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I Forge Iron

A collection of improvised anvils


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Before you alter that edge, try to make a cold shut with some metal so you actually KNOW what you are dealing with.

Go slow with the angle grinder on only a short section of only ONE edge.  You want to just dull the edge a bit so you can try it out with a hammer and metal for a week (40 hours) or more.  

For your new stump, pack a 2 wheel dolly in the car.  Locate the stump, return to the car for the dolly, and dolly in hand, to retrieve the stump.  The extra walk will do you good.  The light work of using the dolly will make the retrieval of the stump a joy with no recovery time just bending over and trying to roll the stump any distance.   Keep a cold drink in the car to celebrate the successful recovery.

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I "transported a 180# forklift tine out of the woods once.  (Old industry used to push stuff off the bluff face near the river back in the "bad old days".)   I C clamped a couple of small wheels to the tine and would drag it till I had to stop and get my breath, repeat until where I was parked.

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Here's an improvised anvil I made last year. It's a piece of 6" round stock, about 8" long and ~70lb. It's a really nice little portable anvil, and the "fine" horn and heel I added have proven very useful. They're kind of like a bridge tool and a bick, except they're really solid instead of bouncing around in a hardy hole.

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For retriving stumps,stones and other treasures from remote places,one of my "rickshaws"would be handy.  I first built one for a co-worker to take his disabled son into the forest.  Utility vehicles are popular but many public forests forbid motorized vehicles off established roads,especially during hunting season.  The co-worker said it was handy for packing game out so I modified the design and built one for our hunting group.   The laughter it drew when I first showed my hunting buddies was worth what it cost (nothing other than a few bolts,welding rod and a couple hours of assembly).  Since then I built 2 for friends and 3 for profit.  With a few mods and additions,old wheelchairs work well but can be difficult to buy cheap.  Old bikes have most everything required and can be had free if you beat trash collectors to them.  

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We made a rickshaw kind of device for my old dog, long since passed, as a wheel chair using the wheels from those little bicycle trailers.  The framework supported his weight at the hind legs and he was able to pull himself around with his front legs.  Anyway, point is, the wheels from the trailer would make an excellent wheel for a stump dragging rickshaw.  Lightweight.  Already has good bearings and axle.  Inflatable tires and has a large radius wheel to get past obstacles.  If you can find one of those trailers for free, it could help move some stumps. 

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If you make the rickshaw type device with forks you can work it like a hand truck for heavy weights on rough ground. 

Lithium batteries, in wheel motors and you could have a powered forest retrieval rig.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I was able to snag a larger chunk of steel today. Figured if I turn it on it’s side it would give me a larger surface to work on and more mass underneath. Why not! Going to go grab a couple stumps Sunday. 

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  • 2 months later...

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this is a skidder center pivot pin about 60% rebound on the bearing ball test 1/2in? plated welded on to allow attachment the the 2x10s are to bring the 16in stump(cut for a wood stove with a processor) IIRC 5in D on top work surface i have another wondering if i should make another rig for a friend or put the 2 together (Weld) and have more under hammer mas. 30lb a piece

M.J.Lampert

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  • 1 month later...

This is the multi purpose railway track anvil that I now make with my blacksmithing students, here in Essex, UK.

 

Many thanks to Charles for the idea! 

It includes:

- flat forging section with plenty of mass under the hammer.

- fuller ground into the web.

- mini horn

- hot cut with safety cover!

- bloster plate with 16mm hardy hole

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As suggested by JHCC, here is a pic of my first Improvised Anvil:

A billet offcut of Stainless Steel with a radius of 5" and a height of 4". It had a 3/4" hole bored up most of the way through the bottom, so I embedded a big bolt in a stump, and ground the head down until my cylinder of steel would sit snuggly over it.

Not much to look at, but for a beginner it was plenty good enough, and I made a good few tools on this.
 

Tink!

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That’s a nice lookin’ chunk o’ steel, Tim.

I suppose you could cut a half-cylindrical recess in the top of the stump, pop the billet off the bolt, and lay it on its side to use as a big fuller. 

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I was trying to decide whether to drill some holes in the stump and make up some Hardy-like tools, when the opportunity to pick up a light-weight (56kg) Farriers training anvil came along, and it was too good an opportunity to miss.  He also let me have ~30 full-sized used farriers rasps to play with for free!  He also had a 5 foot high mound of old shoes, waiting to be recycled, which looked crazy! :) 

I liked the idea that I could add any radius I liked to the edge with an angle grinder, to suit particular jobs, and just rotate the cylinder to suit. 

JHCC, I didn't like to think how long it would take to grind, bore & chisel out a half-cylinder's-worth of wood from the top of that stump, as it was really hard. I then wouldn't be able to use the cylinder on the stump in its current orientation.

Currently that lump of steel is a semi-doorstop, waiting for its next suitable project. :) 

Tink!

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Making it an anvil still gas value. Especially with a striker. No need to risk the new anvil with amitures chipping the edges. 
First if you make a trough at sledge hight (first knuckle) to hold it on its side. Then cut the stump to take the cylinder in the upright position at the same hight. Heavy drawing with a helper and heavy forging with a helper are your’s. Remember to use handles tools with a striker, saves the hands. 
further, the rule of strikers is “you miss It’s my turn to swing”. Actually it’s an old stone drillers rule but it works. 

Jon Ker, sort to be late but if you scroll back up and look at my tail anvil or go back and see the original post, I made mine double horned and added a few other features, I prefer the hit cut in the web, but then again it has two ends...

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I agree with Irondragon, I’ve made alot of cheesy welding projects with horse shoes for gifts, ive made Christmas trees, pumpkins, wreaths, ect… for Holliday decorations, a few minutes of cutting and welding an a rattle can paint job and wahla!
Instant cheap gift lol,  and people love it for porch decorations. 

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:20 AM, tinkertim said:

He also had a 5 foot high mound of old shoes, waiting to be recycled, which looked crazy! :) 

I need around 1,000 shoes for a project I want to do, but my local farrier wants $40 for a 5 gallon bucket full.......nope. I was at an estate sale in UT and a guy gave me half a bathtub full of shoes. That gave me a good start on my project, but I need a lot more.

 

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I use my 95 pound cylinder almost every time I forge. Mostly cutting and punching but it makes a good second / beginner anvil and I occasionally lay it down in that groove for drawing like John said. 
 

best part, 30 cents a pound (that was then)
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