DeNomad

Anvil ID and Edge Repair, A Vulcan?

Recommended Posts

Hello, looking for some help with identification and some advice on how to use this anvil. 

Picked it up in rural Alberta, Canada. Thomas Powers method while having a cold one on a porch with friends of the inlaws. 

  • A little over 100 lb, maybe 110 lb
  • Previous owner took a grinder to the faceplate, not me. I just wire brushed the sides looking for identification
  • Didn't find any markings, no handling holes on the bottom. There is a mould seam running right down to the feet.
  • Guessing cast iron with a welded steel face. The difference in from faceplate to body is easily visible from the sides. Additionally the rough edge condition might from be from perimeter welding? 
  • Could be cast steel but I'm no expert. I attached a video with a "ring" test. 
  • Rebound is respectable.
  • Might be a Vulcan, but hoping the experienced folks can give me a bit more information.

The edges are really rough, I think I have to do something to make it useable. I might be able to get access to a mill at work. Would it be advisable to mill off the rough portion of the perimeter and skim the faceplate? For the edges if I was to take it down to the good material I would have to remove around .250-.300 inches per side. I am worried that doing this might cause the faceplate to pop off. Not sure if faceplates like this are forge welded? Advice would be appreciated :)

Video with ring test at this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/cnLskf5LDSox96DZ9

Some photos below.

 

IMG_20190710_063905.thumb.jpg.9d302d36749b21231aad2599195d90bc.jpg

IMG_20190711_170447.jpg

IMG_20190711_170621.jpg

IMG_20190711_170624.jpg

IMG_20190711_170750.jpg

IMG_20190710_063901.jpg

IMG_20190711_170946.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not a Vulcan but can't tell who made it. The face plate is hardened steel forge welded on.  I think any milling will do more harm than good. I would use it as is and make a plate that will go in the hardy hole for those rare times you need a sharp edge and on one edge I would grind in a radius . I'm guessing it's cast iron with a steel face plate. You could do a spark test under the horn to confirm that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not going to forge weld a face onto a cast iron anvil. If it is indeed a hardened plate with would be put on during the casting process.

Take a drill to the bottom of the anvil. Drill into the base and look at the chips. If they are just small gray flakes it is cast iron. If you get stringy chips it is cast steel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably already know this but the projecting part up under the face is NOT the steel face. It's just cast iron to make it look like it has a thick face. The real face can be seen in how the chipping goes on the edges---so around 1/4" given the mic reading; so if you were to mill 1/4" off---how much face would be left?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies!

BIGGUNDOCTOR, this is cast iron definitely. The tip about drilling into the bottom and getting grey chips should go in the sticky at the top of the anvils section, thank you. 

ThomasPowers, the starting width of the face is 4 inches, so if I milled off 1/4" on each side I would have about 3.5" left to use. Seems like that is on the skinny side. I might be able to retain more width by milling 1/8" per side and grinding a radius, about 3-3/4" width.

The entire length on the long edge is jagged, so I figured it wouldn't be great for half faced blows. Perhaps I would be better off trying to blend it with the grinder although I would end up with 1/4 or 3/8" wide profile with a shallow depth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just pick up a square piece of scrap and weld a hardy stem on it. That way you could have 4 different radii available to use as wanted. 

Remember sharp edges are considered a BAD thing even 130 years ago

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."

block1_crop.jpg.7f4c6433a2d2b03276195097ade6a17c.jpg

Sorry about the bad photo, needs more light. But this is a 4.5" x 4.5" x 2" block I picked up at the fleamarket for a buck or two to make such a block for my anvils.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ThomasPowers multiple radius hardy tool is is a good idea, thank you. 

I am on the same page with you regarding sharp edges. I added radiuses quickly to my ASO after a few hours of pounding on it without knowing better. My current issue is edges which are both jagged AND sharp. I am not sure if it was clear in my photos on the long edges, the heel is a little radiused. It looks like someone hit the long edges with a big sledge hammer and making the faceplate come off like shrapnel on the long edges.  

I think I will grind a radius for a small length, around 2-4" of the long edge where until I can put a decent radius into my work and see how it goes. If I need a sharp edge I have my ASO with sharp edge on one side.

Out of curiosity how is the faceplate attached in a cast mould? Is the backside of the faceplate criss-crossed with grooves?

I appreciate the advice everyone, thank you. I learned a fair bit about anvils yesterday. Look forward to using this one as the rebound is a huge improvement to my ASO.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC the face was heated to welding temperature, placed in the mold and a wash of molten cast iron was channeled across it as the mold was filled.  A tricky bit of patented process. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.