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Will this work as a decent Anvil?


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Hey guys,

Just getting started on putting together my own forge after taking a few classes. I want to work my way into selling my first born child for a proper anvil and found this 6" round X 8" rod at the local scrapyard. Any idea what the markings mean? I gave it a spark test and it has long white sparks with multiple sprigs ( old chart I found said that means its High Carbon Steel) 

Do I need to heat treat it or can I just go at it?

 

Thanks for the help

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Dave

 

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Sorry that would be a horrible ASO and a great improvised anvil; ASO is a Anvil Shaped Object---made from gray cast iron that looks like an anvil but can't be effectively used as one as the cast iron is too soft to hold up to hammering on.

An improvised anvil is anything used as an anvil that works!  (Where did you learn the wrong meaning for ASO?)

It can be used as it stands as an anvil.  If it's annealed you can either work harden it or try to heat treat it if it dents too easily; or just grind it clean as needed.

David; he has FOUND an anvil just not a London Pattern anvil; of course London Pattern anvils have been around for only about 10% of the ironworking period where as "block anvils" have been in use continuously for 3000 or so years; so not a problem!

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That will make a great anvil. I really don't think you need to do any heat treatment, at least at this point. However, have you file tested it to see if it's already heat treated? If I'm not mistaken, the "HT" at the end of the steel code can mean it has been heat treated already.

Coincidentally, an 8" section of 6" round is the same dimensions of steel that I used to make this:

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Mine is just mild steel, and it still holds up fine. If this were my main anvil I would have welded on a heavier duty horn and heel, but the thin ones have been very useful. If you have a welder and the alloy of your steel is weldable, you could so something similar if you wanted. (just to clarify, you certainly don't need to add a horn or heel, the chunk of steel will work just fine as is)

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The markings look like a lot number for the steel. When we get steel in the shop the "HT" stands for high tensile. However i must state that as with the color codes that can change from one manufacture to another as to what the numbers and letters can stand for. There is no universal standard. 

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6 hours ago, Chelonian said:

However, have you file tested it to see if it's already heat treated?

Coincidentally, an 8" section of 6" round is the same dimensions of steel that I used to make this:

Yup, file digs in unfortunately.

What did you use as a base for it? I was going to build a stack of 2X6's banded and screwed with a center cutout for the steel to rest in. Not sure how i can secure it down though.

JHCC

Thanks! He's got 2 or 3 more lengths and some 3-4" thick rectangle cuts of the same material. Wonder if I should go back and grab one of those too.

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As long as it’s harder than hot steel and you don’t miss to often it will work just fine. 
a trick with rounds is to make your stump not only with a round recess to hold it flat side up but with a V to hold the anvil round side up. The round relay helps in drawing out things like tong reigns. 

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  • Mod30 changed the title to Will this work as a decent Anvil?
3 hours ago, Dave Toth said:

What did you use as a base for it?

I don't have it attached to anything, since I like to move it around. If I wanted to use it as my main anvil I would weld on some pieces of angle iron and lag bolt it down to a log.

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Dave, that will make a fine anvil for starters.  Our blacksmith group had a member who was a metallurgist working for a steel mill.  He came across about 8-10 round drops like that from the mill.  They weighed between about 110# to 140# as I recall.  He was selling them to some of our members and they went like hotcakes!  You can grind and polish an edge of about 1/4" radius along one quarter of the sharp edge for smooth forging and to prevent cold shuts.  Sharp edges on an anvil are not good except for a few special purposes.

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