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I Forge Iron

306lbs Anvil Identification

Pierre M

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Hello all, and thank you in advance for your help ...


I acquired this anvil a couple years ago  for a $ 100 bill, and it has since been parked in a corner of our welding shop.

Finally had time to clean it up a little and would like your opinions as to its provenance.

it is approximately 32" long, 13.5" high, 5.5" wide table,  tips the scale at 306.5 lbs

 cannot see any obvious line between the body and table.

Looked everywhere and the only markings to be found are a 2-7, first number being very difficult to read ; it could be a 3, an 8 , a 2 .... due to its actual weight of 306 lbs,

I assume it is a 2 which would make it a 2-2-7 or 287 lbs .. not sure why the actual weight differs by an additional 19 lbs ....

The odd thing being ; if it is a 2, the font would seem different than the next 2 ....


The anvil has moderate ring at horn, stronger at heel (less mass I assume) faint ring on the table.

Hammer seems to rebound nicely, a .5" ball bearing dropped from 12" rebounds at least 6"..
















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Good to see another member from Connecticut!

Its a very nice looking anvil and a big one for sure. In general I would say it resembles my Peter Wright, specifically the square holes on the sides of the anvil (under the horn and heel) and on the base. I am no expert on identifying anvils so don't take my word for it, are there any other markings? Perhaps on the front of the anvil? 50% rebound is below what is preferred but it should still work, its ready for some hot steel to clean the face. 


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Thanks for all the input ...


JHCC ; I did think it is a little" Writish" but considering what it cost me, did not want to be overly optimistic ... like your theory ...

Marcus Aurelius ; no other marking that I can see anywhere .... your comment on rebound made me check that again, 24" drop gave me an average of 15" rebound with .5" ball....

PNut ; did get it for peanuts ....     (ok that was cheap!)

Thomas ; I like your 2-2-27 theory, certainly would explain the 306.5 spacing of the numbers is pretty wide for 27 and not sure it would all fit within the space ...

Marc1 ; going for "Wrightish" until better analysis .... Definitely going to use it to forge. Side draft forge will be cut on our plasma table in a couple days ....



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As the numbers are individually stamped I think it's possible to have some a bit far apart just as I've seen some a bit too close together.  I came up with that working backwards:

Started with 306.5 and bounced it to 307 to make it easier; then took off the 27 to get 280; now I know the leading number would be times 112 and so would need to be a 2 so 280 -224 left exactly 56 which would be a 2 in the middle---almost to exact for belief really...

The CWT weight would strongly incline it towards the PW as the other "common" flat-footed anvil is an American brand (Trenton) and stamped in pounds.

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Welcome aboard Pierre, glad to have you. SWEET score on your anvil! Try brushing the face off and dropping a reasonable sized bearing ball, say 1/2" dia. from 10" in front of a scale. Read from the bottom of the bearing. Unless a person does this kind of estimation pretty regularly it's easy to get fooled so a scale improves accuracy.

I won't take a lash at the maker, not really my thing, I'm less interested in the who made it than how well a tool works. There are exceptions of course some brands have a rep because they are good. PW is a top shelf forged wrought iron body anvil. Just because you can't see a weld line between body and face doesn't mean there's no welded face plate. Anvils are ground as part of manufacture and evidence may have just been cleaned off.

Another possibility for an invisible face body seam that would account for a softer than desirable face would be a fire. An anvil that's been in a fire, say the shop burns down the face can be annealed. The over all oxidization and decarburization caused by high heat effects how steel will take a patina.

If you're REALLY interested you can hand sand it shiny for an inch or so down from the face and do a vinegar etch. Higher carbon steel doesn't darken as much so it'll be brighter than the nearly zero carbon wrought iron. No, don't go buy a large tub, just wet a rag with vinegar and lay it on the shiny spot and check it every 15 minutes or so, an hour should be longer than necessary for visible results. 

Frosty The Lucky.


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Hopefully the dullness of the ring is not due to a delaminating face. Does it make an odd sound when tapped with a hammer? Like a broken bat does?  For the price, you did good.

Using a ruler will make the rebound test more accurate.  Drop from 10" and each inch of rebound is x 10%, so 6" = 60%, 7"=70%.....  All that will really show is how hard the face is, and how well it will hold up to deformation down the road. PW's have a soft body, and that is why you see so many that are swaybacked. Your's looks to be in really good shape, and just needs some dressing up on the edges

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  • 2 weeks later...

Biggundoctor ; hammering on the face does not seem to indicate delamination, and rebound is moderate but all I have at hand is a rather small bearing which may affect the results due to the lack of mass. Also, the anvil is set on a welded 4x stand with a piece of 1/4 plate, and a moveable machine base under. This may contribute to the lack of ring since the base is strong but may absorb and not reverberate sound .... 

Frosty, thanks for the input, will try the vinegar etch.... I could not agree more with you as far as brand vs true fitting tools.... I’ve been in commercial architectural mill work for near 25 years and have 25,000 sf of tools from chisels to CNC routers and machining centers... many of our branded equipment functions well but is not always a perfect fit... it is a matter of personal choice. Many of my employees along the years boasted the high quality of their marple chisels, convinced the name implies quality... personally I think of them as a glorified glue scrapper and mini pry bar. The steel is way too hard to take a true edge. I suppose it’s ok when you dress your tools  on a bench grinder until they smoke. On the other hand, I have owned a set of sandvik  chisels for 30 years, hard enough to get the job done yet soft enough to raise a bur with a few light strokes on a water stone, they fit me perfectly and would not go anywhere without them ...

My quest to identify this anvil is more curiosity, as well as the fact that a friend of mine sold it to me and if it is indeed a PW I would feel a tad embarrassed for involuntarily shorting him with a 100 dollar bill and would consider giving him a few more....


one thing that puzzles me is that the waist shows what I believe to be casting bubbles on both sides which does not seem in line with a forged anvil and PW...

The photo with tape showing height illustrate what I am referring to ......

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