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ATLSteve

Anvil -- whats this worth

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I have a 10 pound sledgehammer head, it works just as good as those cheap awful cast iron anvils, my cast iron anvil is starting to spall on the work surface which seems pretty dangerous. Id like a 20 pound hammer head to get a bit more space. Ive also got a 50-70 pound block of soft steel, it works but it doesnt have the rebound that the sledge has.

I said the sledge head works as good as the terrible cast iron anvil, I mean it seems to move steel just as fast, its way better in quality.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/19/2019 at 2:05 PM, ATLSteve said:

Someone is selling an anvil locally. They are asking $125. Is it worth it and is this a good starter Anvil?

Having about a years experience working off a one like that, I can tell you there is no way you should spend $125 on that.  I would say $25. And then try to upgrade as soon as you can. 

Problems with those little "track anvils" they are #1 not hard enough.  There is a slim chance they are work hardened to a degree, but every missed hammer blow is going to leave a mark. Plan on HT it yourself, that's not easily done for the garage smithy.

#2, there are too small, not enough mass in the right place. The "web" under which most of the mass is, does not support as well as other ASO's could.  A steel block would give more support.  The better way to use one of these is to stand them on edge, and use the little surface area of the rail.

#3, I know this because mine has a hole in it like that too.  It will be an absolute ear spliter.  

I pretty much took mine, and threw it aside one day and immediately called up a anvil buddy of mine, got my hay budden a week later, and never looked back.

 

If you have no anvil, then yes, pretty much any anvil will work for you, new or vintage. The degree of qualities in them is really different.  I've hit cast anvils, forged, there is a degree of difference in hardness, rebound etc. Yes I do prefer one over the other, it's a personal preference. I have also worked under mild steel blocks, and can tell you above all, you will notice a difference in something with a properly heat treated plate.  I still do want to try out a new anvil, but I've been out of the loop and haven't seen one yet.

Edited by Daniel W
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8 hours ago, Cody Killgore said:

Instead, perhaps you could make your own recommendation. 

Sure, Buy American.

To the OP: If you're not looking for a conventional anvil, then most any chunk of steel will do you. As long as it's got mass, it will work. Most of the steel distributors I've used have a shorts rack and you can sometimes get a good price.

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10 minutes ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Sure, Buy American.

To the OP: If you're not looking for a conventional anvil, then most any chunk of steel will do you. As long as it's got mass, it will work. Most of the steel distributors I've used have a shorts rack and you can sometimes get a good price.

Buy American is not much of a recommendation. Personally, I buy American where I can and avoid Chinese stuff wherever possible. But I think people on this forum are mature enough to decide for themselves what their finances can support.

And I think the OP would be disappointed in a non-hardened chunk of steel vs something hardened. If it was me just getting started I'd be going for either that old world anvil block or the atlas. The atlas is a better anvil as it's much harder and has a hardy hole. Several years ago I purchased a piece of 4140 new from a US steel mill and it was quite expensive. Then I brought it to a local heat treater and paid them another $100 to heat treat it for me. For the price of what I paid for that, I could buy 2 of the atlas's.

If you had a local heat treater and could get a chunk of known hardenable steel as a cutoff from somewhere local for cheap, that is a good option. But I'd make sure it was known and hardenable.

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That looks like switchyard track to me. Main line track would be better but still not as good as what everyone else has told you. That 4x4 from old world anvils was the route I was going to go until I stumbled across a Peter Wright. That AtlasKnife anvil is priced pretty well though.

Jon

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Some would also say that 60 HRC is way too hard for an anvil.  The Atlas is listed as being made out of 1050, which is not going to get very deep hardening, which shouldn't be too big of an issue as long as you don't reface it.  I'd even be surprised if it was really 1050 and 60 HRC.  It is also valid to point out that things like this coming from China (and other such markets) tend to not maintain a consistently good quality.  So while the first batch may look good, if you are considering buying one I would recommend looking for the most recent reviews to ensure the current quality is what you want.  

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I don’t know about the hardness rating but the guy from Atlas knows his business.  If you can’t source something from a scrapyard or buy a new or used anvil it seems a viable option to me. I’m pretty sure it is made overseas but Charles seems like a real standup guy. Don’t want to step on anyones toes or advertise for Atlas, it’s just my two cents. 

Jon

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13 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Sure, Buy American.

To the OP: If you're not looking for a conventional anvil, then most any chunk of steel will do you. As long as it's got mass, it will work. Most of the steel distributors I've used have a shorts rack and you can sometimes get a good price.

There’s a guy on YouTube he suggests when starting out, go to a scrapyard or machine shop and look for a 2 inch or wider piece of steel. Is there a type of steel I should ask for?

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Check machine shops first, a scrap yard is just that, scrap.  They have no idea what they may have.  Machines shops will almost undoubtedly have some large drops for 4140. Which even unhardened, will be tough. It's a very commonly used low carbon steel in the industry.

Do you need to Heat treat it? Not really. As your just learning/beginning, you will miss a lot.  Miss on a hardened piece of steel, you take the chance of chipping it out. The divots you make in the drop, clean them out from time to time, or else their just added texture.

