temperature. Those need to be forged as hot as possible. White or welding heat then stop when it's at about orange. If it cools to red it's too cold and will break. Steel can be worked all the way down to black but not iron. Iron spikes will teach you that if you can find them.

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on a farm, any metals(bushhog blades, tractor pins, etc) that you recommend I start collecting now for later use in bladesmithing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cutting edges and wear edges (soil contact) were traditionally made of high carbon steels good for knifemaking.  However in modern times there are new alloys like the boron varieties that will not be as good for knifemaking and blacksmithing techniques will not work well---like high speed steel chipper blades. Some traction items were good medium to higher carbon steel for strength---like 1080.

So got a junkpile?  Learn the junkyard test rules and test before you forge!  (things like potato digger bars that were 1090 at times and now 5160 or ???, Disks, Harrow teeth, equipment springs, old hay rake tines. etc.  Test a bunch of stuff and remember that is no guarantee that two "identical" items were made from the same steel---I've run into some great depression stuff where a repaired item had one bar was real wrought iron and the other "identical" bar was high carbon steel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RR spikes are good for lots of things in the beginner's project book. They make excellent wall hooks for the: barn, shed, porch, etc. the head turned up for the finial on the hook, the shaft can be drawn wider or longer or twisted, most anything you like and punched for the mounting screws. Spikes make nice garden tools as well. 

I usually like to start folk off on lighter stock, around 3/8" sq. or 1/2" round. It's light enough to make finished projects from without tiring yourself too quickly and is heavy enough to hold it's heat long enough to get in a few blows.

Potato chain bars are excellent stock for the smithy. It's medium carbon for flexible strength so it's perfect for making tongs and if you grow spuds you probably have piles of the things. 

On a personal development note. Pay attention to yourself. Do NOT push on when you get tired that's a good way to cause joint injuries and have accidents while ruining projects and learning bad habits. Build up to the work, you're not on a time clock don't rush. Also don't go find a HEAVY hammer. Any smooth faced 2lb. is a good weight to start with. I usually start folk out with a 32oz. Drill hammer, 2lbs. is enough to do good work and a drill hammer has a shorter handle making it easier to control.

Being good at the anvil is about CONTROL not strength and whopping big hammers and hard blows. Good useful hammer types are: Drill, cross pein, straight pein, ball pein and rounding (or turning) hammers. Rounding hammers are becoming the go to hammer for most folks, they're very effective for general forging.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2017 at 11:33 AM, ThomasPowers said:

Cutting edges and wear edges (soil contact) were traditionally made of high carbon steels good for knifemaking.  However in modern times there are new alloys like the boron varieties that will not be as good for knifemaking and blacksmithing techniques will not work well---like high speed steel chipper blades. Some traction items were good medium to higher carbon steel for strength---like 1080.

So got a junkpile?  Learn the junkyard test rules and test before you forge!  (things like potato digger bars that were 1090 at times and now 5160 or ???, Disks, Harrow teeth, equipment springs, old hay rake tines. etc.  Test a bunch of stuff and remember that is no guarantee that two "identical" items were made from the same steel---I've run into some great depression stuff where a repaired item had one bar was real wrought iron and the other "identical" bar was high carbon steel.

Yes I do have a junk pile and I plan to eventually use all of it:D. I have multiple lawn mower and bushhog blades as well as rebar and a LOT of horseshoes.

On 6/4/2017 at 0:01 PM, Frosty said:

RR spikes are good for lots of things in the beginner's project book. They make excellent wall hooks for the: barn, shed, porch, etc. the head turned up for the finial on the hook, the shaft can be drawn wider or longer or twisted, most anything you like and punched for the mounting screws. Spikes make nice garden tools as well. 

I usually like to start folk off on lighter stock, around 3/8" sq. or 1/2" round. It's light enough to make finished projects from without tiring yourself too quickly and is heavy enough to hold it's heat long enough to get in a few blows.

Potato chain bars are excellent stock for the smithy. It's medium carbon for flexible strength so it's perfect for making tongs and if you grow spuds you probably have piles of the things. 

On a personal development note. Pay attention to yourself. Do NOT push on when you get tired that's a good way to cause joint injuries and have accidents while ruining projects and learning bad habits. Build up to the work, you're not on a time clock don't rush. Also don't go find a HEAVY hammer. Any smooth faced 2lb. is a good weight to start with. I usually start folk out with a 32oz. Drill hammer, 2lbs. is enough to do good work and a drill hammer has a shorter handle making it easier to control.

Being good at the anvil is about CONTROL not strength and whopping big hammers and hard blows. Good useful hammer types are: Drill, cross pein, straight pein, ball pein and rounding (or turning) hammers. Rounding hammers are becoming the go to hammer for most folks, they're very effective for general forging.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

I have a 3lb cross pein and two ball peins the larger one being around a pound and the other is smaller than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Forgehermet said:

Yes I do have a junk pile and I plan to eventually use all of it:D

Uhh... Is that even possible? Well, maybe not for those of us that can't stop adding to ours lol. 

And it's a resource pile (scrap pile is acceptable too) but it's not junk. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Daswulf said:

Uhh... Is that even possible? Well, maybe not for those of us that can't stop adding to ours lol. 

And it's a resource pile (scrap pile is acceptable too) but it's not junk. ;) 

Great point, from now on it is a resource pile!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.