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These 2 pictures are a anvil and forge stand designed to scale. The one with the blue thing is the anvil stand with a piece of railroad track on top of it with a total height of 30.5 inches (my knuckles). The blue thing you see in the picture represents a piece of square tubing that i intend to use as a hardy hole. The legs on the anvil stand are 2x6s and the base is 2x4s. The forge stands legs are 2 2x4s on each side and the base has 2x4s underneath 2x6s. I am pretty limited on space as shown in the last picture. I can step out of the workspace but the stand have to stay in. Does anybody have any advise either on the designs or other possible designs? Anything  new must be able to be moved somewhat easily. Thank you

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Have you read what laying rail horizontally does for effective forging? A lot of energy is absorbed flexing the rail so less is returned to the work. Bridging it between posts as drawn increases the flex making it less effective still.

Standing it on end provides the greatest depth of rebound, returning the most impact energy to the bottom of the work reasonably possible.

Knuckle height is a good working height for strikers or top tooling. If you plan on mostly forging with a hand hammer then you're elbows will thank you for mounting it closer to wrist height. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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What are you planning to make? "Knuckles" is a traditional height for heavy work and nowadays we often go wrist for precision work like blades.

Also I strongly suggest it has support from top to bottom and not an empty hollow---especially for light weight anvils like rail.

Have you looked into the suggestions about mounting rail anvils VERTICALLY to get more steel under the hammer face?

 

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Thomas Powers and Frosty, my apologies I likely should have mentioned this earlier I do not believe mounting the track vertically is an option as it has already had a horn cut into it. As for the knuckles thing I plan to make literally anything i can think of that will be useful. Won't putting it at wrist height cause more stress on the forearm and wrist joint? I have wrist problems that is why I am asking.  Also Thomas, please elaborate on your second sentence i do not understand.

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1 hour ago, Tracemaster said:

Won't putting it at wrist height cause more stress on the forearm and wrist joint?

No, just the opposite, it allows a full stroke that ends just before your elbow straightens and your wrist will be at a relatively natural angle which also makes it natural for the hammer face to strike parallel with the anvil face. 

Right now you and Natkova are starting to really confuse each other. He's talking about a vertically mounted anvil and how the web and flange will cut the steel. I'm not clear if he means trying to use the web and flange as is will cut. OR if you can grind a hardy and other various bottom tools in the flange and web. English isn't Natkova's native language and he's operating under the translation software curse. Of course trying to figure out what the other is trying to say can be fun.

Seeing as you already have a horn ground on yours vertical mounting is a moot point. 

Thomas's second sentence is reiterating what I'd said about having the center of your anvil unsupported in a slightly different way. Put as much solid stand between your anvil and the ground as possible. Lumber on end, screwed and glued into a solid timber on end works well, but 4 x 4s, whatever so long as they stand on end and support the entire anvil will give you as good as you're likely to get from your anvil.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You can mount it vertically if you want. Make a stand like the recent one shown by Jealdi in the linked thread, and point the horn down. You just need to put a piece of plate steel with a counter-sunk hole for the horn tip to prevent it from sinking into the stand and splitting the wood. The wider/longer the footprint of the steel piece on the stand, the better. The extra layer hurts efficiency a little bit, but then you can use a vertical set up. I recommend caulk between the wood and steel. I didn't sketch it to scale, but I think the concept is clear enough. You can also bolt a bar under the end of the foot to minimize the tendency to compress the stand under the horn support. 

Should you mount it vertically? I cannot say. I just thought of this way and haven't tried it. I just don't like the word "can't." 

Either way, the most important thing is to get started and have fun learning to forge. 

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Here's how my rail anvil is oriented. I didn't have any problems with it being too small. It only needs to be a little larger than the head of your hammer. It makes laying stock down to punch tricky but I just cut a log to the same height asthe rail face and used a chain hold down. You can see the log moved out of the way in the picture.   It worked fine for over a year until I got a cheap 66 pound anvil. I still use the rail sometimes though. IMG_20190705_092810.thumb.jpg.bb5cafeba1575eac7ad4f75d86c56e3e.jpg

Pnut

12 hours ago, natkova said:

 I tried that but that way your anvil become cutting tool :D

You have to radius (round off) the edges.  I work on the cap part of the rail. If you radius the web, the skinny part, it makes a decent bottom Fuller. 

