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An Interesting Refflinghaus Anvil - a puzzle to be certain

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At the encouragement of a fantastic member here (Wicon) I'm posting an interesting Refflinghaus anvil.  It is a fantastic North German #9 with an upset block that weighs 248KG (550lbs).  It's stamped both E & R on the feet, pointing towards an Ernst Refflinghaus manufactured anvil but it's also stamped with the ARSM brand on the upset block along with the number 91. 








Here's the twist, its a hand forged anvil with a steel top plate.  According to records, Ernst Refflinghaus stopped building anvils this way in the 1950s, so why the 91 stamp?




In researching this on the site, I came across a comment by Wicon that made me reach out to him.  What a helpful gentleman!  He contacted Refflinghaus on my behalf with the photos and we learned:

Jörg Refflinghaus – the son of Ernst and now the owner has answered:

This anvil was manufactured by ER, therefore the E&R on the feet. Sometimes ARSM bought heavier anvils from ER and then sold them as ARSM anvils. When it was polished for selling to ARSM the "91“ was stamped. ARSM then stamped their trademark and sold the anvil.

Even Jörg Refflinghaus doesn’t know why a handforged and steeled anvil was sold new in '91. He can only guess that it stood – maybe covered in a dark corner of the warehouse.


The anvil was recently imported into Canada from Germany.  The previous owner was a smith in Germany with the surname Bueller (or Bueler).

One item of minor concern, which I submit for feedback here, is there is a visible seam on the one side of the round horn.  The anvil rings true but I'm not certain what, if anything should be done about the gap.  Using a needle, I can only get 1/16" or so into the gap.  I'd appreciate any thoughts from the experts here at IFI!



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I don't think so, I'd probably go to physical tests were I able to. Light taps with a light hammer and listen, maybe go so far as to put a dowel or screw driver against the horn and body with the handle end in my ear like a stethoscope to listen for the buzzing sound that indicates a crack or delamination.

I agree with Thomas though, it there are no gross indications of a crack I'd put it to work and not worry. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks everyone! 

Hitting the anvil with a big or small hammer results in a clean ring.  Frosty - I even put a screwdriver to my ear (thankfully no photos of that!) and the ring still sounds clean.

The dye penetrant looks interesting but without any sort of baseline, I don't trust my interpretation of the results to be meaningful.

I think I'm going to conclude the anvil is sound and enjoy it!

I'd love to close up the gap but running a small bead of weld may do more harm than good...

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Ok - at the advice of some I cleaned up the seam as much as I could and added a couple of photos.  I seem (pardon the pun) to see the bottom and measuring with a pin, it goes up to 1/4 inch deep...deep enough that I'd like to fill it.  The first photo shows best the boarders of the gap.  Who should I speak to about methods to fill in this gap/flaw as I'm going to research this to death before taking any actions.



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Uh HUH. There's only one thing to do with a problem that big, you're going to have to let it grow until it effects working on the horn. Then it'll be time to drill a couple stop holes, gouge it out and weld it up. 

I wouldn't worry about it, NOR hit the horn with full power, two handed blows, with big, double jack sledge hammers.

How big around is the horn where it meets the body again? Seriously it's probably had that flaw since it was made, I don't think you could hit it hard enough to make it worse. You're probably the first person to look there since it was made. Aren't you glad it's not a London pattern? Just imagine what you'd see looking under it's tail!:o

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just looking at where the "crack" is, the only way you could really put force on it is by standing in front of it, with the horn to you left and hitting the horn from the side. If you stand on the other side of the anvil I doubt this crack would even feel it. What I would do is make sure there is no moisture in it. 

Just measure the length and depth of the crack, and after some time working on the anvil measure them again. If nothing changed, you have nothing to worry about, if it does get bigger. Use Frosty's solution.

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