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One more Swedish anvil

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Came across this one today,-an old Swedish anvil, can't remember the brand.
Look closely, it has a thick toolsteel face forgewelded onto it, no dings, cracks or wounds on the face and the edges are without blemishes.
The face is very smooth and flat, I consider myself lucky.
The seller had several anvils for sale but this one was the nicest of the lot.
Oh BTW,-I bought a blacksmith's vise also.


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If it's a Swedish anvil the face is almost certainly not forge or otherwise welded on, it's probably cast Swedish steel. I can't say for sure of course I live on the other side of the planet but I've owned and used a Soderfors since the late 1970s and have never used finer. 

That one looks almost unused, chipped edges are common on Soderofors and Kolhswa anvils they are so hard. Mine is close to 100 and flat as can be but a little chipped up. 

We'd love to see some more pics of your new anvil, if you rub some chalk or flour into the side and wipe it off lightly it will make stamped in name, logo, etc. stand out. 

Congratulations, you're about to be spoiled.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 9/14/2020 at 7:21 PM, aaamax said:

That looks nice and I'm guessing a Söderfors at over 100kg.

The vise is good looking as well, is it heavy?

I'm not sure about the weight, but it is smaller than my 80 kg Lesjöfors anvil.
The vise weighs 20 kg.

On 9/15/2020 at 1:01 AM, Frosty said:

If it's a Swedish anvil the face is almost certainly not forge or otherwise welded on,

I'll take some more pics, hopefully tomorrow. -I need to buy some chalk too.
I haven't really looked at it yet. Been busy adding a concrete floor and insulating my old shed.

Edited by Mod30
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No rush on pics, just don't let someone else get it.

There's no need to quote everybody you're replying to, in fact it'll get your posts cleaned up by the mods and put you on the watch list. When you're replying to someone, just include their name, DON'T TAG their name, the forum doesn't work that way and tags cause problems. 

Just call me Frosty, all my friends do. If you need to quote something, you can highlight that part of the post and select the quote button to include it in your post. Lots of Iforge members live without broadband connections and have to pay by the minute or bandwidth so we try to keep the size of posts to reasonable.

Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky.

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It's a Nohab anvil.
Nohab of Trollhättan, Sweden, startet manufacturing in 1847, producing locomotives, hydropower turbines and tank chassis and obviously anvils.
Weight: 56 kilos.
The anvil appears as almost unused and rings loudly like a bell when struck lightly with a hammer.
Now,-it looks like it has a steel plate forge welded on the face. -Maybe it has, maybe not, but cast steel anvils usually has the name of the manufacturer protruding outwards.
This anvil has the name and weight chiseled into the metal. -Perhaps it's a forged anvil with a tool-steel faceplate welded onto it.
The face is flat with only a couple of very small scars. The edges are undamaged and a very small portion on one side is sligthly rounded.
I'm not selling this . . . ever!







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Most of the cast steel anvils I have seen tend to have the names stamped in---except for fairly recent ones where they are part of the casting.

Most of the cast iron anvils I have seen have the logo, etc cast proud.

I have seen a number of cast anvils where there is a "fake" faceplate often being dressed while leaving the rest of the body alone.

Thank you very much for the info on NOHAB!  We really need an "Anvils in Europe"  collection of such information!

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Soderfors Sweden is cast proud on mine. Sorceress #5, weight and date are stamped on the other side. She's 125 bs. dated, 1926. 

It's not visible in this pic but there is a definite line where a welded face would join the body. Somewhere in the basement I have some literature from Soderfors regarding their anvils saying blacksmiths believed an anvil had to have a visible face plate so they included the line in their steel molds.  I believe casting a false face plate is a legacy practice and seeing as folk who market stuff think more is better you see really exaggerated false face plates, often extending quite a ways past the body.

This pic is before I replaced the wood stand with the steel tripod and even mortised and bedded in sand it was dangerously loud. 

Frosty The Lucky.


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Ayup, mine looks about the same from that close, you can see a hint in the pic above. 

I recall someone here or somewhere posting a few ads from blacksmithing magazines (journals) from the end of the 19th cent. Peter Wright and Hay Budden ads proclaiming their anvils to be superior to all others, as any discriminating blacksmith KNOWS a welded face plate to be the more durable and. . . etc. Unlike the poorly made Swedish cast steel anvils flooding the American market driving honest anvil makers our of business. I'm paraphrasing it's been years but the language of the day was rather full of colorful claims. 