Pnut

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I once was at the scrapyard and they were scrapping out an old horse trailer that had rough cut oak 2"x12"s as the flooring.  I asked about getting them knowing that "fluff" is usually a disposal issue for scrapyards.  They gave them to me.  The nice ones went into a set of shop shelves and the damaged ones were cut into pieces for anvil stands:  Set a piece of I beam on the floor of the shop and lined up the pieces needed.  Pipe clamped them together. Used an electrician's long drill bit to drill holes all the way across to fit utility pole and guard rail bolts also sourced at the scrapyard---but at 20 UScents a pound.  3 anvil stands for a couple of bucks.  (As a "grace note" I cut the end slabs an inch or two long to help trap the anvil.)

Back in the City I used to get free wood around the university during semester end clean outs---water beds had large dimensional lumber that would end up piled next to dumpsters.  My neighbor turned up a heavy mine timber when leveling his field and was happy for me to take it---cut it in half and made 2 anvil stumps from it.

All of my anvils have "stumps" and largest cost for any of them was less than a coffee at 'bucks!   If cost is an issue for you; it seems to me like you are doing it wrong!   Get off the computer and start scrounging!  (I freely admit that mine are utilitarian rather than pretty; but the oak ones could sure be planed down and glued up and be gorgeous!  As I'm interested in smithing; I'd rather spend the time hitting hot metal.) 

anvil_stumps.jpg.c3e882be0960fd2ee35fa96ac660a68c.jpg

  Here's examples of the horse trailer and mining timber ones. 

I don't have a picture of the beams I fished out of a stream with a chain and 4wd during a flood. (Kept it from lodging against the road bridge and causing trouble.)  3  Bolted together, looked to have been part of a RR bridge that was just dumped in pieces when it was replaced.  It's in the "clean shop" holding up 2 anvils, a stake plate and a large ball for armouring.

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13 hours ago, Tracemaster said:

There should be plenty of room on the part the trains goes on though right?

Yeah but for larger pieces for example axe hammer forging you make I shape on workpiece.

 

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I understand your need to use it horizontally since it has a horn ground into it and such already. I think what most people have been advising is getting rid of the space underneath it. It needs supported all the way across.

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You need to fill in that big open gap there to support underneath of your anvil.

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Everybody I understand what is being said, i really do. Given what I and about to say I apologize  if it comes off as rude, that is not my intention but I can think of no other way to phrase it.

 

I have a 17 inch piece of railroad track, I live in a awful location to get free things anywhere near me, no friends, and maybe a once a month trip to a single location that I want to go to. To be quite frank All I'm seeing is things I have thought of before, have had over a year and a half to think about all of it and only now am I in a position to even think about acting on it.

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Tracemaster,  

None of us are in your shoes,  but there are a lot of flaws in this design. We all have ant the best for you. Every post here has been to try to help, and I wish you were near by... If you truly are working within a situation with real limitations, built it. It’s going to have lots of problems, but at least you can get started. The main thing is that you stay safe! Wear you PPE, including good shoes and no synthetics. One good injury, and at best your forging privileges will be revoked. Worse, you could be maimed permanently. If you setup starts getting shakes, STOP until you can upgrade it! Finally, look up an organization near you, and get to a hammer-in. The smiths there will make sure you’re not making dangerous nubbie mistakes.

(Where are you going to get you steel to forge?)

Safety first!

David

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Hey Goods I know everyone here is trying to help, and i appreciate it. I was unaware until recently that there even was blacksmiths organizations, let alone anywhere near me. I have contacted the Rocky Mountain Smiths and am waiting on a reply.  As for the steel I have some leaf springs, a piece of titanium, and rebar right now, but as for when they run out my only recourse is Ebay, and they are fairly expensive (part of the reason money is super tight).

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Tracemaster, I'm always in favor of working with what you have at the time and building up from there. Since many of the suggestions you've received you've considered yourself then you know you're making compromises in your design to suit your situation. Nothing wrong with that. I think a lot of people are just trying to help you do it right the first time. That way you don't have to incrementally improve your setup (as much/often) over time.

