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We made the pattern on our CNC router.  There is a central sprue with 4 cavities around it.  We made it so we can give away the anvils as cool paperweights (with our logo) to customers and potential c

I missed this thread, but those are really cool little anvils. If your company was up for it, I think a really good seller would be something slightly more robust than the Old World Anvils 4X4.

I had that same thought!  Though I don't think it would fit.   I also thought it would possibly be cool to have on your table when selling knives, especially when not at a blade show specifically

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I wonder if Alan's idea of a narrower face might not pay off in the long run. With the mass underneath the work area a reduction in weight, from "shaving the sides" might not have too adverse an effect on performance and would result in lower production cost and, most likely, shipping. This would be good for end purchaser and possibly retailers.

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The face is already at 4" wide in the latest version.  From a manufacturing point of view, the weight (alloy content) is a very small fraction of the cost.  Labor is the vast majority of the cost.  Shipping is all about the weight though.  

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I thought I read somewhere that a custom casting, or series, would cost "$X" per pound per item?

So the difference between, say a 115 # item and the same thing at 90# wouldn't be significant?

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8 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

I thought I read somewhere that a custom casting, or series, would cost "$X" per pound per item?

So the difference between, say a 115 # item and the same thing at 90# wouldn't be significant?

Castings, like pretty much everything, is sold based on how much the customer is willing to pay.  The alloy we would make this out of costs us less than $0.50 per pound for the material, maybe a little more than $0.50 per pound after melting it down (electricity, wear and tear on furnaces, etc.).  So, let's take a 100 pound part (for the ease of math).  Let's say we can melt down the metal needed for $75 (risers and gating included).  We then pour it into a mold that cost us probably another $50 to make.  Then we have to process the casting after casting.  Remove the riser and gating (we'll get $20 worth of metal back here), blast, grind, heat treat, hardness check, rough grind, and finally surface grind.  All that will cost a bit, maybe as much as $125.  We have now spent a net of $230.  And we also have to factor in the cost of bad castings.  For one reason or another, we'll lose a casting every now and then (mold breaks, for example).  The simpler the part, the less likely of scrapping a part, as well as the less time it takes to do the grinding.  Now we are at about $250, so a sales price of $3/pound = $300, giving a profit of $50, or 16.7%.  If the part was 10 pounds, or 50 pounds heavier, the mold and finishing costs stay about the same, and only the metal price goes up.  Price per pound is an easy way to think of things, but it is never an accurate way to look at things for casting, or even forging.  The only time it really makes sense is for plate/sheet, because the effort to get different sizes there is fairly minimal from one to the next.  It has happened many times where a customer comes back with the drawing for round 2 and it has a big hole added to the middle of the part.  They are happy that they just cut down weight and are going to save a ton of money.  I then tell them that their cost just doubled, because it takes a lot more labor to add that hole (invariably it is a complex shaped hole in the worst spot possible).  

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Now put 4 feet on the bottom. Make them 1" diameter and 1/2" tall. Include a paper template to drill the 4 holes in your stump/block base and you have a way to keep it from sliding around when you hammer on it.

Now how much would you pay?

Order before midnight tonight and we'll throw in a ACME Turnip Twaddler for free!

Seriously though, this looks incredibly viable at the 115# weight. 

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1 hour ago, Jan Ysselstein said:

Would you be able to use a bit of solid graphite?

Solid graphite, now that would be a pain to use.  

1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

Now put 4 feet on the bottom. Make them 1" diameter and 1/2" tall. Include a paper template to drill the 4 holes in your stump/block base and you have a way to keep it from sliding around when you hammer on it.

That would actually be pretty easy to do.  Drilling it, not so much.  As it is, we'd probably be able to easily add feet with cast in holes though.  Mostly that would just be added pattern cost.  

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The feet would protrude from the bottom of the anvil. I would then drill the holes in whatever base I built for the anvil and set the feet into the holes.

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5 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

The feet would protrude from the bottom of the anvil. I would then drill the holes in whatever base I built for the anvil and set the feet into the holes.

Completely doable.  You just don't want to be drilling this material.  I dn't exactly know what it would cost, but it would be possible to cast threads in place for a helicoil, then we could thread a helicoil to standard thread insert in.  We do that for parts all the time.  

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I was thinking a quick and easy method to prevent the thing from moving laterally during use. There's virtually no way you are ever going to make this thing jump up a half inch and pull the feet out. 4 stubs for feet on the bottom seems like a simpler solution than tapping holes and threaded inserts.

Edited by Joshua States
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On 2/23/2018 at 2:47 PM, Jerrod Miller said:

Ah, I clearly misunderstood.  More like this, then:

image.png

BTW- This is my preferred orientation for the cut-off. It provides a nice little area for an upsetting block. 

