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Newbie with M&H Armitage Mouse Hole Anvil

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Hello to all, been searching for an anvil and came across a M&H mouse hole anvil yesterday.  Got it for a really good price and decided to pick it up.  It’s stamped 1 0 21 and is 135lb anvil.  It’s got good rebound all over but was welded over and has a large chip out right at the front. 

Can anyone tell me the best way to go from here, the middle of the face is a good 1/8”+ lower than the rest of the anvil and the side has a lot of weld rolled over.




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If it was me I would try planishing the top with a hammer to smooth it out instead of sanding. It doesn't appear to be that hard with all of the denting. 

As to the dip, make a thick saddle to drop over it. I don't know if I would spend much time trying to restore that anvil - a lot of time and expense to do it right. 

If I was still out at my community college welding class I might consider getting a new top plate (forklift fork/dozer blade), spacing it off of the old face 3/8" , then reaching into the center and start welding out to the edges for a 100% weld. If you keep the forklift fork under say 350F the original heat treating could be kept intact. I am thinking the thicker upright section, not the thinner part of the fork. 

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Thanks for the advice!  From what I can tell, it had a lot of weld already added to it but it still has good rebound.  Not to worried about the chip, I still have plenty of room where it is broken off.  

Think I’ll follow your advice, it would take a lot of grinding to get it flat front to back.   I’ll use it as long as I can  after planishing it before trying to weld a new top plate on.  Hadn’t thought of using a forklift fork, I’ve got a source for one so I’ll check into that, thanks.


BTW, any idea of what the 1 0 21 stands for?  Really appreciate the advice!

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Just use it. Work will tend to planish out the surface imperfections, and there’s still plenty of useable face, even with the chip. 

You’ve basically got a choice between spending a lot of time on making a useable anvil slightly more useable or investing that same amount of time in actually smithing. Your call. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As much as I myself would itch to fix that anvil up, I know the amount of work required , time and money better spent in a more fruitful pursuit. 

If you can get to the point of doing enough work on that anvil to make you want a different one, you have outgrown it. Put her aside and let her rest and find a new one to keep you going. 

Don't try to fix it. You have way more chances to finish her off for no real benefit. Many have tried and many fail, only a few succeed and those few that do, years later confess they regret doing it. It's a funny thing and if you are like me a bit OCD, will need to overcome your need for symmetrical shapes. 

Once you have outgrown that anvil and you count your money to buy a new Nimba or similar, you can advertise her as an antique and ask large sums of money. You never know your luck in a big city :)

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