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Don’t forget they have a lot of spring steel on those old plows in the junk pile 

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I've mentioned seeing a postvise leaning against an old barn when doing a test drive of a car we were looking to buy. Wife wouldn't let me stop until after we paid for it but it was a 5" post vise and a 125# Peter Wright anvil that ended up going home in our new used car that day.  And a fellow barely making ends meet in his late 80's got an unexpected chunk of cash...(I didn't haggle, his asking was reasonable and I knew he needed the extra money more than I did.)

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Most old barns around here are just that. Still standing, but not a house in sight

We stopped at a sale at a storage building place and he didn't have much. But I spotted a leg vice sitting in the corner and acquired about it. He said I couldn't afford it. Then said he had an anvil also, but I couldn't afford that either. Not sure what he meant by that, but I didn't buy anything else from him either. 

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Greetings All,

         For the life of me I don’t understand the value of an anvil based on price per pound. We buy meat, produce, grass seed by the pound . Diamonds we buy by quality CCC. I have been involved in blacksmithing for some 45 years and have bought and sold many anvils. I still have more than I have finger and toes. All super quality. Some by today’s prices over 2500 and a few 300 ish.  Oddly enough my every day anvil was a gift from a family member ( priceless) . The truth . A true smith can do quite well on a section of railroad track. Probably his or her first project would be a few tools to add to the track.  Just this ol boys 2c . There are still many anvils out there be wise and look for quality not weight or price per pound. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

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Very well said Jim. I have a R R track anvil that I started on. And I was thankful to have something I could work on. But it was nice to have more real estate to work on when I got another anvil. I think if Forged In Fire ever goes off the air, the prices will drop like crazy IMHO;) 

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I tend to agree with Jim, but..................................pricing them by the pound based on the area in which they are being offered is a good way to be able to figure a starting price on the items.    When I purchase anything, I base my willingness to pay the price, not the weight of the item.  Anvils are the only thing I know of (other than food, on the hoof, in the ground or in stores) sold by the pound.  Strange situation, but, in a way, I think it works well.  Let's face it, in the end it's up to the buyer whether or not they are willing to part with the funds.

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Post vises used to be sold by the pound when they were new; as were anvils; my 100+ year old catalog reprints list the prices per pound; often in weight bands, (e.g. the Fisher ad in the back of "Practical Blacksmithing" has  "anvils 100 to 800 pounds 10 cents per pound.")

It makes it easier to compare anvils as weights will seldom be the same between two of them.  Do you wonder why stores now list "unit prices" for food?  Do you use them to get the best deal? (I do and I notice that they try to obscure them as much as possible, one item will be by ounce and another will be listed by jar...)

If you really want to ponder something---ponder why Cars don't have a set price and dealers save all the money and time and hassle over haggling for them.

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Well, we are still fighting air-conditioner problems (technician is here as I type) but I'm hoping he'll finish tonight and I can make the trip to the Co-op tomorrow morning.  If he doesn't finish tonight and we are without air-conditioning another night, then I won't be able to make the trip.  I'd sure like to start getting the word out I'm "seeking".  An anvil and a post vise are both things I would like to have.  Do I have to have them?  Nope!  I can get by with what I have, but as you say, Thomas, if people don't know I'm looking, no-one will know I'm looking.............or something like that.:wacko: :blink:

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Do you have a 3x5 card filled out to post if they have a bulletin board?  (With a phone number tear strip along the bottom.) Bring doughnuts?

Good luck on the AC, I hate sleeping hot too. Especially when we're sharing a bed as we tend to cuddle, no king sized bed for us! Back in the early 60's before central AC was common I remember taking a damp towel and putting it on the rug in the hall in front of the old 1950's fan and trying to sleep like that.

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"Do you have a 3x5 card filled out to post if they have a bulletin board?  (With a phone number tear strip along the bottom.)"

Well, Thomas, I don't know about a  "tear strip at the bottom", but I'll stop and pick up some 3x5 cards along the way.  Makes sense.

Well, the "cool-air man" got our system running well enough to get it to run on manual all night. We set it to "freeze" just in case it wouldn't come back on after it hit that temp. (which is what he recommended).  We'll have to nurse it along until Monday when he can come back to fix it.  He would work through the weekend, but our unit needs a new "brain" and he can't get it until Monday morning.

Yes, I remember the wet towels years.  We were fortunate.  My Dad was a mechanical genius and he "home-built" the first air-conditioner anyone had in our neighborhood.  He also installed ducting to distribute it throughout the house.  Never have figured out how he knew to do what he did to build it.  Every time I asked "how", he just said "it was easy..........I just did it."  Like I said, he was a mechanical genius.  While he was able to provide his family with a cool home in the 50's, he couldn't do that with our car..........................so when we traveled to Red River, NM for our vacations every August, we traveled at night, covered in wet towels and ran with the windows down so we'd be cool.  We'd leave in the evening and arrive in the morning.  Dad would drive all night.  Those were the good 'ol days.............or at least that's how we think of them today.

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A tear strip is where you have made a lot of little copies of your phone number and "anvil needed" set up so it's easy for someone to grab one but not take the entire card.

