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So, my friend found a man the other day that was selling a propane forge/ anvil combo and i decided to email him asking what tools he had for sell and I was wondering what would be good prices for used tools. I know for a fact he has a post vise and a mandrel for sell, so what would be good prices? 

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A good price is what you can comfortably afford and are happy with the deal. I pay up to $10 per inch of jaw width for vises. My last one was a really nice complete Colombian for $40. Mandrels will sell for the same as anvils per weight. Cool to have, but do you NEED one? If not is is only worth bragging rights.

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depends on condition, how much you need them and he wants top sell, there is no book on used tool values, also how much money you have to spend. 

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It really depends upon condition and how badly the seller wants to get rid of them. Tongs I usually limit paying $10-15 each in very good shape, $5-10 in average shape poor shape I pass. Hammers I buy in junk shops for $5 or less. I make my own anvil hardies. You might see if he will make you a package deal for a lot of tools.

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I get stuff very inexpensively, as I am a cheapskate when it comes to smithing tools. 3" is a small vise, more for light work like filing, but not heavy pounding. I am sure some would be happy to pay $100, but not me.

I pay $3 each for hammers, top and bottom tools, tongs. Others gladly pay $20+

Location will affect price, and I do not know what your local market is like.

Again, only pay what YOU can afford, not what others can. If you can only afford say $3 for a pair of tongs don't pay $15 because someone else has more money to play with. I get some deals because I explain to them that I can make some of the items for less than they are asking. Other items I pay the price because it would cost me more to duplicate it. It is up to you, what you pay.

Now, having said that I can offer you some tips on purchasing that I have done.

Chat the seller up. I get some great deals because I am not rushing them to sell and I do not come off as a flipper-which I am not. It is easy for me because as my Mom used to say "You were born with the gift of gab" Also do not get all giddy, keep a poker face. Know your items ahead of time - don't look them up on your phone while you are there. Knowledge is the key to make the deal.  Knowing that the tools will get used has gotten me a better price than the flipper would have gotten. I got $6,200 worth off machinist hand tools in a Kennedy box for $550 because because he liked the idea that I would use them and not sell them off. I used that set for 7 years at the last shop I worked at, and now they are my home set.  I will explain what items are if they have questions, I explain that even though it is old it is not gold. I have even told them what items should sell for and still got it for less. I told a guy that if he pieced out his reloading stuff he could get around $100, and his reply was I don't want to mess with it, how does $20 sound? I didn't need it, but I wasn't going to pass up that deal. Whatever you do , do not BS the seller. Some can smell that from a mile away and that can kill that deal and possibly more. 

Have the ca$h on hand - leaving to get it can doom a deal. Take what you are willing to spend and extra in case there are other items that are discovered but not advertised. Benjamin Franklin has a way of assisting the closing of a deal. The first one to say a price looses. I just bought a $300+ portable AC unit. It needs a plug, but fiddling with it we got it to power up. I asked how much and got $5? I would have paid more , but I liked his price better. If I can't test an item the price goes waaaaay down. Like the $4,300 vacuum sealer I got for $150. He wanted $500 but I couldn't test it due to a blown fuse. But most of all , stay within your budget.

Read up on field testing anvils, know what needs to be checked on a vise, study up on hammer shapes and top and bottom tools before you head on over.

Good luck! And post pics if you get it.

 

 

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Remember starting out you don't need really neat stuff---you need stuff you will use all the time.  Having the only left handed fimblewhatsit Twister in your state is just a waste of time, money and space if you won't be doing any fimblewhatsit twisting...

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I certainly will post pics if i get any, and i was just using the 3 inch vise as an example, I have no idea what size it is yet, what size would be good for twists and pounding etcetera?

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Post vises come in small medium large and huge; they also come in gracile and robustus.  A 4" jaw width is a common size; for heavy pounding look for a robustus vise. Larger/heavier is a plus to a point.  In my shop the workbenches have a 4" vise on one corner and a 6" vise on the other as the small ones are easier to use for light work and the large ones fort heavy work that stays hot longer. I also have a heavy, (robustus) 6"+ vise attached to a utility pole sunk 5' in the ground and concreted in place for HEAVY POUNDING.

You can fix most things on a post vise fairly easily except for the screw and screwbox, a worn or damaged screw/screwbox drops the price to less than half a good vise's cost.

I would expect a using vise to go between $45 and $80 to get a good deal on one; don't recall paying more than that for any of the 20+ I have owned; but then I can wait on a deal...

If the person wants high prices; walk away and use the TPAAAT to find better ones!

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going rate for a 6" is around US$300 and UP!   (Now I got my 6"+ one for $50; but people tell me that's a personal problem....)

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Hot or cold?   Hot, a good robustus 4" could be used for twisting RR spikes; cold---not so likely (and yes I have twisted a RR spike cold before to show the capabilities of my large twisting wrench and 6"+ vise...)

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Sorry for not specify yes hot twisting 

And also if possible to get to another subject what style tongs/hammers, and what kinds of hardie tools should i look out for? Pictures are appreciated 

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Dillion, I think if you read around these forums, a lot of your questions will be answered. Don't be afraid to buy something or try something without our approval or recomendation... If you are afraid of failure, I don't recommend blacksmithing. 

You are asking about style of tongs and hammers: How about you get a tong that holds your material, and a hammer you can hit the material with comfortably for your experience level and strength!

 

Don't get me wrong, we will happily answer your questions, but you may end up going farther in this craft if you take the plunge before getting advice on each step...

Cheers, 

Ridgewayforge

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You should look for hardy tools you will use doing what you do with the style and techniques you use.  Why you think we should know that is a puzzlement.

My most used hardy tool is a hot cut hardy, then perhaps a twisting fork, conical drift, swing arm fullers (large and small). How ever this is based on what I do and the ways I do it!

What you need to do is get to a meeting of an ABANA affiliate or with a local smith and talk face to face about what you are trying to do and get pointers on how to do it.  If you want to learn to drive a car do you go online or do you get in a car with someone who knows how to drive and is willing to teach you.

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I can honestly say this, if I was starting new with NOTHING.

I’d actually pay MORE for a good 5-6” post vise than an anvil.

Once you actually learn to blacksmith you also might learn you want a particular pattern or features that meet YOUR needs and manner of working.

I learned 20 years later that a makeshift anvil can work fine to actually great.

Having no vise sucks, and even a big machinists vise is hopeless for beating on, a sturdy post vise makes real work possible.

YMMV, and two cents from a guy who’s been accused of having no sense.

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Checking CL last night and saw a 6" post vise for US$250 (not bad) and a 4.5" PV for $400  way over priced.  Last 4" PV I bought locally was $40 last year. Last vise I bought at Q-S was $45 a couple of years ago though most of them were around $75 and have probably creeped higher.  I wanted a robustus one to mount at my rental place anyway so $45 for one with the leg around 1.25" right below the pivot support was ok with me..  Note I generally buy vises missing mounting brackets and springs as they are a pleasant Saturday morning to make and can save a *lot*!

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A lot of Columbian vises basically used a U bolt fitted to the vise leg and a piece of angle iron. Very simple to me! I keep my eyes open for scrap angle iron with differing sized "legs" just for this use.

You can make intricate "antler" brackets but they are pretty simple too; especially if you are good with a slot punch to get the square holes for the wedges.

Springs are easy too; especially as you can make them from mild steel and no heat treatment.

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