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What kind of Anvil is this?

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I got offered this "anvil", ~50kg for £42. I currently have a ~200x200x75mm section of something like I beam bolted to a tree stump that is less than ideal. Just wondering if anyone knows what kind of Anvil this is and if it's better than what I've got?


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Stake anvil; often used for sheet metal working and cooperage (doing the bands).  Since I don't know what you are trying to do with it I can't say which is better---can you tell me if I need a dump truck or a school bus for a vehicle?

Do the profiles help what you are doing?  It would be very nice for light ornamental work and terrible for heavy sledging work. 

Pretty much anything that looks like an I beam is terrible for anvils though as you want solid steel top to bottom in the sweet spot for heavy hammering on. A classic mistake in trying to improvise an anvil it to try to make it look like a London pattern anvil not realizing that it's the solid body of an anvil that gives it the ability to assist in heavy work---so getting a cube of metal for the heavy work and a stake anvil for the horn/heel work makes a pretty good improvised set up.

Here in the USA that would be a good price for it. I've made my own for use at demos: it's on the left in back.


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Welcome to IFI! If you haven't yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!

That said, it's a nice looking chunk of metal, and would probably be quite useful for a lot of lighter work, especially scrollwork and the like. I agree with ThomasPowers about the price (about $54 USD), especially since the usual conversion rate is about 2.2 pounds per kilo.

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I appreciate the help, guys! I read that post, thanks for the link. Good point about the school bus, I feel like a right wally! I don't have a power hammer and this is just a hobby for me so mainly light work. I'm having a go at a viking spear with my friend in January. considering all I've made is a dragon twist beer tap handle and a pair of bolt jaw tongues, the spear head will be the biggest thing I've made.


I think I'll take it. What I've got has no rebound across most of the face and weights probably a tenth of the steak anvil, so although it's not that stout compared to a "proper" anvil, it is relative to mine.


Thanks for the advice!

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Vikings used quite small anvils; of course they were working real wrought iron extremely hot and so it was very very soft!  Will you be doing likewise? (They were also known to use large rocks for anvils for heavy work.)

You may want to look into getting a Bickiron that has a suitable conical end to do the socket on the spear---usually the trickiest part, especially the forge welding of the seam. I'd definitely advise a lapped rather than butted seam if you are going to forge weld it.

On my stake anvil you may have noticed that the head is a RR spike driving hammer riveted onto the shaft---my picture under my name is me working on that shaft!

A smaller version forged from a different sledge head and with the tenon both riveted and welded is the right hand one below.


One of the neat thing about making your own improvised anvils is that you feel free to really wallop them as if they break, you can make another!  (I have at least 100# of sledge hammer heads on my possibles pile...)

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In the tinsmithing world (USA version), that anvil would go for at least 3 times what they are asking.  It's far more suitable for sheet metal work than blacksmithing but certainly wouldn't be a bad thing to have around the shop.

I've had my eyes open for stake anvils for a long time to go with my tin smithing junk but, being a cheapskate, just haven't run into any deals that fit.  I'd be all over that if it was within 50 miles of me.

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5 hours ago, JHCC said:

I agree with ThomasPowers about the price (about $54 USD), especially since the usual conversion rate is about 2.2 pounds per kilo.

And I should have added: the current exchange rate is about $1.29 per pound.

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