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Novice needs advice!


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Hello All!

My online name is Nikko, I’m 23 and stumbled upon Gold! ..Well an old anvil. 

I was cleaning out my families garage when I stumbled upon what I believe to be a sisco superior (I think that’s the name) anvil.  Only clear thing I can make out is it’s 208 lbs.  

I need help identifying, cleaning, and selling this anvil.  I made a similar post on Facebook and I am getting some mixed signal so I decided to make this account and talk to you guys.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  

I uploaded a handful of pictures, let me know if you guys want any more.  I couldn’t find any other markings on it. 












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Dust the surface of the anvil with baby powder,  flour etc and then lightly dust off any excess.  Put a strong point light from a low angle on the areas to show the remaining powder left in the indentions.  Photos of all 6 sides of the anvil help in the identification.

 As to clean up, do little or nothing  DO NOT use anything that would remove any metal such as a grinder, mill, etc..Just a wire brush followed by some boiled linseed oil.  

When you decide to sell this anvil ask and we can move the post to the tailgating section where sell items are posted.

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I can do this tomorrow morning.  In regards to the light, will a good regular flashlight do the trick? 

when it comes to a wire brush, can I use a wire brush On the top of the anvil? And can I use a wire brush attachment on a grinder/polisher tool to speed my process?


thank you!

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Any light will do, but a point type light source is better. Flashlight will work just fine.   You are trying to create a shadow in the indentations on the anvil so the information stand out better.

With a wire brush you are trying to knock down any heavy rust, not necessarily clean the anvil to the base metal.  A hand powdered wire brush works well and takes only a few strokes. A few strokes on the anvil face with a hand held wire brush is all that is needed.  Hitting on the anvil face with hot metal will make it shine.  

208 is a nice size anvil. You may want to look into getting started in blacksmithing.  You have the anvil and all that remains is a cheap hammer, and fire, such as the JABOD just a box of dirt forge, or a gas forge that you can build.  Both are listed on the site.

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Good Morning, Nikko

If you are going to use a wire wheel on an angle grinder, no problem. Just don't push it too hard, take the loose flakes off. The easiest way to clean up the face of the Anvil, is by using it. If you heat up a piece of mild steel in a Forge and start Forging, the face will magically refurbish itself. We use 'Phosphoric Acid' to neutralize rust at work. It is slightly stronger than a harsh Vinegar. It turns the rust Black. Phosphoric Acid is also used in Coca-Cola. At the Body Shop Supply stores here, they stock 'Rust-Mort', which has phosphoric acid in it. Brush it on, leave it sit for 12-24 hours. Wash with soap and water to neutralize. Brush or rub Boiled Linseed Oil onto the Anvil after it dries. Don't put your rag that you used with Boiled Linseed Oil in a covered garbage can, let it vent in air (outside). The thing called Spontaneous Combustion could be a player.

Use the Anvil, it doesn't need any real special care, just some tender Lovin'!!


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13 minutes ago, swedefiddle said:

Good Morning, Nikko

If you are going to use a wire wheel on an angle grinder, no problem. Just don't push it too hard, take the loose flakes off. The easiest way to clean up the face of the Anvil, is by using it.

Between you and Glenn I stand torn.  This is my great grandfathers anvil, and is currently my fathers.  He could use some money and keeping it may not be an option right now.  To be specific, a guy was going to come from Indiana this weekend and buy this anvil for $900.  I found out shortly after that, that the anvil may be worth more and I am trying to find out how much along with whatever other useful and fun knowledge I may absorb here. 

being a blacksmith would also be a fun hobby, not sure what I’d make but hey, We could use a new axe ;)

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You will NEVER have the opportunity to get a 3 generation family heirloom again.  Tell your Father YOU want the anvil and will make payments.  At 23 years old you can make the money by a summer job or by selling things you made on THAT anvil.  It is easy enough to d and you can learn how on the site. How easy? Anything you can make with modeling clay you can make from metal on the anvil. 

Depending on the location and the anvil, current used prices are all over the place.  You have time, so go to some of the blacksmith meetings and organizations gatherings.  They will have anvils for sale and you can get real prices.

As to price, these are NEW anvils that you can purchase right now.  The new standard for anvils.


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I don't think I would be able to part with it. If money is the issue you could make the nine hundred bucks for your Dad in a month with a fast food Job. You could probably get everything else you need to start blacksmithing for next to nothing if you're resourceful. I don't think I spent more than thirty bucks on an improvised anvil, jabod forge, TSC cross pien hammer, and AC matress pump from Walmart. I could have gotten everything cheaper but it was winter so no yard sales and the flea market pickings get slim when it's cold. 


