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Hello,

My main question here is "What kind of steel is a jeweler's anvil made from?"

I had a plan to get a new anvil since the one I have been trying to use is in conjunction to a bench vise. Needless to say, it isn't great. So I looked around for anvils but most of the ones I have come across are cast iron (and cast iron doesn't make a good anvil.) Not wanting to give up, I found an old piece of railroad track on ebay for a good price and free shipping. My plan was to cut the 8" rail into two 4" pieces and grind the bases so that they would fit side by side. Next I would weld the pieces of track together so that they would be one piece and form roughly a 4"x 4" face. Next I was going to use a previously purchased jewelers anvil that my sister got and abandoned years ago.

So, is the steel used for a jeweler's anvil a hardenable/good steel?

Do you guys think my setup will work for an anvil?

Let me know! Thanks!

(I should mention that the jewelers anvil is just a 4"x4" steel block)

Edited by Alex Melton
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Just go to a local metal shop or suppy and get a cut of the size you will need. A 4x4x 8" piece will work. That's  about all the Japanese  use and it works. I use one  as a taveling demo forge 

”Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor!”

 

George Brackett

American Bladesmith's Society,

Apprentice Member

Hialeah, Florida

Blademark photo 375x75BladeMarkPunch-125-sm_zps2e740d6d.jpg

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I must admit to being confused, but my short answer would be a qualified "no".  You should read this, which should answer a lot of your questions.

I suppose I should ask, what kind of forging are you trying to do?

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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Oops, my bad. I didn't explain properly. I meant that I would weld the jeweler's anvil to the 4x4 face of the railroad tracks...

I know it would be easier to go out and just buy an anvil or a block of steel to use, but I strongly prefer making things myself using mostly what I have on hand. I had a jewelers anvil already and go an 8" railroad track for $20. If I could turn that into something that's somewhat comparable to a straight up block of steel, then I will.

Right now all I'm trying to do forge-wise is trying to practice hammering techniques while making my own set of tongs. That way when I start to get into bladesmithing, I will have the tongs and the basic skills required.

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So an unqualified no is the right answer.  What you're trying to do is take 3 things that are fair anvil substitutes and turn them into a single, really bad excuse for an anvil.  Read the post, I put a lot of thought and some time into it, and it will answer a lot of your questions.

As for wanting to make your own tools, that's a fine idea, however, what you're suggesting is more like trying to build your own computer from a pile of 7400 IC chips.  You could, but it won't be much of a computer, and it will take a long time to do anything with it.

In historical times, say pre 1800, anvils were made by a group of skilled master smiths (or siths, which is what I typed first.  I wonder what a sith anvil can do?), which is one of the reason that old, big anvils are rare.  They were (and are) hard to make.

To put this in a different light, my Lady Wife is a spinner and weaver and knitter and general fiber wonk (she owns an original copy of the very first book printed in English about knitting and knitting patterns).  She used to think that, in order to do the job right, she had to start with the worst, nastiest, filthy fleece in the pile and do all of the processes herself.  Now, she won't even look at a fleece that hasn't been washed and cleaned and partly combed.

If you want to learn to make tongs, which is a worthy endeavor, get the right tools to start.  It's hard enough, without having to fight your tools too.

Just my .02

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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Okay, thanks a bunch for your advise. I did read the anvil thread and I found it very informative but I didn't know if putting the pieces together would have made it better.

Thanks again!

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I've got a 500 lb block of steel in my shop.  It's built up of 4 slabs, 3 x 8 x 12, welded by a genius welder.  It's completely dead and I never use it.  It would make an OK striker, if I didn't have a powerhammer, or friends too smart to get talked into a day swinging a 15 lb sledge.  One of those pieces might have made a fair anvil, all of them was a waste of welding rod.

It would make an AWESOME tup for a powerhammer, though :o.  MMMMMM, I get all squidgy just thinking about a 500 lb home built powerhammer.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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