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anvil / swage block hybrid for beginning blacksmiths

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Hello All;


Coming from a large steel plant where the make mostly sheeth metal from recycled steel, they dropped off 3 bars of this weird block of steel. 

Each bar is about 3 m long and weighs a ridiculous amount. 10 cm or 4 inch square with a groove on one side. I'm cutting them up in the driveway where they dropped them off :D

All sides are machined , but only one side is hardened - the side under the ruler (looks like case hardening). Bandsaw cannot cut through the last half cm (about 1/4 inch). Every 15 cm, there's a M20 metric blind screw hole on one side about halfway in the block. The groove cut into the bar is 80 degrees (looks like 90 but it isn't, I measured it).  

I chopped one bar up in 10 x 30 cm pieces, and fixed two together, and had some beginners whale on it because he wanted to make a hammer.  There's am M20 threaded rod in the center, so they are screwed together; then welded. Flat surface is 20 x 30 cm, the hardened surfaces (one top, one bottom) are 10 x 30 cm if you stand them on the side . We radiussed the sides to different radii. total weight is about 40 kilo's or 90 pounds

Now what is the idea of this thing?  The same beginner said that the hardened sides make a nice anvil; the grooved and flat side make a nice swage block. Given that he's into making spears, I can see where he'd like the large grooves. After some pondering; we milled in a small 12mm square hole on this one, the next ones have a 25 mm square hole , and a large hole for hammers and axes, and drilled a 8, a 25mm and a 30 mm hole. I can't drill the hardened sides. We made 5 of 'm, and I gave 'm all 5 away, people seem to like it as a anvil shaped object, but also as a swage block. I got 10 more lying in the garage in pieces :)

But does anyone have any idea what these things actually were ? The not-hardened part is relatively soft, but it's not as soft as mild steel. 

Second question; How would you mount this ? I suppose you could make a low stand and use it like a swage block because I never need the hardened sides as an anvil. But what kind of stand would you build for this if you were a 16 year old lost soul trying to get into forging without any money, and a weird hermit nutcase gave you this to get started in forging ? If you wanted to use it as an anvil, you'd need to fix it down, and the holes and groove would become useless....


greetings, Bart









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If only one side is hardened they were most likely induction/flame hardened and not case hardened.

I would either carve a stump or build a stand of dimensional lumber oriented vertically so I could use it in various configurations: anvil side up, swageblock side up, maybe even a deep rectangular hole to mount it vertically when so wanted.

I've cut trolley track with a hacksaw before, the trick is like cutting bandsaw blades for billets---work from the soft side and let the last hardened bit break off instead of trying to cut it.

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