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Welcome aboard Nikko. I think the $900 offer is a little light in your area especially if it is Swedish  steel. If you do a google search for Sisco Superior and add iforgeiron.com to the search term, you will see some threads about them. Here is just one.



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Just want to add in to what others have said.  Do what you can to keep it.  Uber/Lyft on nights and weekends could get you $900 pretty quickly.


I suppose a second option would be to lease it out.  I cant afford an anvil like that yet, but I would jump at a chance to rent one for a year or two while save for a better one. 


Just my 2 bits.

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Personally I couldn't part with a family heirloom like that, and it appears to be in great shape.

From what I have seen, a Swede of that size and condition would sell for a bit more than $900.

Now, as to making some extra cash and buying it from your dad to help him out. You can do around $1,500 a month delivering pizzas depending on the city you live in. A security guard at work was making $300 a month recycling soda cans from the breakroom trash cans. I am constantly finding screaming deals at garage sales that could be flipped for a tidy profit. Not knowing your background, and skills, it is hard to say what you could do to earn the extra needed, but $900 is doable. There are also internet gigs that can earn you extra cash. Again, not knowing your details it is hard to recommend anything specific. But I would do what I could to hang onto that anvil.

Sell it and the money passes through your hands quickly. Keep it, and make a lifetime of  memories with it. Your choice.


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Welcome aboard Nikko, glad to have you. If that's a Sisco Superior you have one of the finest anvils made in an excellent size AND a 3 generation heirloom to boot. I'd mow lawns to help your Father and buy it from him. Being my Dad I'd be thinking it's worth at least $3,000 me to him. 

We'll be honored to help you learn to use it so you can keep paying him off till he tells you to knock it off. Not only can you earn some money to  help him, think how it'll make him feel to know His Father's anvil is still turning a profit for the family. The are a large number of good beginner level projects that sell well. You can hone your skills and earn a buck. 

I couldn't let it go but then again I own a cast Swedish anvil and know what a treat it is to work on one, a 200lb. version would make me giddy.

Like I say we'll help. Give your Dad our best, tell him Frosty's pulling for him.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I apologize for the delay, I finally had time to take more pics.  I have been selling a lot of tools and other stuff my dad doesn’t use anymore.  Supposedly we also have 3 old vices I need to find.  

The point light and flour was a great idea.  The anvil very clearly reads 209 and superior under the right light! Unfortunately there does seem to be some pitting.  

I suppose the dog in the background is a good indication of size lol. The anvil is 27 and 3/8 long and 12 and 1/8 tall. the face is 4 and 3/4 wide while the feet are 10 and 5/8 at their widest point. 

In regards keeping the anvil, money is not the problem, the problem is just family drama.  I am thinking at the very least trying to convince my dad to sit on it for a while longer as these will only become more rare.  My younger brother also wants to keep it so we will see. 


Aside from that, do these pics help assess the worth?






















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Like Vern said above, 'round here a good Swedish steel anvil will tend to go for about $ 6 a lb these days--especially the heavier ones (slight premium for heavy...usually).  People usually start at more like $ 6.50 asking and wait for a bite.  At $ 5/lb, they fly out the door pretty quickly.  $4/lb would leave burn-out skid marks from moving so fast.

That's Eastern WA...where people from Seattle are often willing to travel (several hours) to get anvils.

100-ish pound Kohlswa Swedish currently listed in my town @ $6.50/lb but hasn't yet moved after several weeks.  Most likely because this town is way out in the sticks and it's a bit lightweight (relative to others available).  I'd probably bite if the seller would come down a little...everyone needs a spare anvil or three :) 

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Thank you guys!  I had a buyer who was gonna come this weekend for 900 bucks but I’m gonna have to turn him down I think.  Also, I want to make sure this anvil gets in good hands and I had an uneasy feeling with this buyer. I’m going to have to move this to the proper thread to list for sale...


so is there minor pitting on my anvil?  And if so, is there anything I can do to prevent it from getting worse ?

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Dear Nikko,

The imperfections I see on the anvil face appear to be from the impacts of hammers.  So, if you are not working on it it will not be further marred.  However, if it is in a damp environment you might want to put a coat of oil on it to prevent any rusting.  Any kind of oil will do but vegetable oil or motor oil will remain greasy and pick up dust and dirt.  A drying oil like linseed will dry out and not give that problem.  Just be careful with the rag you use with linseed oil, don't wad it up somewhere.  When linseed oil dries it is a exothermic reaction (produces heat) and under the right circumstances can cause spontaneous combustion.  Just leave it hung out to dry somewhere like it was wet washing and you'll be fine.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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