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I was thinking a quick and easy method to prevent the thing from moving laterally during use. There's virtually no way you are ever going to make this thing jump up a half inch and pull the feet out. 4 stubs for feet on the bottom seems like a simpler solution than tapping holes and threaded inserts.

I'm thinking that the details of the work surface, being on the other "end" so to speak would make casting "foot stubs" on the "pour" end problematic.

Of course that is dependent on the mold method but something tells me, since draft has been included in the design it wouldn't be poured on its side with a seam.

IMO a 1/2" frame around the basemade in place by the user or feet with anchor holes would do.

Edited by Vern Wimmer
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1 hour ago, Vern Wimmer said:

I'm thinking that the details of the work surface, being on the other "end" so to speak would make casting "foot stubs" on the "pour" end problematic.

Of course that is dependent on the mold method but something tells me, since draft has been included in the design it wouldn't be poured on its side with a seam.

IMO a 1/2" frame around the basemade in place by the user or feet with anchor holes would do.

Upright or upside down, either way it has a seam. My guess would be an upright pour. Why have to surface two faces? (top and bottom)

Edited by Joshua States
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Well lets just say that I have a feeling if it were practical to do it that way then Jerrod probably wouldn't have suggested the helicoils . Just a hunch mind you.

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18 hours ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Completely doable.  You just don't want to be drilling this material.  I dn't exactly know what it would cost, but it would be possible to cast threads in place for a helicoil, then we could thread a helicoil to standard thread insert in.  We do that for parts all the time.  

Nuff said

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My thought was to cast it with the work face down, and there would be no seams.  The only way I can think of for reasonably making this thing not move is to add 4 feet/wings and the base to be used as clamp points.  

19 hours ago, Joshua States said:

BTW- This is my preferred orientation for the cut-off. It provides a nice little area for an upsetting block. 

I liked that placement for that reason as well.  

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On 2/23/2018 at 6:05 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Well, maybe raise the fuller to match the cutter and we do. :D 

Call it the bladesmith's anvil, furnish three to Forged in Fire, and start raking it in!

I know Dave routinely pushes away offers to help fund this site because it makes things more complicated.  But the anarchist in me wants to take up a collection from the masses here to pay for the core, and do exactly what Alan says to generate some income for this site.  I'm not above cheap capitalistic endeavors. 

Joshua, Nice Bloom County reference!

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42 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I know Dave routinely pushes away offers to help fund this site because it makes things more complicated.  But the anarchist in me wants to take up a collection from the masses here to pay for the core, and do exactly what Alan says to generate some income for this site.  I'm not above cheap capitalistic endeavors. 

Joshua, Nice Bloom County reference!

I have been "crunching numbers" on this and given the cost of the set up, based on what Jerrod said, it would be a heck of a struggle to keep them at an affordable price and yet see a profit. That conflicts with the idea of it being relatively simple and therefore affordable. I have the room in my shop to warehouse a lot of them but shipping from here is the pits. As an alternative to doing that I am willing to bet good money that if I bought one I could write an article about it that I could get published in a certain magazine.

We would really have to survey a lot of people to find out what they would be willing to pay and then figure out if it can be done. IMO price point will be the first hurdle, raising the start up and first run costs the second, the mechanics of distribution and some advertising will then follow. If there were between 10-20 of them sitting somewhere right now I am pretty sure they would move briskly at a reasonable price, likely justfying another run, but getting to that point is the challenge.

 

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10 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

I have been "crunching numbers" on this and given the cost of the set up, based on what Jerrod said, it would be a heck of a struggle to keep them at an affordable price and yet see a profit. That conflicts with the idea of it being relatively simple and therefore affordable. I have the room in my shop to warehouse a lot of them but shipping from here is the pits. As an alternative to doing that I am willing to bet good money that if I bought one I could write an article about it that I could get published in a certain magazine.

We would really have to survey a lot of people to find out what they would be willing to pay and then figure out if it can be done. IMO price point will be the first hurdle, raising the start up and first run costs the second, the mechanics of distribution and some advertising will then follow. If there were between 10-20 of them sitting somewhere right now I am pretty sure they would move briskly at a reasonable price, likely justfying another run, but getting to that point is the challenge.

 

I agree.  If the NRE costs can be covered by a charitable donation from forumites, then at least only the marginal costs need to be covered.

In the end, you are right.  It will all come down to how many people will buy at a given price point.  Any thoughts on what that price point would have to be?

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Just a gut feeling gathered fromseeing what folks are paying for older anvils, what standard patterns made new go for and adding in what I have observed about where people start balking at buying "turn key" grinders or forges and start asking about building their own, Just as a start to that discussion, I have to say that keeping it under $500, before shipping, would be desirable. If it can be a few bucks under so that the shipping brings it mentally to " a few bucks over" it would fly. I just think that in today's world $500 fits into "disposable income" to some and "doable" or "within reach" to others. In my youth it definitely was $100.

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