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Why is rebound important?

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I had a 330lbs henry Wright that had sway if I wanted. 

Another alternative is an anvil wedge. Which is both easy to make and handy to have for such purposes.  Can be made in nearly any wedge degree desired. 


This particular hardness tester just brings a rebound test into a different state of understanding.  

The sample only need be a 1"sq. So as long as one has a way to verify the testers accuracy and the sample is smooth it can be handy for sure. 

I think it might actually be a 10mm.  If this is the case it would be a high tech low tech implementation.  

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I've always found it funny all us blacksmiths reinventing the scleroscope.

I fight for the "dip" as I have seen a bunch of anvils seriously damage and several destroyed by folks trying to mill their faces flat and with sharp edges.  The destroyed were of two types: the first was milling the face too thin to use. The second was people not understanding that the older anvils were freehanded under steam hammers and so the face and base were not parallel and they clamped the anvil down and milled through the hardened face and into the wrought iron making them parallel, (seen 2 or 3 of those).

I've also seen a couple of anvils I would suggest milling or grinding the face.  That is: under 6 in 39 years of playing with anvils and having seen thousands. What I advise for those is to flip the anvil upside down and mill the base parallel to the face and then flip it upright and just kiss the face as lightly as possible.

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I'd advocate welding onto the base vs removal.

Just electric arc weld on what you want and at some future point you want original,  just grind off the weld. No harm no foul.

I have seen bunches of anvils out of true top to bottom,  little side action too.

Didnt you know.  Everything is new till it's not.  

I was raised alone in a test tube yet, my methods arent much different than anyone else's and the more I dig around now, I can see that 100s if not 1000s , okay not that many have had the same idea though never meeting them or ever hearing about them. 

There is for sure something about thought being but a ripple in a pond.



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I do not have much hope in them being able to weld real wrought iron gracefully; but they sure seem competent to mill it off though.

I've see more than a few anvils that were visibly off kilter and not showing signs of wear that would cause it probably came that way.

More anvils that were used heavily and show signs of it.

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I totally agree with off kilter.. My German Trenton is nearly 1/2" out of the tail though it's only about 3/16 at the feet. 

Wrought iron to arc weld since it is in compression is not a problem..  Just run a bead on it in a weave pattern.. One does not even need much penetration as the iron will melt back every so slightly..  

I had an Old hay budden  as many know the bases were layed up from rods..  When I leveled the feet it started smoking. turns out there was some Coal that had gotten stuck in the weld folds.   What a beautiful smell that 100 year old coal had. 

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It's interesting reading about the transition from Wrought Iron to mild steel and the smiths not liking it; as it was "Different from what they were used to."  Now you have smiths who don't like Wrought Iron; as it's "different from what they are used to"...

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My Mousehole (aka The Undisputed King of Anvils) is about 1/4” higher at the heel than at the horn. One of the last things I did when making my tripod stand was to shim the feet to level out the anvil face, mark and trim the legs, and then weld on some bits of flat plate for feet. Nice level anvil, no permanent damage. 

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Thomas,  Mild steels and steels in general as you know lack character. (every batch is nearly the same, Unlike wrought iron which has to be tested while making something)..   I prefer wrought iron over mild steel and would only forge wrought iron if I had the opportunity. 

Wrought iron late 1800 up till they stopped making it had come a long ways.. they had figured out how to wire draw it, how to die press it.  the list goes on and on.. For many today, you can't even tell the difference without opening up or spark testing an item..   The Columbian vise I have is a great example of closed die forged wrought iron..   As are some turn buckles that came from the  Longfellow bridge in Boston.     These Wrought iron turn buckles not only were punched from the sides but also from the ends without splitting. 

The working of wrought iron by many today is misunderstood especially when we put todays methods of working it against mild steels which you can do nearly anything with and forge it any which way they want to with no concern for grain pattern..  

I have loved seeing the various people on IFI forge wrought iron hammers with steeled faces and succeed..  Wrought iron does not pity a fool.  Mild steel could care less. 

