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Some folks are banking on folks NOT knowing that there are excellent anvils for sale brand new; I mean if they can't find it in a big box store it must not exist---right?

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A lot has to do with the idea that old anvil is"better' than new anvil. No point entering into that particular debate, but the assumption that "old" is part of the quality, is only a step away from old and beaten up to prove it is old, has anything to do with quality or even resale value.

How many times have you read someone purchasing an anvil and asking "how much is this worth" after actually having paid for it. The perception that older anvil have some mysterious antique value, like a victorian era jewelry piece bought at a flea market for a pittance. That explains the prices paid for average anvils that have seen better days, built with materials and technology that are obsolete, easily outperformed by a new anvil. 

Take PW for example. Sure it is very popular and there are heaps around and they are reasonably cheap. But are they soooo good? No! they are soft and mostly deformed and beaten up. We buy them just because they are cheap not because they are better than new proper anvils (not chinese) 

Having said that I bet that if I list my 480 lb PW full of chisel cuts and with a wonky horn and face, for ...say $2500 I most likely sell it. Actually I should try $3000, no harm done. It's an antique after all! Any takers? ... :P

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When I was looking at fleamarkets in Ohio for old tools to use, I often had dealers tell me that it was *old* and so commanded a high price. Generally I could reach down and pick up a piece of limestone gravel with a fossil in it and tell them that this was a MILLION times older than that tool; but I was willing to trade even for it.  Out here I've found that if I ask in Spanish the price is lower than if I ask in English.

Now trying to educate some dealers I will ask them if a beat up used car is worth more than the same car in good condition.  If so why would a beat up tool be worth more than the same one in good condition?

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Yes, it is a lost cause because it depends not from the seller but from the buyer. if the buyer believes antique is more valuable than new, they will continue to pay more than new prices. Unfortunately there is some bit of true in that idea if you consider the new anvils sold in hardware stores. They are the one making this sort of myth possible. With anvils going for 50c a kilo in China, this will go on for a while. 

I like that you can bargain in Spanish better than in English ... ha ha, talk about stereotyping. Do you look a bit mexican? 

One of my first jobs in Australia was interpreting. With 4 languages I had heaps of work in court and in government offices to help those who couldn't communicate in English.

 The one that gave me the most trouble were Italians and south americans. The italians complained that I had a spanish accent. True, barely noticeable and only to a native italian however I have tertiary qualifications in their language and they managed only to speak their village's local dialect. And South americans, they just dismissed me by looking at me. You are not south american you can not speak "our" language ... ha ha, true again I look very german, but can speak "their" language way better than they ever will. The most fun I get when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant and order the food using the few sentences I learned in Vietnamese. You should see their blank looks. It somehow does not compute that my face produces those sounds so they have a mental block and don't understand and I have to repeat myself. Very funny. Then they say how did you learn to pronounce like that. hu hu

Stereotypes are real fun and full of surprises. 

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Nope I'm a Gringo and look it.  I do remember the Chileans giving a Spanish colleague grief for his Spanish at my last job.  When I want to remind folks here that I can understand a lot of their conversation, I'l quote from the "Poema del Mio Cid Campeador" in middle Spanish with a Castilian lisp...I had a REALLY GOOD Spanish teacher about 46 years ago and have followed it up working on projects with Spanish speaking colleagues.

(and I work with a number of "Germans" from Brazil and Argentina...)

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That's the one thing I don't understand 99% of these "new blacksmith" are learning from tv shows or internet videos why do that have such an affinity for old anvils. I mean I will say this spending 1000 on a new video game system vs 1000 on an overpriced anvil the anvil is still the better investment.

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there is a couple peices of track on CL for $200...I have passed up alot of Railroad Track at the scrap yard that I could have picked up for .30 a lb. Then also a (beat up, sway back) 280lb anvil for $1500....

                                                                                                                                                 Littleblacksmith 

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"Old" might be better if the person buying is some kind of antique collector. I know there are still some good old anvils out there just from what I've read here and from other sources. However if I had the kind of money that they are asking for some of these old worn out anvils I think I would just go and get myself and brand new Refflinghaus instead.

