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New/Aspiring Smith; Is this Anvil any good?

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Have a saved search for anvils in my area, this one popped up recently. Seller states:

" 125 pound anvil and stand. Anvil is turn of the century vintage and unknown brand. Anvil is in fair condition with no large defects. Has normal wear from it's long service life. No chunks missing from top. "

Obviously its not in pristine shape, but I'm VERY new to this and don't really have a good eye for something thats well-used and broken in, but still could be used effectively to do work vs something that was trash to begin with, or is beat to hell and would be more trouble than its worth.

Basically, I'm hoping y'all can give me some thoughts on if this looks like it could be a useable anvil (assuming no problematic cracks, good rebound etc) or not. And if so, any thoughts on reasonable price? or really anything else.

Oh, and seller is asking $600 for anvil/stand, plus a 2-burner regulated propane forge/stand/bottle. Not sure how firm he is, or if willing to separate.

I'm new to this forum, so if I'm breaking rules, or this belongs in a different sub-forum or this is the 10,000th post like this and there is a sticky/FAQ that answers all my questions, my apologies and please direct me to my mistake (I checked for all these things as best I could, but you know how it is on a new forum).





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You would have to do the rebound test yourself to know that. 

It looks like a usable anvil. The edges aren't a problem but it is a little dinged up in the sweet spot on the face from what im seeing in the pictures. Still a bit of good face there to use. It would not be a higher priced anvil in my personal opinion but if the price was right it is usable. 

Price ranges are pretty location dependant. Where in the world is this? 

The stand, from what I can see, does not look well welded and also might not be the correct heigth for You, so I wouldn't be paying any extra based on it having a stand. 

Not knowing anything about the gas forge in the deal, or it's condition or if you even want it doesn't help with his asking price. 

In my neck of the woods that would be a $2./lb. anvil to me if I were looking. If that. Depending of course if it has decent rebound.  

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1 hour ago, Daswulf said:


Thanks for the feedback! Some points you raised:

- I haven't seen it in person yet, so cannot assess rebound yet. Will be checking that out with a bearing if/when I do.

- I AM in the market for a forge as well, so his would save me building one or buying one outright. His is home built, but based on his description/pictures looks like a reasonable job (again, haven't seen it run in person so can't say for sure but best I can tell).

- Good point regarding height of stand. 

-I'm located in Florida USA

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Get details on what the forge is lined/coated with. I'm not a gas forge guy but posting that info will help others assess if it is ok, needs fully relined, or coated, which would cost you extra $. Lots of info on that in the gas forge section. The best thing you can do is go into a purchasing situation with knowledge of what you are looking at and how it should perform. ;)


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Welcome aboard RocketScientist, glad to have you. A little narrower location would be good but Florida is okay. 

Provided it passes a rebound test the anvil looks to be in good working condition. The stand is okay maybe depending on height and welds. I like steel tripod stands for stability on any surface. Welds look sketchy from here. In person I'd charge him to take it off his hands even if it were a good height. No telling about the forge but if it has good burners it's worth $50 even if you have to reline it.

The auto haggle gene runs strong in me and my evaluator is heavily effected by living in Alaska. Were that setup to hit the web in Alaska it'd be sold before the ink dried on the ad. In your location I don't know.

If the forge is in light it and go to work condition it's probably a pretty good price. If it needs relining I'd look to knock $100 off for relining. The stand is junk, though the angle iron rim around the anvil foot is salvageable I'd use it as a bargaining chip in YOUR favor. Too much work to pay anything for.

My auto haggle always counter offers and that's not a good enough asking price to gag it. The forge is the question. A regulator and hose will run in the +/- $40 range.

If it's lined with ceramic wool blanket you want to see it rigidized to start, a hard refractory inner liner flame face is desirable. Filing that good burners and shell are worth $100 but don't tell the seller that, whine and moan about how much it'll cost to reline it.

I'd counter around $400 and split the difference. But if the forge is good $600 is probably fair if he doesn't want to budge. Leave the stand if he won't come down, it'll save having to repair it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Have you asked him why he is selling, and what issues he had with it?  A lot of time an honest answer to those questions will help me feel better about a purchase.  I cant comment on price, but if it were in the Seattle market it would be in line with what others are asking.  As others have said, my concern looking at it is the dished face.  But the shoulders appear usable.

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Wow, thanks for all the replies guys. To address some questions/comments from several people:

- I havent spoken with the seller directly yet (ie via phone or in person), he's slow to respond to e-mails and such and I don't want to keep pestering him (seems like an older guy) so I've been waiting until I have a few things to ask, then reaching out to him. Hoping to run up and see the setup in-person today or in next few days (its an hour or so drive and my work schedule has been crazy this week). Not sure why he's selling though I will be sure to ask.

- The forge he describes as:


"Forge is combination hard brick floor. Soft brick sides and hard brick ceiling with ceramic wool top lining. Burners are my own design and run HOT. Forge comes apart easily for relining in minutes and uses standard refractory sizes. I have run this forge for about 5 hours and refractory is like new. Great setup for knife making.

 and he provided the attached photo. Again, I haven't seen it in person or watch it run. 

- Seems general consensus on the anvil stand is its not particularly great and maybe even more hassle than it's worth. Thanks, I will keep that in mind. I have a public brush-site nearby that usually has a wide selection of large logs/stumps, so plan has been to mount whatever anviI get to one of those.





