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Anvils and your opinion

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Hello everyone, I have been looking for a good anvil for a bit now and have had no luck turning up a decent piece for a decent price. This leaves me to either ebay or purchasing new.

I mainly have a question or two about hardness. I saw a 250# Fisher Norris which was marked to high xxxx by either a terrible smith or the fact that the face was just too soft. The question ---> at what Rockwell hardness do anvils resist marks by an errant blow. I usually use a 2# hammer and when I miss I leave a mark on my section of railroad I use now.

I plan on having some good times with smithing and working on pieces up to 1" thick. I want to get an anvil between 200# and 300#. I can sleep knowing I spent 2000$ on an anvil if I can at least be assured that I'm getting decent quality. I have found two potential anvils I would like to buy. Either a Nimba Centurion for 1650$ + tax and shipping or a much cheaper alternative from Old World Anvils - model named "Bulgar 205#" for 950$ plus tax and shipping. However, the Nimba is 50-52 Rockwell and the Bulgar is 45.

Anyone's opinion is appreciated. As of this moment I've only made some trinkets and a coat hanger. I plan on pounding out larger items such as furniture and sculpture in the future.

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First thing that I would do is practice ( hammer control )
You can mess up a good anvil as well as a bad one if you can't hit where you are aiming .
Once you get some hammer control then purchase a new to you or a new anvil.
An expensive new anvil no matter what hardness will not improve where you are hitting in fact with lack of hammer control a really hard anvil can quite possibly end up in worse shape than a softer one.

Mike Tanner

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A Fisher is normally pretty hard on the face so something unusual was done to that anvil (or it went through a fire at some point in its life).

To answer your original question, I'd say above 50 Rc should be usable in most any situation but as Mike said, hammer control is more important.

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Please go to the green bar at the top of the forum and click user cp. Then add your location and save. We would like to know where in the world you are located.

IForgeIron is an international web site with visitors from over 50 world wide countries each month. This helps us provide information in your area. No use our suggesting a good anvil at a good price in Romania, when you do not live anywhere close to Romania.

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I have several, a 100# KOLSHWA (Swedish), 180# Fisher (US) and a 450# Nimba Gladiator (Port Townsend/ Tacoma Wa. US) and I love all three and would recomend any of them.

I live just a few miles from where Russel Jaqua who started Nimba anvils lived.
He has passed away now and I dont know who is making them now.

All three of these and meny more are well made, you don't want too hard because of chiping or to soft that mutes rebound and allows nicking and marring.

Even the best will dent if you, for example, skip a cold chisel into the surface.
As others have wisely said learn on railroad steel or buy a 6x6x10 saw cut bar from a steel supply house. With a section of square bar (or round) you could cut off a quarter inch or so to expose a new surface when the old one gets to rough. When you are not cutting off nicked surfaces, you are ready to drop 1.6K for a great tool.

With care they will last well beyond our lifetimes. Good luck.

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