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5-footed Colonial Anvil. New smith. Safe to use?

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Been lurking for a bit, and finally picked up my first anvil.

I came across this colonial era piece on craigslist and drove over to take a look.   From what I can tell, there aren't any obvious stamps on it, it weighs exactly 100.0 pounds on my Health-o-Meter doctors scale.   Face is 4.5" x 10", 9" tall, with a 5" horn.   It has a definitely "tilt" to it, and the face looks to be in pretty good shape considering the age.    The body is pitted and rusty.   It rings like a bell, has rectangular handling holes, no pritchel and 5 feet.   (hopefully the pics come through). 

So, questions -- Before I take a wire wheel and some boiled linseed oil to the rust, is there any consideration of historical value or preservation that might scream "don't do it!"    I'd like to see if there's any markings under the rust, my brain thinks it might have a "S" over the 5th foot, but it could be playing tricks on my after seeing similar anvils on anvilfire.com.   This one does have a "tilt" to the face, probably 3-5 degrees, and looks intentionally made that way. 

BTW acquired it in Bridgeville, Delaware USA. 

Is it safe to use, or should I trade it for something else suitable for a beginner?



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In my opinion that is a perfectly usable and beautiful piece of tool history.  Those colonials often have a weird tilt to them.  I have an old English anvil with deformities as well.  Personally, I would keep that beauty for the long haul even after I picked up other anvils.  Then again, I have a thing for history.  Some may come here to tell you that the ring isn’t enough to judge it by and you should do a rebound test with a bearing.  Do it if you can.  Don’t grind it no matter what.  If you must wire brush it then go for it.  I would too but the chances of finding its provenance are low.  The most important thing you can do to it is to use it!  Congrats on your anvil,


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A very nice anvil, and certainly one you could get good use out of.

One thought, though: depending on how much you paid for it and how quickly you could turn it around, you might think about seeing if you could sell it at a profit to a collector and use the proceeds to get something larger, with a cleaner face, or otherwise preferable.

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I hit the anvil lightly with a wire cup and some WD-40, and can see the "S" more clearly over the 5th foot.  It's still pitted, but I can see the serifs on the top and bottom of the S and the diagonal line of the "S" pretty well.  I suppose that at least narrows down the ID.   It takes a bit of imagination to see that "S" though, LOL. 

There's also a very obvious 1/4" dimple above the S.   Anybody else seen that before?



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