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Please help validate this anvil


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I am interested in learning more about blacksmith trade and ironworking.  I have been keeping an eye out for a local anvil for sale for a good value.  

 

The ad states this is a hay Budden 250lb anvil with a 1" Hardy hole.  

I do not know enough to quantify these statements, but I can't find any other photos of hay Budden anvils with the round cross hole through it.  Also doesn't look like 250lbs, but I am uneducated in these matters

 

He's asking a very fair 450 if all of this is true

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I agree about the face being milled down.  It seamed like the edges are too nice to match the condition on the rest of the anvil.  Also a little low compared to the horn.   Also one of the "feet" appears to be broken short?

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It looks like a custom model if the hardie hole is indeed 1".  Hay budden would do custom anvils if ordered a particular way..  it looks to me from the wear patterns that it was used in die making for flat dies.. 

The groove at the heel was for slotted hardie tools that were keyed into the hardie hole so the tool would not bounce around. 

the face looks original but without a better personal look it's also hard to see clearly but from the wear it looks like it was in fact used for making dies.. Flat dies as i show in the video "how metal moves strangely".  is why the face is so flat..   Making a curved die is often done on the flat and much of the work is done cold. 

If you also notice the tip of the horn is dented downwards with a smallish flattened section.. That is also typical of a die makers anvil. 

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The seller is inpatient and since im taking my time to do research he has dropped the price down to $400 if i come get it today.  Assuming it has a decent rebound using a ball bearing (i assume anything over 10" rebound on a 12" drop would be good) will this be a good investment as I have never even used an anvil before.  Or should i wait to find something with less abuse?

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That anvil is perfect.. For 400 clams and a drive.. it would be in my stable in a blink of an eye..  and i have a few in the stable. 

I would take a little file with me and test the edge for hardness.. I wouldn't even bring a ball bearing but that's just me..  I would test the corners with a file and do the ball bearing test..   Looks good from here..  

If you do the ball bearing test the only problem is you have to remove any rust and oil or have a good idea of what you are actually doing.. All it takes if 1 little piece of grass or dust and the ball bearing test results are smudged. 

If in fact you are a new smith.. the damage it has is nothing. Go buy it and not worry..   

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The file should skate pretty well, yes. If it's a hard file (like a chainsaw file) it may bite a little bit, but it shouldn't much.

You could also file the foot or another soft part of the anvil for hardness comparison.

EDIT: Be sure to test several spots along the edges for hardness, since if it was milled, it could have been un-level and taken off more of the face in some places than others.

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37 minutes ago, Chelonian said:

The file should skate pretty well, yes. If it's a hard file (like a chainsaw file) it may bite a little bit, but it shouldn't much.

You could also file the foot or another soft part of the anvil for hardness comparison.

EDIT: Be sure to test several spots along the edges for hardness, since if it was milled, it could have been un-level and taken off more of the face in some places than others.

Extremely well said and explained.   Thank you.

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The round hole through the waist is probably to attach a treadle hammer, Blacker? I don't recall the general name but they were common for chain maker's anvils.  This doesn't look like a chain maker's anvil. What it looks like to me is an excellent deal, I'd have it home making a stand for it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I bit the bullet and took the long (1 hour) drive to buy it.  I wanna source a nice hammer next and am trying to find a local blacksmith that I could get a class from for a weekend and make some tongs to learn more about how to effectively move metal

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Oliver, YES! Thank you Thomas.:)  I blanked on the term, I knew blacker was wrong but it was the only name that popped up. I used it knowing a correction would come as soon as someone who did know read it.  

I have to say that's a bullet I wouldn't mind biting! I'll bet it was before your time but there was a pretty cool TV show called, "Eerie, Pa." IIRC, humorous odd and creepy 1/2 hr. stories, sort of a remake of the Twilight Zone though funnier.

You don't need a special "blacksmith's hammer," any smooth face hammer 32 oz. or less is plenty good enough to get started. Do NOT get a big heavy hammer, without proper conditioning and technique it can do soft tissue damage before you know it. Good choices are cross peins though the pein on "engineer's hammers" tend to be more acute than is necessary. Ball peins are old school blacksmith hammers and I like starting folks off with a 32 oz. Drill Hammer for the weight and shorter handles. It will move metal well and the shorter handle makes it easier to control.

Control is the secret of good blacksmithing and building hammer control is just easier with lighter hammers and smaller stock. Give it a little while before you start making your own hammers and such. It's not that hard once you have the skill sets down proficiently.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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2 hours ago, mioduz said:

  I am in Erie pa

You should be able to find other blacksmithing equipment at a decent price just keep your eyes open for a good deal and have the money to jump on it when you do see a deal. PA Is a good place to find blacksmithing related tools. 

Remember don't do any grinding on your anvil especially on the face.You'll take years of useful service off by grinding on the face. 

Pnut

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