Ted Ewert

Steel and concrete anvil stand

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I've been working on this after work all week. The concrete slab under the stand is not level which has caused a few headaches. Nevertheless, I managed to get thing pretty level.

The top of the stand is 24" high. Thats a little lower than my other stand, but my knuckles are still below the anvil face. Knuckle height is a little too low for me. 

I started by bolting down a base and working up from there

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The base material is 1 1/2" X 1/4". The four outside rebars are 5/8", and the two in the middle are some 3/4" I found out behind my shed.

These are all welded into some angle iron to support the top plate.

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I made the top plate from some 2 1/2" X 3/4" bar I salvaged from a dumpster. I welded three pieces together to make a size to fit the anvil. I used 4 1/4-20 screws to attach it. Keeping it flat through the welding was not easy. Had to redo 1 weld. 

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I also made the form which is 12 X 9 inches inside.

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Here's how the anvil sits.

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I still have more to do. I want to put angle iron on the corners, and I'm using some threaded rod for rack supports.

I'm hoping to pour this weekend.

 

Ted

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That’s not going anywhere fast. One question I’ve got, how are you going to make sure the concrete fills all the voids underneath the steel plate the anvil will sit on?

Never mind, I think I see now. The steel plate will not be in place when pouring the post. Let me see if I have the process right. You pour the concrete to a level just flush with the top of the angle iron then screw the plate to the angle iron? If this is right, I’d suggest welding some rebar stingers  to the bottom of the plate to extra reinforce the connection of steel plate to concrete.

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That's why I made the plate removable. I'll fill it to just under the top of the angle iron, then attach the plate. I should be able to push the rest of the concrete up under the plate. That's the plan anyway. 

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I guess the idea is that you’ll be able to unbolt it from the floor and move it if you need to?

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If you add some chamfer strips to the inside corners of your form and along the top it will eliminate the sharp corners and give it a nicer finished look. The strips on the top also make a nice guide for finishing the top.

Looks very solid...but I'm no anvil expert:D

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Yes, I am planning to be able to unbolt it. I'll make it so it doesn't stick to the floor.

The chamfer strips are a good idea, but I'm putting angle iron all around the edges. They'll get all chipped up otherwise. 

Didn't get much done today as I was volunteered for babysitting duty. 

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When you pour it fill inside the frame high then bolt the plate on. It will push the excess concrete like a syringe and fill the voids under the plate and angle iron. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty, I'll do that. Probably going to pour today. 

My oldest son permanently borrowed my wheel barrow so I'll have to find something else to mix in. I have a large plastic container which might work. 

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I found a big industrial aluminum pot I forgot I had to mix in. I also had a mixing attachment for the drill, and together they worked great. Used 3 bags of concrete and it all went pretty smoothly. I used your suggestion Frosty and feel quite confident that the bottom of the plate is well supported.

I learned a long time ago to pretape any exposed surfaces, so I got a good clean contact between the plate and the angle iron. It also saved a lot of cleanup around the top edging.

I stuck some 1/2" threaded rod through the sides to build tool racks with.

Here's a few pics.

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Cheers,

 

Ted

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How will you be certain your concrete will not just crack apart when you start forging on it?  The rebar is structural support, but a jack hammer can easily take apart concrete with rebar in it.  You essentially will be lightly jack hammering the concrete when you forge.  I hope it works for you and I hope you keep us appraised as to the success or failure of it so that others can either jump on the bandwagon or learn from your mistakes with it.  

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Very interesting project, Ted. The threaded rods are a good idea for later accessory mounting. I see that you left them long enough so that they can be trimmed to length to fit whatever you plan to install on them. Nice neat job on the mold, too.

I have a couple of questions: Do you also have vertical angle irons going up the corners, and are the angle irons secured or connected to the stand in any other way besides their contact with the concrete?

Looking forward to seeing the final product.

Al (Steamboat)

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Oh ye of little faith. MC: Nothing is certain in life, but I designed this stand so that the steel rebar is taking the lion's share of the shock load. The concrete is more for mass and rigidity, and it will also dampen any vibration. I'm still letting it cure a bit more before I start pounding on it.

Steamboat: Yes, I do have vertical angle iron and it is all held together at the bottom with rebar welded to each corner. That caused a slight problem during the pour since the concrete didn't get in the lower edges because that rebar got in the way. I had to patch it after the forms came off. 

Here is the progress so far...

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The concrete looks mottled because of some cosmetic patching I did. I used some 5/8" tubing as spacers for the racks. I haven't decided what I'm going to do on the ends yet.

It's a very solid stand and I look forward to exercising it a bit. 

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That turned out very nice!

