TheRooster

Grandfather's post vice and anvil

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I have a post vice and 250 lb ish anvil from the late 1800s that my grandfather passed to my father and my father to me.  They are quite rusty having sat in a shed for several decades. I've recently gotten into metal fab and I was thinking about trying to rehabilitate these to use in my hobby.  First question, I imagine they hold some value, will I destroy it by removing the rust and cleaning them up?  Second question, if I were to do this what would be the best process to go about it.

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As an "antique" removing the patina might not be a great idea, as a tool a wire brush and oil/wax wouldn't hurt. No agresive grinding, just knock off the surface rust, grease the threads, box and pivot on the vice. Them put it to work. Please do not use the anvil as a welding or cutting bench, and be conscious cold working on it. 

A forge, anvil and leg vice will up your game as a fabricator, you will find yourself using them all the time (OA with a rose bud is an expensive way to heat steel)  

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So no grinder wheels or the such got it.  I have no plans of running my plasma cutter or welder over them, I have welding table for that.  

OA and welding gas in general such a pain in the rear,  I have an oxygen tank that I've been trying to fill for several weeks now and all the shops give me a run around about it.  I guess they want me to rent a cylinder.  Oh well, I'm currently using an old school carbon arc torch for my heating and bending needs, it's practically free though not as refined as OA.

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You will be surprised how hot steel being worked on the anvil will polish it up.

you sound like a man who respects his tools. Use it just don't abuse it and your grandchildren will inherit a set of usable tools

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As a user of blacksmithing tools I often will wirebrush things to get rid of rust and then depending on local climate: do nothing, wax or wipe down with boiled linseed oil---except for working faces or bearing surfaces.

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I live in the sweaty jungle climate of Louisiana so I'm thinking wire brush and a coat of linseed oil to prevent any further deterioration.  You would be surprised what the humidity here can do to steel.  I've seen 1/2 plate rot to nothing if exposed to the elements here.

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And I'm in the desert where we've had several weeks of single digit humidities during the day before. (sure wish we hand them *now*!)  But our soil is quite corrosive. I've removed the large nuts with no problem or even penetrating oil on 1.25" wrought iron mending rods installed around a cistern after the 1906 quakes cracked it; but stuff sticking in the ground will rust out pronto.

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You have got the two "difficult" items in a blacksmith shop. Read threds in the forge section. You can set up a forge quite easily and cheaply. Then you are fit to go. I assume yo own some hammers. If you use longish stock, you will not need any tongs. When you get a little further down the road  you make your own tongs. Good luck.

PS There are waxes and oils that are more efficient than linseed oil (but not so traditiional LO is may be the best for a third generation heirloom). You can find out about that here as well. 

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