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I Forge Iron

Different Vulcan?

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In my search for an anvil, after trying Craig's List and a look at ebay, I tried the ask around method and and got lucky while visiting my in laws in TN.

Figuring that they live in a rural farming community I might just get lucky.

It worked. I asked my father in law if he could keep an ear out for anyone in the area that might have an anvil they didn't need anymore. His response was pretty quick, he said he had one in the barn. Long story short, being as I was looking and he had one just gathering dust, I scored a new to me anvil.

When I got it home and cleaned it up, I started to do some research and found out it was a Vulcan #8. Now realizing it's not in the same class as a Hay Budden or Peter Wright.  I'm in possession of a free anvil.

The question is, all of the Vulcan anvils I see online have the logo at the waist, this one has the logo at the foot area. Can anyone give a reason why the difference and what that may mean.

It has some damage as I am finding out most of them do. So, since it was free do I look for a competent smith/welder to spruce it up a little or just follow the party line of bang some steel on it.

I have read the forums and have a pretty good idea of the limitations dealing with the construction of Vulcan anvils, just looking for a few more experienced viewpoints.

Please take a look and let me know.










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IIRC the Illinois Iron and Bolt co ones were the earlier ones.  May have changed locations after they didn't do the II&B co markings.

Vulcans tend to be hard to repair.  I'd use that with NO changes to it and toss in a dollar when you do in your money for the next anvil fund.

As vulcan anvils tend to have thin faces DON'T GRIND, SAND or MILL on it!

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I came by my Vulcan at the price of free as well! It's a newer one, 1942, and can be seen in my ava.

Your #8 weighs 80 lbs. if that's something u hadn't gathered on the forums. Not surprised to see the scarred up face on the edge, mine has very similar damage. 

As Thomas said, no grinding/milling, at all. If yours is like mine, its got about 1/16" of the hardened face left on a good day. Keep it that way. 

If you have a ball bearing check back and let us know what the rebound is like, Vulcans surprise people given their cast iron body. That will come in handy if you have a wife/neighbors that don't like a loud ringing, Vulcan's give of a sick thud that doesn't carry.  

I believe the later emblems all had "patent" somewhere in the emblem, but i'd need to find a source for that. I think the "Vulcan" / (arm&hammer logo) / "Brand" ones were older. 


Overall, tough to beat something with a hardy, horn, and pritchel that weighs 80lbs for the price of free. Just make sure to lay down a sacrificial plate of steel/copper if you're going to to chisel work on her face, no need for new scars. 

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I recently did a proper and thorough (all over the face) ball bearing test on the Museum's Vulcan and came up barely over 50% on average...with a couple of tries seeming to hit 60%.

Did the Kohlswa at the same time--85+%.

Side by side you can sure notice the difference.  Makes a great interactive demo for museum guests too---and they seem to start understanding the notion of an anvil beyond simply something heavy with a banging surface:  Part of the "toolbox" rather than just a fixture in the shop.

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  • 6 years later...

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