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66 lb. Chinese 'ACCIAIO' Anvil Unboxing and testing


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How was the ring with that setup? I'm thinking of making something similar to this, and fill the inside with sand/pea gravel, something to fill up a bit of that void in the base and reduce the ring. Maybe go deep enough to completely conceal the feet. Thoughts?

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There was still noticeable ring with my setup, but it wasn't nearly as robust as I am planning.  With earplugs in it didn't bother me at all, though I've yet to ask the neighbors what they thought :rolleyes:

 

As far as feedback:

Wood wont ring to any appreciable degree, so any filler will only add weight.  For that design, I'd still sandwich more lumber between the uprights (just keep space for tools to drop through the pritchel/hardy holes).  Not much purpose in concealing the feet unless you're planning to cast something around it to retain it (plus, think about where all that scale from the hot metal goes).  This very much becomes a 'horses for courses' sort of thing.  If I continue to use dead tree carcasses, then:  

  1. Anvil interface all the way to the floor would ideally be end-grain only.
  2. The method of securing it to the anvil should allow for appreciable pre-load (i.e., be able to really crank it down).
  3. The fastening method should not be so cumbersome as to incur significant time costs in removing the anvil from the stand (for travel).
  4. The stand should have sufficient geometry to remain stable in use but not interfere with use of the anvil.

My preference for a very large preloaded fastening schema is that it allows for a tighter coupling of the anvil to the stand, which in turn makes the two pieces act as a system instead of individually.  This has an advantage (depending on design) of lowering the resonant frequency of the anvil, thereby making the ring less annoying.  Wood would add a damping component to this.  Additionally, the anvil wouldn't rock or move relative to the stand no matter *what* you're doing on it- that becomes important when doing stuff further out on the horn of a light anvil.

The tail of the anvil is the only thing that rings loudly, I didn't find the horn to be bad.  The magnet on the tail did significantly reduce the ring. 

Don't overthink it, pick something and try it out.  Lumber is cheap enough that you should *expect* to make another stand as a part of converging on a design that works best for YOU.

 

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I see the 3x3 stands that some post here, with the bands around them and lag bolts sunk to keep the whole of it together. I'll probably go with that base, I was using the picture above as reference to the top, where the anvil is recessed. Portability isn't too much of a concern, as I've got a few dollys available to move it. And that travel distance shouldn't be far, from garage/workshop/storage/CF area to a spot to hammer on things.

I've got a few projects to do to get everything squared away. But with it being as cold as it is in Chicago, I can't do much but plan and plan some more. On the brighter side, my forge should arrive in the next day or two, as latest tracking shows it in Memphis. So at least I'll be able to get that rigidized and cured before I'm even thinking of getting some actual hammer time in.

I appreciate all the info you're sharing with me. If you ever make it out to Chicago, or I ever make it out to your neck of the woods, first round is on me. And maybe by then I'll have a bottle opener or three to get into the drinks!

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I purchased one of these last year when they were on e-Bay it came FedEx and the weight on the box said 58 lbs so I complained to the seller as I had no way to accurately weigh the thing, turn out it was just under 65 lbs oh well the seller refunded me a fair amount, So onto performance as a newbie I have worked on railroad track this thing has very near 100% rebound all over the face, the ring was deafening so i wrapped a chain around and bolted to a good stump. I absolutely love this little guy  it's now my finishing anvil and my wife loves it too now that she caught the bug also. Cheap cast steel anvil. IMO worth every penny...

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So... Mine came today. I was actually coming home from Harbor Freight to get a paint pot to use as a resin pressure pot and UPS was pulling away. Came in the exact condition Hoj's did, with a little more yellow tape on the box. Same wax/grease paper on the face. Gave it a quick inspection to make sure there was no damage from shipping, but couldn't do much with it other than give it a few taps just to hear it ring. Sunday is my next day off an I'm planning on dialing in the right height for the anvil and starting the build the stand. The chunks of trees and stumps I have are all soaked from the rain and snow, so I'll build a pedestal-style stand. Figure 3x3 of 4"x4" lumber should be enough, giving me a 12" square to put the anvil on. There's no holes in the "feet", so I'll have to get creative on how to tighten it down. Can't wait to get started on this, but the weather doesn't appear to want to play nice as the week I'm on vacation it looks like it's going to snow. Oh well. Will give me time to get the garage in order and start to plan the demolition of what will become my workshop. 

