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Kerby

Quality of this Trenton?

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Am going to look at this 200# Trenton Friday, looking at the pictures can you give me any opinions, I am totally new to this game.

 

200 trenton.png

200 trenton top.png

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Well, it looks like a good usable anvil. Take a ball bearing and a wire brush with you to clean up the face a bit to do a rebound rest. Ring test it as well to be sure the face plate isn't delaminating anywhere. 

Trentons are usually great anvils. 

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Second what Das said.  Cleaning the face of rust will give you a more accurate drop.  Take a yard stick or tap measure with you and drop the ball bearing from 10 inches.  You are looking for a 7 inch return at least.  Do it in multiple places.  The drops toward the heal (back of anvil where hardy and pritchel holes are) will have a lower drop return so don't let that worry you too much.  Ask the seller first, and if they say it's ok give that face a good cleaning with the wire brush and then take a cloth and wipe off all the rust dust.

It looks like a very nice anvil, but make sure to do the above testing especially with anvil prices being so high these days.  The only thing worse that paying too much for an anvil is paying too much for an anvil that has little rebound and obvious problems.

Good luck and make sure to let us know what happens.  It looks like it could be an early German Trenton.  If so, the weight will be in pounds between the feet on the side where the diamond Trenton logo is stamped.  It also won't have a serial number stamped on it anywhere.

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Thanks for the help, I only know what I have learned here and reading on other sites. Nephew bought one, a Vulcan, and ended up with an anvil without the hardened plate. $140 bucks of tuition.

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Ouch!  Like you, I read everything I could on this forum before looking for anvils.  It helped me avoid a costly mistake.  The Trenton I got is an old German one and it has 90% - 95% rebound.  It's got some minor edge chipping and a little sway up toward the end of the face plate near the horn but I only paid $1.67 per pound for her in the end.  Next one I picked up for 31 cents a pound due to the possibility it may have been through a fire and it had a few other edge issues / a tiny torch mark.  At $50 for a 160 pound Fisher, I wasn't going to pass that up.  Glad I didn't because after a clean-up she was giving me 70% - 75% rebound which tells me she's still pretty hard and plenty usable.

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Cool. This one is a pretty small auction near me, so gonna go check it out, and if it goes at a bargain price I will pull the trigger. Still sick over the Vulcan he bought.

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Small lesser known auctions are better than the more advertized ones. Even at that just expect it could go high with other people wanting it too. Set your price and if it goes over walk away. I almost got a steal at one small auction but my old time auction nemesis ( friend in competition for antiques and old tools) was there. I still walked away with a nice anvil for $2./lb.( good price in todays market in my area) but it coulda been way better a deal. I've been to several other auctions with anvils that went way over what I thought was a reasonable price. 

Got my first anvil at an auction for around $1./lb before the FIF craze. 

 

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Hoping for $2 a pound, but know it could go for far more. Not in desperate need so will walk away if not a great deal. Will be a learning experience as first ever auction, and first time testing an anvil. Hoping this one isn't pitted on top, I cant tell from pics. Its close enough that the experience will be worth it.

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First auction! Ah ok. Well pay attention how the auctioneer works. They usually start high and when no one bids they will start lowering the starting price. When someone bids then it starts. ( say for example the auctioneer tries to start the anvil at $200. No one bids so he will drop it to $100. If no one bids he might drop it to $50. Then someone puts their hand up or bidder number card or whatever then the first person the actioneer sees is the one that has it for $50. And the auctioneer might bump it up to $75. And someone bids. On and on) 

Make sure you get in sight range of the auctioneer and be ready to pounce on the low bid. Yell if he isnt looking at you but they usually have spotters too helping. Ah, I find auctions fun. Especially when there's rusty gold. :)

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Mr. Kerby,

I suggest that you only wire brush patches of the anvil where you do the bounce test.

Cleaning the whole face may tempt more people to bid.

The rust and paint spatters may put off non-smiths.

We can always hope.

SLAG.

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Well, at least it was a good drive. First off the anvil looked awesome. Rebound was only around 50%, and I got absolutely no ring out of the anvil at all. Was still gonna hang around and see what it went for, but ended up getting a call and having to leave. Still on the prowl.

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The rust will dull the ring ( a little) and the rust will also lower the rebound test. But it sounds like it should have had a little more ring and rebound than that if you cleaned the surface a little. 

We mention these tests because an anvil could go through a fire ruining the hardness of it even if it "Looks" fine. 

Good luck on the hunt. Dont forget to use the TPAAAT. 

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Dumb question , but what is TPAAAT

I cleaned it a little, rebound in some parts was good, but middle of anvil was like 30%. I was shocked I couldn't get any ring out of it.

