Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I think its time I start looking at getting a real anvil, nothing to fancy, And I can only afford something under a hundred pounds. 

So what is a good first anvil that I could find under 200$

And what type of anvil? There are so many. And what should I look for when buying one?

Maybe a stump anvil? there not as expensive.

Edited by Conner Michaux
Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently picked up a 4x4x10 block anvil from Old World Anvils (they only have 4x4x4 anvils posted on the website, but if you email them they usually have a couple other lengths you can buy). I siliconed it to a giant stump and it works just as good as my old 190 pound Trenton anvil. The only thing I miss is a hardy hole.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Yes Conner this is a great anvil to have.  I have one and I use it regularly and I have no problems with it what so ever.  It sits low and it's easy to bolt down.  All you need is two pieces of angle iron about 8 inches long with holes drilled through the angle iron.  I have no regrets on buying this anvil.  NONE.  If you have Amazon prime Id recommend getting this anvil.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure how much the 4x4x10ish anvil cost but IIRC they are around $200 from old world anvils. I will just say that if you went with a post anvil like this, you're getting the feel of a much larger anvil because you've got a lot of steel directly under your hammer. They say they are heat treated to mid 40's HRC which does seem a little soft to me but certainly functional its just going to ding relatively easily.

The downside is that you're losing a horn and a hardy hole. Both a horn and a hardy hole can be useful in certain situations. If it was me (and I was only planning to forge blades), I'd go with a post anvil then pick up a nice proper anvil later. I have both and use both but the post anvil is my main workhorse.

And just to be clear, I did not buy one from old world anvils. I ordered a piece of 5" square bar 4140 from my steel supplier and had it professionally heat treated to 55 hrc.

Maybe @aweller could tell us how the rebound is on one of theirs?

Edited by Cody Killgore
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rebound for the OWA is great in my opinion, I have a giant ball bearing I've bounced off it and it jumps pretty much right back to your hand. Having all the mass directly under the face is key, also I inset mine about 4 inches into the stump with silicon so its basically like adding a bunch more mass, and It's crazy quiet.

I don't know the hardness, but I have smacked it pretty hard with errant hammer blows and I haven't left a dent yet. 

I actually just drilled a hole in my stump and hammered a cut off hardy tool into it and I use that for hot cutting without issue. 

I paid just over 200 for the 10 inch anvil that weighed in at 45 pounds. When I emailed they had three anvils longer than the standard 4x4x4 and I picked the middle one. The longest they make is 11 1/4" because the send it in one of those flat rate USPS shipping boxes. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that sounds like a sweet deal to me. That's what I would go with.

IMHO, you don't need a horn or hardy hole for bladesmithing. But if you were going to do some general blacksmithing stuff, you might would find yourself wishing you had a horn/hardy hole.

Just my $0.02

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an 86 lb block of H13 that I got from a steel warehouse in St. Louis.  It cost me $140 shipping included to central Illinois.  I have a leg vice to hold my hardy tools.  I don't recall how much I payed for it but it was probably around $100 with shipping.  Just had to clean it up a bit and grease it.  Those old cutler/sawyer anvils were pretty much just a big block of wrought iron with a steel face.

Doug

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

Those old cutler/sawyer anvils were pretty much just a big block of wrought iron with a steel face.

Yessir,except for one very important detail that so often gets left out of discussion on anvils,namely the Crown.

Any anvil must,and normally is,crowned over it's top(especially the sawmaker's anvil).It's vital for proper forging,as it limits the contact area of a hammer-blow to that (ideally) equal of the area of the hammer face.Otherwise,the rebound will act on all those areas of a forging that fall outside the struck area,bending the work upwards.

Most Industrial Age anvils were made to have a crown that runs along the long axis of the face (you may want to check yours using a straight edge,to see what's up with your particular tool,but lengthtwise is most common).It served to straighten long work,such as shafts et c.,and that is why one must Forge only Perpendicularly to the face(and avoid any diagonal action,as it'll begin forming a helical twist).

