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I Forge Iron

This Old Anvil

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This anvil has been in the family for about 50 years and stories about its previous ownership go back another 20-30 years.  I know nothing about it other than it was used as a general shop/farm anvil to hammer implements, weld, etc.  It's been pretty well used and abused judging from all the marks.  I tried to get a decent photo of the markings using a light but there's little to go on.  I figured someone here might recognize bits and pieces so any help is much appreciated.  The bottom arced words could be "Brooklyn NY" but that's a wild guess.

The approximate dimensions as I see them:

overall length - 32"

height - 12"

width - 4.75"

base:  11"w x 12"L.

Don't have a clue on the weight but my brother-in-law and me picked it up and we guesstimated about ~250-300lbs.  I will definitely do some research on this site.  I'd like to know more about  ring characteristics. 




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Agreed about it being a Hay Budden.  I'd say that it is in pretty good shape and any smith would be happy to put it to work.  I'd go over it with a wire wheel to remove the rust and then put a coat of boiled linseed oil on it to keep it from re-rusting.  In a humid climate like SC things will rust easily if not protected.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Yep Hay Budden for sure. The weight stamp below Brooklyn looks like 240 pounds. That anvil is in excellent shape from the picture. If there is a good rebound & ring I would say like new. Hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding on the hardened face. When Hay Budden anvils are not tied down and dampened, they ring like a bell over the face and rebound is in the 70-80 % range when a steel ball bearing is dropped from ten inches.

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Thanks all.  I’ve learned more about anvils in the last few hours than I’ve ever known.  For sure a Hay Budden and the dimensions match the 250# model from their catalog.  The rebound is definitely in the 75% range and boy will she ring.  I have it setting unconstrained on a poplar stump in my garage,  Not really where or how it should be I guess.  Suggestions welcomed.

Unfortunately, it does have a few weld beads on the face from obvious equipment repairs while on the farm. I will give it a good wire brushing, and coat it with some oil. The tip of the horn had some cracked, “mushroomed” metal from blunt ended abuse that I gently removed with a file. I’m sure thats probably not proper but I didn’t want it chipping off in use.

Here’s a few photos of the number.  I tried to cast shadows with a light.  The first number might be a “7” which puts it in the 1902 +/- range.  Anyone see something different?






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time to try out your new hobby and use that anvil.

make a fire, put a piece of rusty, scrap metal in it, wait until it's red, pick it up with some pliers, hit it with a hammer on your terrific looking anvil.  Don't try to make anything, just hit that metal.  You will know after a minute or two it you are bitten by the blacksmithing bug or not.

Wear some ear and eye protection and have some fun.



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