ddan7

How can I tell if my new anvil is a good one and not cast iron?

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I just bought a new anvil at an auction. It's a 50 pounder that I got for $55. It's much, much better than the 9 pound I-beam I just replaced. The hammer bounces back nicely, which is a new experience compared to the old "anvil". I know that it's pretty small and probably just barely adequate, but is there any specific way to tell what it's made of? I want to make sure it's not cast iron. I can't find a single marking anywhere on it.

I added pictures to the gallery if it helps. Hopefully, they'll appear below this message:

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I've heard of a few non invasive testing methods, one of which you've already tried (and because you say the hammer bounces back nicely makes me think it's not cast iron) the other is sound, cast iron sounds dull compared to the 'ring' of steel so how did it sound when you hit it with the hammer?
If all else fails you can spark test it, cast iron has dull red sparks that don't split. Could someone else confirm what I've said? 12 hours at work with a ten mile bike ride chucked in means I'm tired and a bit foggy

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Ian is right. If the hammer bounces it's probably steel. Cast doesn't bounce or ring very well. It's more like a thunk.
Travis

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It's much, much better than the 9 pound I-beam I just replaced.


I think you just answered your own question, it is the best anvil YOU own !! Build a fire in the forge and enjoy life.

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If it really does have good rebound, it must be some kind of steel. Cast iron is completely dead under a hammer blow. It may be cast steel, but that's a whole different animal from cast iron, and in any case, if it works, it's good, since the whole point of it existing is to work.

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I started my metallugical engineering career in a grey iron foundry. I remember separating the grey iron castings from the ductile iron castings by picking them up with a steel hook and tapping them. Grey iron has a dull "thwock" where ductile iron rang like a bell. Cast steel also rings but it has much better rebound than the ductile iron or the grey iron.

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If it is rebounding it is steel. We have several cast iron anvils here and believe me you would never confuse the two materials.

If it is rebounding and better than the old one - so what? Get on and see what you can do on it. That is what matters! If the thing is made out of toffee who cares provided you get good results.

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Check front and back, under the bick and heel for square holes, that will tell you if it is wrought iron with a steel face. The holes were for the tongs to hold it during forging.
The cast iron anvils dont have these holes.

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