With all my sincere respect for Niels P.,i'll go ahead and use him as a negative example..(sorry,Niels,and hope you'll forgive the impertinence):

In the first video of that thread,in the beginning,the ends of forging  keeps bending up outside the strike-zone.It's happening so consistently as to cause Niels to comment on it.Unfortunately his analysis of the situation,attributing it to the left(tong)-hand work is incorrect.

What is causing that forging to bend upwards is it's  positioning on the anvil face,Along the hump of the crown.The rebound comes back to hit the work outside tye area where his blows fall.Was he to turn it across the face that effect would instantly abate.

One must remember that a Bend is one of the forging operations,and is(barring a fairly radical and skilled)countermeasures a permanent distortion,drawing the stock thinner at the location.So that back and forth bending action is best avoided,in any Controlled Hand Forging operation.

Back to OWA,those are indeed a most useful tools for blade forging.Hopefully though,as a new owner you'll be able to somehow crown their face to whatever degree(surprisingly, too much is not as detrimental as none),as well as radius any sharp edges,to avoid the unintended indenting of work...

None of us are perfect,and Niels is an excellent craftsman who like the rest of us formed some habits at some point in his progress,and compensates for them in other ways.But this being the Beginner's discussion i thought it may be appropriate to bring this point  up....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jake, unfortunately many modern made anvils are NOT crowned, which is u fortunate.

I think that many ew makers didn’t consider it, and others left it off so it would be easier to surface grind after heat treatment.

Refflinghaus anvils are still crowned, or at least were a few years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Steve O said:

Jake, unfortunately many modern made anvils are NOT crowned, which is u fortunate.

Yes,and that is most unfortunate.

Any force applied to material must come from (at least)two opposing directions...And,to be predictably controlled,must be equalized between them.

We all know how difficult it is to work with a flat-faced hammer...It actually makes a different tool out of it,a Set,vs a hand-hammer or a sledge.So to use a regular forging hammer on an un-crowned surface is problematic.

I must confess here to not being a blade-smith myself...(mea maxima culpa:)...But iffen i do meddle in that craft,i must say that both the counter and the horn of my conventional anvil really get in the way of my holding the work,especially when it comes to forging in the bevels...

I'd say that if i was up against having to do much blade forging,i'd try to come up with a post-type anvil,of an OWA type...In extremis,i'd sink a sledge-head into a stump,a 10-12 lb-er can't be that hard to get a hold of...

In theory,an anvil needs to exceed the weight of a forging by at least a factor,so a 10 lb sledge head ought to work ok for an essentially a small forging that most knives are...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

Yessir,except for one very important detail that so often gets left out of discussion on anvils,namely the Crown.

Hmmm, interesting, I didn't know this, but I can see the utility. 

The OWA comes with a machined flat surface with sharp corners. I'm glad you brought this up because it reminded me that I actually did have to dress the surface. Initially, when I forged anything the machined surface would leave the tiny little lines left over from the machining process in all my work, looked like little finger prints. It was easy enough to take care of, I just grabbed my random orbital sander and smoothed it off, at the same time I dressed the corners, taking them to a nice radius with a file and then sanding them smooth, definitely improved the function of the anvil. I was worried about crowning the anvil to much if I was too aggressive, but now I'm thinking maybe I should crown it even more...

edit.

I went back and found some pictures of what I did that I posted awhile back. Just to say, I'm not trying to push OWA on you in any way, it's just what I did, and it seemed to work pretty well. There are lots of options, and the best option is what works for you.

Here is the anvil and the stump. With the height I wanted i ended up sinking it about 4-5 inches into the stump, as you can see in the second picture it made it right to the that hole you see in the first picture. I used 100% silicone in the hole and it is very quiet (which is nice, since I do all my forging after everyone else in the house has gone to bed.)

08D90961-1767-4C70-BD17-B4A1826A5116.jpeg

AF9CA736-9118-40D9-9ED3-191CB82D7557.jpeg

Edited by aweller
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmm, ok an anvil under 100lbs and under or around $200.  I'm hopefully not doing to burst your bubble or anything, if you find a vintage anvil - going rate is about $4 a lb.  I know a fella that sells anvils quite often and that's the low end.  If you happen across any anvil any get it.  a lot of the things discussed above about crowning etc it doesn't matter if you don't have an anvil to start with. 

