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MDteacher

Anvil identification

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Hello, I recently received this anvil from a friend who knew I was looking for one for my husband. I know next to nothing about anvils and was hoping someone could tell me a little about it (brand, if it's a disaster, etc). I can say the man who gave it to me had it for 30 years and did not get it new. I weighed it and it is 211 or 212 lbs. (Its really hard to weigh an anvil when you weigh 105 lbs yourself!). It has a nice ring and appears to have a nice rebound (basing this off youtube videos). I am looking for numbers but nothing apparent, but as you can see there is paint. Can i use a wire brush on it or something else to uncover numbers or should i not bother? I just wanted to be able to give my husband some information. Any help is appreciated.

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JHCC, thanks for the link. I read it so hopefully can stick to the guidelines. If I dont I apologize in advance as it will be unintentional. My husband and 1 of my sons are interested in learning  more about forging and i will definitely be directing them to this site. It has a great deal of information! I was impressed by all of the knowledge  being shared. 

I will put the wire brush to use and see what I can uncover on this anvil.

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If you have an angle grinder with a cup brush it's almost no work, if there aren't any markings we can't tell much about the brand. I would say if the rebound is good it's a serviceable anvil for almost anything you want to do with it.

 

setting your location would already help, for example there aren't many german made anvils in the US (to my knowledge). 

Damian Stil

 

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I think Anvils in America could probably narrow it down just based on location and number of handling holes; but as previously mentioned: do the ball bearing test.  If it's good then it's a good anvil no matter who made it! (Conversely, if it's bad it's a bad anvil no matter who made it.)

What many people don't know is that they were making ASOs 100+ years ago so age is not that good an indicator---I have 1897, 1905 and 1908 Sears Roebuck catalog reprints and they were selling everything from cast iron ASOs to ACME branded Hay Buddens and pricing them to match the quality levels.

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If you start cleaning it on the opposite side from the first picture, you may see some markings (paint hides a lot of them). A lot of anvils are marked on that side. Also clean the foot under the horn to see if there is a serial number or other markings. I would say that you have an excellent anvil if the ring & rebound is good.

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Thanks for all your responses. I know the most important thing is if it is a good anvil. It's just curiosity that is driving me to find out more about it. It's a fun puzzle and i'll seek out Anvils in America. I'll also clean the other side and foot to see what I can find. The man who gave this to me also insisted I take his portable forge. It is nothing comparable to what professionals use but a fun way to start!

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That's a great gift both the anvil and forge. The forge will do almost anything asked of it. The blower looks like it's ready to go, just put a little oil in it just enough to get the bottom of the gear in oil because they use a splash system to keep them lubed. Too much oil and they leak like a sieve. Also line the pan with clay to prevent cracks or burn out.

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I appreciate the help! I am currently trying to set my location as some of you suggested, but have not been able to figure out how to do so. I am in Monroe County, Michigan U.S.A. I will gladly show a picture when they are set up. It may be a while though as we are currently battling ridiculously wet weather here and all energies are going to keeping our hay dry. As I was wire brushing the anvil last night I kept thinking if the hay combusts at least the anvil and forge should survive the fire! Not wanting to test that though. :) 

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No, you don't. A fire can actually take the temper out of an anvil, turning it from a valuable tool into little more than an interestingly shaped lump.

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The cost of re-heat treating an anvil is generally more than getting another one and there is a danger of the face weld failing for the older ones. They are hard to quench too due to the leidenfrost effect.  (Dumping one into the pond will result in a softer face than you want...)

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9 hours ago, MDteacher said:

have not been able to figure out how to do so.

We can walk you through that. Click on your name like you would to log off, click on profile then in the upper right corner click on edit profile. Then a box will open up to edit it with a place to add location.

My wife just got back from her annual two week camping trip for the summer solstice, with about 600 of her friends and like minded folks. It was in Ohio just across the Indiana border and it stormed every day except one, from the same storm system y'all are dealing with. Needless to say she was not a happy camper.

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Wow, you were given all of that!  It takes most of us a long time to find those two things when we have cash in hand and willing to pay a fair price.  Great job finding it!

As others suggest, take a wire brush to it.  The angle grinder wire cup brush makes quick work of stripping it but make sure you wear eye protection as the little wires fly out and stick in things.  I once had one stick right in my forehead.  

If I had to guess I would say it is a Trenton just purely based on shape, but it lacks the bottom characteristics of a Trenton.  It lacks the feet of a Peter Wright.  So my vote is Trenton or Hay Budden.  Show us pictures of it all cleaned up and pretty!

 

 

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I'm pretty gobsmacked by how fortunate you are. I HOPE you bought a lottery ticket that day! You sure must have impressed the gentleman who gave you so much. I understand a retired tradesman wanting to see his tools used rather than lawn decorations or planters. 

You know he loved his trade, he PIN STRIPED the forge! That is just so very cool, I'd be thinking hard about how to make a dedication plaque so folks know some of the history of the equipment. 

I'm sure you'll never forget but it's ice to have some solid historic contact when you pass them on yourself.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I do feel fortunate. I tried for a long time to find an anvil for my husband with no success. I came across this one through serendipity. A big plus is I learned all the stories of what was made on it and how much the gentleman who last owned it enjoyed using it many years ago for his hobby of primitive camping. I love the history! I will definitely document it. 

I looked up the book recommended, Anvils in America and found out it was $80. Wow! I understand it's an excellent resource, but will wait for the library to get me a copy.

Cleaning is harder than i thought with a wire brush. I'll probably have to break out the angle grinder shortly. I'll be sure and wear the eye protection recommended. 

Also, thanks for the directions to set my location!

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Please don't take an angle grinder to it! A grinder takes years off the anvil you only want the crud off. Maybe time for a new cup brush, they wear out and stop working very well.

Also don't push hard on a brush. The tips of the wires are what do the work, if you push down they bend over and just slide. You just want the brush brushing the surface. Light touch, leave the tight spots where you have to push the brush in to reach until the last. You'll be amazed how much faster and better a light touch works.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I like your anvil. It has a rustic look to it and a very thick top plate. 

The forge is also a good one. Hope you both get going, and start forging soon. 

You have to build a stand for the anvil and find a few hammer and tongs. 

Do you have a welder? To build a stand that is. 

The back corner of you anvil, the heel, may need some attention. Try to scrape by hand between the base and the top plate to see how deep that separation is

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Right angle grinder with wire brush----spot on for the job w no damage----BUT----EYE PROTECTION IS A MUST -----these things can be evil !

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Once I get it cleaned off and the forge ready as per previous suggestions, where do I get coal for the forge? (Told you I'm a newbie so hope that is not a silly question).

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Not a silly question at all. Try a google search for coal suppliers in your area. If you can find bituminous coal which is the best IMHO, the other type is anthracite which is hard coal and trickier to keep lit but Tractor supply does handle it (usually). You can also use hardwood lump charcoal (not BBQ briquets) most stores carry it like Walmart or here our supermarkets. There is a good thread here about building & maintaining the fire.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/30887-forges-and-fires/

 

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Another source are farriers in your area. Call on the phone and ask if they burn coal, even if that one doesn't s/he'll know one who does and refer you.  Also if you're in UMBA country give them a call. If you join the local smithing club they'll often buy coal in bulk and sell to members for reasonable and a blacksmithing club WILL buy metallurgical (blacksmithing) coal. 

Coal companies are a LOT more likely to sort out smithing coal and give you a discount if you're going to show up with dump trucks. Heck, if you have a dump truck and room for 10 yards of coal YOU could start selling it by the sack. :ph34r:

Frosty The Lucky.

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