Avadon

W-2 Anvil Face vs Avg Anvil?

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I have two anvils, one which Is a giant steel block who's face is covered with about ~1/4" welded W-2 Tool Steel.  I also have a Nimba Anvil. The Nimba is listed at 50-52RC and W-2 is listed at 64-65HRC. I wonder if my Steel block anvil / Brian Brazeal Anvil out performs my Nimba? How much does face hardness determine quality or usefulness of an anvil?  

Clearly there are other factors as well that make a great anvil: Rebound, Mass, Temper, Style, etc. 

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W2 might reach 65RC, but only if heat-treated correctly. A bit of Google searching turned up this:

"W2 was designed for applications where a very high surface hardness and a soft core were desirable. It has a wide range of carbon contents (0.6-1.4% C) and can have very good abrasion resistance in the higher range. Although it is designated a "water" hardening steel it is only stable and safer for this hardening methods in very simple cross sections like knives, but it is capable of very high hardness in thin sections using oil. It has a small amount of vanadium (0.15-0.35%) added which helps this steel maintain a fine grain, a useful quality for forging."

How certain are you that it's that hard and not brittle? 

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wouldnt it be cool if we had a section devoted to anvils,. WAIT we do ~  I will move this there

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more information on the big steel block would be needed.. 

Ideally only a 1/4" section would be hard pressed to to stay together in a heavy use application unless it had substantial backing up to keep it from flexing and this would lead to face cracks.. 
 

I've made bolt headers with the forge welded method of adding a steel face and for a for a given size 1/4" works decent but it's not being hit with a sledge.. 

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what really makes an anvil great,,, is something like 24-7-365 for 20 some years playing with the danged thang.

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Well this 1/4" is ontop of a steel block that's 4" thick by something like 16" x 24" so it's a heavy beast of a piece of plate. I've noticed though that W-2 is much harder to put a hammer smile in then any other anvil so I am nearing in on the conclusion that my brian brazeal anvil is likely the most durable anvil I have and the easiest to repair for should I actually dent it I can just weld in that hole and sand it back to smooth. It will look like it did when I first made it in 20 years from now because it's so easy to repair the face. 

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I'm confused as you said it was covered with W2..   

 

Do you mean it was covered with hardfacing rod?

This is a whole different animal and process.. 

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Then there is a language barrier we are experiencing..        Who produces the welding rod?  Which process was it applied with?  Did you run a softer layer before top coating? 

As blacksmiths or bladesmiths we usually talk about classifications of steels..     Then with a little more input with processes like mig or stick or tig we can gather it was a hard facing application vs a forge welded on face.. We are blacksmiths after all and forge welding on a w2 face plate is a method.. 

 

Quote from steel distributor:

A tool steel, W-2 is a water-quenching steel, W-2 produces an excellent hamon. Many sword makers and larger blades are made using W-2. It is a very malleable steel, easy to work with and forge.

Chemistry/Certification
Certification: C- .916 Si- .296 Mn- .215 P- .0050 S- .0020 Cr- .069 Ni- .042 Mo- .008 V- .165 W- .005 Cu- .047 Sn- .0060 Al- .006 Annealed Structure: 98% spherodized carbides

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What kind of welding rod is W-2, designation code and maker?

Seems W-2 would make a weird hard facing rod it's not particularly abrasion resistant nor is it hard enough to resist high impact. I used to do a lot of hard facing I'd like to know what brand and code it is so I can check it out.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I believe I got the hard facing rod from MSC and I believe it was reccomended from this forum. It was applied with TIG and then I used a belt sander to stand it level. It was a good bit of work. It's extremely abrasion resistant, I would put it against any anvil. It's nasty tough stuff. From working on it over the last few years I can tell it's harder and tougher than my Nimba surface. In fact I'm planning on making a second anvil with this method I like it so much. The next anvil is going to be 3"Thick x 20" Wide x 16.5" tall.   The existing anvil is actually 4"thick x 13" long x 16.5" tall. It's some work of course to mount a huge piece of plate on an anvil stand and hard face it but the endless repairability aspect I really like and reccomend. 

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The stuff is "S-7 Hi-Shock Air Hardening Drill Rod - 36 In. Diameter: 3/32 Overall Length: 36" MSC Item #06095061 Had a chance to Tig Weld with this Rod today on a piece of scrap. HOLY FRIHOLIES!!! THIS STUFF IS STRONG!! 

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S7 is 180* out from W2. S7 is AIR hardening, W2 on something the size of an anvil is water or brine hardening.

