Kerby

Armitage Mouse Hole purchase

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Ok, experts newbie here that needs some advice. Just bought this Mouse Hole and Hardy Tools for $250. Been looking for 2 years and this one fell in my lap. Has damage and has been welded, bounce test is good. Looking for feedback on the crack and how to repair, and previous repairs. Thanks in advance for this great forum and wealth of information.

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new anvilcrack.jpeg

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Ouch. That is one sadly abused anvil. Unfortunately, even a Mousehole (aka The Undisputed King of Anvils) can't absorb abuse indefinitely.

I would strongly recommend that you simply wirebrush the face of the anvil, maaaaaaybe grind down the weld beads where they protrude above the face, and get to forging. It's entirely possible that the existing repairs may have damaged the face by ruining the temper and/or creating cracks within the HAZ, and I would not advise making it worse. The crack at the base of the horn is really bad, and I'd avoid using the horn as much as possible.

The good news is that you paid less than $2/lb, so you may well be able to recoup your investment by learning on it and reselling it when the time comes to get its replacement.

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Thanks, Bounce test is real good which surprised me. Figured for the price with hardy tools I couldn't go real wrong. What is downside of welding up the crack?

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To do a proper repair, you'd need to grind all the way to the bottom of the crack, and then build weld beads all the way back to the surface. Arc welding true wrought iron is a tricky business, and you'll probably end up spending more on consumables and electricity than you would simply by investing in a new (or at least solid) anvil.

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I am no expert, but since I would not have enough money to buy another anvil, I would at least put some weld in that crack. It would deaden my spirits if my horn fell off. But take this advice with a grain of salt.

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5 minutes ago, Conrad.blacksmithing said:

I am no expert, but since I would not have enough money to buy another anvil, I would at least put some weld in that crack. It would deaden my spirits if my horn fell off. But take this advice with a grain of salt.

Kinda what I was thinking, but I have no real idea. I think the Hardy tools come close to covering the purchase price, so as long as we don't kill it I think we will be ok. Back half of anvil has great ring, front half not as good already, but better than what we have been using.

7 hours ago, JHCC said:

To do a proper repair, you'd need to grind all the way to the bottom of the crack, and then build weld beads all the way back to the surface. Arc welding true wrought iron is a tricky business, and you'll probably end up spending more on consumables and electricity than you would simply by investing in a new (or at least solid) anvil.

Thanks.

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I would not worry about the price. The joy alone of having a tool with such history behind it is priceless. You will enjoy learning more about Mousehole Forge as you do more research. The area alone in which these anvils were made is anvil-history rich.

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Hard to make things worse, a well burnt in weld should help even if it's not full pen.  Note that the body is low C so if you can keep the face cool; no preheat necessary.  Of course welding WI is not quite the same as welding mild steel.

However if worse gets to worse hornless anvils work just fine.  I have a heelless anvil  that gets a lot of work done on it and I miss the hardy hole a lot more than I would miss the horn!

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