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TPAAAT is the, "Thomas Powers Applied Anvil Acquisition Technique" and it's laid out in detail on your search engine. Don't bother with the one on Iforge, its pretty poor, search on your preferred engine and add Iforgeiron to the terms. 

I have a 206 lb. Trenton that looks a LOT like that one and felt lucky to get it for $600. That was before FIF and I live in a seriously blacksmith tool poor part of the country. Guys here are starting to buy new or make improvised anvils rather than search long and hard.

My most important piece of advice is BE PATIENT! All rushing usually does is make your mistakes permanent more quickly. Been there done that, still do though not so much. I'm a slow learner you know, just because I've missed out on gems by not jumping quickly enough. The ratio for good vs bad fast deals is not really attractive upon reflection.

Keep up the hunt and keep us in the loop, we'll help. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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It should have rang.  Here's a picture of my rusty Trenton when I bought it and it rang all over no matter where I tapped it. You were wise though.  Those tests saved you from a costly mistake.  This is how good I had to clean mine to get a good rebound test, but even rusty it still was lively. 

DSCN3845.thumb.JPG.5057d65edc22a46dffacea58714342f5.JPG

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Thanks to all of you, great input. Must have been something wrong with it. Someone elses problem now, lol. I will stay on the hunt. I very much appreciate the input.

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Just heard from auctioneer, the anvil went for $850. Not exactly the bargain I was looking for.

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It's easy to get carried away at auction. I used to attend a lot of machinery and bancrupsy auctions and often a few bidders would get carried away.  I have seen people pay more at auction than they could have bought new for. 

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The other thing I didn't see mentioned about auction are the ringers. Ringers are employees of the auctioneer who are "officially" called spotters they're supposed to be there to make sure bids are called, hold things up to see, etc. The main function is to call false bids to get the prices up. Local auctioneers here actually tell you up front they will up the $ levels if bids aren't high enough. The most egregious example of ringer price pumping and auctioneer . . . (fraud?) was an item that wasn't drawing bids and it looked like the last bidder was going when a ringer doubled the bid. The bidding died but the auctioneer called the last real  bidder the winner BUT at the ringer's bid. Oh no, not out loud, at the table where you pay for your goods. The buyer was loud enough, the auctioneer actually called security to quiet him and he called the cops. It was loud and ugly but guess what, the other people there for the auction weighed in by time the cops showed it was resolved. The rest of the auction the ringers stayed on the stage and didn't up bids.

Humans are competitive animals and an auctioneer spends a lot of time learning how to trigger and encourage the bidders into bid wars. Police auctions are prime examples of people getting bid fever and spending way more than new for things. One of my first auctions up here ran a 7" Milwaukee disk grinder to almost 3x new price and bicycles were crazy, if it said Schwinn on it bids started over $100 and there just weren't many complete bikes, frames, seats, fenders, wheels, etc. I didn't stay around to see what fire arms were going to go for. 

I stopped going to auctions a couple years ago, they're too expensive and dishonest enough I've come to hate them. A pair of tongs usually starts with a $50 reserve as vintage antiques of course. I should've stayed off this thread, now I'll be crabby all day. :angry:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ah, Frosty, thats not ny experiences. Well, sometimes people paying more than for new happens, And bidding wars. The dishonesty is there occasionally but you just need to pay attention and no matter what those auctioneers are selling I dont go to their auctions. There are more than enough more honest auctioneers around my parts i guess. Sure some auctions are flops with people overbidding, but even at those there can be those good deals to be had. Then some auctions you just wish you had a bigger trailer to haul all the good deals. 

I guess it's all in what you go for. If you go for only one thing you might be disappointed. Or you might get lucky. Always pay attention tho. Learn how they work and look around the croud to see whats going on as well. Sure where there are people, there is always someone who is glad to swindle you out of your money. 

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Yeah, I wish there was some competition in auctioneers but I think there is maybe two if the second one is still in business. There are a few company names but if you attend it's the same guy on the mike and same ringers. 

Auction fever has been around probably forever and that's okay. Dad used to take me to auctions and pointed out the fine points, like ringers, how and when to bid, how to maybe not get a bidding war going, etc. You're going to see bidding wars get going, it's a fact of life but what gripes me is the frankly fraudulent method the locals use.

Geeze I'm writing about this again! I think I'll go pick up dog poop or something. Darn, can't do that Deb and I carry poop bags and clean it up while it's warm and you can find it by smell. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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While leary, I am going to try a few more, have a couple within a 20 mile drive coming up that have some decent looking prospective anvils, will see what happens.

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Don't let me sour you on auctions. Just be observant and set your top dollar stop and you'll be okay. I just live in a place that only has a couple auctions a year.

Good hunting. Frosty The Lucky.

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