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I Forge Iron

Maybe Some Kind of Sharpening Block ?

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I  stopped at yard sale this past weekend and as I was leaving I explained that I was learning black smithing; and asked if there where any heavy pieces of metal around.  The home owner said "just a minute" and disappeared around the corner of the house.  He returned with a steel block and said to take it gratis as he didn't want to take it south with him.  The block measures 4-3/4 x 7-3/4 inches and had a moderate coating of rust. At that time I couldn't see any printing or cross hatch pattern. But when I went over the block with a zirconia flap disc I could see the letter C on the sides of one half of the block and the letter F on the faces of the other half of the block. Turns out he thing cleaned up really well. The disc removed the rust and revealed the cross hatch pattern on the top. The thing is hard enough to skate a good file. I going to venture a guess that perhaps the block was used with some kind of abrasive slurry to sharpen something. Does anyone know what this is and was used for?

quarter View Sharpening Block 640.jpg

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Good Morning,

You won a "Surface Plate", used for many things. Gauge Block, Layout Block, Lapping Block, etc.

It is not an Anvil (I guess there is no law saying that). A machinist will trade you for an Anvil, maybe even a new Anvil!! Don't be tempted to Hammer on it!!


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Thanks everyone for the replies. I've scrapped my plans for a thick bolster plate and will oil this well and put it with the "might be useful later" items.  As to being less flat for the cleaning I might have chosen electrolysis if I had any inkling of what the block was, but as I said above there was so much rust on it that the cross hatch was invisible (which made it not flat in and of itself).  I have carbide scrapers and a small surface plate in pristine condition, but restoring the lapping plate has too little reward at the present.

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