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Anvil ID on this cast iron 220lb monster?

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I'm looking for some help in identifying what seems to be a cast iron anvil (raised letters, made in Taiwan label, etc).

I know it's probably not worth much but it's all I have found in my area (was super cheap even including the new glass as it went through the back of my pickup window!).

Three things:

1. The hammer has a good bounce on it and a bit of a ring but this is my first anvil so what do I know.  Will try with ball bearing as soon as I find one.  Would it be ok to dress it up a bit with my arc welder and grind somewhat flat?  I generally use 6011 rods, is there something better to use?  Centre and corners have quite a bit of damage.  

2. Could it be possible that the main body was cast and the top bit was forged and welded on?

3. I haven't come across this this shaped horn before.  What was it for?  Seeing as this is probably a 220lb ASO, could I just grind the horn more cylindrical?


Any and all help is very much appreciated!



Vancouver Island, Canada


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If you weld on that face you will most likely just leave larger holes unless you know how to weld cast iron---in which case you would not be asking us about it.

We usually refer to cast iron ones as Anvil Shaped Objects as they are not really good for forging and so not anvils.  I too once owned a 100 kilo one from Taiwan after my only real anvil was stolen right before a museum demo---it dented the face hammering on orange hot coil spring stock!  Never used it again. As for price; the scrapyard I go to would sell you 220 pounds of solid steel for US$44 which would be a REAL anvil; though not a london pattern one.  Was it cheaper than that?

Extremely unlikely that that one has a steel face; but touching it with an angle grinder on the face and the base would tell you.

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At 220 lbs. it will make a darned solid hardy hole. I think I still have one very similar to yours out under some brush. It was dropped off here years ago and I don't think anybody has struck it since the guy who bought it and left it here.

I wouldn't invest much if any work in it, it's a hardy hole and chisel plate for all practical purposes.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It appears to me to be an "Acme" anvil as used by Wile E. Coyote. primarily suitable for dropping off of a cliff. As I mentioned above I have one, and I don't recommend them to anyone. There is another thread on this forum where welding a hard face is discussed and the consensus IIRC was that it would take an experienced welder knowledgeable in welding cast iron and the cost of the welding rods and labor would exceed the price of a quality anvil. Please don't let the fact that you now have this one keep you from seeking out something more suitable. All that said I am still using mine after I "heat treated" the face. I went over the entire face with an oxy/acetylene rosebud torch, heating about 1in x 1 1/2in area at a time to a bright orange and immediately quenching  with a garden hose, then overlapping the next area 50% until I covered the whole face. The result was a surface hardened to about 3/16 in thick (without knowing if that is even and consistent across the whole) that gives me about a 50% rebound with a dropped bearing. That's not great but it is better than I started with. I have no way to tell exactly what I accomplished as far as altering the metal structure. There are 3 or 4 possibilities that I can think of: 1. white cast iron 2. nodular cast iron 3. malleable cast iron 4. decarburized to an unknown degree. The uncertainty leads me to not recommend this as a method of redeeming a cast iron ASO, however if you wanted to repeat the experiment I would be interested in the results to see if they are repeatable. I for one will not try to get another ASO just to try that out. And if I did have opportunity to do another I would approach it differently. I would prop the ASO up on its heel and build a stack of clay or brick around it so it was similar to a bloomery with the anvil face as one side and try for decarburizing the entire face to steel in a single operation. I have no idea if that would succeed, but I am a curious man by nature. Bottom line, there are many better alternatives in non traditional anvils. Go find one for forging, and experiment with the ASO or use it as Frosty suggested.

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Unfortunately Acme is a brand of anvils and in general very good ones---Acme was a trade name used by Sears Roebuck Company 100+ years ago.  IIRR they rebranded  Hay Buddens and Trentons as ACME anvils over the years.  So Not an Acme though suitable for RoadRunner razing...

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When I got my second degree (CIS) I attended Graduation with a Wylie Coyote/Anvil Slapper on my Mortarboard: you slapped it and it made the sound of falling then a crash and then a whrrrr and a Meep Meep. My kids found it appropriate.  (One of them decorated her Mortarboard when she graduated with a black satin biohazard symbol---very tasteful for a biologist going on to Vet school...)

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