The campaign evidently was cutting into Swedish anvil sales so they put the face plate "feature" in the molds. 

Soderfors used steel molds on a continuous line. Soderfors is a major foundry, anvils were a handy place to use the remainder in the ladle. I believe they discontinued anvils around the mid 70s. I don't know though.

Frosty The Lucky.


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Yes, they're: high carbon, vanadium, monosteel, casting, they don't need a faceplate. The "faceplate" line on Frazer's, yours and mine are purely cosmetic. 

The anvils were poured on the line and left in the mold a specific time depending on the size and model. Then the molds were broken open dropping the anvils on another moving line, and taken to a flume to be quenched. The line's travel rate was timed to allow the anvil to reach the desired temperature before being water quenched under the flume by a precise amount of water in a precise length of time.

The line carried it to a station where the face and sides were ground to observe temper colors. This was a quality control check, not actually necessary unless something went wrong. Anyway, the residual heat in the body of the anvil tempered the fact to a nominal RC between 60-62 and they were them chilled in a circulating water bath. 

There was no guesswork involved, they did so much precision casting and heat treatment they had anvils to the gallon of water and second. 

When they came out of the chill bath they went to be finish ground and stamped, often with the buyer's brand name, etc. they'd paint and label them as you wished to pay for. Soderfors Sweden is literally a small industrial city. 

I'd truly like to visit some day. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Soderfors is a really small place with less than 2000 inhabitants, which is typical for Sweden's industrial policy.
Locate industry in places where people otherwise would move away from.
My other anvil is a Lesjofors, another mini town with less than 1200 inhabitants.
The common feature of these places is a river, a fast running one, to produce the power needed, hence the suffix -fors in the names (fors=waterfall).
So, if you end up in a town with a name ending with -fors, be sure it was or still is an industrial town producing items that require steel as a raw material.
For people like us Sweden is "the land of milk and honey", or should I say, the land of second hand anvils, tongs, lathes and milling machines and any other steel item.

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Thanks Frosty, that was one heck of a terrific history lesson. I had no idea about that process, amazing.

So the whole anvil is a combo of the steels you mentioned... Isn't that a more expensive proposition than using a simple , softer steel for the body and just the high carbon for the plate? I am impressed.

I have a couple of Söderfors and the last one I picked up some years ago had the same, wide "faux" line as the OP showed in his pics. I always thought it strange along with no chisel edge. Just one long surface, but in a London pattern.

Again, thank you for the detailed information Frosty


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WHAT?:o! I don't remember what I read 25+ years ago? Cool. So IS the Soderfors foundry as large and busy as I remember reading? 

I was going to buy a 400+lb. Soderfors anvil for crazy little under $50 American, from a fellow in Sweden emptying a warehouse or such. Then I looked into shipping and in truth it would've been cheaper to fly to Sweden, visit, look around and bring it home as luggage. The cost of getting it through customs here was nuts. So, I had to swallow my disappointment and live with the one I have now.

aaamax: Monosteel means "ONE STEEL," "mono = one" and steel is steel. Yes? Vanadium naturally occurs in the ores mined in or around Sweden and is what makes Swedish steel so famous. It'd take some pretty special processing to remove the vanadium and make what we call mild steel. They were poured all at once probably after adjusting the carbon content but that gets into details I never had. AND as emptor has shown my memory isn't as good as I wish it were.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty: That was a very good price you had there for a 400 pounder. Nowadays a nice and heavy Söderfors like the weight you described goes for, or should I say, asking price in ads (since I don't know the final price) is often around $700-1200.

the prices have gone up a lot in the last few years.


Steve: I can't say for American prices of steel, but generally my experience has been that an equal weight of Mild vs high carbon steel, even a simple 1084, the high carbon commands a considerably higher price.

Are you saying that the prices in the States are the same for mild as is high carbon? If so you guys are very lucky!

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When I was trying to think of a way to collect on that anvil they were going to little above scrap and the seller was trying to save them from the mill. 

Carbon isn't expensive, it's the processes that make higher carbon steel more expensive than mild. It's harder to combine with precision, is more temperature sensitive and is much harder on the tools that form it say mill rolls. 

Think of it like a forged item. The purchaser isn't really paying for the steel, s/he is paying for the education, experience and time of the person who forged it. Yes?

Frosty The Lucky.

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