If I was starting out again, I would get a drop from a machine shop, and save up for an anvil. When it comes to getting to know what you want, this is where your local blacksmith groups can help. You may be allowed to work off of different anvils at open forge nights or go to hammer ins to get more options to see what other people use. 

I only knew what kind/brand of anvil I wanted after working off of the same brand at classes and open forges.

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17 minutes ago, Daniel W said:

Check machine shops first, a scrap yard is just that, scrap.  They have no idea what they may have.  Machines shops will almost undoubtedly have some large drops for 4140. Which even unhardened, will be tough. It's a very commonly used low carbon steel in the industry.

Do you need to Heat treat it? Not really. As your just learning/beginning, you will miss a lot.  Miss on a hardened piece of steel, you take the chance of chipping it out. The divots you make in the drop, clean them out from time to time, or else their just added texture.

If I was starting out again, I would get a drop from a machine shop, and save up for an anvil. When it comes to getting to know what you want, this is where your local blacksmith groups can help. You may be allowed to work off of different anvils at open forge nights or go to hammer ins to get more options to see what other people use. 

I only knew what kind/brand of anvil I wanted after working off of the same brand at classes and open forges.

Thanks Daniel 

 

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22 hours ago, ATLSteve said:

There’s a guy on YouTube he suggests when starting out, go to a scrapyard or machine shop and look for a 2 inch or wider piece of steel. Is there a type of steel I should ask for?

It really don't matter, you're just getting something to get you started.  If you're lucky enough to get a chunk of good steel then great, but in the meantime anything will work.

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Hey ATLSteve, The Ga. Custom Knife Makers Guild is a having their summer meeting tomorrow at Pops Knife Supply in Braselton, Ga.:

Here comes the quarterly Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild meeting! The socail is Friday evening August 23. The meeting is Saturday morning August 24th. We are getting excited at Pops Knife Supply. We have a very exciting day planned. We have excellent demonstrations, and special guests coming from out of state. There will be several tents out front with knives for sale. Dan Eastland will be set up. Olde Towne Cutlery will have a booth set up. Dirk Loots will be offering his photography services. Amy at Warlander Leather will be showing off her excellent sheaths. Of course Pops will be there to sell you supplies if you need them. And finally, lunch will be served as well. The meeting is at the Pops Knife Supply shop, and starts at around 8 ish. Hope to see you all there!!

Please bring yourself a chair 

 

This is also the home of Andy Roy's Fiddleback Forge.

5450 Technology Pkwy, Suite 700, Braselton, GA.

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Let's see here.

The Atlas weighs 65 pounds and has no horn, step or pritchel hole. So it is really a big chunk of steel with a Hardy hole for $295+ $18 shipping.

The NC Tool's Knifemaker's anvil is $325 + Shipping, weighs 76 pounds, and has everything you need to do much more than a knife. The truth be told, I use the step, horn and pritchel fairly regularly in my knife making, so it's your choice.

Me? I would spend the extra $ and buy something that will last a long time and allow me to grow and expand my skill set.

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And if you do buy new, you might want to visit the local Farrier's store and save on shipping. 

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There is always the 66 lb anvil on Ebay. I used mine a couple times and ended up selling it but it was a fully serviceable anvil. I also had it's big 110 lb brother for quite a while and loved it. 

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2 hours ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

There is always the 66 lb anvil on Ebay. I used mine a couple times and ended up selling it but it was a fully serviceable anvil. I also had it's big 110 lb brother for quite a while and loved it. 


Strangely there are a lot of 66 lb anvils on eBay.  Do you remember who you bought it from? 

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If it looks like this there all the same anvil from the same foundry in China. Princess auto sells them also in a number of weights along with some other online tool dealers. You can order them from Alibaba.com  up to 300 kg. If I went through Ebay or Amazon I would just find the seller with the best reputation.

$_1.jpeg

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7 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

And if you do buy new, you might want to visit the local Farrier's store and save on shipping. 

There is that. Helping a local small business & all. The markup is probably equal to the shipping,  more or less, but you certainly get it faster. I'm a little spoiled because Pieh Tool has a satellite store in Phoenix and the main store just an hour up the interstate.

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Posted (edited)

And NC tool anvils are made in the USA vs china

 

Edited by Jeremy Blohm

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https://www.hoffmansforge.com/my-work/anvils/

 

I don't have too much knowledge about this one, I was at my local smithy club and found out about these.  Just another new anvil maker to add to the list if they are still in operation.

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Those are excellent.  H-13 steel, and the shape maximizes mass under the face for a "traditional" anvil.

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I don't know how much is exactly true of what I heard about these particular anvils.  It was coming to me by word of mouth that they are cast out of one of the smaller mills near my area of the world. 

The shape, yes, I would like to try out that style of anvil as well.  South German/whatever style that is considered, is so much more supportive for work.  And much more supportive over the hardy hole than a traditional London pattern anvil. I also like the idea that the horn and hardy are on the same side. 

 

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I was actually thinking of his Colonial pattern, I didn't realize he'd branched in to South German pattern.  Those are good too, I have a Refflinghaus that looks very similar, without the side shelf.

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I've done a lot of work on one of Hoffman's colonials. They are sweet.

I didn't have to pay for it though B)

fort anvil.jpg

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