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Stevo - That's exactly what I was thinking. Trying to keep those holes free so I could retrieve stock. Maybe do a test fit and cut out a V under those pieces, so anything that drops down is channeled out for easier retrieval. I had also thought of drilling (very very slowly) holes in the feet to sink lag/carriage bolts into. But I don't think the material there is going to like that, so I'm going to scrap that plan. I also have a few spots I can put magnets on to bring that ring down, and I saw that HF sells those rubber anti-fatigue mats, so I thought cutting squares for under the feet would work nicely.

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Bolt a piece of angle iron in the center of 2 opposing sides of the stump  with a hole drilled on each section and then forge 2 straps that have both ends with a flat bend and with a hole in them .  Place across the feet of the anvil and bolt them to the angle iron pieces.

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By leaving a gap between the angle iron bracket and the straps you have a system you can tighten up over time if  it works loose as the anvil "nests" into the "stump".

Just tighten up the bolt that goes through the straps and angle iron bracket.

Off to visit my wife, house, shop and favorite scrapyard!  Back late Sunday or Monday.

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  • 6 months later...

I'll try to update with some photos soon, but here's a few quick thoughts based upon the time I've had with this anvil:

1)  Best I can tell, the anvil face is induction hardened.  I've gotten some dings during use that weren't even mis-strikes, but a file still skates on the raised material.  This would imply that the outer skin is hard, but the substrate is still somewhat ductile.

2)  The Hardy hole on mine is somewhat rectangular in cross-section, but I'd call it a nominal 3/4" square.  One wall actually bulges inward a little bit, so might've been a soft core during casting.  Unfortunately I can't do much to remove the material in there since the material inside the hole is hard xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

3)  If well-secured to its stand the anvil quiets down considerably, I highly advise doing this (and well).

4)  I have really enjoyed using the double horn pattern, getting to use one definitely makes this a requirement for a future (larger) anvil acquisition.

5) The smaller size of the anvil does feel a bit limiting when it comes time to work larger cross-section stock.  Not only do you have to take care to not use too big a hammer, the darn thing heats up really fast (to the point of becoming a burn hazard after awhile, so ya gotta stop and cool it down before you get into the tempering region).  

6)  The portability is nice, due to my current situation I have to pull the forging gear out of the garage and put it back every time- that'd get to be difficult with a larger anvil and stand (but totally worth it).  

7) It can sometimes get a little cramped when using a holddown and doing chisel work, but this could probably be mitigated by me making a smaller holddown. 

8) The pritchel hole being in the base of the horn works well for using it for holddowns, but forget about punching slugs out over it- it's likely to distort the work unnecessarily.  The pritchel's a rough 3/4" diameter.  

9)  The design of the feet/legs makes it a little harder to do a nicer job of securing it to the stand.  There's a  gap underneath the anvil that was nice to stick hardies or chisel in during work, but that usually gets spanned by the holding hardware since the parts of the feet under the horn and heel have the pass-thru holes for the hardy and pritchel holes.  Additionally, there isn't a nice regular geometry in the legs that makes it easy to keep the hold-down bars in place- the curvature changes (picture required).  Don't put too much stock in this comment, though, as my method of securing it is driven by other requirements (namely, be able to remove/reinstall it from the stand quickly for purposes of travelling/demoing elsewhere).  

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Here's a picture of the damage sustained these past 6 months, I don't claim to have exceptional hammer control since I don't get to forge very frequently.

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A picture with the hold down inserted.

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The newer stand is a lash-up of some hardwood cribbing that I got at the scrapyard, I believe it's oak.  Saved me the trouble of carving a log.  For awhile I didn't have the outriggers at the bottom, and it worked OK while forging, but the anvil tipped over a couple times while moving it and my driveway now has a couple of nice divots in it thanks to the horn.  The outrigger pieces increased the stability tremendously.

