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I am looking to buy a new shop sized anvil. I have been looking at a Brooks which is distributed in the US by Milwaukee Tool and Equipment. My question is: has any one here had any experience with a Brooks anvil or done business with Milwaukee Tool? From the research I have done, Brooks seems to sell a very good product. What are some of your thoughts on it?
Thanks, t2g

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I wouldn't own a new anvil. Old anvils are better. They don't make them like the use to. From what I've heard, new cast anvils have no steel face and are dead to hit, in other words, no bounce.

Find an old anvil. You can still find old ones in good shape. Take it to a shop and have them machine a flat new surface if you want pure flatness.

That's what I think, for what it's worth.

Christopher

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You have not tried one of my anvils, or any of the other new ones that are made from tool steel. Mine are cast, yes but entirely of H13 tool steel and through hardened, horn is just as hard as the face, the feet are just as hard as well. They do bounce the hammer back as well or better than my 150 year old Peter Wright. You may have experience with some cheap cast iron anvils, not the quality cast steel ones now on the market.

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If you can afford a new anvil go for it, You have alot of choices out there and they are just as good or better than old anvils, of course you have to fully research what u buy. But a good old anvil is a real money saver.

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Taking an old anvil to a machine shop is often one of the fastest and most expensive ways to destroy it as an anvil! I have a friend who just recently had 6 hours of work by a highly trained weldor and blacksmith done to recover an anvil he had had machined previously. I have seen others where the machinist didn't realize that the face and the base are often not parallel and so they milled through the tool steel face to true it to the wrought iron base.

By "shop sized" you mean at least 250# right?

I've always been able to find old anvils in great shape much cheaper than buying new so I can't speak as to their reputation.

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By "shop sized" you mean at least 250# right?


Correct, the one I am looking at is a cast steel 280#er. I have not been able to find a large used anvil for much less than new so, I have decided since I'm going to lay out that much money, why not just buy a new one and not have to wonder what kind of condition it may be in when I receive it.
t2g

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Sounds like you have been looking on the net at used anvils for sale *bad* idea. Anvils are definitely a local item so you can vet them before buying and *not* have to pay shipping.

I think my best deal was a 515# Fisher in mint condition for $350, found it a couple miles from my then house in inner city Columbus OH.

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tat2dgrizz,
Check out the Euroanvils. John Elliott is bringing an anvil, that my friend bought, to the NC-Abana meeting at Big Blu on March 21. This is saving a lot in shipping. Your in NC right? You can't beat that price, it's new, and there's a lot of well known smiths using them w/out complaints.

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Hi there,
If it's a Brooks (or Brooks Vaughn) then it's an English made anvil, thats a long way from home :D Vaughns still make new cast steel anvils and you can order one and they'll ship it anywhere if your willing to pay.
As to the decency of Brooks as a tool all I can say is I own three of them. 1 1/4 CWT, 1 3/4CWT and a 2CWT.
The 2CWT gets used the most and is virtually mint, mine throws the hammer back at you and I do mean throws. Brooks have a serious ring if you hit them without hot iron in the way but magnets take the teeth out of them. I love mine, they have a great 'feel' to them. That said there's a few brands I'd like to try (Kholswa, Sodofors, Grunfors, Nimba etc) but I first found a Brooks and I liked them so when others turned up I grabbed them and wasn't dissapointed.

12183.attach

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T2G,
Just used a Brooks last weekend for a few minutes. John West, a Welsh blacksmith who now lives and works in San Jose, Ca. was a demonstrator at the hammer-in I went to, and that's what he uses. I've seen him demo a number of times and it was always on a Brooks. Maybe it's 'cause it's made in England and he's nostalgic? But I doubt it, he's a no-nonsense guy and wouldn't be using it if it wasn't an excellent tool. I didn't use it long enough to get a solid impression, I was actually trying out a Brent Bailey hammer on it, so there were two variables the hammer and the anvil. I was impressed with both. The Peddinghaus anvils now marketed by Ridgid that were mentioned above are excellent "new" anvils and I have a ton of time on one of them. That's what my mentor has and uses. In fact he won it in a raffle right here on Iforgeiron if I remember correctly. Though I haven't used one of Jymm's anvils I've heard good thing about them. I've also tried out a couple of Nimba anvils and they too are very nice. Good luck, I wish I had the money for a new shop anvil!

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Mcraigl,
I met Brent Baily at Alan Ball's Hot Iron Muster in Oz a while ago. He was the demonstrator on the day and ran a weeks course after. I still have a centre punch he gave me, still not needed to redo the point yet. Very nice bloke and an excellent tool maker who knows his stuff alright. He showed me some of his work and the pattern welded stuff was gorgeous.

