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Chris Niemczyk

Anvil identification

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Posted (edited)

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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In regards to copying or transferring the marks. try casting it with silly putty?

 

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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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Posted (edited)
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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I did try the paper and pencil rubbing, but to no avail. I think I have managed to find a letter "L" for the most part dead center of the anvil on the right side. I will try to focus on that area and see what I can find.20190315_134126.jpg

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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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Good detective work!  

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Thank you Alan. It was a lot of work, but I'm just happy to have figured out who made this piece of history. 

C. Craft, thank you for that info. I appreciate that. 

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