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John Brooks Anvil - Weight?


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Hi,

My dad is downsizing so he's given me the task of selling some of his bits.

He has this John Brooks anvil that he wants to part with, I'm pretty sure it's quite an old one but I can't figure out the weight. 

 

The stamp is hard to read but on side it says -

- Brooks backwards 'B' logo

- John Brooks

- Stourbridge

- Warranted

 

On the other side it says -

?   3   6

 

Not sure if there is a number stamped or it's blank?

I've attached some pics, should have put something next to it for a bit of size context but it's not huge. We're in the UK.

 

Thanks for your help.

Jack

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Yes, the John Brooks anvils are cast steel and are supposedly high quality. Yours looks pretty nice to me.  A ball bearing (rebound) test will confirm that the working face is still hardened.

If you're interested in how the wrought iron anvils were made, they were usually many pieces of WI forge welded together with a tool steel face welded on. Here's a video that you may find interesting:

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/38970-welding-a-faceplate-on-an-anvil/

If you do a site search, "site:iforgeiron.com John Brooks Anvil" (without the quotes) there are a few other threads on them.

Welcome aboard! While you're looking around, take a moment to read the info in the "Read this First" tab at the top of every page.

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The letters and numbers on that anvil look stamped in, rather than the raised letters one would typically see in a cast anvil. Did Brooks start out making forged anvils and move to cast later on?

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Maybe, I don't know, but all of the letters and numbers are stamped in my Soderfors. Though I think Soderfors were cast and subsequently forged so it might be a case of apples and oranges. 

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There's certainly no reason not to stamp a cast anvil, other than the possibility of creating a stress riser that could lead to cracking (although I suspect that would be more of an issue with cast iron anvils rather than steel). 

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Right, and even then, the stress riser would only maybe be a concern if the whole body of the anvil was hardened. However, since it's only the face, I think the likelihood of a stamp that's 1-2 mm deep in the waist of an anvil causing issues is negligible. Especially when compared to something like the step. 

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Yes that looks to be a FORGED anvil, does it have any handling holes under the horn and heel and perhaps in the base? The MODERN Brooks anvils are cast steel.  The early ones were not!

BTW what did it weight when you put it on a bathroom scale?  Surely you could borrow one from a neighbor if you don't have one yourself!

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29 minutes ago, Frazer said:

the stress riser would only maybe be a concern if the whole body of the anvil was hardened.

In a cast steel anvil, maybe. A notch in a gray cast iron anvil would definitely be a problem, because the graphite flakes dispersed throughout allow cracks to propagate easily. That wouldn't be a problem with ductile cast iron, though, as its excess carbon forms spheres rather than flakes.

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I double checked AinA again and there’s not a whole lot of information on brooks anvils, but I couldn’t find anything about them being forged it just says they are cast steel, 

also I looked but I couldn’t find anything about another manufacturer using that name,

unless it was a small time anvil maker that postman never came across? 

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JHCC, that's what I was talking about, but I probably should have specified cast steel.

You would have one heck of a time trying to harden the whole body of a Fisher. *grin*

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Thanks for everyone’s comments so far, it’s making interesting reading!

The marks are definitely stamped into the anvil.

I’ve attached some more reference pictures showing the various holes. The ones on either side don’t go all the way through, maybe 3-4 inches.

I’ll try to get it on the scales sometime this weekend and also get a picture underneath. 
 

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Hm, it really does look forged... If you're looking for a somewhat definitive answer as to what the body of the anvil is made out of try tapping one of the feet (or the underside) with a grinding wheel and see what sort of sparks come off. Wrought iron will put out dull red sparks with relatively short trails and essentially no forking.

If you don't want to do that, then it can remain a mystery. At the end of the day if the face is hardened it will be a nice shop anvil regardless of what it's made of.

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To a smith the "worth" of an anvil is how well it works, not how old it is or who made it. Just like it's possible to get a "lemon" when buying a car even from a high quality brand; but less likely for a high quality brand; anvils are likewise.

Handling holes!  I thought it might have them.  

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