Wrought iron for me is nearly brainless if we look at its fundamental  attributes and then apply some known items..   Wrought iron ill forged will come apart..   As a base line.. If we forge it correctly it will stay together and refine at the same time..  Refined enough it can be made into nearly anything much easier...  

Anyhow, I'm not preaching to you as you know this stuff.. But more for others that seem to struggle with it. 

I do think much of it depends today on lots of miss information..    And Miss information might not be the correct term, but lack of proper information.  

Skill wise forging out wrought iron takes a higher skill set..  Though the argument can be made if playing devils advocate that mild steel is tougher to move, which it is.  Wrought iron does not like to be forged around the center portion.. It needs to be compressed evenly.. If worked around the center with off set hits it will create a shear plain.. You see this often on bars that people show as problem samples..  

Wrought iron is the smiths material and was geared towards hand work..  Moving and welding wrought iron and having a nearly or completely invisible seam is easy.. 

I love wrought iron and the quirks it has..  I was just recently talking with someone about this very thing. 

Mild steel is here so we do what we can do, though it does not move as quickly when forging it is easier and more forging. 

I've seen old gas welded wrought iron pipes and read up on it when I was looking at joining sections of wrought iron together for a project.  It was very interesting that in compression the weld needed to be wetted out more for a given area ( had to have more square inches of weld for a  given thickness as the welded areas have a tendency to pull away the fibres in tension)..  But in compression the wetted out area could be less as long as it was evenly in compression from all sides with no tension.    Anytime the metal was in tension the weld had to have ample surface area so the fibers where loaded as if it were in fact a mild steel with no inclusions..  

it was realy interesting  and part of being a decent welder is fixturing and using clamps that are tack welded on  for pushing plates together..  On mild steel when the clamps are done being used. You can just release pressure and pull them forwards and they snap right off at the weld.  (tension is what is needed to put pressure with the screw)..   When I tried this with wrought iron as the base material it held decent enough as long as the tension was on the side of the grain..  But when it came time to remove the clamp, the tack weld had to be cut.. 

If the tack weld was not cut, when I pulled the clamp forwards the wrought iron would shear at the tension peak and peel out a rectangular section about the same size as the tack weld. in a small rectangle. 

Just interesting stuff.    

JHCC.. Excellent. 

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That is very neat indeed..    that is an excellent strategy to keep wrought iron from raveling.   I had to use that little trick to keep the Hatchax from coming apart except I used 5160 as the competing lair.   This held it all together so it could be refined in place..  

How thick was that material?   Since you are a researcher.. Did you ever see the lay up process? Photos perhaps? 

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3/16" and 5/16" Shroud and tank material from the water tower that was erected in 1929.   Ric F. said it made excellent blister steel...

All I know about the process came from the Byers' book: "Wrought Iron, Its Manufacture, Characteristic and Applications", Aston & Story

I would assume that "Bidirectional rolled would indicate that it was rolled at 90 degs from each other and so would have been available in limited sizes but be particularly good for items that needed strength in more than one dimension---like a tank full of water.

When they announced the demolition of the Penitentiary and said that it dated to the 1830's IIRC; I was sure it had WI in it and contacted the demo company. They were selling the old cell doors for $$$$ for "decor items" but I got the old water tower for scrap---and then they started causing problems. I wanted it as intact as possible---cold bending of WI NOT suggested!  Well they would mangle it and then want more money for having destroyed it's usability. I ended up buying a lot less than I had intended and was trying to cut on the fold lines to keep the max undamaged area as possible; which was very nasty as it was two layers and the outer one cracked and the inner one bent and when the torch hit the inner layer it would splash back at me.

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6 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

What I advise for those is to flip the anvil upside down and mill the base parallel to the face and then flip it upright and just kiss the face as lightly as possible.

Absolutely. A basic machinist technique. Reminds me of an aluminium intake manifold (8V )of dubious provenance that did not seal properly so I took it to machine the two faces. The shop cleaned both faces properly by indexing them individually on the shaper. 

Unfortunately just like the faces were not flat, neither were they at 90 degree to each other. :(

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