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Slightly ill Peter Wright-How to Fix?


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Hello All,

I am new here, name is Curt and I'm located on the southern edge of Michigan. I am new to the blacksmithing arena (aside from the short unit in High school shop) , the screen name more comes from my interests in old metal working machines and my 1919 Port Huron steam engine...
I have started to collect tools to start a smithy including this Peter Wright anvil. I can get it off the floor and up to the work bench, so I guess around 70 lbs or so. I have attached photos of the edges of the face and one of the horn, from end to end of the face its reasonable flat, slight crown side to side as per the photo with the 6 inch machinist's rule..
My question is, whats the best way to repair? Please keep in mind, I'm not rich. haha. I do have large vertical and horizontal millers in shop. Was thinking of a slight fly cut to even out the face to get rid of the crown.

OK.... time for your thoughts.
Thanks in advance.






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Have an hour with a few flap discs, then hit some hot metal on it for a week or two, then see how you feel about it,

I had my machineists hat on when I got my first anvil and was pretty 'offended' it wanst true and flat, I diddnt have time to skim it so used it as it was, and got to quite like the character of the un-even face.

I recently had it 'sand' blasted, thinking it would be like a new one when done, instead it just removed all the pattination and it just looks a bit sorry for itself 'naked', it will take years to look like it did!

Its funny how you get a bit attached to a lump of metal and start using phrases like 'pattination', character etc! :)

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Thanks much for the tutorial... oddly enough, the anvil in the photos is almost the same shape as mine... I understand the use of the slight crown for drawing out, I will have to evaluate the area up towards the table, thats where the crown is the worst due to abuse. But the edges will have to be repaired as in the tutorial, because there just is not a decent area to form a shoulder or a 90 bend.

The 7018 rod is common for me here. I think ive got 50 pounds of it.. But the other rod I may have a bit of a time with my local weld supply.

Thanks Much

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I know I have only been around the site for a couple of months now so take this with that in mind. I would lean toward using it the way it is for awhile. If for some reason you decide it just isn't the size or pattern you want the changes you make to "fix" it can have a negative effect on a good old Peter Wright that others would want and use just the way it is. I understand the need to have a good spot to make a 90. I have a Fisher that has a similar issue to some extent but I have learned to use the whole anvil. I have spots on the heel that are sharp enough to get me a good 90 and it doesn't effect my work any. At the end of the day it's your anvil and you should do what you want. I prefer to see old anvils with history like your Peter Wright left the way they are. Just my $0.02. Good Luck.

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The whole issue of doing any repair to a wonderful and original antique is a thorny one. Sympathetic and expert restoration shouldn't always be frowned upon, but when this is justified is the real issue that requires careful deliberation. That stands true regardless of the item being considered.
I'd personally advocate doing whatever you need to in order to make the anvil you have fulfil the function you wish to use it for.
That said I would never repair an anvil unless it wasn't fulfilling the above criteria. If you really look at every surface it's suprising how many 'ruined' anvils are actually capable of doing everything you need.
If you want to spend money on an anvil as an antique merely to look at and cherish for what it is then that is your privelidge, but I believe an anvil is a tool, and should be viewed as such. I certainly bought mine as tools and I use them as such.

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Are you right or left handed? Do you already have a preference for which way to point the horn? I'm right handed and like most (not all) right handed smiths I prefer my hord to face to the left as I address the anvil. I think Ian gave some sage advice / things to ponder. Given all that, here's my 2 cents.

It appears to me that your anvil was used to sharpen plow shares, at least as I've been told by several old timers that have seen my peter wright that the "offside" is slumped like yours that is what commonly caused the offside to look like that. I would take a flap disc on an angle grinder and just clean up the offside vertical face to restore the offside edge to a "nearly" 90 deg. angle. I would then use the said flappy wheel to clean up the nearside where it's been chipped on the edge. I would just remove the roughness/cracked/fractured area by radiusing it. I'd probably hit that nick in the horn real quick just to take the rag off it. That's it. I'd mount that sucker on a stump and go to town on it. If you later decide you can't stand the largish radius created on the nearside edge go ahead and follow the bp on how to properly do the repair. you were going to have to grind all the "mung" out anyway before you welded so you've not costed yourself one little penny by doing it now. Also, if the machinist type in you is crying for a "flat" face, make sure you run it upside down 'til the base is parallel with the face before you touch the face! They are rarely parallel. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and show us the results!

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