mpc

Can I save my anvil base?

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This is my anvil and base. The base is a big ol’ pine log. Pine was not my first choice (or 2nd or 3rd) but when you live in an area with no trees, you take what you can get. 

As expected, the log is splitting. I’m wondering if it would be worth it to try to forge some straps to go around the log to keep it together. 

How would you go about forging such a thing? I was thinking I’d put a 90° bend about an inch from each end of a long piece of 1” wide weld steel, drill holes in the 1” tabs, bang the weld steel to shape right on the log, then tighten it down with a bolt through the holes. 

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It is called banding, and is used to hold the stump together.

A piece of angle iron welded, or bolted to each end of a piece to flat bar is all that is needed. There should be a gap between the ends so they can be drawn together and tightened with a bolt.  At least two and maybe three will do the job.

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Not much of a problem with a vertical split; after all we sometimes make stands from dimensional lumber oriented vertically!  However it looks more impressive if you band it top and bottom---leave enough room to tighten it up as the log dries!

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1 hour ago, Glenn said:

A piece of angle iron welded, or bolted to each end of a piece to flat bar is all that is needed. 

It may be because I’m not what you would call “mechanically inclined,” but I can’t picture what this would look like (and Google isn’t helping).

Can you explain it as though I were a moron?

EDIT: xxxx iPhone. There are like 50 pictures in the anvil category. 

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There is a thread, Show me your anvil stands. There are plenty of examples of banding there. You will want to start around page 12 or 13 for the pictures, sadly earlier pictures were lost during a forum upgrade.

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MPC,

Woodworkers have their own solution to this problem.  It's called a "dutchman".  Imagine a bowtie shaped piece of wood with the grain of the wood running lengthwise across the bowtie.  Once the dutchman is cut out, it's placed perpendicular to the split so it can be scribed.  Chisel a precise recess so the dutchman fits perfectly.  The wedging action of the dutchman's shape prevents the split from opening.  In this case, I would start with an overly thick board to make the dutchmen so that they could be planed to follow the roundness of the stump.  The dutchmen won't pull the crack closed, but it will prevent it from opening further.  In a lot of settings, a contrasting wood is used for the dutchman to make them an aesthetic feature.  Simple wood glue will keep them in place.  Since this is unlikely to stop happening, I would suggest that you look into some kind of sealer for the wood which would at least slow the drying.

Also, I think Glen and Thomas were suggesting that you could weld small pieces of angle iron to the strapping instead of bending ears like you were planning to do.  Angle iron often has a radiused internal corner which makes it stronger than a simple bent plate.  Another advantage of this approach is that you could use relatively thin banding stock which would bend cold, without sacrificing the structural necessity of a firm bolt interface.

While I certainly appreciate the obvious utility of the bolted strap system, I just know that I'd whack my knee on the bolt eventually. If you have the skill, you could forge a round hoop that was either welded or riveted together.  Provided the hoops inner diameter was smaller than the stump's outer diameter, you could remove the anvil, scribe the hoop's perimeter, and trim the excess away to make a rabbet to fit the hoop.  If you left the stump slightly larger than you hoop, you could heat the hoop in your forge, then set it hot the way that carriage wheels are made.  

 

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I wouldnt worry about it. Its most likely just normal checking as it dries... unless of course, it splits in half over night. 

My stands have always been ponderosa pine because I live where there is lots of it. 

My portable stand was pine and lasted for 20 some years. Yup, checks and all.

Not to dissuade you from banding it as that would be a cool forging. If you do, you might consider a right angle tab on each end, if it is a one piece band, and put a nut and bolt thru it. Then, should your stand shrink, as it will, you can tighten up the band.

LoL, looks like much of what I said was already posted above.

Make sure you put the joinery under the heel or horn. This will minimize it being in the way. And make the tab as small as you can.

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There are corrugated fasteners to hold things wood together. Just drive them in across the joint or gap. There are also a staple used in logging to keep cracks in a log from propagating.  The triangular shaped legs pull the wood together as it is driven in. Other designs are S and Z shaped, made from metal, plastic, etc.

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In the future if you use another log, sealing the cut ends will slow down the drying and help prevent checking/splitting. The bands you described with the ninety degree bends at either end like a giant hose clamp with a screw to tighten it up will work. Four bends and four holes sounds like the simplest solution to me.

Pnut

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