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corso21

Help with id'ing new anvil?

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Hey y'all, I'm pretty green to the world of blacksmithing but decided it was time to start buying some equipment. I had the chance jump at me to buy a fairly nice looking anvil for a good price at a farm auction and took the plunge. Thing is I can't find a whole lot about it. It appears to be forged but I can't find a reliable maker's mark on the whole thing. All I am able to see is the chiseled initials JTH. On the reverse side is chiseled 1-1-18 followed by 7115. Now the first set number initially screamed hundredweight marking, 158lbs, except that the anvil sadly only weighed 102lbs on the scale. No Pritchel hole is present. The horn also looks like it was tacked on as an after thought, it looks welded or something? Anyway any help would be much appreciated!

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That's a beauty! I have one like it but mine is missing about 2/3 of its face, the front and back thirds but the middle is still there.

Here's what I was able to dig up on mine~ based on its features being identical to yours no pritchel hole, hardy hole centered and very close to the heel edge, no shelf, stubby pointy horn with a rounded top and semi V shaped bottom jump welded on like an afterthought, overall stout squat appearance, wide face, remarkably thin faceplate, only two handling holes one below the heel and one below the horn although yours has three with one on the bottom whereas mine does not, very pointy relatively short feet and markings formed by punch pricks and chisel marks. Mine are barely legible, 1 - ? - O and the only difference I see between the two is that mine has a very slight fifth foot on the off side, barely stands maybe 3/16ths proud at the bottom. ~based on those features circa 1735 to 1775 roughly. No guarantee on any specific forge but most are loosely attributed to Mousehole but could be out of any of 100+ shops from that era. Hope this helps.

 

Before I freget, mine is 125 lbs on the scale.

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Well thank you Ferrous! Looking at some old Mouseholes on google images, your findings are probably the closest thing I might find to an answer. The thing is definitely had a very long life with a one or two bits of the face having been repaired in the past two hundred years (its weird for that to not be a hyperbole haha).

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After weighing it again, with me holding it this time instead of putting it on the scale, it's definitely meant to be 158lbs. I also scrubbed it with a wire brush but didn't come up with any additional markings. This leaves me with the initials JTH and the number 7115 unknown. Does anyone have Anvils  in America to help me out? Or even a way to contact Richard Postman by email?

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Looks like it's had a lot of welding done to the face.  Look at the top view picture.  

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To me it looks like the face plate is basically intact but someone has tried to repair a cracked edge and heel edge.

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I think there has been welding along the edges too, the best way to check it is with the ball bearing test; but as far as I can see that anvil only has another 100 years of life left in it---do you come from a long lived family?????

Do you junk your car the first time you get a door ding in a parking lot?

The problem with repairs is that to do them *RIGHT* often costs more than buying another anvil in better condition.  I would NOT use that anvil as a base! I would use it as it is or bit the bullet and have it repaired properly.  

Just think if you had bought it and started using it you could have made money to put towards a different anvil!   Nothing seems to attract anvils like having one for a "decoy"!

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Well good news and bad news. Bad news is there has definitely been extensive repairs to the face. I took a wire wheel on a drill to the sides and face to clear some rust off and noticed an area near the front with much higher concentration of nicks and divets. turns out its made of a different metal added later, presumably when some of the face cracked off at some point of time. The ball bearing test confirms that as I only get about a 40-50% height return. The good news is that the other 2/3 of the anvil face shows no cracking and the ball bearing nearly returns to my hand when I drop it, maybe 85-90%.

My conclusion is that its a cool, old anvil that's had a very long career that will make a great learning tool that eventually might help me turn out some pretty ok work.

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After using it a couple of years you may be so used to it's "quirks" that you find other anvils "strange" to use...

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