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I Forge Iron

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So who know's anything about this beast. Was told it was from England...no way to confirm. No names, patents, numbers, etc...
5 feet 8 inches long.
12 inches wide.
3 inches tall
4 hardy holes that are different sizes from each other. Smallest just under 1-1/2 inches, largest around 2 inches.  All 4 taper as they descend.  
Weight = heavy...I'm guessing more than 250 lbs.


Benchtop 1.jpg

benchtop 2.jpg

benchtop 3.jpg

benchtop 4.jpg

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They are not hardy holes if they taper.   Looks like a stake plate to me to use with silversmithing or sheet metal stakes.  These stakes usually have tapered shanks to fit snugly even with wear

Search on: tinsmith stake plate for other examples

If you were in the the USA I'd suggest you contact the local SCA group and ask armourers of how such things get used today.

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I'm finding a good bit of info for this.  The seller said my plate came from England.  I'm learning a lot very quickly with your help.  I figured I wouldn't be able to beat on this thing like an anvil, it would break in half in a short amount of blows, potentially.  And I also think tin versus silver.  This thing I would think is way to large for any kind of silversmithing.  

I will keep my eyes open for the stakes (I believe they are called that) now that I know what I'm looking at.

This is going to fun to get to know this thing and figure out how I can use it.

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Ok. I was going to suggest that you could forge stakes for it. And you Can. You would want to work through the basics first because forging out larger stock over an 1"-2" is something you'd want to build up to. Also if you have a welder and grinder you could make stakes for it as well. Look in " what did you do in the shop today?" thread. Stockmaker just made a bickern for use in the hardy hole of his anvil that could easily be made to work in that stake table. I have made similar. The tool ideas are endless so it would pay to have an idea what tools you want to make what before going crazy making all kinds. 

Im sure there are many styles and uses posted online. 

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You are correct. Do NOT hammer on that directly with a hammer!    May I commend to your intention the thread on improvised anvils:

You might be surprised what is used by old school silversmiths; however most folks would be more likely to be working sheetmetal on these. (Or copper due to the prices these days.)

Tell us what you want to do and we can suggest ways of accomplishing it.  In general I tend to find that stakes are often very expensive---or at scrap rate.  But it will take a lot of time and effort to find them at scrap rate.   Now if you do have an interest in armour making, (and yes a lot of folks doing it use the english spelling to make it easier to search on), may I commend www.armourarchive.org a group of forums on armourmaking from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Stakes are often quite easy to make *especially* if you have some forging and metal knowledge!

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I have thoughts of making my own tools also.  I agree, I'll need to work my way up the the heavier stock.  But would be really good practice making tools for myself in preparation of making things for others.  I've also joined the Garage Journal forum and between this one and them I'm finding all kinds of great ideas.  I'll be sure to post my progress, once I can actually get started.  

I really appreciate the acceptance so quickly from you and ThomasPowers.  Thomas has just suggested another forum to get involved with.  

I'm not exactly sure where I will end up going.  I'm really interested in building benches, welding tables, different kinds of vise stands and anvil bases.  I have been a hobbyist scrap collector that's morphing into being just a plain old junk collector.  Used to be nothing but metal items, now I'll take almost anything.  It's amazing to me what people give away just so they don't have to haul it off themselves.  Or just so they know it's not going into a landfill.  And I make a little money with it.  So I also have plans to make tools that assist with loading my truck (crane or lift of some sort), and specialized moving carts, etc.  I do also want to play with making knives or hatchets, or similar items.  So forging, welding, cutting.  Would love to get a plasma cutter.  

So I have a lot of different interests and nowhere near the time to do any of it.  For now, I will continue to build my shop (40 x 25 pole shed) and collect stuff.  I keep almost all metal stock I get.  I figure I can use it for something one day.  And I look at the internet on my breaks, and when it's dark outside and I'm too tired to be out there working anymore...

Thank you both again!

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