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As you can see in that video, you don't even have to remove the handle of the sledgehammer to use it as an anvil.

I drilled and chiseled a depression in a stump to mount mine at a more convienient height for me. I have "anvils" but like to experiment with "improvised" anvils. 

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I have a 29 and a half inch vertical rail that works fine for what I do. I looked for a forklift tine but found a rail first. For small sloyd type carving knives it's perfectly fine. Thomas is right you can only work what is under the hammer. The thing I like about the rail is it has a lot of different surfaces. I'm still looking for a "real" anvil but I'm in no rush to get one.

Pnut

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Well, as I told Thomas, my trip to OKC was a bust.  My friend who owns a machine shop didn't have what I needed and after a long talk he finally said I'd be better off investing in the Black Robin.  Headed to the scrap yard for the fork lift tine.............................and the early bird got the worm.  No, I wasn't the early bird and both tines were gone.  Back to square one.

I don't have a forge yet, so don't really have a need for an anvil yet.  I'll just have to exhibit some of my patience.  :D

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Been using the TPAAAT anvil searching system.  Mentioned my search to a friend in the gym this morning and his shoulder immediately slumped.  Said he traded off a 100# German  anvil less than 6 months ago. :(  Oh well, TPAAAT is "guaranteed" to work, I'm told.

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Chris

Its frustrating in my neck of the woods also. I don't even know of anyone around here who smith's but me, so information about anything seems hard to come by. Unless it's an antiques dealer who wants an arm and a leg. I have a 67 lb. anvil with a broken heel and tip of the horn is gone. Junkyard find for $11.37US. I've well gotten my money's worth and I'm content, but I would like heavier for sure. Im sure you've seen that antiques place in Guthrie, OK that has all those anvils. Steep prices on them though. But lots of people know I'm looking,  so it'll come, and it will for you too 

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Didn't even know there was an antique dealer who had anvils in Guthrie.................but I know enough about Guthrie antique dealers to know not to waste my time goin' up there.

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I see the ad on CL. It's like a four hour or so drive for me, so that's not happening at the prices they have. If I'm going to spend $1000+, I think I'd just buy a new one. 

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Egg zakly, you can buy a brand new high end cast steel anvil for just a little more. If you think it's hard finding blacksmithing tools and equipment there you should try Alaska. Old rusty junk is typically 3x reasonable. Seriously, about 2 years ago there was a rare, vintage, antique, 4" leg vise in the papers for months even after they reduced it for rapid sale. To, $1,500.:rolleyes: It WAS rusty though. . . 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just got a "hit" from my Craigslist ad in Wichita, KS.  100 pound anvil.  $200.  He's sending pics.  That's at least a "two-tank" drive for me.  It it turns out to be interesting enough to buy, I could have it shipped I guess.  Got a hit yesterday from one in Ft. Smith, AR.................." around 100 lbs. it’s pretty old, but still in good shape".  I can't believe people answer an ad and don't bother to say what they are asking or willing to send pics.   I've had several like that from the Dallas, Ft.Worth area..............no price.  If I'm trying to sell something, I'm posting pics and showing an asking price.  Oh well.  Sooner or later something will happen.  I've got my 50# Vulcan in the mean time.

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Mine is a Vulcan also. And it works, so it's all good. Leg vice prices are stupid high also. I saw one"rare" and it works, for only $800.00 US. Looked like it had been sitting in the weather for years. At least clean it up if your going to ask for an incredible price like that

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Now I did buy a leg vice from an "antique" store that was$195. But, it was mounted on a tire rim with thick angle iron for legs and a thick steel plate for a table and I love it. It had been the guys father in laws. He had already sold the anvil 

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Good evening, I'm getting to the party late.  I agree with the TPAAAT method all day long.  Save your money, and wait. If something below quality pops up or too high price, pass. The first one will come, and then you'll start finding what will feel like three a week, even if that week comes six months from now. 

Try the farm auctions, I always did well at them, and even if they didn't have anything directly blacksmith related, they were a great place to pick up tools cheap, sometimes obscure tools or hardy tools.  Got a blower and a nice 75 lb Columbian at the last one I got anything blacksmithing related at for about $90 each.

