Cavpilot2k

Found My Dad's Old Anvil

Recommended Posts

I remember this being around as a kid. My dad wasn't a smith, but was one of those guys who could do just about anything. An electrician by trade and an accomplished welder, he really could build pretty much anything. 

I always wondered what happened to his anvil so I asked my brother and he said it is buried under stuff in the barn on the old family homestead where my parents retired back to. 

So I dug it out. 

120 lb Trenton. In need of some cleaning, but generally in decent shape once I get the rust off. 

Now I just have to transport it from South Carolina to Massachusetts...

 

IMG_8942.JPG

IMG_8930.JPG

IMG_8938.JPG

IMG_8941.JPG

IMG_8944.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That anvil looks to be in very good condition. Have you read about not doing any grinding or milling on the hardened face?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice Trenton. Is it a solid steel upper half?  Probably find out more once you wire wheel it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a lovely thing. Special for you, as you know its history. To be cleaned, cherished and used!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow it took you that long for you to go hunt that down?  :D  Glad you found it and she's a beauty.  Please post pictures of it after you clean it up.  I just got a lead on a swage block that my dad remembers being outside my grandpa's old barn that was torn down years ago.  The current owners said I can look back there and take anything I want.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pitting is from long exposure and rusting. I'd do electrolysis on her and try to preserve as much steel as possible on the face. I don't see much wear and tear other than rusting, it might come back almost like new. Sometimes pits only mark places that aren't as deeply rusted and everything levels out when the rust is converted back to steel. Iron and steel expands when it oxidizes and so stands higher. Make sense?

I wouldn't do anything but put it in the tank but use something like citrus cleaner and a little Jet Dry in the electrolyte to help "wet," penetrate the rust. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2019 at 1:53 PM, Chelonian said:

That anvil looks to be in very good condition. Have you read about not doing any grinding or milling on the hardened face?

Yes.

On 3/18/2019 at 3:49 PM, Frosty said:

 

I must confess to being fairly ignorant of this process. Is there a sticky or post somewhere explaining the process in detail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Nice Trenton. Is it a solid steel upper half?  Probably find out more once you wire wheel it. 

I think so - there is definitely a weld line around the waist, which is how I understand they were built in that era. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, I'd give a quick run down but I can't keep anode and cathode straight so I don't so much.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're ever confused which is positive and which is negative (anode and cathode that is), just remember the word "PANIC" as an acronym. It stands for "Positive Anode, Negative In Cathode." I never used to be able to keep the two terms straight until someone showed me that trick, and now I never forget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Rust travels to the red post....I am positive of that........ Washing soda is a good electrolyte .Find it in the laundry detergent isle. About a Tbls. per gallon of water....               Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a myriad of youtube videos on electrolysis setups...go looking.  The links posted above are very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome. Now I just have to get the thing from South Carolina to Massachusetts. 

I considered it as a check bag on my next flight, but that would cost $150-200, depending on the carrier due to weight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/19/2019 at 5:44 PM, Chelonian said:

If you're ever confused which is positive and which is negative (anode and cathode that is), just remember the word "PANIC" as an acronym. It stands for "Positive Anode, Negative In Cathode."

Thank YOU! :)

I LOVE a good mnemonic, from now on anode and cathode will be pinned to "The Hitchhiker's Guide!"  DON'T PANIC. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too; unfortunately the ones I learned at the University for the resistor colour codes and the geologic periods are not politically correct; however the planets one is: Mother Very Easily Made A Jelly Sandwich Under No (Protest) I learned that from SF (Have Spacesuit, Will Travel IIRC---back when Pluto was an Official Planet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure it would make it go quicker and keep the solution a little cleaner. You don't Have to tho. Then a light wire bushing after. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a quick hand brushing to take off anything that's really loose, but don't bother beyond that. You're probably going to be going over it with a brush after anyway.

Remember that the anvil will start rusting again immediately after you take it out of the bath, so be ready to give it a coat of something to keep that from happening. A quick spray with WD-40 is good ("WD" = "Water Displacement"), as is drying off with paper towels and giving it a wipe-down with linseed oil, wax, or automatic transmission fluid.

As for which clamp goes where, remember that "+" = MORE and "-" = LESS. Put the "+" where you want more rust and the "-" where you want less rust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't brush it at all, just rinse off dirt with plain water. electrolysis doesn't remove rust, it removes the oxygen molecules reverting oxides back to their original alloys and like magic their original positions. Any rust you remove is steel lost. Check the results of electrolysis on silver and iron from sunken ships, it'll turn a black lump of indeterminate. . . stuff into a handful of coins and jewelry in the same condition as when it went down. 

I have a small set hammer (somewhere) in the shop I reverted from rust so bad it looked like a book, the eye was rusted shut. a little rust flaked off when I was handling it and that's the only evidence remaining, it looks like it came from the press dies. I used Naval Jelly about 1/2 strength but the effects are the same as electrolysis you just need to neutralize and rinse or it will turn black when it dries. I use phosphoric acid to make electrolyte for electrolysis though washing soda or almost any impurity in the water will do though dding Jet Dry the dishwasher additive makes a BIG difference. It's a wetting agent that prevents things like air bubbles, oil residue, etc. from preventing the electrolyte contacting the iron. It breaks surface tension, I HIGHLY recommend using it.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will have to try the Jet Dry. We have several bottles from a bulk pack we got at Costco a couple of years ago, just before we switched to the dishwasher tablets that already have the rinsing agent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I was going to try the electrolysis method, but apparently my brother, who is readying the anvil for transport to me, took it upon himself to (carefully) remove the majority of the rust with a wire wheel. Then he applied a wax/oil mix to seal and protect it. 

I think it looks fantabulous! Can't wait to hit something on it!

 

Trenton 120.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother and I are 5 years apart (he the elder), but we have always been close. Even when we go months without talking because we live half a country apart and life gets in the way. We would do pretty much anything for one another. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.