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Custom Anvil for Knifemakers


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8 hours ago, Sam Salvati said:

its funny how both of those negate one of the best benefits of an anvil for bladesmithing, all the mass under the face. 

My intent was not for this to be the primary anvil, the solid post would fill that role.  This is to give you the rest of the functionality of a london  pattern, with some flexibility built in.

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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Looking at some of these drawings for possible anvils, I have to say that the position of the Hardy hole doesn't necessarily work well. Especially if you get the Hardy tool wedged in the hole and have to tap the underside to retrieve it.

I think that when you try and make one tool be all things to all people, you typically wind up with something that ends up being really good for some jobs and so-so for everything else. On the other hand, when you make tools specific for one operation, you end up with the best tool possible and too many tools to use efficiently. Finding a happy medium for me has meant three tools, much like Geoff's current set up. 

I have a 200# Peter Wright, a 200# block of chrome-moly on edge (3x9 face) and a 125# swage block on separate stands in the forging area.

Anvils (1).JPG

Anvils (2).JPG

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

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Somehow I was under the impression this thread was about: if you could have only one what would it be? I saw Jerrod's drawing and just thought about an anvil I could use to compliment my current set up.

 I do agree with Josh, more than one tool for the job is ideal. If I had to design a GENERAL PURPOSE bladesmith's anvil I think it'd have very little waist, a hardie, and a smallish horn, and pretty sharp corners, maybe a 10"x 5" face (probably about like that colonial pattern). 

I do almost everything on my really old hornless mousehole right now (which is very similar to the colonial pattern Alan was talking about) and I love it. I've only wished it had sharper corners. I use a railroad track anvil for use of corners, horn, and hardy hole. If I brought the 2 together I think I would do it all with that one, and buy a swage block if I needed one later. 

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3 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Looking at some of these drawings for possible anvils, I have to say that the position of the Hardy hole doesn't necessarily work well.

That's one of the reasons I need to put in a Hardy post/stand.  Not remembering what it's called, but Mark Aspery shows the building of a portable one in his books.  The purpose in the books, is to have a place to forge top and bottom tools, but it would work great to have next to my anvil as a substation for tooling. 

That big chunk of steel looks sweet :-)

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You just need something to hold the tool shank.  I have seen a holder made from bricks of steel laid to leave a hole in the middle and welded together.  If you have access to a press, or the time to do it with a hammer and punch, you could just punch a hole in a big block.  Or drill an oversized hole in a big chunk and weld a piece of square tube in the hole.  Weld that to a piece of heavy tube and there you go.  You just need enough mass that you blows don't deform the holder.

 

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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4 hours ago, Zeb Camper said:

if you could have only one what would it be?

Only one? Sacrilege! 

1 hour ago, Gerald Boggs said:

That's one of the reasons I need to put in a Hardy post/stand.  Not remembering what it's called, but Mark Aspery shows the building of a portable one in his books.  The purpose in the books, is to have a place to forge top and bottom tools, but it would work great to have next to my anvil as a substation for tooling. 

That big chunk of steel looks sweet :-)

That Hardy post must be in Book 3. We still need to get that one........Book 2 has all sorts of tool making instructions , even hammers. Great books those are. Absolutely "must haves" for anyone who forges steel/iron.

That big chunk of steel is my primary knife anvil, and the only tool in the shop I told the wife she cannot use! The only problem I have with it is that it's a little too soft. I have to break out the belt sander every year and resurface it.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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It's in book one, page 219, just not as I described it.  The book shows how to drill and chisel out the plate, but describes a wooden base of 4 by 4's.  I transposed the stands CBA had for the Round Robin tool making workshop, spring conference 2007?  Forging bottom tooling was one of the stations and if my memory is correct, were similar in design to the vice stands.  Mind you, this was only my second blacksmith event and the first of any size,  I was in sensory overload.

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On 2/2/2018 at 7:09 PM, Gerald Boggs said:

Mind you, this was only my second blacksmith event and the first of any size,  I was in sensory overload.

:D

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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If anvils are hard to find, and sawyers anvils a great rarity, then a true cutlers anvil is like dragons teeth.  Here is a picture of a cutlers anvil, there were lots of designs for different processes.

This is a video of the last of the Sheffield knifemakers, you can see his anvil at about 3:50.

 

geoff

cutlers anvil.jpg

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"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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Amazing what a little practice can do for you.  Only 2 gross a day, 6 days a week for 40 years and you too can turn out a blade in one heat.

Geoff

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"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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  • 2 weeks later...

After doing a lot of reserch and talking to a few different people i have come to the conclusion that a cutlers anvil would be be ideal. At least have some sort of dovetail milled into the face to hold dies. At least something more than just the hardie. I know the hardie hole has been the normal way of holding tools and dies but the dovetail milled in the face would be way more useful than the hardie hole. There are certain tools that would be more practical in the hardie and some more so in the dovetail so why not offer the best of both worlds? I cant belive this has been virtually lost to time. I havent found one new anvil manufacturer that are offering this option. 

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2 hours ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

 I cant belive this has been virtually lost to time. I havent found one new anvil manufacturer that are offering this option. 

Aghemm... @Jerrod Miller

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"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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The reason you won't find anyone selling new anvils like that is simple: you won't sell enough.  It is hard enough to sell enough generic blacksmithing anvils to be worth while.  Could they be made?  Absolutely.  Would it be easy?  Sure.  If you were to go with a cast anvil, that is a simple core to add.  Converting an existing anvil to have the dovetail is a bit trickier.  The Rhino anvils we cast are tool steel that you couldn't easily machine (wire EDM might be the best option, but who knows?).  The Nimbas are 8640, and they could be machined pre-quench and temper (probably should do a normalize first).  Personally, I think this is a prime example of where it would be best to get a length of 8x8 (or even round) mild, mill the dovetail slot, then add hardened dies (such as 4140 or similar ~52 HRC material).  Proper wedges in the dovetail would make it quite solid, yet easy to change out (works for power hammers, right?).  That being said, if anyone wants to place an order, just let me know and I'll get you in touch with a sales guy to give you a quote.  Expect to pay $2,000-3,000 for a pattern (possibly more if you get a bit fancy), then $3.5 or so per pound for the anvil.  

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Just out of curiosity, what do you think it would cost to have dovetails milled into a block of 4140.  There is such a block, though it's usually out of stock, for $1000

https://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/trunion-swage-block.html

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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1 hour ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Expect to pay $2,000-3,000 for a pattern (possibly more if you get a bit fancy), then $3.5 or so per pound for the anvil.  

De we get to keep the pattern? :D

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14 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

De we get to keep the pattern? :D

Yep; you buy it, it is yours.  We store it for free as long as you are going to order parts from us, but when you are done ordering, or you just want to hang the pattern on your wall, we'll ship it to you (you pay for shipping, of course).  

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25 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

Just out of curiosity, what do you think it would cost to have dovetails milled into a block of 4140.  There is such a block, though it's usually out of stock, for $1000

https://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/trunion-swage-block.html

Geoff

Depends on how big of a block of 4140.  The link you had shows a neat swage block, but I don't see any dovetails in it (male or female).  Getting a dovetail milled into the mild might be a little more than the 4140 die, because it requires a special cutter where the die can be cut with a standard end mill.  Typically I would figure $100-150/hour for a machine shop rate, and figure 1.5-2 hours (each die or base) for the 8" size mentioned above.  This is purely a guess though.  Also, find someone that does it on a hobby level and it will be cheaper, and it isn't very difficult to do (for someone with a milling machine and the proper tooling).  You'd want to have the die cut prior to hardening though, so there is HT and post HT clean up to factor in as well.  

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