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need help with anvil

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I recently was given an anvil. It was sitting in a buddy of mine's barn. It is an old 150lb ferriers anvil that one of the previous owner fill the hallow with lead so no it probably weighs about 200-250lbs. It is about 2-3 feet from hoen to the other end. It is not with out its problems though. The typical area you would work in has been worked som much that their is a baseball size divet that is about 1/4 of an inch deep. At the base of the horn is where one of the previous owner did all his host cuts and ther are some lines there also. Now I was wondering if it is worth my time to try to grind the anvil flat or weld on a new face? Would it just be better to leave the divit and work closer to the hardie? I am open to all suggestions. thank you.





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Note that it may have been used as a farrier's anvil but it is not a farriers pattern---no clip, double pritchels, etc.

1: check that that isn't a cast iron anvil by the spark test

2: if it is steel; grinding the top flat is like cutting off all your fingers just because you cut off one of them.

3: welding on a new face would be more expensive than buying an anvil in better shape as you need to do a full penetration weld and have a good slab of high carbon steel and heat treat it afterwards.

My suggestion is that if you really feel the need to rework the face you get a skilled welder to build it up following one of the anvil repair procedures documented to work. I had a friend who had an anvil once ground smooth by a machinist---the tool steel face was then only 1/4" thick and so not usable for any decent weight of smithing. He years later took it to an anvil repair clinic and a welding instructor and blacksmith did the preheat and built the face up on it---took 6 hours and a lot of the proper welding wire but was beautiful afterwards. Due to it being a blacksmithing clinic he only paid for the wire! Paying a skilled weldor to do it would probably cost several hundred dollars.

The center hole was a fairly rare occurance; ISTR a patent for it in Anvils In America; I'll have to look tonight---may tell what the anvil was made from.

(note that in preheating the anvil for welding you are getting awfully close to the melting temp of lead.)

(Phillip notice that that was my #1 my thought too)

Edited by ThomasPowers
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There's nothing wrong with the condition of that anvil; give it a light wire-brushing, a little oil/WD40/wax as you like and start using it. Pounding hot steel on it will polish the face up up in no time. Many smiths actually prefer a little swayback rather than a perfectly flat face; it helps when straightening pieces.

Even if it's cast iron it'll get you by until you find something more suitable.

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1/4" dish is nothing to worry about, let alone chance damaging a perfectly usable anvil over. I wouldn't worry about chisel marks on the step either, the only thing I use mine for is to upset into, I do all my hot cutting on a cutting saddle. A piece of 3/8" plate I welded a couple tabs on to keep it on the anvil in use.

I'd just clean it up a bit (maybe) and put it to work.


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What the other guys said, just buzz off the scale if you like with a wire cup on an angle grinder and put her to work.
This anvils most endearing feature is of course the fact that you got it for FREE! Free anvils are like free beer, that's the best kind!:cool:
It does have a somewhat odd appearance, the face/ shelf transition I mean. It almost looks like the hard steal face is gone- popped off, if it ever had one at all and was originally all iron.
Also it looks like perhaps that depression was deliberately ground in, well defined edges to it. (?) Hmmmmm... Nice FREE anvil. Dan:)

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It gets the job done. I have another RR track anvil that has a stand that a do most of my actual hammering because i don't lik being on my knees when i hammer, but the free anvil works great for holding by aluminum for hot cuts and i have a spring fuller that didn't fit in my RR anvil. By using a combination of both i get a lot of work and far more efficient works done. it is actually a really good system. The next big thing is to make a stand for the free anvil.

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