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I Forge Iron

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?


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Hello Forum! I'm a lifelong gearhead, tinkerer, and a professional service tech. 15 years ago, my wife bought me a mig welder for Valentine's day. (I have the best wife ever.) Since then, I've made countless things, mostly brackets for stuff. So... I have a welder, but that does not make me a welder. So my wife bought be a grinder. That was a good start. Over the years, I've become proficient, but by no means "good". Now, she turned it up a notch. She got me an Anvil. According to Reddit, it's a Trenton farrier's anvil. And you won't believe the deal I got on it. Yes, I know, it's a little rough. It isn't flat. It's old as dirt. But, for the type of stuff I make, it's perfect. (I have no interest in making knives or swords.) I would love to know more about it, but if this isn't the right place to ask for age, etc, please point me in that direction. The SN looks like A59912. On the other side, it says 150N On to the obligatory pictures.

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150 is the weight; looks in decent shape for a starter anvil and especially for a farrier's anvil as they tend to have more edge damage.

No swords or knives????? Do you have a Y chromosome?  So refreshing to hear you say that!   What kinds of things do you want to make? 

Trenton's 58001 - 66000 were made in 1906

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J, I hear you about swords and knives.  I make them but they are not my primary interest because there is too much bench work (grinding, polishing, hilt making and fitting, etc.) and too little time at the anvil.  I've been doing this for 43 years and I'm still learning and loving the craft.

Welcome aboard.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Wow, 1906! The guy I got it from said he got it in the 1960's. He was selling his little farm and downsizing. He threw it up on CL for..... wait for it..... FREE. Several people (including my wife) contacted him within minutes. He chose to give it to me because I told him that I was actually going to beat metal into submission with it. I promised it would never be a piece of "art" while in my possession. As for what I will make; I always seem to need a bracket for something. Car stuff, house stuff, etc. My latest hobby though has been making light fixtures. I've made a few for my own home that I've been told would be quite valuable. I may move in that direction now. I always need a hobby, or I tend to sit on the couch too much. As for knives; I'm just not into weapons at all. I'm a pacifist, and just don't get any enjoyment out of things designed to hurt/maim/kill. Yes, I know. Knives are used for other things as well. But I come from a long line of gun toting drunk rednecks. I'm just trying to break the cycle.

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Gasp... No knives or swords? Call the Inquisition and throw this man on the fire!

And now for something completely different.

Welcome, and what an amazing wife you have, could almost be a clone of my wife (If I did not stop mine, she would spend all her money on buying me tools, games, books etc). Its good to see more people who don't follow the "lets only make knives and get bored with it in 6 months" bandwagon. 

Very nice anvil you have there, never seen one with a lump on the horn. Can anyone tell me what that is called and what it is used for? 

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Welcome aboard. I don't have much interest in making blades either for the exact same reasons listed by IDF&C. I can't bring myself to invest the time needed to make a satisfactory blade. I will have to make another draw knife soon though because I walked off and left my last one in the woods :wacko:. I think it's the third one I've lost in the last ten years or so. Fortunately I don't have to buy them anymore. 

I find hardware to be much more satisfying to make personally. Sounds like you might also. Anyway, glad to have you, be safe, and remember it's supposed to be fun. 

Pnut

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6 hours ago, Deimos said:

Very nice anvil you have there, never seen one with a lump on the horn. Can anyone tell me what that is called and what it is used for? 

According to the guy I got it from (and someone on Reddit), the second pritchel and the lump is what makes it a Farrier's anvil. Having never shoed a horse, I can't answer specifically what it's for though.

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When people ask me if I shoe horses I say, "Sure, shoo, horse, shoo!" while making shooing motions with my hands.

I highly recommend looking up and joining (half price during covid) Rocky Mountain Smiths.  A great group of folk and you can learn a lot at the various gatherings once they safely start up again.  In the meantime they are doing zoom demos.

Depending on when it is safe again to visit we are only a couple hours apart (for folk not from the wide open west a couple hours is almost next door.  Wyoming has been described as a small town with real long streets.) and you may want to take a drive up here.  Soon, I will have a second forging station in my shop.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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Thanks for the warm welcome. George, I may take you up on that. I travel up that way for work quite a but, so maybe we can work something out. I've already had my shots, so (for now), I feel pretty safe. My next job is to find a stump and bang some straps into position. I've got some 1" flat stock that will be perfect for it.

