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I Forge Iron

My new (first) Anvil: Hay Budden #148357

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I'm just trying to get started in all this stuff (blacksmithing) as a hobby. Last weekend I picked up my first anvil (and a post vice). The anvil was advertised as 80 lbs, but my bathroom scale thinks it is closer to 90. Photos are here:

Flickr: Ilmarinen's stuff tagged with anvil

Based on the serial number, does anyone know what age (and type of manufacture) that'd make it?

Any advice on cleaning and dressing the anvil up? Figured I'd start with a wire wheel and/or some of my plastic-bristle-with-abrasives-impregnated brushes. The face is very smooth and flat--no signs I can find anywhere of hammer marks on the face. The sides have some chipping and wear (as shown on photos). Is the rough casting on the bottom of the anvil typical?


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I'd just put it to work if it were mine. Once you have some experience you might MIGHT want to radius the edges. Most radius them, some don't it's largely a matter of taste though in my opinion the logic is on the side of radiusing.

If you want to dress it up some wire brushing and paste wax applied warm will make it look nice. LPS-3 will leave a deposit of tough wax and is easier to apply but a can costs quite a bit more than a can of Johnson's paste wax.

Good score.


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Howdy from East TEXAS!! and welcome to IFI!
WOW, now that's sweet...Just starting and already an anvil AND post vise. Good for you! This is the place to be, but something else I would advise is to join a group in your area. Most usually meet once a month to "heat-n-beat" and welcome newbies with open arms... or forges.;) Something that will help US with getting YOU hooked up with a group is for you to click on the 'User CP' in the green bar at the top of the page, there you can update your profile giving your location. Shoot, could be someone just 'up the street' from you that is a member here. Anyway, once again welcome.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement. I actually have a intro-to-blacksmithing class I'm taking from a local smith (David Lisch) this weekend. The fellow I bought my leg vise from talked-up the local organization quite a bit--he is a board member. Now I'm blanking-out on the name of it. I'll probably look into joining up with it at some point here.

Anyhow, both the leg vise and anvil just happened to come-up on my Craig's List searches (I have RSS subscriptions for things I'm looking for) on a weekend I could trek out and get them--the anvil was in the boonies south of Seattle, the vise north. The vise needs its spring replaced. The prices were palatable, and both were in nice condition.

I also have the parts for my freon tank mini-forge, but need to figure-out details of how I'm gonna put it all together (feet, etc.) and assemble it. Always more projects than time.


PS filled-in my profile.

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Hey Barnaby, congradulations on your "new" anvil!
I picked up a 134# Hey-Bud last April (#11243) that I'm told was made in 1898 and except for a few nicks on the horn it's in great shape too.
I should tell you that the body of our anvils is solid wrought iron (not cast) with a tool steel top plate that has been forge welded on.
The rough, pitted appearance on the bottom is what wrought looks like when it get heavily pitted and is nothing to be conserned about.
If you feel you must do something with it, you might try just useing some rust converting spray paint on it.
My anvil has that fine brown patina on it and I think it looks great.
When I got it I just took a wire hand brush to it to get the greasy dirt build up off of it (didn't want it to catch fire!) and built a heavy stand for it.
You will find that repeated applications of hot steel that is worked in with a 2.5# hammer will have the face shinned up in no time as well.
Anvils are only truly happy when they are put to good use and, don't like to be pamperd or fawned over.
You say that the bottom is a little uneven and the anvil dosn't sit right?
You might think about a "sand box" style stand. This is simply a box made of welded steel plate(1/4-3/8) and filled with enough sand to bring your anvil to your correct working highth but still leave enough side wall to keep it in place. You should probably put some straps over the feet to keep it from tipping out of the box while you're working on the horn.
I know of someone that has a set up like this and he said he put a thin steel plate under his anvil to prevent it from being slowly driven down into the sand from pounding, although I think that in your case that would not allow the sand to conform to the bottom of your anvil wich is the whole reason for doing this in the first place.
Like most others the Hey-Bud has a pretty loud ring that is not good for your ears.
To prevent this I recomend you place a strong magnet under the tail were the hardy hole comes through. This will all but eliminate the ring for you.
Welcome to the Hey-Bud Brotherhood!

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Thanks, steveh. I've been a "lurker" here for some time but, Barnaby's post on his Hey-Bud(Hay-Bud?) compelled me to finely join up.
Some of the names here I recognise from anvilfire .com so if any one is wondering, yeah it's me.
I'm in NE Wisconsin so I have to thank you right away for the "brisk" weather we have been having here for the last 4-5 weeks. That's alright though, it keeps out the riff-raff.
That is cool about our close numbers. Someone should start a Hey-Bud rollcall thread telling your number and were you are...

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Sask Mark, are you sure about that? Because that is the third different date I've heard now.
I guess I really should get my own copy but, I was waiting to see if Postman would come out with an updated version.
It is cool that the old guy just keeps getting older though.
It really is amazing to see what good condition it is in for a tool that has seen alot of obvious use but, not abuse.

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Hey Merl,

I used the most recent Anvils In America for the info. If I remember correctly (I don't have the book in front of me right now) they got up to around SN 16000 by the end of 1894.

I can verify when I get home tonight.

Edit - AIA claims HB produced the serial numbers approx. 9,001 to 16,000 in 1894 (these dates are approximated to within 2 years according to Mr. Postman).

Edited by Sask Mark
Correcting info
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