Gimpl

Trenton Serial Number Question

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Hello Everyone,

New to the forum and looking forward to learning from everyone. I am looking at a 200lb Trenton Anvil and the serial number is A43050 and wondering if anyone would know the age and/or where this was made.

Thank you,

Gimpl

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It was made in Columbus Ohio, USA; I'm at work now---in a foreign country, and can't check my copy of AinA.  They are great anvils if they pass the ring and bounce tests!

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Pictures of the anvil would help to give an idea of the condition. If you are thinking of buying it, the asking price would help determine if it's a good value. Beside that if you have done any reading here you know we love pictures.:)

6 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

work now---in a foreign country

Thomas how is the frackas at the border effecting you, with the border closed.

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Just a quick look through Anvils in America and I don't see any Trenton anvils using an A before the serial number. Now Hay Buddens made in Brooklyn NY had an A43050 made in 1922.  Are you sure it's a Trenton and are you sure it's A43050?

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Hello Again,

I picked up the anvil yesterday over on the Oregon Coast. Needless to say it was a bit rusty but brought it home and shined it up with a wire brush. I have attached pictures for everyone to see. The Trenton mark on the side is hard to see but I do think it is Trenton.

Also came with these hardy tools. I know the cutoff tool but was wondering what the other 2 are for, if anyone can shed light on that I would appreciate it.

Thank you again,

Gimpl

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Definitely looks like a Trenton to me. It also looks like it hasn't seen a lot of hard work, the face looks pristine. The other two tools are for small work, the curved one is a bick, that can have a wedge to hold it tight and the other looks like a mandrel of sorts. A very nice find indeed.

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Thank you,

Any idea of the age? I also forgot to ask about the horn, was it manufactured with the flat portion at the top or did someone grind it flat? It does line up perfectly with the face to make a nice long level area.

Sure glad I found this forum,

Take care, Gimpl

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I would guess someone ground (milled, surfaced) the horn. I've never seen a Trenton with a flattened horn. Hopefully they just did the horn and not the face along with it.

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Thank you John,

Funny you would say that, I thought the face plate looked thin to me as well as the heel looking a little thin. I hope I did not make a mistake buying this one, I dont know how you would reface something like this.

Would you reshape the horn with a grinder to get it back to round or leave it alone?

Thanks, Gimpl

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Face plates on Trentons run about 1/2" +/-. John's looking at the horn and that is an unusual shape for one, I'd have to assume it was done by the smith using it at the time. It does't really hurt anything you still have the sides and bottom of the horn you only need to develop the skills to work around the flat. 

Don't get hung up on it's age unless you want it as a collectible rather than a tool. What you have there is a SWEET old lady in excellent condition. Gentlemen don't ask ladies their age you know. ;) It's fun for conversation's sake but has no real utility in a tool. As a side note, she has generations of good work left in her, let your grandkids worry about where Grandpaw the blacksmith got her.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty,

I went out and if I am measuring correctly it only has about 3/16th left of the top plate. It has great rebound (better than by 142lb Mousehole I sold to get this) and it rings well also. I guess I just thought I was getting a great old anvil. Now wondering if I should have just went with the New 120lb Nimba Titan instead.

One of the drawbacks to being new into the craft and learning what to look for.

Take care, Gimpl.

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Should be from 1904. As long as the rebound is good and it rings good dont get hung up on measurements. The were made individually so each one has unique characteristics. 

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It looks to me like the horn flat lines up with the surface of the anvil face which tells me it was definitely machined.  They could get the anvil face to sit flat due to the horn being slightly raised up so it had to be ground down.  Based on your pictures it looks like at least half of the face plate is gone after it was ground at some point.  It should still work fine, but yes test the rebound.  I would give her an easy life with no sledge hammering.  Let's say I'm right and half the face plate has been ground off, you still have half the life left in her and she should serve you for the rest of your days and then some with a few other smiths.  Whenever I see a face that is that pristine, it's always a red flag to me.  We've all seen anvils that so little or no service that look like that, but they are getting harder and harder to find.  The odds mostly tip in the direction of a machined anvil if the face looks that nice.  

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It would be difficult to put a new face on it. The face does look thin, but I wouldn't worry so much about that. If it works, it works and that's what matters. But like MC suggests, don't go sledge hammering on it and it should last a long time.

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Thank you MC & John,

Makes me feel better for sure. I do small ornamental work and don's use anything over a 3lb hammer and 5/8 stock. Will actually use it for the first time tonight after I get off work.

Appreciate everyone's help & guidance with this one. 

Take care, Gimpl

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Since when is Trenton an anvil with face-plate??? 

This is mine and has no face. I have it from a USA military base in Europe. It must be original 

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Lulian, yours is a later one with solid steel top half.

Can you post a picture of the serial number on yours?

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39 minutes ago, Black Frog said:

Lulian, yours is a later one with solid steel top half.

Can you post a picture of the serial number on yours?

Sure! What is the other half made of? 

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Cast mild steel.

Manufacturers also started to arc weld the top and bottom pieces together at the waist instead of forge welding them in later years. Looking at how the waist weld was dressed on that one it might be one of those too.

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5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Cast mild steel.

Manufacturers also started to arc weld the top and bottom pieces together at the waist instead of forge welding them in later years. Looking at how the waist weld was dressed on that one it might be one of those too.

I was happy to hear from you the bottom part is made of steel. There is not much love here for cast iron though, by google’s saying; cast iron is not less worthy than steel

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Where is strength in torsion and strength in tension?  Cutting edges? Flexibility? Malleability? Joinability?

If you are going to preferentially list qualities  where one material excels over the other; your chart will be a bit biased!  (Ever think what a jet turbine made from cast iron would be like...I've walked on a cast iron bridge; but I can't tell you were a second one is...)

However: alloys tend to be great for somethings and terrible for others.  That does not make one better than another; unless you specify the intended use!

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I've walked on a cast iron bridge; but I can't tell you were a second one is...)    good joke

 

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Where

The cast iron bridge at Ironbridge Gorge is the one I walked on; as I recall they had just banned automobile traffic on it when I was there.

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