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As far as the anvil it looks to be in good shape. I hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding on it's hardened steel face. Trying to make it look better will do more harm than good. About the only thing I would do is to wire wheel the base and apply some boiled linseed oil (BLO) then hammer hot steel on the face to shine it up.

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I was lucky enough to get coopted by a person interested in Renaissance cooking---in the renaissance way!  Made a lot of kitchen stuff for her in return for being fed at SCA events; ever had peacock cooked over an open fire on a camping trip?  I've had it twice now---once being peaducken.

Lots of people come in wanting to do blades and the decide they like doing ornamental stuff better.

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18 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

 ever had peacock cooked over an open fire on a camping trip?  I've had it twice now---once being peaducken.

Never had Peacock, but did have lamb once that was "cooked" by having it standing next to a very big fire for over 6 hours. Tender enough to be cut with a spoon.

Getting "paid" with food is in the top 3 of ways to getting payed^_^

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  • 3 weeks later...

No pics, so I will just tell you all a story. I've been hitting metal into shapes for many years, with no training or education, or even any idea of what I'm doing. Watching FIF, then starting to do research here, has taught me lots, but obviously I'm still just beginning to learn what the xxxx I'm doing. Well, yesterday, I removed a bent crossmember from under my truck to straighten it out. I set it on the ground and hit it with the big hammer. It just bounced. I mounted it in my vice. It just shook all the stuff off my table, and bounced. I set it on a piece of rail road tie. It just...... you guessed it, bounced.

Now, my new-to-me anvil is still sitting on the floor in the garage since I have not found the right tree stump for a base, so I dragged if out of it's corner, and used it on the ground. This was not ideal, but it worked. Anyway, I hit this massive chunk of metal with the anvil under it, and it moved with no issue. I hammered and banged, turned and twisted, hammered and banged some more. This crossmember is one of those 1/4" thick steel plates that pressed into a shape where nothing is flat or straight, so I got to use the step, the horn.... shoot, I was all over that anvil. This thing is life changing! It made the job of fixing this crossmember soo much easier.

I'm getting a bit older now, and the body isn't acting the way it used to. Lately, I've been investing in tools to make doing the things I enjoy doing easier. (Just bought a mini-lift to work on my cars.) I didn't expect the anvil to be one of those tools.

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You didn't put that cross member back on your rig did you?!:o They aren't mild steel and hammering away on cold steel WILL cause stress compounding what was caused when it was bent originally. 

I HIGHLY recommend you buy a new cross member and keep the old one as a fun beginning project and source of medium carbon steel for down the road. Unless you're broken down in the field somewhere and don't have a alternative a piece of frame that's been bent and hammered back into shape is a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.

I'm not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, heck I spend too much time helping ensure new folk are as thoroughly hooked on the craft as possible. My aim is to not lose someone I haven't had a chance to get to know if a warning can prevent it. Old car parts can be an excellent source of quality if mystery steel for the forge just please don't put them back on!

Frosty The Lucky.

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This particular piece of my car is just mild steel. It's not holding anything up or on. It's more of a spreader.It's only held onto the truck with 4 8mm bolts. I'll keep an eye on it, but I think it will be just fine. If I run into one during one of my trips to the junk yard, I'll pick up a new one though. However, I really do appreciate your concern.

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As they have been tweaking vehicles to get more mpg from them they have often gone with thinner higher carbon steel for items; which can result in issues when trying to work them cold *or* trying to work them hot.  I have a Rancher friend whose big dually broke it's frame.  Being on a tight budget he arc welded it back together---where in use it broke again *near" the weld and so on....I told him that it had a HC heat treated frame and so welding on it had  left it brittle in the HAZ and he could do a preheat, weld, post heat and get a soft spot but not a brittle spot.   He recently gave me a bandsaw blade, (7 inches wide and 30' long...) so I guess it worked...

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:30 AM, jgrote said:

Now, my new-to-me anvil is still sitting on the floor in the garage since I have not found the right tree stump for a base, so I dragged if out of it's corner, and used it on the ground.

jgrote, you don't have to forge on the floor while waiting for a suitable stump.  Cut a bunch of 4x4 lumber in enough lengths to make an anvil stand.  Use all-thread or straps to hold them together.  Stand the 4x4's vertical or lay horizontal, enough for the footprint of your anvil.  Some recommend the 4x4's be vertical for best results, but those would have to be bolted to prevent slippage.  I made mine horizontal horizontal with all-thread.

 

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