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No heavy abrasives are needed. A wire brush and a little bit of ATF (Automobile Transmission Fluid) will make clean it up nicely, and protect it until you get the forge built. Do not worry about the face at this point as hot metal will make it shine.

Make the brother and sister in-law something nice as a thank you for the anvil.

 

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The anvil looks a litle rusty and dusty, but don't waste a lot of time cleaning it up. 

Just use a wire brush and the solvent of your choice (kerosene/wd40/etc.etc. ) and add a little elbow grease. Just clean up the surfaces you expect to use , the face and horn and maybe if possible the hardy hole. 

With respect to anvil tooling, try to get or make a cutoff hardy where the shank extends past the bottom of the hardy hole.  The hardy will never get stuck in the hardy hole if you can apply a little persuasion from the bottom. 

Cleaning up an old anvil might be a lot of work, so I see you have selectred an excellant helper, the "ten year old" . 

Nice work, a good start. 

 

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Yes, by all means give that anvil a cleaning.  You can use a wire brush, but you'll still be working on it for weeks to come.  Get a round wire brush and attach it to an angle grinder.  Lightly get all the surface rust off but leave the rich patina on it.  Wash it with soap and water, dry it really good then oil it with new motor oil or some of the other things others have suggested.  Don't grind any part of it until you've used it for a good year.  You'd be surprised at how well it polishes up with use.  Square edges are not necessary and many don't desire them anyways myself included.  

You got a very nice birthday present.  Honor the past smiths that have fed their families with that anvil and do some fine work on it.  You are it's latest caretaker and you will pass it on some day to another.  Bringing the anvil back to her best glory in appearance is a good start as a caretaker.

 

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