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Caleb Harris

Ideas for Substituting an anvil

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I've been searching for quite a while to get an anvil. All I've got now is the block on the back of a vise, and that thing's already cracking (gigantic grain size, too).The peak of my searches was when I found a section of railroad track- sticking out of the mud at the edge of a creek, so deep as not to be able to get it out. Unfortunately, there was no way to get an angle grinder or other cutter all the way out there, so I had to give that up.

 

I've been searching all over for other pieces of metal I could use (I just came back from a fruitless one-hour search), but have come up with nothing.

 

My question is, is there any obvious source that I could get an anvil substitute that I'm missing?

 

Also, there are a lot of old wheels trashed around my area. Would the brake drums be high enough quality for an anvil?

 

I'm kinda desperate, as well as cheap, so thank you in advance.

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brake drum has the same issue as your vice both are cast iron google or look in the yellow pages for your area for scrap yards

 

most scrap yards i have been to will sell steel from the pile and any bit of steel 50-100 lbs and solid will work out better than the vice

 

the more mass under hammer the better it will work my favorite anvil is proly only 80 lbs but is 2.5-3 round (almost the same as my hammer head) and long enough that i set it in the ground to use it and it moves steel like a beast

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Not brake drum. They are cast iron and very brittle. Do you have a cordless saber saw (saws all), with a metal cutting blade, you can get a piece of that rail iron. If that doesn't work out, Try talking to the rail road workers. If you tell them what you need it for, they may be willing to give you a chunk, especially if you make a knife or two out of spikes for them.

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Not brake drum. They are cast iron and very brittle. Do you have a cordless saber saw (saws all), with a metal cutting blade, you can get a piece of that rail iron. If that doesn't work out, Try talking to the rail road workers. If you tell them what you need it for, they may be willing to give you a chunk, especially if you make a knife or two out of spikes for them.

Unfortunately, it's sort of at the bottom of a rocky cliff thingy. All I have is the angle grinder, and I'd need to lug a generator down there, which would be virtually impossible.

 

I'll see if I can check out the rail workers though.

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A piece of shafting, 3-4 inches in diameter and as long as you can get, the more mass under the hammer the better. A large sledge hammer head, the bigger the better. You only need a surface about 3x3 inches to do most of your forging, if you can find a large piece of "I" beam you can use that for a straightening surface. the beam will have too much flex to use as an anvil, but will have other uses as you go along. There are lots of odd pieces of steel out there that will work better than what you've got, the hard part is mounting them so you don't have to chase them around the shop.

 

Geoff

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well like everyone else said can easily go to the scrapyard might even find a discarded piece of track there but if you could find one cheap get a little stump anvil.

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I've never used one, but I've heard that a large sledge hammer head works well. You would need to take it off the handle and set it into a cutout on a stump. Also, some people make stump anvils (like Shawn mentioned) out of splitting wedges. Again, I've never tried one, but it is an idea.

 

Good luck!

 

JF

Edited by John F. Ellis

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Some very affordable options on the following site. The 4x4 stake anvil would be pretty useful to anyone and a great place to start. I seem to remember Dave Stephens having purchased a longer length of the 4x4 stuff as a custom order and really liking the results.

 

http://www.oldworldanvils.com/anvils/index.html

Edited by Jason Mather

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In my earlier and more desperate days, I once cut through a piece of rail with a hand hacksaw. Start at the bottom and and work toward the track part... the top will be harder. A bunch of blades and perhaps a couple Red Bulls might be helpful.

 

However, after all that work, you will still have just a piece of track. You would be far better off to start doing some research and legwork. The scrap yard is your best bet for a big chunk, but I doubt you'll get anywhere by just calling and asking. Scrap is so tight now that you probably need to at least be aquainted with the yard operators to get anywhere. Look for machine shops, welding & fab shops, etc... anywhere there might be a lead. Ask around and check Craigslist. Put an "anvil wanted" add in your local paper or on Craigslist. Do some stuff to earn some money so when a good deal on a decent anvil comes around, you'll be ready.

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If you have a stone yard near you could look for a piece of granite with at least one face polished. Just forge with safety glasses on, which you should be doing anyway.

 

Doug

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If you have a stone yard near you could look for a piece of granite with at least one face polished. Just forge with safety glasses on, which you should be doing anyway.

 

Doug

I will agree even a Monument seller ( Grave marker seller) is a very good source .

 

Sam

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I got my RR track anvil from another fellow student (paid 2 car rides home for it :P) he had an uncle who had worked the railroads and gave him a 3-4 foot section, I had him cut me a 14"(?) piece for me, you never know who might have some track lying around :lol:.

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Caleb,

Where in Calif. are you? I have a piece of anvil i'll give you. I'm near Sacramento.

 

Ken

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Caleb,

Where in Calif. are you? I have a piece of anvil i'll give you. I'm near Sacramento.

 

Ken

Between Red Bluff and Redding. I probably couldn't arrange to drive there though. How big is it though?

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Between Red Bluff and Redding. I probably couldn't arrange to drive there though. How big is it though?

Edited by Caleb Harris

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How far from Los Molinos are you?

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About forty minutes away.

 

Can you PM me?

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