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I Forge Iron

Hay Budden ID/repair advice. Send help!

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Hey y'all!

This is my first official post on the site, thanks for having me!

Just yesterday I bought my first anvil from a guy on Craigslist, I got it for $180 so it was a good deal in my opinion, despite the damage to it. As far as I know it's a Hay Budden, probably around 125lb (it weighs about 100lb without the heel.) there's an indication of a hardened steel plate welded to what I assume is a wrought iron base. The heel is missing, and I can't seem to find a serial number anywhere, so I would really appreciate any help identifying this beauty. Considering this is my first anvil, and I'm a newbie blacksmith at best, I don't plan on trying to repair this anvil any time in the near future. I know how you all feel about taking a grinder to an anvil face, so I won't ask, however there is a considerable amount of chipping on the face, and with a missing hardy hole, I can't easily make a striking plate either. In the eventual possibility that I need a more refined edge for forging, what repairs should I consider making?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Edit: Also it appears this gal got rusted up pretty bad, and someone tried to paint over it. I don't want to risk ruining a patina that's older than I am, so I'm wondering if removing the rust and paint is worth doing, or if it's best to just leave it be. 








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Flat of the face still looks good. It looks like a very usable anvil. 

I'm going to say that dressing some of the edge won't hurt the collector value. ;)

I wouldnt get too crazy with it or aggressive till you've used it a good while. Then you'll probably know better what you really need/want with it.

I believe the serial number should be on the front of the foot under the horn. 

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That's a fine anvil nothing wrong with iit for a starter. I used a big old piece of rail road rail until I saved enough

money for an anvil in similar condition the one you bought. i wouldn't worry about the paint or the patina, its just a tool.

I'd probably clean it up with a wire brush on an angle grinder.


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Thanks all for the advice! I think for now I'll just give it a good brushing and leave it be. The face is almost perfectly level, and the rebound is amazing, so I won't even touch it with a grinder. If the need arises, I may try to address some of the more egregious chips. I have some welding education, and my family is full of welders and fabricators, so I have plenty of resources. As for the missing heel, the thought of trying to restore it is way beyond me, so I'll probably use some square tubing in place of a hardy hole.

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Don't get too wound up about the hardy hole being toast. Do a search of this site for the term "portable hole" and you'll find a solution to that lack. A 75% anvil is still better than many alternatives...and as you work, you'll find paths around some of the issues such as learning where the face is a little better for those final clean-up blows.

The old girl just needs to be used, otherwise she becomes a boat anchor..so get at the whackin' !

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NO WELDING on it! Many anvils have been ruined by experienced pro welders. It takes special prep and cooling to weld on an anvil even done right there's always a risk i the HAZ. 

That anvil has generations of character and tales to tell as she is. Nothing wrong with wanting: "better," new or just different. take up some marketable items to practice on, you develop your skill and get to put money in the kitty for another anvil or other tooling. It's a win win and that glorious old lady gets to keep what she's earned.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes you can be an expert welder and not know how to weld on anvils---just like a Neurosurgeon might not be a good choice for your heart surgery.  You need someone with the experience in that particular area.  Personally I tend to use welders who are both excellent welders and excellent smiths.

Now if you can find such a welder it would be OK to weld on a thick structural sq tube to act as a hardy hole where the original one was at.

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Thanks again for the responses y'all. I looked up "portable hole" and I was actually considering fabricating something similar using a long piece of square tubing and bolting it to the floor. I don't wan't to risk making a weld on a big heat sink, and then breaking it within the first couple strikes, so I think I'll avoid welding anything onto it. Also I'm not even thinking about welding on the face right now, I'm still just admiring how level, and springy it is. It rings like a bell, and I found this one little spot that still has a decent edge on it.

Has anyone found out what those little stamps on the waist mean? I would love to find out when she was made, and if there's anything else special about her.

Edit: I just read a forum at bladeforums.com that explains how some Hay Buddens have their weight stamped on the side, meaning the two "8"s might indicate the anvil weighed 88lb when it was made. As for it's actual weight now, I can't say. The guy on the craigslist ad said it weighed 100lb, but clearly that's not accurate. It definitely doesn't feel like a 100lb anvil

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