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Firminy “pig”

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Hey guys, I’ve been on here for many years (2008) but never needed to post...now I finally am making my first post. A buddy of mine got a lead on “some anvil in a barn” from a family member of an elderly gentleman who passed away. They told him it was heavy so I went to help him load it. It ended up being a Firminy four foot “pig” anvil. The scale I have only went to 450lbs and it was a little heavier, maybe 460-470lbs (it didn’t go all the way to zero once past 450).  After I got home I was going to look it up in AIA but I can not find my book anywhere. I may have loaned it out and never got it back. For anyone with a copy, can you give me any details about the Firminy anvils?  I don’t know anything about them. I’ve searched here and Google but could not really find anything.  

The anvil was in really great condition, I don’t think it ever saw much use. It had great rebound (around 90-95%), edges where near perfect, face had no sag, and both horns were perfect. With just a little clean up it would look spectacular.  The last number for the year and weight was a little worn but it looks like the date is 1914 and the weight is 209kg. I left my phone at the house so I don’t have any pictures. 

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I've played with a couple of firmingy pigs, general round 450 pounds. The hardie hole is "strange"; it usually isn't all the way through; but there is another hardie hole 90 degrees on it; horizontal from the side.This serves to hammer a wedge in to eject the hardie hole from the top. Or the other way around; so you could have an anvil with a horizontal hardy hole.
Not all have this "feature" though, I've found some with the hardie hole on the other side, all the way through. Those with a 2-part hardie system should come with the wegde chisel... it's specific to each anvil.

They are IMHO uglier than a square plain block. They aren't called "pigs" for nothing :D 

That being said, I've tested 6, they all had a straight face; 4 had a thick faceplate - 30 mm or more. 2 were one piece cast steel (these are also newer). my hardness files said between 50 and 60 HRC. They are good anvils; and the sloping arc gives you plenty of options for hammering.  For some reason they also makes less noise than a standard german or london pattern anvil.

So; if you can get them - go for it. They are good anvils. Good steel too; made by Bonpertus in the days; with good pure carbon steel for the face; and these guys kept the best steel for these anvils. They were expensive; even in france, even back in the day.


mvg; bart


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