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TwistedCustoms

Wrought Iron - Unlikely Source?

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I have a couple of objects in the shop, stashed away under a bench which were anvils in a past life. One is a Wilkinson and I never bothered to clean the other one off enough to identify it because they are both missing over 90% of their top plates. The Wilkinson has aprox two square inches of jagged edge plate still hanging on behind the pritchel and the unknown anvil has about the same up by the cut shelf/horn. I don't mind dinged edges, missing or damaged horns, wallowed out hardy holes, torch marks or any of the other damage I've run across as long as there is a usable section of hardened face. I would never consider using an anvil as an organ donor if it had any usable life in it. We have all seen those anvils that are in fact un-usable and the cost of proper repair is well beyond the value of the repaired anvil even if it goes flawlessly. So I'm wondering, has anyone here ever sectioned up an old anvil body just to harvest the wrought iron for other projects? I hope I'm not the only smith to ever consider this! Is it sacrilege or practical?

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No, I have heard of others doing that. I can't remember if they said it gave good etching qualities or not. May try polishing and etching a surface first to check it out.

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I will do that. Tomorrow I'll polish a small section of a foot and etch. I wouldn't bother harvesting if I don't see some pretty grain structure. I figure it would be fine grained having been forged under power but who knows! If it looks promising I'll post photos.

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Depends on the brand. Mr Postman told me my William Foster from 1827 was made with very low grade WI and so If I wanted to reface it the traditional way I should first forgeweld the face to a plate of WI and then do a WI to WI weld.

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I have a nice little collection of steel I don't use often, water and oil hardening. I'm sure I can get something to stick to it. I'm mainly interested in how the wrought will etch. It's storming here this morning so I'm off to a slow start but when I get a break in the weather I'll head up to the shop. I have some one foot long sections of W1 drill rod in 1/2" round. That would require a little prep work but the plan is to use the wrought for axe heads with a welded bit so I'll keep the W1 on the short list.

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