Zach Graybarn

Searching for anvil

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Hello All! My name is Zach and I am in search of an anvil.  Started with Google. Saw one at The Old Threshers Reunion in Iowa last week and didn't jump on it because I couldn't make out the make or size, and the face and a decent crater in it, so I didn't want to jump the gun and make a foolish decision.

Online I found a variety of anvils.  I'm gravitating towards Emerson or Scott, without the turning cams. 

I have a welding background and would like to expand my knowledge of ironworks.  Hope you all can point me in the right direction for this anvil!  My wife would be happy if I could find a used one for less, but I'm finding that these are pretty hard to come by....And if I did find one that was used, am I inheriting and mistreatment that will be unknown until it's too late?  Or do things like dressing the anvil correct non-structural issues  like that?

Thanks in advance!  

Zach

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Welcome Zach, I always recommend this to get the best out of the forum. READ THIS FIRST  Look into the anvils subsection and read the sticky threads for help on locating a used anvil. TPAAAT will probably help you find one, depending where in the world you are located.

This thread will be especially helpful. https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/48369-anvils-a-beginner-buyers-guide/

 

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Zach, I own an Emerson 100# traditional (without the turning cams). I would like to have been able to get a heavier one, but money is always a factor. I don't have any experience with any other "brand" names other than Vulcan.  I went with a new cast steel anvil because asking prices are ridiculous for used ones. I figured I'd just buy new as opposed to handing it over for an anvil I know nothing about except for perceived value because it's "old" or "antique". Anyway, my experience so far is, I love my Emerson. There may be better out there, but for the price I don't regret it. I'd suggest do your research and decide between something new or old. Go from there and research some more. I'll stop short of recommending an Emerson simply because I don't have a wide range of experience with different anvils. But for me, I am happy with my purchase.

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I thought I might need to clarify something. I'm not saying you should get a new London pattern or German pattern,etc. I started with a RR track anvil and it worked well. I just saw that you were considering an Emerson and thought I might be helpful if that is the way you want to go :)

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Zach; are you in search of an anvil or are you in search of a london pattern anvil?  Anvils have looked like a good sized "cubish" chunk of metal for around 3000 years and like a london pattern anvil for maybe 300 years---and only in a limited part of the world at that!  Having folks slight the anvils that japanese swords were/are forged on, the arms and armour of the middle ages and the great ornamental work of the European renaissance always makes me wonder if folks are getting mislead by popular culture.

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Zach,

Weld blocks together to  make whatever shape and size you would like. The Wile Coyote/Road Runner shaped Anvil, is not the only choice. I have a 350 lbs welded together Anvil. Yes it may not fit some peoples criteria, but it works as an Anvil. Brian Brazeal is promoting a 'Striking Anvil, a 2" or thicker piece of plate, on 3 legs, low enough so you can work with sledge hammers.

Simple

Neil

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It would help if we knew where you live.

Anvil Brand sells various new anvils, and I have a 125# JHM that is a nice anvil. I got it used from a retired farrier so it has the heel cams, and they do come in handy for bending items, so do not discount them.

Check out the improvised anvil thread, lots of good ideas for anvils that are free to very inexpensive, and they can weigh several hundred pounds.

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So I ended up buying a 185# Trenton that was in an antique shop across the alley of my business! I paid $650 and it’s in really good shape. That’s $3.50 per pound so regardless, it’s somewhere to start without having to ship a new one.

it was mounted on an old stump with railroad spikes, nice and wobbly. So I’ve got a new stump at my height and all my hardware to chain it down and get going.

PS. Im in Iowa.

thanks for all the help. All the links on this group are very helpful!

zach

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8 minutes ago, Zach Graybarn said:

PS. Im in Iowa.

No-one will remember that after they navigate away from this post; that's why we recommend putting it in your profile settings.

Decent price for the anvil. Put some photos in the "Show us your anvil" thread!

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It took you just 6 days to find an anvil?????  Man, Zack, there's just something not quite right/fair about that!  ;)  Some guys spend years.  I'm workin' on my 5th month and figure I've a long way to go..........unless the Anvil gods decide to be kind to me somehow!  Congratulations, for sure.

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Not that you've hunted long enough to deserve to feel despair but it can get frustrating. How many times have you heard a member here say they looked for X months, years, etc. and when they finally found an anvil they started falling out of the trees. 

So, how about just making an improvised anvil? The anvil gods may feel the loss of attention and so something to get it back. Hmmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty; IIRC CtheC is both on a limited budget and "anvil picky"--- a really bad combo for speed.

As I do stuff on the cheap and have made that a Virtue in my life; I have to allow others their foibles.

The IA was suggested quite a bit ago and this was explained to us; hence the ribbing that occurs as others luck out.

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Now Frosty, you know darned good a well I already have an anvil.  I mean, It's  not a 150# Haybudden, Trenton or Soderfors, but it's an anvil.  I just want better.  But this little 50# Vulcan doesn't have a plow horse back or a  broken rear end or broken horn, so I'm not complaining.  Thomas has me pegged perfectly.

My ribbing those who get lucky is always tongue in cheek and I post emojis to prove it.  I just keep asking the anvil gods what it was I did to displease them so?????? :lol:  I know the "right one" will come along some day, but it seems as if everyone else keeps gettin' my "right one" and I have to go back in the back of the line. ;):D

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Put a percent of the money from anything you make on the 50# Vulcan into a kitty. Look up the thread on "It is only a quarter" on the site and follow the instructions. Lots of ways to get a little money ahead for when the anvil shows up. DO NOT open the top of either kitty until you think you found the anvil you want. 

