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hey guys, 

so I've been looking for some type of anvil or block of steel and I've decided to go with a steel round from ebay around 70 pounds. what I'm wondering is which one of these would work better?

#1    http://www.ebay.com/itm/371863031249?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

#2    http://www.ebay.com/itm/401228194787?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

#1 is 5.5 dia X 9.75 long and it is 4140

#2 is 5 dia X 11.5 long and it says it is p-21? (I've never heard of it)

id say 2# is a better deal and it has a best offer, but i have no idea what kind of steel p-21 is and don't know if it would work alright for an anvil?

thanks.

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15 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

I think that I would go with #1.  It's 4140 and has more carbon than the P21 so it may have a bit more strength and hardness in a non-hardened state.

Doug

can p21 be hardened? 

Edited by Simonet
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A similar sized chunk of 4140 that is already heat treated would cost over $250 plus shipping from speedy metals so it isn't a bad price per pound.

http://www.speedymetals.com/pc-3865-8330-5-rd-4140-hot-rolled-heat-treated.aspx

I'd have to consider the extra $150 for something already heat treated though.

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Just now, Brian Dougherty said:

A similar sized chunk of 4140 that is already heat treated would cost over $250 plus shipping from speedy metals so it isn't a bad price per pound.

http://www.speedymetals.com/pc-3865-8330-5-rd-4140-hot-rolled-heat-treated.aspx

I'd have to consider the extra $150 for something already heat treated though.

i was planning on trying to heat treat it my self

Edited by Simonet
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That is quite a challenge.  A couple of things to think about. 

How are you going to move it, once it's hot? 

How are you going to get it hot?

How are you going to quench it?

How are you going to temper it?

 

1)  You could build a simple crane

2)  A wood fire won't do it, enough charcoal, or a big enough one time gas forge.

3) You are going to need a lot of quenchant, and it can't be just sitting, it needs to be circulating

4) Who knows?  If you get too hot or too cold, it won't work well, and without some controls, how are you going to know.

The biggest thing is cost, even at the simplest, I think you are well above the cost of having someone do it right.  Most of us think we should be able to all of this stuff ourselves.  The question I always try to ask is "Do I want to make knives, or do I want to make XXX?"  Generally, I want to make knives.

 

Geoff

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i could do everything but the tempering, that i would have to play around with... i get what your saying but when I'm going to spend that much on a piece of hardened steel i would rather wait for a real anvil or at least a block rather than a round.

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I don't think the round is a bad idea.  All you need is a bit of flat surface.  In the thread I posted above there is a picture if a pretty nice shop made anvil made from a long piece of RR track, set on end.  That much surface is about what most anvils were like through much of the early iron age.

BTW, I just found this, and I realize that cost is everything when what you have is nothing, but this would be a very cool way to get an anvil (and learn a bunch of stuff and meet some cool folks)  http://forgedaxes.com/?wpsc-product=viking-style-stake-anvil

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&FORM=IGRE

Any piece of steel would work, even if it's not ideal.  A big sledge head would work for a lot of stuff.  A big chunk of stone would work.  I've forged some things on the end of a log, though it would be hard to do very much that way.  I forge on a big chunk (5x6.5x29) of unhardened 4140, even though I have 3 manufactured anvils (#200, #125, #30) because it works better for me.

It is common, and believe me, I've done it, to spend time and money on marginal solutions.  In the end, if you had waited for the right thing, you would have been better off.

There must be an ABANA chapter in your part of the world.  The best place to find tools of all kinds, in in a group that uses them.  Smiths always know where tools are hiding, or they have things socked away.

We are trying to steer you away from mistakes we've made, but you seem resistant.

 

Geoff

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Just now, Geoff Keyes said:

I don't think the round is a bad idea.  All you need is a bit of flat surface.  In the thread I posted above there is a picture if a pretty nice shop made anvil made from a long piece of RR track, set on end.  That much surface is about what most anvils were like through much of the early iron age.

BTW, I just found this, and I realize that cost is everything when what you have is nothing, but this would be a very cool way to get an anvil (and learn a bunch of stuff and meet some cool folks)  http://forgedaxes.com/?wpsc-product=viking-style-stake-anvil

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&qpvt=viking+anvil&FORM=IGRE

Any piece of steel would work, even if it's not ideal.  A big sledge head would work for a lot of stuff.  A big chunk of stone would work.  I've forged some things on the end of a log, though it would be hard to do very much that way.  I forge on a big chunk (5x6.5x29) of unhardened 4140, even though I have 3 manufactured anvils (#200, #125, #30) because it works better for me.

It is common, and believe me, I've done it, to spend time and money on marginal solutions.  In the end, if you had waited for the right thing, you would have been better off.

There must be an ABANA chapter in your part of the world.  The best place to find tools of all kinds, in in a group that uses them.  Smiths always know where tools are hiding, or they have things socked away.

 

Geoff

ok. thanks for all the advice, i will look into the ABANA chapter

 

Just now, Geoff Keyes said:

 

 

 

We are trying to steer you away from mistakes we've made, but you seem resistant.

 

 

all my friends do say I'm very bullheaded... i guess I'm not the best person to ask for advice:P

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Florida has one of the bigger ABANA groups, the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association ( FABA).  Look them up, join them, learn stuff!  You may not want to be a blacksmith, but every last bit of forging skill translates directly into better knifemaking.  Plus they will have inside lines on tools and such.

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I'm really glad y'all talked me out of the piece from eBay... i just found a 100 pound quenched and tempered 6 1/2 dia X 10 length of 4140 for $120 plus $25 shipping from alro steels. seems like a pretty good deal to me

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