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I Forge Iron

What about decomposed granite?

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I'm in the process of designing an anvil stand. Nothing ground breaking I know. Trying to blend different ideas and thinking of some of my own.

I have 2 anvils, 3 actually but 2 big ones are part of this story. 

A 250 lb Fisher and a 325 lb HB. 

I live in the suburbs in Los Angeles so I don't have distance between neighbors or even my main living quarters for that matter.

I initially picked the Fisher because of its quietessnes while still great rebound.  I went to a purchase a slightly bigger,  better condition Fisher recently because why not upgrade?? Upon arriving, the Fisher was sold the night before. Feeling horrible about the situation,  the seller offered me a 325 HB with stand.  I know the reputation of the HB's and their quality but my focus was based on as quiet an anvil as possible. He struck the HB and I was pleasantly surprised how quiet it was. The stand was a sand filled circular pipe.  The pipe itself is probably 12-14 inches wide. A square bottom plate. The top plate is diamond plate cut little longer/wider and the edges bent up to lock in the base of the anvil. The anvil itself isn't tightened down but cant move side to side or front to back. He made me a deal I couldn't ( or at least didn't) refuse. 

Took it home. Unloaded anvil first.  Wife came out & was expecting to see a nice quiet Fisher. I explained to her the stand made the HB quieter.  Took the ball bearing out, dropped it. It had the standard "rings like a bell " ping. She wasn't too excited.  I placed anvil on stand, dropped ball bearing again. Big difference.  She was happier, not a lot but more than a little. 


My initial plan with my 250 fisher was to weld up a 3 post stand with some thick square tubing, use thick 3/4 in steel top plate. I found some heavy duty retractable casters I planned to weld to the inside legs of posts so that i can move the anvil as needed, then retract the casters so stand sits flat on the ground. I'm tight on space as most people are. I know the benefits of sand filled stands and now I can see/hear the difference first hand. The stand that came with the HB is a bit bulky. which also lends itself to me thinking of the 3 legged stand.

  The other idea I thought was to drill a hole thru the top plate, above each post & fill with sand.

I know the bottom of the Fisher isn't completely flat and rocks a little on flat surface which is why I like tthe idea of some people putting  their anvil in sand. Got me to think of welding some side walls to the top plate of the base so that i can lay down a thin layer of sand so the anvil has a solid contact without wobble.

Then I was looking at my walk way at home.  I used DG ( decomposed granite). It lays out like sand, compacts super tight and almost as hard as concrete after you wet it down.  So I thought maybe fill the legs with sand, weld some edging on top plate, then put some DG on top plate instead of sand.

The hard compacted dg could be vacuumed,  brushed, etc without loosing material like loose sand would. I would probably do the same with the HB but since it already has a stand, that might give me something to compare to and see if its worth the extra work.

Am I overthrowing this build? 

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Interesting thought. I don't think I'd try a thinish layer between anvil and a steel plate stand, it might bounce. However I'll bet decomposed granite would work a treat in a "regular" sand box anvil stand. I'll bet better than common sand, it sure wouldn't shift and you could cover the anvil's foot for additional damping. 

My steel tripod anvil stands don't have a plate, just an angle iron frame with the flange up on the outside to hold the anvil in place, the tong and hammer racks wedge the anvil in the stand. While they quiet the anvils significantly without sand in the legs, sand couldn't hurt. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the feedback. I have a smaller Fisher I'll probably experiment with the stand for that one.  

Measured the sand filled stand, it is 14 in wide. 

These are the casters I'm hoping will work.

They don't raise the unit a lot, just enough.  There's even a pin you can theoretically remove the wheel if its gonna be in one spot for a long time.  


I plan to mount on the inside portion of the legs so they don't stick out further than the legs.







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Yeah and it's easier to lift a heavy object than it is to let it down easy. Going up momentum is on your side but going down it's your enemy. 

Hmmm, there might be a market for a caster that lifted hydraulically so it could be lowered by bleeding fluid through a valve. Nothing exotic, a couple few pumps to lift the thing and a little lever or similar to open the valve. 

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Plus, I'm standing on it going up, and having to use my hands while kneeling or bent down to try to let it down slowly.

I like the hydraulic idea. I've got two bottle jacks that I picked up cheap that I can probably rig to push up on a lever that would push two (different style, replacement) casters mounted on the other side of a pivot down. It would be more convenient in a self contained form factor, though. 

I don't know if this idea helps anyone or not, but the fact that I'm raising / lowering a jointer with it is just details. 

Hydraulic lift casters.

The corner posts are already in my current platform, but I would add new ones closer to the center to better support the pivot if I get around to building this. 

For the OP, I think the selected casters will work fine. The anvil doesn't care about an abrupt stop when lowering it.  

Edited by Chris Williams
Typo and clarity.
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Lowering softly would make it nicer for sure,  even if it is just an anvil.

I remember our Class C RV that we used to have had simple valve that I used an ordinary bicycle pump to raise and lower a fully loaded 32 ft RV. 

Maybe something from the automotive airbag industry that's small and can be easily inflated/deflated manually? 

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  • 3 months later...

I don't want to bring this thread back from the dead, but I always used Decomposed bluestone as filler for anvil stands, I even once made a tube filled with it and put the anvil on it. Problem with that stand was that it was WAY to heavy (much heavier than the anvil). It worked better than sand however, and didn't allow the anvil to sink.

What I would like to add; I've found decomposed stone to be somewhat corrosive (maybe this is just the case with my bluestone). So once I filled a tube, whithout compacting it; I pour some mineral oil in it. It soaks it up like a sponge. than I compact it it, and weld it shut. I've tried opening one a year later, no rusting on the inside.

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5 hours ago, BartW said:

Problem with that stand was that it was WAY to heavy (much heavier than the anvil).

That's only a problem if you want it to be mobile or if you fill it in some other location than its intended position!

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Not sure if you came up with a set of wheels for your anvil, but here is my crude submission. The anvil is a 100 pound Mouse hole, chained and silicone bedded to the stand. Hitting it sounds like hitting a dead fish, no ring.

The wheel set fits into a pair of hooks on the anvil stand and a bent pipe goes into the hardy hole. I can drag it around with the pipe (Mouse tail), the wheel set also fits into hooks on the forge.

Mouse on wheels1.JPG

Mouse no wheels1.JPG

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