It's just like the other day I was shopping around in some flea markets to see what kind of deals I might find. I came across an old cross peen hammer. Handle was really loose, which could have been fixed easy enough for a few more $. But, there was also some really nasty little chunks missing just underneath of the edge of the peen. I still would have bought it if they would have sold it cheaper. I wouldn't mind being out a few bucks if/when it busted the rest of the way on me. They wanted $20 for it. I can get a brand new cross peen here in town for $20. It might not be top of the line name brand but it would be in better shape than that one was.

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47 minutes ago, Timber Ridge Forge said:

That's the one thing I don't understand 99% of these "new blacksmith" are learning from tv shows or internet videos why do that have such an affinity for old anvils. I mean I will say this spending 1000 on a new video game system vs 1000 on an overpriced anvil the anvil is still the better investment.

Ignorance or lack of funds for a new anvil and hoping to find an older anvil cheaper then new thinking they "need" a London pattern or other " known" anvil. 

I for one am trying to fight ignorance when I meet it. Heck, I could sell my anvils I got before the bubble for a major profit and just forge on a chunk of steel but I won't. I also can't ethically take advantage of ignorance selling a chunk of steel ( rr track or other) over priced. Since it seems that rr track is the second most noted anvil ( usually used in the least efficient manner) and rr spikes seem to be a misinformed knife starting material. 

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If people weren't happy to pay the crazy inflated prices, they wouldn't get away with charging as much.

I'd think a lot of people getting into this recently,  are doing so as a hobby.
They likely have a stable income, plenty of disposable cash for the new hobby, and are happy to pay a premium to get what they perceive they need 'NOW' opposed to waiting it out, asking around, and paying sensible prices.

My other main hobby is motorcycles... compared to buying custom parts, upgrades, donor bikes for projects.... not to mention the fuel and ferry costs for weekend trips... buying blacksmith equipment, even at inflated prices, is cheap by comparison!

I'm sure plenty of others are approaching it with the same mind set.... sell one of the spare bikes in your stable, and boom, instant forge packed with gear.

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4 hours ago, JustAnotherViking said:

sell one of the spare bikes in your stable, and boom, instant forge packed with gear.

A few months ago, I sold a concertina I hadn't played in years and got a PortaBand, blades, coal, extra safety gear, etc., etc. I'd been expecting to get a good bit more for it and buy a welder, but it still worked out just fine.

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On 1/1/2018 at 10:54 PM, ThomasPowers said:

i was at my local scrapyard and picked up a #5 (50 pound) Vulcan for US$20 last Saturday! (And was given a pair of tongs.)

Wow, perfect urban driveway smith anvil. Moving my Vulcan #9 in and out of the garage is manageable but a #5 would be a breeze!

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I think one part of the TV/youtube fueled crowd is that they think the anvil will make them a good smith.  However it's actually the other way around, a good smith can forge on a granite cobblestone and get good results.   As for "old" vs "new" most folks see us using old anvils and think they must be "better".  If every show/video only showed people using new anvils I bet the old anvil market would take a dive...There is also the misconception that anvils are not made anymore; or only ASO's are made.

I use old anvils because they were *cheap* for me to buy on my limited budget.  I should think about trading one of my old anvils for the NIMBA I have coveted for so long...

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New blood brings the opportunity for old smiths to unload gear to new smiths for inflated prices. I remember when i first started i was infatuated with hardy tools. I wanted 1 hardy tool of every kind, 2 or more would be even better. Then as i started to forge, and i started to realize i hadnt found a single use for one of those hardy tools i wanted so badly that i couldn't MacGyver my way around with round stock, angle iron, or a good old stump. 

If some old smith with a box of hardy tools found me in that phase he's have unloaded them all in one shot. Now all i want is a chain maker hardy, just to try one out, and want to finish up my leaf vein swage tool that i started. 

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I'm at the stage where I want to have the specific tool and a backup for items I use a lot and most of the others I'll only pick up on "spec" when they are at scrap rate...

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Any opinions out there about what will happen when FIF goes off the air and all these tools come to market again?  I'm afraid a lot of these FIF guys will still tuck their anvils in the back of the garage because they think someday they'll give it a shot again so the same ones who paid $1,200 for 150# anvil will end up hoarding them until their children sell it in the estate sale.  I personally can't wait for tools to come down, but as I get better at forging I say to myself more and more "I can stinking make that, I just have to sit down and do it."

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