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How do I weigh an anvil that is too heavy to move?

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I have an anvil that took three strong men to lift - this thing is enormous - and I want to weigh it, but I have no idea how.

I have no fancy scales, and I'd prefer to avoid the time and effort of loading this thing into the van just for the sake of curiosity. I can walk the thing around, but I don't have anything strong enough to use as a lever or rope strong enough to utilise a pulley. Is there some clever trick to doing this that I can't think of, or am I going to have to bite the bullet and invest in some equipment?



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You are going to have to bite the bullet and invest into some old school technology, called a lever and a fulcrum.

Load the anvil onto one end of a board.  Place a fulcrum under the board, and close to the anvil.  Stand on the other end of the board at a distance where the lever lifts the anvil to balance.  Measure from the center of the footprint of the anvil to the fulcrum, and from the fulcrum to where you are standing. 

Now the hard part, the math. Multiply the distance from you to the fulcrum times your weight, and divide that number by the distance of the fulcrum to the center of the foot print of the anvil.  The result is the weight of the anvil.

Fulcrum Stock Photos And Images - 123RF

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Glenn, &  Mr. C. Oatmeal,

Glenn,  Effendi,

Too much math,  entirely  way too much math!

SLAG, suggests,

Get, borrow, or steel a second weigh scale. Place one scale beside the other, with a space between them.   Place a board over both scales. 

Get the anvil onto the board, situated between both the scales. Read both scales add both weights together and VOILA you have the weight of said anvil.

You will have to move the anvil up, onto the board to do this, of course. There are many ways to do same. (e.g. use a ramp, a sky hook, or pay a chap to help you). 

Or,  Wait for this, 

lift the anvil onto a back hoe and drive it to a feed store. They have big scales. The purveyors of the store will get such a hoot from the exercise

that they'll probably not charge you anything the weighing

Which all goes to show that there is more than one way to do things.

When there there is a will there is a way   or,   you can use a trust.

Just trying to help.  Very trying.





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Most methods of weighing involve lifting it at some point.  Do you have a friend with a "cherry picker"?  Often used by mechanics to lift an engine block out of a car.

If you can lift it fairly easily then the two scale method is fairly easy to do.  You will need to have both scales on a stable hard surface; perhaps a 2x12" on the ground and then the weighing board on top of the scales and then lower the anvil onto it.

They make hanging scales that do large weights but they are much harder to find than a cherry picker and bathroom scales.

The lever fulcrum method works best if you have a rigid place to put the fulcrum and it's not too large as you don't want shifting the anvil to destabilize it.  This means that the "plank" must be fairly rigid or else the sag may be more than the height of the fulcrum.

Please note that weighing large anvils and beer is NOT a good mix!

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Look closely at the front feet under the horn and the side opposite your picture after using a wire brush to knock off the rust. Many times you may be able to see markings like remnants of the maker or weight stamping's. If you post more pictures that may help too. (We love pictures)

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If you have something to use as a fulcrum (fiber glass ladder, taller stump, strong enough saw horse etc) you could use a wood beam (or something else you might have) and the rope you have with several wraps, add weight to the long end, and do some math.  Probably won't get you to the pound, but might get you within 10 or 20.  Atleast within 50.  LOL.


Oh, duh.  I see Glenn already said that.  

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Another solution is to counterweight a board on a fulcrum with something that can be removed in parts.  When it balances, remove the counterweight a bit at a time, then add up the bits. 


An alternate to my alternate? Use a BIG board and the counterweight is a water container, or something else you know the weight of.  If you measure as you add, you know how much weight you've added.  Water is a bit light for big weights, at "a pint a lb", (well, 1.04 lbs),  a 400 lb anvil would require 50ish gallons of water to even out.


What an enviable problem to have.  It's like having so much money that you need help counting it.

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