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Nice find this weekend - William Foster

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My neighbor needed help moving some misc. steel bars he was given by a friend of his and asked me if I would help him load it up. I said sure, no problem. When we got to his friends place, I noticed a rusty anvil sitting in the corner of his friend's shop. I asked the guy if he would be willing to sell it. He said that he never used it and that I could have it for $100. Hmm....let me think about it - OK.

I couldn't see any markings on it at the time, but when I got it home and hit it with a wire wheel, I could see that it was a William Foster. It appears to be in good condition, especially for its age. Some pics are attached.  I read that WF anvils are all dated. I think there is a date in this close up picture, but I can't tell for sure., Can anyone make it out? Thanks!


WF Rt.jpg

WF Lft.jpg

WF top.jpg

WF close.jpg

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Well my 1828 was seriously abused missing most of the face and the heel. I still use it from time to time just to let it know it's still an anvil...  Mr Postman told me that WF used fairly low grade/coarse wrought iron in their bodies.  (I was asking as I was wondering about forge welding a new face to it. He suggested welding the face to a wrought iron backer and doing a wrought iron to wrought iron weld to fasten it to the body.   Haven't found a a group crazy enough to help attempt it yet.)

129 pounds in a previous post.

As to how I like it: like a lot of old anvils the face is a bit softer than some of the new ones; I like it better than a Vulcan and not as well as a Hay Budden/Trenton/Arm and Hammer; perhaps just under a Peter Wright.  It's a great starter anvil and could be the only anvil in many a shop!  In others it may end up the travel anvil while a larger newer one becomes the main shop anvil.

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32 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

A very nice William Foster for sure. I hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding to the hardened face. How much does it weigh?

Thank you. 129 lbs. No plans to do anything to it other than wire brush it to get the rust off and hit it with some BLO.



Thanks Thomas, that's good to know.  We also have a very nice 200 lb Trenton so I'm curious to see how it compares. I was pleased to see that it wasn't abused too badly for its age and that the horn is in really good condition. It will be better for making bottle openers than what I'm using now.  I need to make a stand for it, so I hope to be able to do that soon so I can test it out!

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