Nigiel

Getting the most out of a small anvil

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After having my new 40 pound anvil for a couple months i've now noticed it's not as efficient as larger anvils. I used a big peter wright for two years at my school and as these are expensive the badger was all I could afford . The badger is number 4 and it weighs in at just over 40 pounds.  The current stand I have is a decent size stump that weighs significantly more than the anvil and the anvil is secured so that it does not move.

It just feels more difficult to pound stuff into shape and just doesn't feel as solid when I am using it.

Could this be a difference in quality or construction? Or is it just a difference in weight?

I have no one around here to ask and I really like badger I just want to know if anyone has experience with getting the most out of a small anvil.

Any suggestions, answers and input would be appriciated.

-Nigiel

 

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I would look into making a heavier striking anvil as the Badger will not do well with heavy hitting (size and construction).

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I had a similar experience with the 70 lb anvil I started with.  I had it on a bigger stump and that helped but it still is a small anvil.  I was at a festival last weekend and a blacksmith there had a little Peter Wright anvil that I'm guessing was 80 lbs soaking wet.  He was only doing small decorative work on it.  I would think your 40 lb Badger would need to doing work like that as well.  If you are trying to take 1 inch stock and work it down on a 40 lb anvil it will be a challenge I imagine.  My opinion is that even you think you have a small anvil perfectly secured, I think it moves around a lot and you just can't perceive it unless you are watching someone else forge on it.

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I mainly do blade smithing, however nothing too big. I will look into getting a bigger stump, ill also get someone to take a look and see if it moves around while i'm using it. Though I haven't heard or felt it, after I get some more money I will definitely look into getting a bigger anvil however i'll still keep the badger for light work.

As for striking anvils, is there any way to get one of these for a fairly inexpensive price, and can you do blade smithing with them. The ones that I have seen seem to be fairly low to the ground.

Thanks for the replies,

 

-Nigiel

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Since striking anvils are generally built by the users they are built to fit the budget and the needed height of the users.  You can do bladesmithing with the head of a sledgehammer as the anvil---several videos of folks making a living in Asia doing that can be found on the net.  As the London Pattern Anvil dates to fairly recent times; several thousand years of bladesmithing have been done on things that DON'T look like London Pattern Anvils.  (National Geographic's "Living Treasures of Japan" can be found on youtube; watch the section on a traditional katana being forged and look at what they are using as an anvil!)

May I also commend to your attention: http://www.marco-borromei.com/fork.html

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