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I Forge Iron

Crack along Hay Budden Anvil Waist Seam

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Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but even after searching here for a while and in various other places, I couldn't seem to find my current issue addressed in much detail.

I recently purchased a very nice (or so I thought) 300lb Hay Budden Anvil. The face and edges are pretty clean, just normal wear, nothing major. It has great ring everywhere on the face and sides, although the ring is a bit duller near the bottom; I'm not sure if this is normal or not, of if it relates to my issue. The rebound is good too, around 80% over 3-4 measured drops with a ball bearing. So, everything was looking great. But then I looked underneath the horn and noticed a seam running the width of the anvil. After some research, I now know that Hay Buddens were forged like this, with the steel or wrought iron top half forge welded to a wrought iron base. However, the seam isn't very clean. It looks almost cracked all the way across. This crack-like seam is on both ends, under the horn and on the opposite side, but is more noticeable under the horn. Curious, I filed at the corner a bit to see if I could get past the seam into solid metal, but after going down 1/16" or so, the crack was still visible, and I decided to stop. See pictures below for a better explanation than I can write here.

Anyways, my questions are these: Is this an issue that I should worry about the integrity of the anvil? I foresee myself doing a decent amount of work over the hardy hole, so I am wondering if under normal working conditions this seam/crack, being a stress riser, is likely to develop into more and more of a crack until the anvil breaks clean in two. Or, is it more likely to just be a surface defect and the central material is strong enough to withstand any stress without further weakening the waist. In either case, would it be a bad idea to grind a V-groove along the seam and weld it back up? I tend to think the answer to this question is yes after reading other accounts of anvil welding, but I'm curious to know what more learned smiths have to say. Or should I just leave it alone and hope for the best?

Thank you all very much!

Shop cat for size in the first picture




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Welcome aboard, if you put your location in your profile, you may be surprised how many members are near you and a lot of answers require knowing where in the world you are located. As far as the question, I wouldn't worry about it and just put that beauty to work. I would say the crack is from when the anvil was made and I see the weld seam behind the crack. It has survived all these years. There should be a serial number on the foot under the horn which will give a date range of when it was made.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I haven’t been able to find a serial number on it, but the shape, location of handling holes, and stamped number 3 under the horn are what lead me to believe it is a Hay Budden. I’ve been trying to get ahold of a copy of AIA so I can learn more about it.

Thanks again 

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"Looks" like a hay budden to me. Other detailed pictures may tell a different story. 

I wouldn't worry about it and get to work using it. 

Keep track of the crack or seam, and if it gets worse Then worry about it. In that area it could be safely repaired anyway so no worries in my opinion. 

Cute kitty. I miss my forge cat Boots who passed a bit ago in november of 2018. 


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