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Here's one side of the hold-down system, the chains are lag bolted into the stand, and hook onto the ends of the bars that go over the feet to the other side.  There's a hole that goes from the pritchel hole pass-through in the foot out to the side (with the exit *right* behind the chains, of course).

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A side view of the holddown bars.  They don't exactly match because I was testing some things to see what works, and it worked Okay enough by the time I needed to move on to other things.  The bars have hooks at each end that engage with the chains in the tensioning system, the bars actually have a curvature to them that gets taken out  when the turnbuckle is tightened, having a lot of preload prevents things from loosening up in use, and works really well to tie the anvil to the base.

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Heres the other side.  The slot in the side is for the hardy hole- stuff that gets punched out or driven through can pass down through the stand, there's more exit area behind the turnbuckle.  I could use a stouter turnbuckle, but this has held up for a few sessions already.  The single turnbuckle has been nice for taking the anvil off/putting back on when things need to move or travel, no tool is actually required (a piece of 1/4" square stock usually works just fine).  The shape of the bars could use some refinement, or a stop of some sort welded to the feet in order to keep the bars from getting cockeyed and keeping them aligned for cinching down.

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For a couple hundred dollars you could almost think of it as a long lasting consumable. If it gives you good service for two maybe three years before it's too beat up it's still worth the price. 

I'm considering getting one to fill the gap until I can get a better anvil. 

Pnut

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Nice little travel anvil you have there HOJPOJ. Don't be too concerned if your hardie hole is too small to accept the shafts of your hardie tools. Do not grind them down to fit that hole. Your post vice can hold any size hardie shaft you may have and gets the job done just fine.

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  • 10 months later...

Thanks to everyone's top advice on here I bit the bullet & bought one. 

Thought I'd share my clamping solution using 10mm scrap plate I had lying around as it worked well & the sketch might save someone some grunt work. 

I tapped the holes in it & secured 12mm threaded rod with lock nuts on the underside to make assembly a little easier & leave a flat 'shelf' under the anvil. 

Obvs be aware there may be nominal differences in anvils, so check also thicker plate will need more clearance. 

It'll clamp better once I've fitted a steel hoop around the legs, at the moment if I crank the plate too hard it'll spilt the legs akimbo but that's just me over engineering everything (& wanting to fit & cool a hot ring like a wheel maker) tbf because it's more than serviceable. 

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Did you cut holes in the stand for stuff to drop through the hardy and pritchel holes?  That's what I did on my stand and i'll say I've used that a lot for drifting holes.

Your method for holdown looks like it'll work great, for my purposes I wanted the underside of the anvil to be open since I'm frequently putting chisels or other tools there that'll be a part of the next operation.  To each their own, though.  On second thought, yours would be pretty great if one were to drill and tap a few holes further outboard from the hold-down holes in order to be able to put on a removable tray- that'd do well for me, anyways.  (All that comes from the standpoint of me having to pull the smithing stuff out of the garage and set up in the driveway every time I want to forge, so mobility and small footprints are a requirement *for my particular situation*).  

As an aside, is there anything at the bottom of the legs that prevents them from splaying?  The prying forces those single threaded rods in each direction will experience are going to be larger than you might think.  At the very least the cyclic loading is liable to loosen the bolts up so you might wanna give 'em a crank before each session.

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Yep there's through holes for the hardy & pritchel & you're absolutely right about the forces involved. 

There's fair clearance around the rods now as initially one was held skew by being too snug & lifted a corner of anvil from the base. No amount of battering or bolt tightening would've sat it down. 

The non visible ends of the rods go through about a 10" length of steel 1" box tube which then pulls the legs apart. 

It's surprising how well it all holds, I really have to put my back into it before I get any wood splitting sounds. 

I'm going to bend up, weld & then hot fit a rectanglular hoop (with a tong/hammer rack) around all four legs, half down the threaded rods. 

That way the two bolts will be kept under tension by the spring they put in the legs (or my weld will break). 

It'll probably make no initial difference but it'll mean there'll be less retightening & lower liklihood of the catastrophic creation of a anvil tripod. 

As I've got a bad back it's not been used in anger yet but a few test taps show the ringing is now all but gone. 

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