Personally, I am having a difficult time understanding how a W2 rod got to full hardiness without subsequent heat treating, and how a 1/4” top layer, whether migged/ tigged/ arced/ forge welded doesn’t end up cracking especially with errant blows if it’s laced on mild steel. The underlying mild will get plastically deformed,. Perhaps we are using different terms, or some such.

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That's why I questioned W2 and then assumed otherwise. 

Most alloys if tig welded on will harden on it's own in the bead..  problem comes when you stack another bead next to it you will lose most the hardness..

 

Unless a Rockwell tester was used I doubt 62rc is how hard it is but I've been wrong before..

Weld mold as well as a few other companies make rods for tig welding nearly all alloys but usually there's a rigorous heat treat as well as peening and pre/post heat treat..

I've experimented with W1 as well as other home brew high carbon tig faced plating and each piece needed heat treatment post welding..

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OMG how embaressing.. I don't know why I said W-2 lol. Yes it is S-7!!! Seriously sorry about that mix up. Wow I don't know how I messed that up. But yes thank you wpearson it is S-7!! That's what happens when a decade goes by! I never labeled the rods but I still have them. 

18 hours ago, MotoMike said:

I wouldn't mind seeing some pictures.  Any in progress pics?

 

So here is the pics of the first anvil I made. And yes thanks for the correction it was S-7 Air hardening Rod. When I was looking at the specs for W-2 the other night it mentioned quenching and I never quenched it which should have been my first clue. Thanks for catching my error. The S-7 is what we are talking about. 

 

This alloy displays excellent toughness and shock resistance with moderate wear characteristics. It performs exceptionally well for trimming, cutting, shearing, slitting and punching operations. Typical Chemistry: C Mn Si Cr Mo V As Welded Hardness: 50-60 HRC .50 .50 .60 3.3 1.5 .25 Available Forms: Stick Electrode, Solid MIG Wire, TIG Rods and Metal Cored Wire

So perhaps it's closer and mayble slightly harder HRC then most high end anvils. 

001.jpg

013.jpg

015.jpg

017.jpg

The next anvil I want to make is a massive version of one of these. Anyone ever made one like this? (See Below)

Brazeal2.jpg

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So it being S7 explains why it’s both hard and durable, it’s airhardening PLUS designed to handle shock and impact, and BTW that’s a nice anvil and stand you made.

I do stick by my original assertion tho that at 1/4” thick I’m really surprised that errant hard blows don’t cause cracks, even if hairline. That’s why JLP asked if it had a medium hardness underlayment or backer. Putting that under it kind of mimics how shallow hardening steel behaves, you have this nice real hard top surface to avoid wear and dings, a bit deeper it’s hard enough to not plastically displace but not so hard it will crack, then deeper yet unhardened material. 

However, with all that said, the proof is in the putting, and you’ve used it for ten years to good effect and without the issues I was concerned about :)

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While I've never heard of an S- series hard facing rod that doesn't mean anything, I've been out of running hardface rod for more than 25 years and I was constantly getting pamphlets and samples of new rods. 

I highly recommend you use a proper build up rod on your next anvil to prevent the plate deforming under the hard facing. Most hard facing rods have a 2 pass limit without degrading seriously and I don't see you getting more than 1/4" if you're going to tig weld. If you have a stick welder with high enough power settings you can lay well more than 1/2" in two passes.

Build up rods aren't nearly as sensitive and you can lay three sometimes four passes. 

Your current anvil looks like a joy to use, I'm looking forward to what you come up with next. I'll be more than happy to help if I can.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, I assume he is talking about buying drill rod that is S7 and then using this as the tig rod..  I did check out the link for the MSC number.. 

In other words it's not  straight on welding rod like  ER-70 or the like in MIG or TIG but straight old  S7...      The only problem with this kind of thing is usually some mixing of the base materials with the rod..  Again because it cools so fast it will be hard and brittle, once the next bead is placed it will soften the previous bead some but S7 I'd guess would have adequate hardness..       

Nearly all alloy rods will be hard till the next bead is padded in and then it can be a matter of controlling cracking and bead pulling away from the parent material.. this is where peening and pre/post heat come in. .  Problem is consistency but with practice I imagine it is possible..   Like stated earlier I've done it with W1 and even used some old files I forged into smaller rods for tig use..  Porosity was a problem and had to up the shielding gas.. 

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I'll hold off on a reply till I can look at the link but I don't see a link.  If it's been removed by a mod will you please PM it to me?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I considered hard facing some mild steel blocks when I got them years ago, but never really found an acceptable MIG wire. Avadon’s post read like marketing copy, so I googled it. 

Eureka welding alloys makes S7 consumables (stick, flux core and solid wire). I have been told by the company it’s available through Praxair and Airgas. Eureka 74, I believe. 

Just in case anyone is thinking of this without the TIG option. 

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