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I had a chance to go root around in a steel yard the other day, and this is what I brought home. It's about 260 lbs, and about 2.5 ft tall, maybe 8 inches dia. It's a shaft of some kind, and I figured it had to be a step up from the mild I'm using as an anvil now, but I still wonder what it is. Anyhow, without further adieu, here are a couple pictures.

 

DSC05217.JPG

DSC05216.JPG

 

I was pretty pleased to find this, especially at 30cents/lb.

 

Thoughts?

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Looks like a post anvil to me. It was hard to tell in the pic, the snow covered the end, but the end looked ragged. Even if it's not tool steel, and from the splines I'll bet it more than just mild, having all of that mass directly beneath your hammer will work out great. It's a bit short, so you'll have to find a way to raise it up. You can build a block, one piece to raise the shaft up to work height, and four pieces up the sides to hold it in place. It should work great. Nice find.

 

Geoff

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It might be something on the order of 1045, but you can't really tell. I'd cut or grind at leas one straight edge on it, stick the other end in a large bucket of cement that has had the bottom cut out and turned over to stabilize it and start hammering. If the face digs up, just reface it with a belt sander.

 

Doug Lester

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Wouldn't be surprised if that's part of an axle off a railroad car. If I had to guess, I'd guess medium carbon as well. Probably make a heck of an anvil for a treadle hammer, or a smallish (say, 25 pound ram) power hammer.

Edited by Matt Bower
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I can't tell with the snow on it but looks like it's ground with some type of teeth and with the splines on the other end, it could be a boring bit, if so it will be some tough stuff. Good find, should make a great anvil, all that mass under that small of a surface should make for some great rebound.

 

Jerry Fisher

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I guess I know a bit more about it than I let on at first, this was cut from a complete shaft that i got a look at; the ragged end is a torch cut(under the snow). My plans are to use an angle grinder to cut the ragged bit off the top, and then maybe run that through a couple tests. hardening, sparks, and... any other suggestions? I took an old hammer to the cut end and it resisted to the point of marring the hammer face.

I think I'll make a post anvil of this, and not a treadle or power hammer, because the anvil I'm using is only 90lbs mild, and hey, maybe I'll go back for the other end. ;) Thanks for the replies!

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i was talking about making a home made anvil the other day to some other blacksmiths, because i had welded together 6 1"x10"x18" plates of mild steel together with deep V notches all the way around, making on massive block of steel, for a basic square anvil 6" wide by 18" long, however i wanted a tool steel top on it. i could not find a tool steel drop from any of the places around that where even that size, if they were, they were good money. i was told to go to a local steel supply place and ask for "grader blade". if you don't know what that is, the large earth scrapers use it as the "bits" that bolt up along the cutting edge of the long , the edges of excavators buckets, etc. get one the correct width, and just arc weld it to the top. if that axle dings up on the top with repeated hammer blows, that mite be an idea to get your tool steel top. even if you just cut it square with a cut off wheel on a 6 inch grinder and put an inch of weld on 4 sides it would hold for a long, long time. anyway however you do, it nice find. good luck. OH i almost forgot ( sorry i put the kids to bed and came back) i am making a very similar post anvil, in a poured concrete base.. i mean to put some belting from a coal conveyor cut in the same diameter as the shaft, one layer, to deaden the shock to the concreted base. I think it will kill some of the energy from the hammer blow..........but after trying it on the garage floor, not a lot, and will help, i think, in not blowing out the bottom. also, wire mesh 1.5 inches from the very bottom of the concrete, and 1.5 inches under the rubber belting pad will help in longevity. sorry for long post, just that i had a really similar project im working on right now.

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  • 2 months later...

well i got a surface on it and now I'm considering a couple possibilities for putting a radius on the edge.

As the face is round I thought I could either have a tapered radius going from one side to the other in both directions or I could run it from its widest at a single point to its narrowest 359 degrees around leaving a "step" at that point.

Suggestions? anyone have a good configuration for a post anvil's edges?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Morgan,

It might also be 4140 or 4340. The face was most likely hardened by the torch cut.

After grinding the face flat with a 36 grit cup wheel on a large side grinder, finish with a 120 grit flap wheel. flatten at least 2 opposing edges if it is too much trouble to square all sides. Take your time so you don't overheat the face and soften it.

A square anvil face is much more usable than a round one. Keep the edge radius to a minimum, you might eventually want to forge "T" back blades.

Finally get a piece of pipe with a diameter just slightly larger than the shafting weld it perpendicular to a steel base plate. Fill it with sand to your desired anvil height and top the sand with a loose fit wooden disk.

You will have an excellent post anvil.

Chuck

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I think Chuck has a great idea for the base of your new post anvil. I was going to do something similar with sand also, but was able to use a bunch of old lead shot bags. You could easily rig up bolts or brackets on the sides of your post and base to use chain to pull the block down hard against that dense base.

 

If you cinch the base and shaft tightly together, it'll act a bit more like a heavier anvil than just the block alone. You'll get a lot less ring out of the steel and you'll feel a lot more work getting done for each hammer blow. It'll also be a very compact package.

 

Take care, Craig

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