As for style, I have not worked off a south German pattern but I would like to give it a try as I use a good bit of hardy tools and really abuse the horn/bick.  You certainly do want to look for something with a horn/bick in my opinion.  There was a lot of times when I worked with a ASO and missed the horn. 

I've worked off of steel bricks, old rail, the harbor freight anvil, those are just things to get you to where your going.  The harbor freight 50lb anvil can be shaped to what you need, but I experienced and lot of chipping with it.  It's also soft, the horn is not usable for it's shape worth it if you only have nothing. 

 

I have been, for a while, waiting for a friend of mine to get in a new modern anvil just so I can give it a little smack so I can give some feedback on the new vs vintage anvils. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made myself a bottom tool that matches the radius of one of my hammers. Level hammer blows push the work 360 degrees on both sides of the forging so it's super quick to forge thicker stock down into thin plate. I would rather forge on a dished, saddled, or crowned surface than flat but a lot of people starting out look at older English anvils as if the wear on them makes them defective. Sadly I've seen a lot of them ruined in recent years by well-meaning noobs with access to surface grinders and mills:(

101_0346.JPG

101_0344.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes,Aweller,all of the above sounds Most sensible.

I'd personally not be afraid to either crown or radius too much.

For radius,the "classic" of the genre is 1/2" from the step down to nothing at the counter,taking great care to neither mar the work when working there,nor striking overly hard/close to the edge.

MichaelP,yep,roger that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

None of my anvils (I have 4) are crowned.  I have never noticed a problem with it.  It could be due to continuously flipping the work piece while forging.  It could also be that the warp induced during beveling is so much more pronounced that I don't notice it.  Either way, I'd put crown vs flat vs dished fairly far down the list of things to consider when looking for an anvil.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Kreg Whitehead said:

So the reviews on this anvil say its not forged steel, It doesn't  look like is forged either, more like cast iron.

I have heard that cast iron anvils are really soft and the corners get ruined quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

@AndrewB  you have this one right? https://www.amazon.com/Superland-FoodKing-Anvil-66-LBS/dp/B076B8V1XX

 

How well are the face and the corners holding up?

Edited by Conner Michaux
Link to post
Share on other sites

You do get what you pay for. A lot of times with these cheaper products, they have almost no Quality Control. So they will let just about anything pass as acceptable. They will try to fill errors in the casting and such. Most of the time, it's a luck of the draw. You just have to hope you get one of the good ones. From what I've read about these anvils on various forums, the casting quality is pretty poor. Basically, you're going to hear goods and bads about this product because there are good and bad versions of it.

It's probably still a decent deal for what you get. I'd just say, when you do decide to upgrade to a nicer anvil, I would imagine this one would probably getting tossed. If you had a post anvil and later decided to purchase an anvil with a horn, I could almost guarantee that you would still be using that post anvil as well. I actually went from using a 165lb peddinghaus to my post anvil for bladesmithing. Only recently have I decided to also mount my old anvil as there are a few things I like to use it for. But, like I said earlier, if you foresee yourself doing more general blacksmithing type work, you will want a horn of some type and likely a hardy hole.

Edited by Cody Killgore
Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do I find the steel to make a a 

4 hours ago, Adam Weller said:

Here is the anvil and the stump. With the height I wanted i ended up sinking it about 4-5 inches into the stump, as you can see in the second picture it made it right to the that hole you see in the first picture. I used 100% silicone in the hole and it is very quiet (which is nice, since I do all my forging after everyone else in the house has gone to bed.)

 

Where did you get the steel for this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kreg Whitehead said:

I think I may have to have one if my tax return ever comes......I wonder if it has a big brother.

I was thinking of going to the 250-300 dolla range.

Big brother!!!

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/110-lb-steel-anvil/A-p8688442e

And little brother

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/44-lb-steel-anvil/A-p8688400e

Then there is little sister.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/22-lb-steel-anvil/A-p8688384e

I have big brother and love it!!!

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/37154-princess-auto-110lb-anvil-review/

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...