If you don't get anything else, go get a big regular hunk of 4140 or 1040 at the scrap yard. It's cheap, comparitively, and you can harden if you like, or not.  It will work harden some, and if you put a ding in it, you don't feel bad about hitting it with a flap disc.  Or you can turn a rectangular block sideways and do a Brian Brazeal style anvil with the built in dies.  Heck, even a big chunk of mild steel works okay, if not as nice as something a little more high carbon.

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I would have to agree.  Save your money and wait.  The more you wait, the more money you save up and the better chance you have at scoring an anvil.  Sure, there's forklift tines, blocks of steel, sledge hammer heads, etc......There's a reason almost everyone here on this forum has an anvil though.  You don't need a London Pattern anvil, this is true, but if you look hard and long enough you will be happier with an anvil vs. an improvised anvil.  Kinda like saying you don't need a kayak to run the rapids, a log is all you need to float on and a rope to tie your legs to the log / a stick for a paddle, that will get you by.  The proper tools DO help.  Keep looking for an anvil, the TPAAAT method does work, but it takes time.

It took me over a year to find a decent anvil.  I used an old borrowed no namer that was 75 lbs (and it wasn't a whole lot better than an ASO) at first while I saved and looked for a good anvil.  Don't rush into it.  If it takes you 2 years to find a decent anvil, use that time to also find tongs and hammers / read all the blacksmithing books you can get your hands on.  Do it right and you won't be sorry.  

 

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And meanwhile used an improvised anvil to start getting your pounding hours in; that way when you find your london pattern anvil you will be beyond the "damaging it with mistrikes" zone!  (One way of saving is that everytime you sell something made with your improvised anvil put a dollar into your "anvil fund"; you want to be able to jump on a good deal when it does turn up!)

And I once rode a large timber baulk down a flooded stream using a branch as a paddle. I believe it was once part of an OLD RR bridge that was just dropped when they replaced it and the flood had uncovered it and floated it downstream. I found it jammed against a bank when looking at the flood and rode it downstream till a place where a friend with a 4WD could pull it up out of the stream to where I could transport it. It's now my armouring bench support anvils and stake plates. (Old enough that the heavy creosoting is pretty much gone from the surface making it much nicer to use.)

Note: I have mentioned a number of times that looking for anvils where people WANT to make money off of by selling them at high prices and have at least basic skills to find out the top prices being asked; is not the easiest way to find decently priced anvils!

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Thomas is exactly right. Even at the scrapyard where my little anvil came from, the guy in the yard told them to charge me $30 for it. After all, it's an anvil. Nevermind what shape it's in. They charged me scrap price, hence the$11.37

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As I've mentioned previously, I'm just going to sit it out.  I've got a serviceable anvil.  I put out the 4 Craigslist ads and I'll just sit and wait.  I'm too busy trying to get my forge built to be heavily pursuing an anvil.

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Chris,

Have you stopped by some the Co-ops or farm implement stores to talk to some of the old farmers? TPAAAT worked for me, talked to a few people and told them I was building a blacksmith shop and need some tools and an anvil and I started receiving calls. Talked to a retired farmer, I haven't seen in a few years, last month and he asked me when I was retiring and what I was going to do after I retired. Few minutes later I was following him home to pick up a 128# Mousehole. So far I have 3 anvils, the mouse hole a 112# Fisher with a broken heel but a good face and a 80# Vulcan in good shape, 10 pair of tongs, a 5" 90# post vice, 2 blowers, a coal forge and several hammers for a $160 investment. TPAAAT works, you just have to have patience and talk to the right people.

 

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We have a feed store in town, but it's certainly not a Co-op by any means.  Don't even know where an authentic Co-op is near me..................but it's a good idea and I'll check into it.  Thanks for the tip.

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Right you are and shame on me for not catching it.   Never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, Thomas. ;)

 

Found the nearest Co-op and it's about 30 miles away down country roads.  Might try and go there tomorrow.

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Watch for the old barns while you’re on the country roads stop and talk to the farmers  and stop by the grain elevators. Put the word out face to face, make some cards with contact information to leave with them. 

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