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Three years ago I purchased four of kind import cast steel anvils for the school. These are used by new and also knowledgeable students. These anvils see their share of missed hammer strikes, but have held up decently well. Several months ago I was demonstrating and noticed a small straight line across the face of the anvil. I contacted the supplier and questioned him as to what type of metal the anvils were made of and was informed they are cast steel. After explaining that one had developed a crack and that I was not looking for a replacement I was informed that the metallurgical makeup of the anvil was unknown. I explained that it would be nice to know so that I could purchase a matching weld wire to repair the anvil if things got worse. No help.
This week I found two more of these anvils had developed cracks. One has an almost identical straight line across the face like the first anvil has. The second has two thumb size cracks which look as if there was a void inside of the casting. The crack has bent inward on one side and the opposite side stands above the anvil face enough to feel the raised edge. I don't really want to weld on these anvils so I'm having students work around the defects.

These cast anvils rebound at approximately 85/90%.

Even though new and fresh off the boat an anvil can have defects. The older anvils have been tested, proven and generally cost 1/3 the price of new. Of course, now that I'm in the market for six new anvils I'm gonna contact Jymm Hoffman about his H-13 anvils. The college will purchase brand new, but not used.

I've now been to Jymm's website. I'm putting six of these anvils on my college wish list. Now the problem is which style.

JYMM, don't get excited. I said WISH LIST. Working with a state funded school is like being in the military, hurry up and wait.

Edited by Rutterbush

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Correct, the one I am looking at is a cast steel 280#er. I have not been able to find a large used anvil for much less than new so, I have decided since I'm going to lay out that much money, why not just buy a new one and not have to wonder what kind of condition it may be in when I receive it.
t2g


Check out the JHM Competitor. 265#, plenty of rebound, London style.

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Check out the shady grove blacksmith shop. They carry Refflinghaus anvils and they are top quality anvils. Dick is planning on coming to Georgia in May to attend the Southern Blacksmith Conference. This would be a good opportunity to not only see that anvil but others as well. And yes the new anvil are just as good in quality as the older ones. I have had them all at one time or the other. There really is a lot of difference in anvils today. The Clark/Hofi anvil is S7 cast steel with a unique design that is in a class by itself. Take your time and buy what you like, hopefully one you can try out before shelling out thousands.

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i can vouch for several cast steel anvils
I have a vaughn brooks
nimba
euroanvil
tom clark
habermann
traditions
hoffman
and two refflinghaus anvils
actually have 45 anvils of most every vintage and name and the good cast steel anvils are every bit as good or better that any of the others.

Mike Tanner

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I bought a 200lb double horn anvil from TFS at the last CBA conference in So Cal. I have been very happy with the rebound and everything about it so far. I expect that it will out live me by several lifetimes.

Edited by FredlyFX

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there are 6 euro anvils in my school and they take alot of abuse from people just lurning the trade. only been in use about 4 years now. they show little evidence of use, vary shallow dents, little bit a horn drooping right at the last inch of the horn. definitely still in mint condition. and thats with people coming in and abusing them 8 hours a day for 4 days a week, often with sledge hammers.

so yes i think the face is just a little soft, hence the light dings and little bit or horn droop for the last inch, but its much better to have that than a super hard face that chips and cracks in my opinion.

not my favorite shape (i dont like the hardy hole right next to the horn), but i cant say anything bad about them, there good solid anvils.

o we use the 175lb i think

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First: Hell-o Mr. Tanner and yes you do have a FINE collection of anvils down at your shop and you should have an informed opinion about some of the best.
Tat2dgrizz,
I own one of the Hoffman double horn anvils and have been using it for over a year now. I think it is great. I started with a used anvil about nine years ago and it was a good starter for the price. The english pattern I strted with had some dings and cuts on the step but what was most trubbling was the "sway back" on the face. It really caused a lot of frustration while I used it and has hard to keep the forgings straight and true. Since I have switched to the Hoffman (new double horn) the face is wider and good and flat with plenty of "hammer bounce." I am totally satisfied.
In addition you may wish to check the anvil stands Jymm also sells they make standing at the anvil so much more workable than the stump I had in the past.
The best advice I have read here yet is "look them over" and talk to some of the owners and get plenty of feed back before you choose.

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Any of you who are in North Carolina please feel free to stop by Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville.
I've sent at least one Personal Message about the cracked anvils. I will not put the name out because I don't want the supplier getting a bad rap because of something he imported.

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