I'm pretty sure even weak concrete is rated for 3000psi.  How many square inches is the steel base under the anvil? If that base is seated good I would be surprised if the average human could put out enough force by hitting an anvil on top of that plate to do any damage to the concrete. I'm not an engineer but I would think it would be fairly easy to calculate how much force would actually be hitting the concrete. Has anyone ever mushroomed the top of their stump by hitting on their anvil? The load is spread out. If you took a jackhammer to a stump it wouldn't last long either. Has anyone ever cracked their concrete shop floor under their steel anvil stand?

I really hope it holds up...I might want to copy your idea:D

I've seen some really awesome heavy duty steel stands posted here.  I'm not sure where I could get that heavy of steel at a reasonable price and even if I could I don't have the tools to cut and weld that big of stuff together.   

Pretty much all your materials are available off the shelf at a hardware store or easy to get second hand and are much easier to work with than the big stuff. If it holds up it would be a nice alternative to a wood or massive steel stand.

 

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Nice job with the stand. 

The tool rack on the other hand. I couldn't work with all that in the way. 

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Round the top corners of the angle iron holding down the anvil. Cut the lower corners on a 45* angle. First time you bump into one, you will know why.

Try the tool rack as it is now, then move it to the horn or heel side so you can step up against the anvil and not have to lean over the tool rack. After you try both ways, you should have a preference.

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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I'm sure things will get rearranged as I start to use it. 

Rounding the corners of the angle iron is on the list, just didn't get to it yet. 

Beavers: I'm in full agreement with what you said, and based my design on many of those points. I've used a 10 lb sledge to break up concrete and it isn't easy. My heaviest hammer is 3 lbs and that force is spread out over about 15 square inches. The column is 9" X 12" X 24". The compression stress is primarily in the vertical axis with steel directly connecting the anvil to the garage slab. Two rows of rebar take care of any lateral stresses caused by pounding on the side or horn of the anvil. Even hitting underneath the horn will cause tension and compression which the rebar can easily handle. The concrete certainly adds strength and stability and should not at all be discounted in the equation.

I gave a good whack to a cold piece of metal on the anvil last night and it didn't rattle the tools in the rack one tiny bit. I think I'm going to like this stand. 

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Ted, that stand really looks solid! Nice neat job, too!

Just a thought: One thing you might consider would be to alter the tool rack(s) so that the hammer heads would be parallel to the sides of the stand instead of perpendicular, and maybe the hammers could be placed between the stand itself and the first bar. Granted, it would not hold as many hammers that way, but if you're using a limited number of hammers for a specific project, it could still be adequate for that, and it would let you stand/work a few inches closer to the anvil.

Al (Steamboat)

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X2 on Glenn's comments regarding placement of your tool rack. Sometimes you have to work close to the anvil, such as hammering on the far side. To me, the rack would be a hindrance. To each to his own. ;-)

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I really am rooting you on, but having worked with stone I know it's a much different animal than wood in the fact that it's much more brittle.  

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Be careful grinding the corners of steel with concrete in contact, you don't want to overheat it. 

There's no need for the double bars on the hammer racks, rest the close side of the hammer on the angle iron on the block, lose the outside bar and trim the allthread. This will let you work much closer to the anvil and being closer to the anvil stand present less a trip or leg bruising hazard. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I work on the side with all the tongs, so I'll narrow that side up. Even with the racks out as far as they are, the stand is so narrow they still don't get in the way. They are narrower than the bottom of my old stand. 

I'm still going to rearrange everything this weekend. I appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks! 

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4 hours ago, MC Hammer said:

I really am rooting you on, but having worked with stone I know it's a much different animal than wood in the fact that it's much more brittle.  

I agree,  But a big good luck!

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I  like your design and execution.  I really like how you can easily adjust your racks and change locations.  There should be no concerns with the concrete cracking as you have designed it.  I would probably not do any heavy use for about 28 - 30 days allowing for a good cure. I have installed large hammer mills to crush limestone on concrete foundations and if anyone has seen one of those run it is a loud vibrating beast.  The hammer mill sits on steel plates embedded in the concrete with tons of rebar.  

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The best tool rack you can build is one on wheels that is independent from the anvil stand. A workshop trolley like the mechanics use. 

Working on the anvil can be slow and paced at times and hectic other times. You don't want anything in the way of your legs, hips, arms, or work, nor do you want to have to go around the anvil looking for a tool. 

But hei ... that is just me. We are all different and make different things at a different speed. 

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I spent most of the day at the forge. I finalized the racks and they work well for me. The stand worked as designed and provided a rock solid base for the anvil. The anvil just doesn't move... at all. Nothing makes the slightest rattle in the racks either. It actually works better than I thought it would. No cracks, no chips, no errors. 

None of the tools got in my way while I was working. The tray is far enough down to allow full access to the horn. I'm very happy with it so far.

I even made a flower for my daughter.

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