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Hey Budden Anvil - Tell me about it!

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I will preface this with the fact that I know nothing about anvils, and am slated to take my first blacksmithing class in the next few weeks.

I just purchased this anvil, and hope that some of those more knowledgeable than I would chime in.

It is a Hey Budden, stamped 217 on the waist.  I weighed it, and it is pretty close to 217 lbs.  The serial No. on the base, as far as I can tell, is 129,194 (see pic below), which gives it a birthday of 1907 according to Anvils in America by Richard Postman.

Please let me know if it is in decent shape?  Whether it should be tuned up, and how?  Any cool history on such an anvil?  Is this a particular pattern that has a particular use? etc.?

Thanks so much!  







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Nice looking anvil. The Only thing it needs is hot steel hammered on it. :)

Well, that is, after mounting it to an appropriate size anvil stand for you. 

Enjoy your classes and Take notes! It will put you ahead of the game. 

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That's great news!  I have seen a bunch of shiny anvils with perfect 90 degree edges on the internet, and had second thoughts about her!  I am reading up on bases, appropriate height, etc., and will make one up soon!  

Thanks for the input!

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Yeah, it's a common misconception that an anvil needs perfect edges. Radiused edges are Actually preferred to avoid cold shuts. If you do need a perfect edge a hardy tool or other piece of steel can be used just for that. There are some good edge parts on that anvil to do what you'll need.

There are some good threads here on anvil stands. 


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Anvil height, how can you tell if it is the right height

Show me your anvil stands

The anvil stand can be made from whatever is available to you in your location. (which you need to add to your profile). Wooden with the end grain up, metal, log, stump etc, as long it is solid and holds the anvil at the right height for you.

The Hey Budden should ring.  A couple loose wraps of light weight chain around the waist will take care of a lot of the ring.


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Welcome aboard Alaskan, glad to have you. Mount that fine old lady up and put her to work. If after a year or two you think you need to dress an edge or something you'll be better prepared to  make the decision.

About the handle, are you an escapee, banished, married an outsider or? Curious Alaskans want to know. :ph34r:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes many anvils have been damaged by people who don't know squat about blacksmithing. How about a suggestion from when people making a living from smithing were still common?

Practical Blacksmithing;Volume 1, published in 1889; page 110: "For my own part I am satisfied not only that the sharp edges are useless, but that they are also destructive of good work. I cannot account for their existance except as a relic of a time  when the principles of forging were but little understood. I want both edges of my anvil rounded, not simply for a part of their length, but for their whole length."

That style and weight is a "professional smith's shop anvil".  Only thing to check would be the ball bearing test; but that doesn't look like it's been through a shop fire. (Could have been...)   Stamped weights are often a couple pounds off from weighed weights.

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