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I found a 202 kg soderfors which I got a bit excited for and payed a bit too much probably. Then I went online to see how you guys are evaluating tools. It looks like here in Europe tool trends follow the US market (in brands, patterns, condition etc  ). 

My question is. How do you get to say : mint, dead mint, good, fine, fine +  ? Is it a repaired anvil the worst thing possible?


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I believe that there is no real standard unlike for items like coins and firearms. It is more of a general agreement between the buyer and seller. Edge condition, face condition, sway, original paint/labels, etc all come into play for determining condition. Not a collector, I use them , so I am only concerned that they will work for the task at hand. Soderfors are excellent anvils. I picked up mine at a machine shop auction years ago to use in my machine shop. Still have it, and even though it is heavier (306#) than my Fisher (260#) the Fisher gets the most use due to how quiet it is to work on. I could probably quiet down the Soderfors too, but haven't tried yet. That one you have looks to be in great shape, do you have some more pictures? 

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Repaired anvils are generally a range from questionable to a shot in the dark. You really have to look carefully, and even then.... The rest comes down to your own knowledge of anvils, based on personal experience, or info gleaned from a reliable source, eg I forge iron right here. Read the threads, and learn from our successes and failures. Talk to people who don't have any skin in the game. Condition is one thing, price is another. what is it worth to you? What is the market in your area?

You got a great looking anvil. Learn how to appreciate it properly and get on with things. I picked up a Soderfors a few months back, thinking to flip it. I'm now planning a better stand for it. Enjoy your new anvil, and polish it up with some hot steel.


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Everything is relative.  I picked up a 160 lb Fisher for $50.  It may have been through a fire and had a small torch mark, but for that price it can still be useful even if it was through a fire and the hard face annealed.  So far, the rebound doesn't show it's been through a fire and it's lively enough with a hammer test.  My main anvil I paid $300 for it.  It has some edge damage, but nothing all that terrible for an anvil older than 1898.  A lot as to do with your area.  A beat-up anvil where anvils are plentiful will be looked at as a poor condition anvil because there are so many more out there in better condition.  If you are in an area where anvils are hard to find and border on rare, that beat-up anvil may be considered in good working condition.

Like others have said, if you use the anvil to forge condition issues are not as important as a nice face and great rebound.  If you are a collector and like to just stack anvils up in your garage and back sheds, then you'd be looking only for anvils with straight edges, no chips, no sway, etc...because you'd consider that a mint condition and collectible anvil.  Most here are not collectors but users of anvils.  

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Julian: I'm a huge fan of Soderfors anvils so my opinion might not be as objective as it should. I've been using a 125 lb. Solderfors for close to 30 years and it's my go to anvil in almost any circumstances. Working on bottom tools with strikers is when I use my swage block instead, I don't want a missed sledge hammer blow on my good anvil.

From what little I can see that one looks to be in good shape and 202 kg. is a great shop anvil size. It's going to be LOUD though, a missed blow will probably make your ears ring if you're wearing ear plugs and muffs. Mine did before I built it a tripod steel stand which damped the ring to bearable levels. Just try really  hard not to hit the anvil with the hammer, she'll dent your hammer and make your ears ring.

The heat treat may have been drawn out if it was in a building fire. a rebound test will determine that in seconds, expect a 90%+ rebound, mine runs over 95% rebound. 

I'd love to have that one in any condition.

Anvils CAN be repaired but the person doing it MUST know how or they are more likely to damage it further. I steer away from anvils that have been welded on. I have a 200 lb. Trenton with welded edges, I bought it before I knew what I do now. It's okay but could be better.

Frosty The Lucky.

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