I remember being miserable under conditions we would consider impossible nowadays. I was just telling some young engineers about the window mount swamp coolers for cars that you could rent right before crossing the desert when heading to California. They had never heard of them even though we still use swamp coolers for our houses out here. AC, AKA Refrigerated Air,  is a more prestigious method. However pretty much anyone can repair a swampcooler and there are several stores that sell all the parts but the case, some even open on Sundays in our small town!

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Oh, I know what the "tear strip" thingies are, just not sure how to do that with a 3x5 card. :lol:

Car window swamp coolers.  We knew about them, but Dad didn't want the car to look goofy, I guess.  "The good 'ol days".

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I remember the old car window swamp cooler days....when my Dad would be driving and I would be riding shotgun, I would sometimes give the cord a hard jerk, making the excelsior drum spin fast and spray him with water...I was under it, so didn't get wet!  He dried out pretty fast in the hot, dry W. Texas heat though.

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:lol::D  Pure evilness!

 

Just got back from driving all over the country South of my place.  The two Co-ops I found had no earthly idea of anything for sale, but I left cards anyway.  Stopped in 8 convenience/gas stations and talked about anvils and left cards on their bulletin boards.  No luck anywhere.

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Most grocery stores also have bulletin boards. Have any bowling alley's near you, another place to leave word. Our bowling alley has a restaurant with it that has a "liars table" where all the "good old boys" sit. Drop the word there too.

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Our grocery stores all have runaway children posters on their walls.  Not notes or notices like I'm posting.  Don't know if we have any bowling alleys around me...................never been into that, so have no idea.  But thanks for the idea.

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Talked with 4 farmers today.  I've been stopping by any place that has an old barn or a lot of farming equipment in the yard.  All but one of them said they'd been to a farm auction in the last month or so and had seen anvils.  They didn't know the actual weights of the anvils but the "arm stretch" estimations seemed as if they were probably in the 100-150# range.  Prices were upwards of $450.  One said the auctioneer got two fellows into a bidding war and sold a small anvil for $575.   The guy said it had to be about a 100# anvil.  CRAZY!!!!!

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I wonder how many people at these auctions are the ones buying up blacksmithing equipment, then putting them up for sale at big prices? Nothing wrong with turning a profit. But it makes it harder for the folks who want them to actually use

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Couldn't put an answer to that question..............though I do detest "flippers", unless they put a lot of work into what they are flipping to make it worth the extra $$ they are seeking.

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Oh yeah I can agree with that

I usually manage to get the"we had an anvil, but just sold it" speech

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7 hours ago, Chris The Curious said:

One said the auctioneer got two fellows into a bidding war

Uh HUH, want to bet one of those fellows was a shill? An employee of the auction company who's JOB is to run up bids and point out bidders the auctioneer might have missed. 

Shills and in your face blatant minimum price "fixing" are why I don't go to auctions anymore.

Be patient and bring up what you're looking for with whoever you're talking to. Just in case you might be talking to someone who HAS an anvil, leg vise, whatever, bring it up casually rather than You're REALLY LOOKING FOR . . . Yes? Someone who might want to let that old thing go can decide it's a valuable family heirloom for the "right" buyer. 

Wear your bargaining cap when you're out and about. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Indeed, Frosty.  I fully understand shills.  Used to go to auctions with my parents when I was a kid.  I've watched my share of shills. My Mom was a serious antique collector and our home looked like a museum when I was growing up.  That's okay, though, because it gave me a respect for beautiful old furniture.................and possibly what led me to becoming a furniture builder and carver.  Anyway, I have been mentioning the anvil and leg vise search to everyone I talk with.........even if I don't think they'd have any idea of a source.  Patience isn't one of my virtues, but I'll do my best to hang on.

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I was at an auction a few years ago looking to buy an old gas engine. After waiting 4hours in the rain wet and cold the engine was put up for bid . The last item . Up drove a fellow in a shining Cadillac to put in his low bid. I was not going to let that happen . I bid him up until I could see him turning colors . I backed out but he paid much more than I was willing to pay. Ya think he knew the auctioneer. Yea right.. I have also watched people shuffle items of great value into the box lot bin..  At another auction the item of interest for me was a full size windmill. Of course it was again the last item . It was on the ground and and I think they were hoping for a no bid. Yep I bought it ultra cheap..  The auctioneer laughed at me and said I would never be able to get it home. A few clamps , a trailer axel and a clamp on trailer hitch and I drove it home. Auctions are  fun and frustrating for sure. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

 

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I went to several auctions by the same company back in Ohio and got to recognize their staff. Especially 1 guy who would "buy" items that were early in the day and selling cheap that then would miraculously show back up for sale later in the day when prices were running higher. He was always ready to bid higher than me.

There is an bi-yearly implement auction with a lot of other farm/industrial stuff 2 miles from my house. I don't even bother to go anymore as I've seen the Mexican Cast Anvils going for "real" anvil prices there. (They cast them using old anvils to make the molds and out of whatever is left in the ladle at the end of the day, no heat treat even if a good alloy sneaks through...)

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