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Anvil identification


Chris Niemczyk

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Hello all. 

I am new to this forum as well as knife making. I'm getting all the things I need to get started slowly. I just got my anvil this past weekend from New York. I have tried all the tricks I can think of to pull any maker's marks off the side, but I'm afraid it is too far gone. I tried flour, chalk, paper and pencil. 

That marks are on it is the hundred weight on the left side, it is 1 2 14. That converts to 182 pounds, and a digital scale had it at 180. There is also a mark under the number 2, it is three horizontal lines and another line going from the top line, on its left corner,  towards the bottom line,  on its right corner. I'm not sure if this was made during manufacturing, or if it's proof marks from a chisel. 

There is a hand punched name on the bottom right side that is upside down to the anvil. It says J. Gray.

The only other mark I can find is a stamped number 2 in the middle of the front foot. 

I've posted pictures of my anvil. I look forward to hearing from anyone that can help and I'm excited about getting into this new adventure. 

 

 

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Edited by Chris Niemczyk
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All I can tell you is it's English, 1830-1870s, Mousehole-type feet and horn.  The punch marks and chisel cuts are just proofing marks, as you suggest.  Steel face on a wrought iron body.  Looks to be in good shape!  Welcome to the madness!

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Very cool. So you're thinking it's probably a mouse hole anvil? 

I really wish I could pick something up on the right side so it could be possibly dated. The history of these old anvils really interests me, and I can't wait to hear it sing again. 

Thank you for the info Alan, I really appreciate it. 

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Could be a Mousehole, could have been made by any of the 50+ anvil makers in the Black Country around Sheffield whose journeyman smiths learned to make anvils at Mousehole.  Use it well in good health!

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  • 3 weeks later...

No,  I haven't tried that yet. I think that I will try that technique. 

I just got Postman's books on mouse hole forge and anvils in America. I've determined it isn't a mouse hole because the stone weight is stamped on the left side. I have been able to narrow the manufacturing of it between 1830 to 1850.

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1 hour ago, Chris Niemczyk said:

No,  I haven't tried that yet. I think that I will try that technique. 

I just got Postman's books on mouse hole forge and anvils in America. I've determined it isn't a mouse hole because the stone weight is stamped on the left side. I have been able to narrow the manufacturing of it between 1830 to 1850.

Let me know if it works. If it doesn't I will try to come up with some other ideas. Hot glue gun may work. it would certainly have more elasticity than silly putty.

 

Edited by Stephen Ray
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A simple rubbing would be faster and cheaper.  Lay some thin paper on the side and gently color it all over with the side of a pencil lead.  Or even chalk.  Any surface marks will show up.  

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6 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

A simple rubbing would be faster and cheaper.  Lay some thin paper on the side and gently color it all over with the side of a pencil lead.  Or even chalk.  Any surface marks will show up.  

Maybe I over complicate things... lol

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maybe an acrylic paste to make a positive impression? I am just looking for a material fine enough to pick up the most minute details. I may just be grasping at straws now. If you get the lighting just right your camera may be able to see the variances with different filters.

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I've been working on my anvil. Mt daughter and I tried the silly putty trick the other night, but that didn't work. She then tried a few tricks of her own, which involved a little bit of sanding and using a pencil. Although that didn't really work either, I've slowly been sanding lightly, and I've found another line of letters. I almost think that I can see Sheffield on the second line. 

I'm still at a loss as to the first line, which I know has an L.

I've got to admit, this certainly has been a challenge. 

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Well, after hours of tedious work, I've been able to finally pretty much identify my anvil. It is a Tillotson. I was able to pull out the letters LOT on the first line and EF E D on the second line. Also the X and the right side of the heart. And after searching on line, I found someone else that has a Tillotson that has the number 2 on the front foot.

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C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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  • 2 years later...

Hi all!!

 

Like Chris, I am also new to knife making, and also like Chris, I have an anvil that I'd like to learn more about. I'm hoping that you all may be able to help!

 

In this first picture I can see what looks like a "D" and the letter before it looks like it could be an "L" or an "I". (Please see the small red arrow.) 

 

Below that looks like either four number 1's towards the bottom or possibly 1911? (Sorry that the pictures aren't better.)

 

On the other side of the anvil I can see what looks like small round divots in the center, and then four round divots near the bottom in a diamond shape. (Please see the red squares around the divots.)

 

Does anyone have any idea about the history/origin of this anvil? Is there anything else I can check for that might help to identify this guy?

 

Thanks so much for any help you can give!!

 

:D

 

Anvil 2 Line.jpgAnvil 4 Boxes.jpg

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The 1 - 1 - 11 marking indicate a weight of 151lbs in "hundred weight" if I remember my conversion correctly.  Alan will come along in a bit to correct me and to tell you more if I am wrong.

-Brian

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You might want to repost this as a standalone post.  The thread you attached to is from 2019, which is not the worst bit of thread necromancy we've seen.

 

Also a shot of the top and one of the underside of the foot would be a help.

 

Good luck

 

g

 

"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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Brian is right, it's English hundredweight for 151lbs.  I can just make out the end of the word "Solid" above that, which usually appears in a circle above "wrought."  The foot shape makes it look like a late-period M&H Armitage Mousehole, but it could be any of the 100 or so anvil makers from the greater Dudley-Wolverhampton axis west of Birmingham, England.  Except Peter Wright.  His anvil feet are distinctive.  The divots/punchmarks on the mark side opposite the weight are just where someone was playing or testing the temper of a ball punch.  

 

Date range given the foot shape is anywhere between ~1870-ish to 1930-ish.  It's wrought iron with a thin steel face forge welded on, and looks like a little delamination in one of those pics.  Geoff is right, a better image of the face would help judge condition and potential restoration options, but the number one thing to remember is DO NOT REMOVE ANY STEEL FROM THE FACE.  No grinding, no machine shops, no electric welding.  Those are all potential killers for the anvil's life and value.  The hardness of the face that makes it an anvil is only in the uppermost 1/16" of the face.  Remove or soften that and it's dead.

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