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Hello all new to this site.  I'm a beginner hobbiest metal banger (don't wanna call myself even a wanna be smith yet haha).  Right now I'm banging on a RR tracks and I, like everyone else, am looking for an anvil. I ran across someone that has one and it looks cheap but not sure. He said he would sell it to me for $50 and the only identifying mark on it is an extruded extruded "NO. 50".  I'M ASSUMING IT'S CAST BECAUSE THE LETTERS AND NUMBERS ARE IN FACT RAISED CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT ON WHAT THEY THINK THIS IS? And if it's worth $50 thanks all

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Hello Page 76, welcome to I.F.I.! As I am a newcomer as well, I can't help you much with the anvil. I am using a RR track anvil as well. Just wanted to welcome you to the club!

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There seems to be some sort of writing on the other side, get a picture of that if you can.

Cast yes, cast low grade iron junk: 90% probability. A hammer will not make it ring if it is cast iron, but will if it is cast steel. A light hammer with a rounded face should not mark cast steel, but will obviously dent cast iron.

Try to get a ball bearing and do a drop test from 12" up on a clean spot. No powdery rust or paint, just wire brushed clean metal. anything less than 60% rebound is a no-go.

If $50 is a lot of money to you, it is better spent on other things if it is a cast iron ASO.

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How are you using the RR track? Is it standing on end and securely mounted? If yes, you already have an anvil. 

Take a look at the threads on using RR track and other improvised anvils, and save your money for things you really need. If you're just starting out, some good tongs will make a world of difference!

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Almost certainly a cast iron ASO. BUT as they go that one doesn't actually look too bad.

That said I agree with @JHCC - a good set of tongs for example make a world of difference.

All the best
Andy

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Thanks all for chiming in.  Appreciate all the input and to meet y'all.  I haven't actually seen the anvil with my own eyes yet but when I do I will try to get a better look at the other side. I understand the ball bearing test and the hammer test as I've been researching anvils for a long time. I was hoping somebody would recognize the Anvil and be able to identify it.  I got on many websites looking for a similar one and I cannot find anything like this one. Anvils in my area are way over $1,000 old and used so I was thinking this one might be okay. my railroad track is pretty small. Not alot of surface to bang on.  I pretty much have everything else in the shop I need and no $50 is not a lot of money to me.  I'm just really struggling to find an anvil in my price range between 2 and $300.  The railroad track works good enough for me to spend anything more than that at this point.

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8 minutes ago, Page76 said:

my railroad track is pretty small. Not alot of surface to bang on.

You don't need a lot of surface at all -- about the size of your hammer face (or a little bigger) is really all you need. If you look at the threads on RR track anvils, you'll see that best ones are stood on end, to give greater depth below the hammer blow. Take a look at this thread, for example.

Now, please head over to the Introduce Yourself page and make a post to tell us about yourself -- but be sure to Read This First!

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So if anybody has Insight on this anvil or if they think it's worth $50 or not please chime in thank you

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Its impossible to say how good it is without knowing the rebound test. 

As was said there is about a 90%+ chance that it's a cast iron junk anvil. That said many of those do not have a thick top plate like yours appears to have. Most of them are entirely cast or have a very thin plate, at least that I have seen and remember. 

You need to buy or get access to a ball bearing, and a ruler. Take them along and take a video of you dropping the bearing, see how far it comes back up. That's assuming u want to get scientific, otherwise just the bearing drop can be eyeball'd. Anything back over 60% is good, as was said. 

Unfortunately it's near impossible for someone to tell you if its junk or usable at a glance. U need to rebound test it in person. This is a step that is needed even when buying antique anvils from reputable makers, as they can be damaged and lose rebound over the years. 

If you want to buy the anvil, given that it's only 50$, it may still be of good use. It has a hardy, pritchel, and horn. If that's cheap cast you cant really pound on it with a sledge using the hardy but it can still hold top tools. The horn is similar, it may not take a lot of abuse but will work for light work. However, in terms of rebound, a large piece of scrap steel of decent quality will have much better results i'd guess. 

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Appreciate it thank you.  I was kind of wondering if anybody recognizes the overall shape or style or what the "NO 50"  means.  Not sure if it means 50lbs or what.  When I see it with my own eyes I'll definitely do some testing on it.  Thanks again

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May be 50 kg, with the "fake face" I'd bump the 100% cast iron likelihood to 99 & 44/100.  If you really need a hardy hole you would be paying $50 for it; they do make good gluing weights though...$50 chunk of scrap steel would make a better hammering face. At my local scrapyard that would be a 250 pounds.... 

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2 hours ago, Page76 said:

I was kind of wondering [...] what the "NO 50"  means.

It was the original manufacturer's declaration of his intention not to live past 49.

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That's interesting I thought it was more like the 50th piece of xxxx cast iron anvil 49 must have just broke

Edited by Mod34
Edited for inappropriate language

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You mentioned anvils in your area are expensive. Where in the world would that be?

If you go to your profile and add your general location you may be surprised how many of the gang are near you and a lot of answers are location dependent.

I would say that if that anvil has a steel face it would be a small step above a small RR track.

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Thank you and I'll update my profile as soon as I get a chance. I created this last night while I was in bed before I hit the sack and I got up early for work and I'm still at work I don't have time for that right now. I am not what you would call electronically gifted so I'll have to figure it out later when I have more time. I'm in Arizona not a lot of anvils have made their way out here

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4 minutes ago, Page76 said:

 I'm in Arizona not a lot of anvils have made their way out here

Try Pieh Tool Company in Cave Creek. Aside of that, Railroads, Trucking Companies, The Postal Service, TV, Radio, Internet, Telephones, essentially everything in the rest of the US is available in Arizona. Since statehood it hasn't been necessary to get there by Conestoga Wagon anymore. Go ahead and order an anvil. They're still being made new.

George

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Round hardy holes usualy go with cast iron imitation anvils. 

As George points out, a trip to any one who sells Rigid plumbing and industrial tools can have a new Peddinghaus German double Horne cast steel anvil ordered. A grand will get you about a 165# one. 

Stick to the rail, mount it vertically insted of horizontal 

See if these links don't give you some ideas

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Obviously you guys don't get it. My budget for an anvil is 2 - $300. For $1,000 my railroad track works just fine

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I bought a Mankel anvil brand new for $400 in 1980. I then upgraded to a Centaur (Kohlswa) in about 1990 for $150.

Between those 2 anvils I made a living for over 35 years and put myself through college. As I see it that was an awful lot of bang for the buck on a $550 investment. Anvils are cheap at any price folks. They pay for themselves many times over.

George

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2 minutes ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Lol, I think the point is, no need to settle for an anvil shaped door stop or buy an overpriced old anvil when new good anvils are available. 

Absolutely;)

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Your rail indeed will work fine. It's more anvil than smiths had for most of the last few thousand years. A $300 budget? I would think a creative mind could come up with some good stuff. 

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I concur... I'd never spend 1200-1600 bucks for an old anvil. Def buy new.

My rail does work fine that's why I'm not in a hurry or anxious to spend a ton of money on something else. Was just wondering if this old xxxx that I sent pictures of may be worth something.  But after talking to you professionals and finding out there's probably a .5% chance of it not being cast iron I think I'll pass. Thank you everyone

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$299 wil get an NC 70# regular farriers anvil from Centar forge. The are cast from maluable iron, and have two hardy holes. Not the greatest anvil in world, but comparable to the JHMs I have. 

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I appreciate the heads-up on that thank you for the helpful response. I will look into it a little later when I get home. 

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