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I've already saved up what I'm willing to pay, Glenn.  I may have to go over that amount.................maybe more like "probably".  But I'm pretty good at not spending TOO much more than I think an item is worth to me.  I'm pretty good at walking away if it's not an amount I want to spend.  I've gotten caught up in on-line auctions and ended up spending much more than I intended.  But I almost hate myself when I do it.  Right now, the way finances are, I don't have that luxury.  Not sure where I can sell anything that comes off the Vulcan, but I'm sure not adverse to trying.  I've been doing some pondering on the subject, for sure.

 

Chris

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Bottle openers are popular, every liquor store sells them. With all the cool ways you can dress a bottle opener up you get good practice. Win win eh? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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15 hours ago, Frosty said:

Bottle openers are popular, every liquor store sells them.

I haver a friend who owns two liquor stores.  I'll approach him with some samples.  Any suggestions what I need to get for the so he still has room for profit?

Chris

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How long does it take you to make one and what is that amount of time worth to you?   The rub when it comes to selling things like bottle openers at a retail store is there's usually one that's mass produced sitting next to it for 3.99. At a craft fair or somewhere similar you could charge what they are worth but depending on the liquor store you may find it difficult to make it worth your time and materials. Short answer is it depends on the liquor store.

 pnut

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Were it me and I was still good enough at the anvil I'd ask $24.95 at Demos and give stores a $10.00 discount. No pretty packaging, no sign, just my card on a twist tie. Maybe a self standing, nicely finished board off a pallet with hand forged hooks to hang a FEW from. I wouldn't bother to cut it very square, maybe if one was broken in an interesting manner. Don't forget to use hand forged nails to attach the stands, you WANT people to turn it over and take a look. 

Let the pop outs display their mass produced cookie cutter products, how they like.

As a blacksmith hand forging them we aren't selling cheap, we're selling bragging rights. The buyer gets to tell his/er buddies it's the only one just like it on Earth and how much it costs to get one! Don't forget how limited the supply is, there are only two, TWO places on Earth you can find one!

Do NOT undercharge, selling yourself short is nearly impossible to undo. I've told the story about demoing leaf finial coat hooks at the state fair and getting sick of hearing the SOB associate at the time telling me $9.95 was too much, I should be selling them for $4.50 or less. When he left for a break I flipped the, $ 9.95 each. $35.95 for a set of four," card over and wrote, "$19.95 each. $75.95 for a set of four." This time instead of using a brightly colored felt pen, I used a funky carpenter's pencil.

A $20 bill or a LITTLE less and fits in a pocket or purse is my general rule of thumb for marketable at fairs, demos, etc.

Anyway, when SOB and Mrs.Accomplice SOB came back, I only had one hook left on my table and they were selling as fast as I could make them, typically about 7 mins while maintaining a patter answering questions, etc. He was pretty smug when he said, "good you finally took my advice." and it was oh so sweet to wipe it off when a couple spectators waving $20 bills, almost got into a pushing match over one I was finishing.

Poor guy didn't sell a single grossly over sized, overpriced knife, I exhausted myself making hooks for $19.95 a pop, not one buyer asked for their nickle change and a few tipped me for special requests. I probably took $350 - $400 home for $10 outlay in 3/8" HR square mild. Pretty good for a Saturday and Sunday's work. 

Had I been fast with bottle openers they would've gone like hotcakes too and would've given me a break from doing the same thing all day.  I put variety in the coat hooks, sure but bottle openers are darned open territory for dressing up.

Just saying, make a few to develop a decent product and take a few to the stores where you're a known character and see what they say. Don't forget to mention you're looking for blacksmith tools! Not JUST an anvil, the stuff tends to flock and there are other tools you'd like cluttering that part of your shop don't you? ;) Seriously, asking about just one tool can miss what you're looking for simply because that 250 lb. Soderfors is under a rusted old forge pan and pile of funny looking hammers and sutff with square shanks. You know, the kids just want to clear out dear departed Uncle Bob's stacked to the rafters sheds, no telling what some of that stuff is. Remember, when you're looking you have all that bottle opener money in the Kitty.

Hmmmm?

I've rarely come across someone selling. . . Stuff, who'd turn down a decent offer. $100 bills are like magic talismans you know.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I fully understand not selling too low.  I sold high dollar furniture for 17 years.  I truly "get" the concept.

But I don't do craft shows.  Don't have a forge to take anywhere with me or any kind of a portable stand for my anvil.  I'm just not set up for craft shows, Frosty.  Whatever I end up deciding to make, I'll have to make here at home and take somewhere for the final sale.  I can no longer take the heat we have in Oklahoma during typical craft show times.  I did them for 5 years and it darn near killed me..................and I was 25 years younger.

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Chris, what I meant when I said it depends on the liquor store was there's some liquor stores that if their clientele had twenty more dollars they would buy more booze and then there's liquor stores whose customers would be willing to spend some money on something unique. I don't know what type your friend owns but since you mentioned it I suspect it's the latter. If so I'd do what Frosty recommend. Sell them for 10 or 15 dollars and let your friend make a tenner on each one.  Good luck.

Pnut

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I wasn't suggesting you take up the craft fair circuit, I only do one public demo a year. I was only reminiscing about the one state fair I demoed at. It makes me feel good to remember the look on that thieve's face. 

My real suggestion was to work at your pace and find something to practice on that can be sold. Contacts at a local liquor store is perfect, make a couple per session and keep your special bottle openers a rare item.

Frosty The Lucky.

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