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cwatson1982

Anvil Help

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I'm not sure if this is the right forum area to ask but I found an anvil locally for a very good price and need some help identifying it. I am a stock removal guy and would like to get in to forging soon. Anything I should test for other than rebound? I can't tell from the pic if it is bowed in the center but the work surface looks fairly good I think.

 

The guy says it weighs about 100lbs and is old but other than the attached pic that's all the info he has.

 

Thanks a lot in advance for any help given!

2011-08-15_19-04-20_660-2.jpg

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That looks an awful lot like my Peter Wright. There should be a stamping on the other side of it that shows the stone weight as well as the maker. If it is close enough to see in person I would look for those markings. Many of the Peter Wrights had "solid wrought" stamped into the side along with the makers mark and weight. Check out anvilfire.com they have some good anvil information.

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Looks like my Mousehole Forge as well. I've heard that you can tell a Mousehole Forge by the way the lower side of the horn comes to a "point" where it meets the main body of the anvil, such as in this picture of mine before it was cleaned up. I don't know if that's true or not, but I have had several people tell me that point is an indicator...

 

(and no, that isn't a crack, it was pitch, or tar that had solidified)

 

Edit: Mine has no discernible markings at all. No name, no weight. It weighs out at 163lbs

Edited by Sean McGrath

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Not sure on the maker, but 100 lbs would be a low estamate on the weight based on the apperant size from the picture. Unless my eyes are lying to me that looks close in size to one that I've worked on at a living history place and that one weighs in at almost 200 pounds.

 

Check on it and see if it has the weight markings on it. It will be 3 numbers, something like 1 1 15. The first marking is the "hundred weight" which is 112 pounds, the next number is quarter hundred weight or 28 pounds, then the third number is the odd weight (what ever is left over that is less then the quarter hundred weight). So for the markings in my example it would be 112+28+15 = 155 pounds.

 

I'm not sure how much the price is but from what I've seen while looking in my area is that an anvil will run around $1-$3 per pound based on condition.

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Thanks a lot guys. I am going to take a look at it today. 100$ is what he is asking for it so I am really hoping it checks out!

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I'm betting it's a Peter Wright or a VERY late Mousehole, based on that little flat along the top of the feet. PW had that from 1860-ish to the end, and Mousehole added it after around 1890.

 

Looks around 120-140 lbs to me if that's a normal-sized chair in the background, too.

 

The edges look okay from what I can see...

 

Buy it, clean it up with gentle sanding, if there are any deep chips on the edges round 'em over with a file or a flap wheel on a grinder. Don't worry about a bit of sway in the face, that's normal and actually helpful once you get used to it. Don't even consider the idea of refacing it on a mill or surface grinder.

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Thanks a lot guys. I am going to take a look at it today. 100$ is what he is asking for it so I am really hoping it checks out!

That's a good price; I gave right at $500 for mine ($3-lb), but I checked the rebound, and thoroughly checked it for cracks both visibly, and by sound while it was setting on a bare concrete floor.

 

Tap it with a hammer all over the place checking for dull sounds. These old anvils have a definite "ring" to them when tapped, and the pitch will vary depending on where you strike it. The horn and face should have a bright, high pitched ring, and the body will have a deeper, but still clear ring to it. A dull thud in an anvil of this construction type will likely indicate a crack.

 

If you strike the front or back of the face and get a "buzzing" tone, that would generally indicate a de-lamination of the face from the body. All in all though, from what I can see in that picture, the anvil is definitely worth $100, even if it has some minor issues.

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I'm betting it's a Peter Wright or a VERY late Mousehole,

Alan, do you know whether the "point" that I illustrated above is an accurate indicator of Mousehole Forge origin? None of the other 'smiths in my area that I personally know are using London pattern anvils, so I haven't been able to look at any to see if they have that point, or not.

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Unless there are cracks or delamination that is a steal for that price. Might just be that the seller doesn't know what he has.

 

Personnaly if that is the case then I would inform the seller of this and see if they wanted a more accurate price for what it is worth. Kinda the "due unto others" philosiphy. I know that if I was selling something for way under what it should sell for (because I didn't know what it should be worth) I would want to know. And based on the buyers honesty I would keep the original asking price.

Edited by Donald Babcock

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Alan, do you know whether the "point" that I illustrated above is an accurate indicator of Mousehole Forge origin? None of the other 'smiths in my area that I personally know are using London pattern anvils, so I haven't been able to look at any to see if they have that point, or not.

 

I've heard that, but I can't say if it's accurate or not. My old PW did not have it, but I've seen a few unmarked anvils that did. Since there were a dozen or more anvil manufacturers in a few miles radius, they probably shared a few journeyman smiths between them over the years. Certain similarities would then be inevitable. I'll look in Anvils in America later and see if Postman has anything to offer. I don't have his newer book on Mousehole, though.

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I'll look in Anvils in America later and see if Postman has anything to offer. I don't have his newer book on Mousehole, though.

Thanks Alan. It's no big deal, so don't go out of your way trying to figure it out. I just thought you might know off the top of your head. It's well made, has good rebound, and is in excellent condition, so that's all that really matters to me.

 

I suppose that if that transition point is an indicator of origin though, that would help a lot of people identify unmarked anvils like mine.

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excellent looking anvil - and I have to mention that it is an exact image of mine, too. People have told me what you are hearing, that it is either a Peter Wright or a Mousehole. Mine looks exactly like that, but weighs about 220lb.

 

I don't have as much anvil experience as most of these guys, but the anvil I bought seem quite good. I paid $300 or $400 for mine.

 

good luck,

Kevin

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)

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I ended up picking it up today, I'll have to do a bit of rust removal to see the markings on the side but it had a good ring, flat face with a little chipping along the edges and gave me ~75% or so rebound with the bearing test. The anvil belonged to the guys father who passed away. He has an immense amount of old cool stuff I wish I could afford! Cincinnati toolmaster mill with powerfeed, a metric crapton of tooling for it including some nice old rotary vices (one measured something like 16 inches in diameter) and a nice metal cutting bandsaw (I'll probably pick that one up from him soon!).

 

I'll snap some photos of it when it's light outside but I am guessing it's a hair over 100lbs.

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Alright, did some sanding since someone had painted it. It's marked Peter Wright Patent, 1 0 10 with solid wrought around the 0, no england mark and a small A in the center near the base.

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Alright, did some sanding since someone had painted it. It's marked Peter Wright Patent, 1 0 10 with solid wrought around the 0, no england mark and a small A in the center near the base.

 

 

That's 122 lbs. B) Lack of the England mark puts it before 1891 at the latest, the A is either the mastersmith's or the inspector's mark. Score!

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either a Peter Wright or a Mousehole.

 

Kevin, does yours have the "point" at the base of the horn like mine?

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Nice find. 122 pounds is a good size as you can move it around easily enough as you figure out how your shop should be set up.

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