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Like Frosty, I always try haggling a little especially with the anvil stand that would need work if it fit my needs. The forge looks serviceable and if his description is accurate I would probably offer $450-500 for both. Might see if he has any anvil tools/tongs to throw in to sweeten the deal if he is firm on the price.

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That isn't an unreasonable price here (assuming location based on your handle) if it has decent rebound, the forge is in the described condition, and you need the forge. 

Better anvils come up for similar prices if you are willing to be patient. I neglected to pick up a bigger, only slightly beat up Soderfors for an advertised $600 several months ago. 

Irregardless of your decision on the anvil, I recommend that you check out FABA:


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Looks like Reil type linear burners on the forge and it'd be easy enough to reline properly. No hard brick! The regulator and gas lines look okay but the matching red fire extinguisher right behind it sure had me scratching my head for a minute there.

I'd go take a look and probably not bargain too hard, the anvil stand is the only thing I don't like. He's probably asking a pretty fair price. He might have more stuff he's willing to let go of if you don't haggle too hard too. ;) 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Also, If it seem like any kind of decent deal, Don't wait! Those deals online don't last long. 

I saw an ok usable fisher anvil on local CL for $2.00/lb. When I responded asking, he said it was sold already. Now the same one is listed for $4.00/lb. :rolleyes: I atleast prefer geting beat out by someone that will use the thing over a reseller. That can be a bargaining chip as well. Most sellers would usually prefer it going to someone that is willing and wanting to use it over someone just wanting to resell. 

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Rocket. I'm up in Dixie county. Before I decided to buy a new Kanca I had been watching the area. With the forge included that seems very reasonable for the area. Assuming that the anvil doesn't have any major flaws. Awsome to see more FL Smith's starting up. Makes me glad I won't be in a generation alone learning.

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So i got a chance to take a look at things after work today. It's left me a little unsure so I would really appreciate your thoughts on whether it makes sense to buy it:

- Reason for selling: guy is basically "flipping" the setup. He has a few local scrap yards that let him know if they come across an anvil, and when they do and it seems useable he builds a forge for it, and sells them as a set. He runs a small auto custom/repair shop where I met him, he was kinda busy working so wasn't super talkative. Didn;t have any more details on the anvil (backstory, etc). 

-Rebound: using a 1" steel bearing, dropped from 10", it would rebound only 3-4". I achieved a pretty consistent result at various points across the working face. Results were maybe a little worse in the center where the top is most dinged up and the sway is the worst.

-Ring: It's been probably 20 years since i last struck an anvil, and that was very limited exposure, so I really have no reference point for whats "good". It wasn't totally dead/muffled, there was a high pitched impact ringing, but it didn't sustain for very long (not like hitting a bell or something), and in most places sounded... harsh? Had almost a grating, off-key quality to it (fairly subtle but noticeable). I work doing vibration and shock testing in the space/defense world, so i have some familiarity with metal fixtures and assemblies ringing from impact, and the closest thing it reminded me of was if there was a bolted joint that wasn't quite torqued fully or a there was a cracked weld or something and you get this almost chattering/grating/unpleasant sound instead of a nice clean single-tone DINNNNNNNNNNNG. It wasn't blatant, and maybe I'm just being paranoid, since I don't have a good reference point. But it didn't seem like the nice lean clear noise I had expected. Was not present or at least dramatically reduced when I'd tap the sides of the horn/heel. In those locations it would be a more clear/clean ring, ditto for when tapping most of the corners and edges of the work face.

-Sway: Was a little worse than I'd expected, the ole' eye-crometer puts it at about 1/8" at the worst, mostly restricted to the center of the work space. See pics

-Condition: work face was a little more dinged up than I'd thought, but not TERRIBLE and there seem to be enough other smooth flat areas for if/when I really need that.The edges are in worse shape than I thought and with a lot fewer sharp areas, for whatever thats worth

-Markings, some faint remains of recessed lettering, and what I'm guessing is a weight stamping (1-0-19? ie 1 hundredweight, 19 lbs or 131 pounds?).

Please take a look at the attached pictures and share ANY thoughts or information you find appropriate. The rebound test really has me a little cautious. The ring also has my gut going "this doesn't sound quite right", but with no real good reference points I'm hesitant to give that alone too much weight. In general it was in a little worse shape than I thought. Any advice on whether this sounds like something I should walk away from, or if it sounds like a usable (if not ideal anvil) if I can get him to come off his price is appreciated. I have additional pics I didn't post, if you want to see another angle or a closeup I may have more to share.











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I'd pass with a 30-40% rebound, a piece of shaft or rr rail on end will serve better. He'd have to come WAY down on his asking, even then.

Next time pack a 1/2" bearing ball, it'll tell you just as much and is comfortable enough to keep a couple in your pocket all the time Bigger is NOT better. The downside is they're harder to find when they take a wild bounce, it's why I carry two. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have a couple of ball bearings in the console of my pickup.  I find I rather like to hear them roll around and click.  If I stumble across a possible anvil then they are too hand.  I try not to carry much in my pockets anymore as I had to go through metal detectors at work and security is not very informed on Blacksmithing; many of them are not familiar with the specific terms in Spanish much less English.

I would only test that anvil's face in the flat smooth areas as too much "topography" throws off the test and a test in a couple of good spots can identify it it's lost it's temper all over.  (Usually happens in structural fires so the entire anvil might be buried in hot coals.)

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