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After a long while of searching the internet, facebook groups etc... i have finally came across an anvil, 300 USD for it, it is a peter wright so i take it to school and wire brush all the rust off (1hr and 30min later) and i coat it in a linseed oil to protect from rust (boiled linseed oil) but here’s the thing there are so many dents on this anvil and I’m not sure if taking a flap disk to take them out would ruin the temper please help me with my problem, there is a little sway in it I’d say about 1/8? Should i have it milled and hardened by a hardening company, and how much would that cost?  Here are some before and after pictures after on top

Thanks 

Matthew H

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I urge you to not do any grinding, milling or welding on that anvils hardened face. It will do more harm than good, unless it's done by someone experienced in anvil restoration following proven methods like this               Anvil Restoration

Your anvil, 80 pound, is perfectly usable as is with plenty of good face over the sweet spot and a little sway is a good thing when setting stock straight.

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Alright thank you i do not want to touch the face with anything unless i have to, and i will probably not have it restored, because I'm worried about tempering issues because i have no means of getting it tempered if i had it restored. 

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Losing the hardness is just part of the issue. The hardened faceplate is not that thick to begin with, so any removal of surface reduces that thickness-and lifespan. PW anvils have soft wrought iron bodies, so sway is common with that maker. My 138# PW has a divot in the face near the horn.

If it hinders your work, make some money with it, sell it, and put the combined funds towards a brand new anvil. There are several makers out there at reasonable prices. Look on Anvil Brand's website for a selection of new styles. I have a 125# JHM Journeyman, and it is a ice anvil. I have also heard great reviews for Scott anvils. A 125# JHM runs around $750.  Holland is a new manufacturer, and the owner is on here as a member. His anvils have been well received by those who have bought them.

Also , tempering is done after hardening. As quenched, many steels are too brittle to use, and would chip if struck. Tempering draws out some of the hardness, and leaves it tougher and able to withstand more impact force.

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An 80 pound anvil would be lucky to start out with a 3/8" plate. That size was considered to be a bench or travel anvil, portable and convenient to relocate, or load and unload multiple times a day. Always meant to be used by one person with a one-handed hammer for light work.

The more that you thin out that top plate, the faster the swayback happens as you use the anvil. You lose the stiffness of the hardened high carbon steel top plate, and the softer wrought iron core deforms more quickly.

Also, there is a certain amount of work hardening that happens as a function of hammering. Taking off a few thousandths of an inch reveals a softer layer, so it erodes and dents even more than before.

If you want perfection, buy a new cast steel anvil. That way, when you chip the edges and put dents and dings in the face (and you will, as a beginner), you can mill it down to your heart's content, and still have good steel left.

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I thought the same thing about my 110 pound Vulcan, that it had a thicker face plate than usual. Thomas Powers suggested that I polish a small area and etch it with vinegar to show where the body & face plate were joined. Turned out the face plate was about 3/8 of an inch. The etching showed the difference between the cast iron body & face plate clearly.

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