That is however part of the process/fun of it all. Times are.. abnormal right now, but I agree that going to a meet or a class will be very helpful. Ask how other people are set up and what they do with that setup. Maybe even what they would have done differently.  

Speaking for myself, things I build for the shop have a certain amount of inertia to them. Once it's made, I keep using it and say "eh it's fine" and put off making improvements until one day I decide to just do it. Once that process has my primary attention it is finished quickly and I ask myself why I didn't do it sooner.  The fewer iterations from start to "finish", the easier it will be to learn, and the less you spend along the way. 

I think all you really need is a little extra vertical support in that center area. One or two 4x4s spaced out evenly will make a difference. Just don't get tunnel vision saying to yourself this is the only way I can do X because of A, B and C.  People do a lot more with less and a lot less with more.

At the same time, just getting it built will help you visualize and experience the areas that you have to fix and will give you new ideas for the next time. 

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Frazer that makes sense, I posted another option a few days ago and many of the same people responded (including you), and I am getting a bit frustrated because in both questions most of the answers see like they are saying it won't work because of a, b, c. you fix it with x, y, z. Though I do not believe I am getting "tunnel vision" (I believe you told me that in my last question as well) I do wish to start with the best that I can given my limitations.

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7 hours ago, Tracemaster said:

Steel on hand - when they run out my only recourse is Ebay

Look for auto or truck repair shops, run the alleys looking for discarded steel, look for a place that uses steel (fab shops etc) and ask about their throw away trash.  Start collecting now so it will be on hand when you need it later.

As to anvil stands, contact a tree service and ask about some of their rounds.  Storms blow trees over and they need to be removed.  It does not have to be round as you can cut the sides to square and glue, nail, bolt, etc them together.  That is now they get boards and square posts.

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I made my mechanic a bottle opener from a wrench---he liked it so much he took me back of the shop and offered me free access to the "pile"  of TONS of old car/truck parts. (Particularly high lately as the scrapyard isn't buying steel right now...)

I think a lot of the posts were NOT that it wouldn't work. Just that there were ways to do it that would work better.  Sticking with a poor design is your choice.  We may scratch our heads and wonder why; but it's your choice.  I will say that folks whose setup makes forging easier tend to stay with the craft over folks whose setup doesn't. 

Lots of ways to depelt a feline;  I've seen folks place their anvil on the ground and then dig a pit to stand in to work a ground forge and use the anvil on the ground.  I'd have to check for snakes doing that out here and back in Ohio it would spend a lot of time being an impromptu quench tank.

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21 hours ago, Tracemaster said:

when they run out my only recourse is Ebay,

Not to discourage you but eBay is possibly the worst place to buy steel. As Glenn said there are a ton of places that have good steel for forging. If you keep your eyes open when driving the roadways, there is always steel that falls off of vehicles free for the picking. You just have to be careful of traffic when collecting it. Check with the road department and city shop, I have been given more free steel than I can use from them.

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Tracemaster: Do you have a name or nickname we can call you? Something less awkward than Tracemaster would be nice. It seems so much friendlier you know. ;)

A couple things to think about. Not pressuring you, it's your set up but some things being repeated are simply because they're cheap, easy and more effective. 

Simply rearranging the posts in your stand will address the too flexible nature of your current concept. Just line them up under the anvil. They'll look like a fence with your anvil pretending to be a cat. Sure they'd be better screwed and glued into a glue laminated beam but just lining them up is WAY better than what you're planning now. Same price as what you have. 

Finding steel is easy, even in crazy remote or high end fine you for leaves on the lawn type neighborhoods. Steel is the most commonly made and used material humans have, it is literally everywhere. Do you have a bicycle? Start watching the: ditches, alleys, dump sites, garbage days, etc. 

I live in an Alaskan Forest, no not the bush but certainly not a city or even town. But I don't have to go far to find usable steel and when I told Right of Ways I scrounge scrap steel from the road right of way, the director mailed me 4 free passes to the transfer station. A dump run costs $15 so it was like getting paid $60 to supply the forge. 

If you're too young to drive or not allowed to go for a bike ride, let us know please, we'll come up with more ideas. Something will help, honest.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • Mod30 changed the title to My forge and anvil stand

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