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what should i pay


jds653q

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Hey i did a little searching and didn't find much. There is an auction in a couple weeks where there is some blacksmithing stuff one item in particular i am interested in is the swage block. I can't tell how big it is by the picture so i was curious what they are going for right now i live in the Midwest in illinois near Missouri and Iowa. I know it will come down to what i am willing to pay but i was just curious what would be a good price for one and what to look for thanks.   

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"What should I pay?" has a very simple answer: as much as you need to, without overpaying. What's it worth to you? What else could you do with that money that you will now have to forgo if you buy the swage block? Will the functionality of the swage block enable you to do things that you can't do now, but need to? Will those things make you money -- that is, will the block pay for itself in time?

The market for a lot of blacksmithing equipment is pretty high right now, and there's always the risk of folks getting in a bidding war. Think about the questions I asked above, set yourself a limit (including auction fees!), and stick with it!

For myself, the maximum I could pay for a swage block of any size would be about twenty bucks, but that's mostly because my daughter's next college tuition payment is coming due. 

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There are various opinions on swage blocks.  Some here use them all the time and others done them to be an ornament in their shops. 

This is important because it drives value.  Anvils will always cause a bidding war.  Many people who think anvils are something of value don't even know what a swage block is.  I've met a few antique dealers who frequently have anvils in stock but had no idea what a swage block is.

As JHCC said, in the end, it's based on your need.  You can always make swages for specific purposes.  But if you really really want/need a block then search your soul and your budget!

For reference, a heavy swage block user will still only use one for a fraction of the time they use their anvil.  Therefore, it would make no sense to pay anvil prices for one.  Collectors would disagree with me.

Also, you can buy new swage blocks from a few sources still and expect to pay maybe $200 for a decent smaller one.... Before shipping of you aren't close.  You may want to set that as your logical limit.  Same idea with rising anvil prices.  People are paying massive amounts for 150 year old anvils when they can have new ones for the same prices.

Either way, enjoy the hunt!

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JDS; can you tell me what a used car goes for in your area---can't tell you the make, year or condition; but what is the going rate?

That's basically how I see your question; or US$50- to US$500+ depending on info not supplied.  So besides size and basic condition; does it have shapes/holes/indentations you can use?  Some people love a shovel swage; I'd take off for one. Some people need a dishing form---I have plenty made from welding gas tank bottoms (NOT ACETYLENE!!!!!! those tanks can not be made safe in any cost effective manner!) Some people need a lot of punching holes,...

Now I take off heavily for damage as they generally can't be repaired and damage can often spread.

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I don't know what a swage block goes for in your area.

I looked up e-bay US and found a few for sale, the cheapest $900 and the dearest $9,000. 

Oh My ... those prices are wishful thinking. A swage block is always less than half the price of an anvil of the same weight ... or even less. 

Depending what you do, but I find they are not that useful, especially the monster one that need a hoist to flip around. If you really want one, get a smaller new one. 

 

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We have two swage blocks in the forge, but I have to say I have never used either of them. They make a handy shelf for the toolbox. It just seems a lot easier to slip a swage into the hardy hole than to use the block, especially if you have to turn it. They are a good talking point though, as people often ask what they are for.

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I have a swage block; but tend to use it less and less over time.  It's pretty much for one-offs as if I have to do multiples it's generally to my advantage to make a hardy hole tool for that job and over time the number of such tools goes up...

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