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Kenon Rain.

Anvil ID, big horn big anvil

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Hey guys, anyone have a clue what I'm looking at here? I don't have it yet, but was bought for 200$ from a boatyard. Has what seems like a really big horn, almost looks like a Peter wright but I can't see a lamination line. My dad who found it estimates it at 250lb which isn't far off looking at the size. No cracks or dents, really good shape.

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It's a Trenton farrier's model.  Design introduced at the request of Chicago hardware wholesaler S.D. Kimbark in 1891.  Although, that horn is bigger than usual!  Might be a one-off custom order.  The design called for a larger fat horn, a small clip horn on the side, no table, and two pritchel holes.  This has it all. Score!

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I'm guess Trenton based on its shape.

 

Alan beat me to it.

 

 

And huge score! for $200

Edited by Daniel W

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Rad, I guessed it might be a farrier anvil because of the horn shape and little tab off it. I'm stoked, I'll look up Trenton, hopefully they are solid body? Not that it matters much :)

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Well, this is interesting. It's actually a hay Budden. He took a wire brush to the side, it's hard to make out but he says he can see hay buden New York, and 200lb. Still in good shape. We're they always bimetal construction or did they switch to cast at some point? Doesn't matter mich, I won't abuse it but curious.

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Cool!  H-B started out as steel-faced wrought, but switched to steel top half in like 1915, IIRC.  Don't have the book in front of me.  Speaking of which, what's the serial number? It'll be on the front foot as you look at the tip of the horn.   

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1908.  According to the book, the last year H-B used a top plate, so I was wrong about that, too!  :lol:  Trenton did make a Farrier pattern, but Kimbark apparently had HB making them first, starting in 1891, which for some reason I did remember. 

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Haha are you able to pin it to that exact year? All I know is a 1 in the front means ballpark between 1892 and 1916. So, 1908 being in the middle of that range it could be either style of construction that's as far as I got. Looking at it I can't tell either. I can see two grain structures joined at the truck about half way up. But idk if there is a plate or not. Probably going to run it through an electrolysis bath which will clean it up gently and tell me more.

 

In that picture with the logo on the side, it almost looks like a plate joint above it but I'm not sold.. that's the only spot like that.

Edited by Kenon Rain.

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The Book puts that number smack in the middle of the 1908 range of ~100,000 anvils produced for that year, so it's probably more accurate than if it were at either end of the range.  And it looks like a plate to me.  H-Bs from this period (1901-1909) were three-piece builds.  The base was forged from iron or mild steel in a closed die, the top half was forged from iron, they were forge-welded at the waist, then the steel plate was added.  After 1909 they were two-piece, with the base either forged or cast mild steel and the top half forged solid tool steel, forge welded at the waist.  After around 1925 or so they started arc-welding the waist using bare rod.  Makes an ugly joint, but it was cheaper than forge-welding and it holds up fine.  The early ones, ca. 1888-1901, were made just like a Peter Wright.  Built up of lots of wrought iron with a steel top plate.  I'd be seriously jealous if needed a good anvil. B)

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Thanks for all the help! I'm pretty stoked. Grateful it's unmolested too, and has had a cool history in a ship yard on the California coast for the last century. I like the big horn and lack of saddle too. Never really used the saddle on my old one anyway. 

 

Does that mean the horn is wrought?

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Yep, the horn is wrought IF it's really a three-piece.

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Cool, so even if the weld lines aren't obvious, a spark test somewhere on the horn when I get it will tell me definitively whether or not it's a two or three piece construction. I have all my answers, thanks again!

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I can't imagine what the makers had to do to forge weld the two halves together.  Must have been one heck of a deep fire.

 

Doug

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Can anyone tell me if electrolysis will leave a black oxide layer on the anvil? I want to gently clean it up but don't want it back to bare metal. Black oxide would be perfect, followed by some oil

Edited by Kenon Rain.

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Nope.  Electrolysis leaves a clean surface which you then have to seal with something.  In the lab we use either PVA or microcrystalline wax.  Since this is not a museum piece, just oil the rust.  Presto, black oxide!  Or use a rust converter on it, that leaves a black phosphate finish.  If it were me I'd just wire brush the loose stuff off and oil it.   

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Yes just brush it!  And maybe do a light pass with a scotch bright on the face. (don't sand it) The edges and face of that anvil look really good!  And its a unique looking H-B seeing the waist of that thing made me think Trenton right off the bat. Once you clean it up you clean it up a bit, you may be able to see some Wrough iron bands through it. (I could clearly see the ones in mine). 

 

I've seen a good few HBs and a lot of different ways they were put together. Some of them have seemed like anomalies, The first one I saw arc welded was a :blink: "what is that?"

 

Get a heavy chain to hang off it's horn and a magnet!  With how long that horn and heal is, I bet it's gonna be a loud anvil.

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. I'm itching to cut a stand for it and clean it up to find out more. The weld lines are really well done and hard to see. And I bet you are right about the noise ha I haven't gotten to look at it in person yet but she looks very harmonic

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Just a good wire wheeling should be enough - then a coat of linseed wax or other for some protection. It really doesn't matter. 

 

I always strongly advocate not to resurface a vintage anvil until you have used it - or only if it is so bad of a shape that you can't stand it. My HB is very pitted as it looks like someone laid a cutting torch on it more than once. But I have never had an issue with how clean the work comes off of it. I think it's more important to have a nice polished hammer face than anvil face. If I really wanted to highly a polished spot on my anvil, I would select a spot and just do that one spot.  To do the whole thing would be over kill.

 

To kill some of the sound, lay that anvil over on its side.  HB's usually have a depression under them and a handling hole. Fill the handling hole with caulking and the whole depression if you want (it will be hour glass shaped).  Once you set the anvil down the caulking will fill the void that makes some ringing.  I did this to mine recently - Although it did not make a terrible difference, the heavy chain I hang off the horn is more effective. 

 

Don't be foolish and not think about trying to quiet it down.  Around a year ago I got a permanent ringing in the ears, which did not come from the anvil, but potentially makes it worse over time.

Edited by Daniel W

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Daniel, the caulk trick is a bit more than that.  Filling the hole and the depression doesn't do much at all.  To totally kill the ring, you need to lay a solid coat of 100%silicone about 1/2" thick on the entire underside of the anvil, not including the depression or the handling hole.  Let that cure for about half an hour, long enough so it's not squishy, then set it upright on the stump and let the silicone cure for at least 24 hours, then bolt the anvil down tightly.  This both glues the anvil to the stump and prevents ringing by dampening the vibrations.  Think of it like one of those tubular windchime things: When the tube hangs free, it's loud and has sustain.  Hold the tube tight in your hand and it just goes "clunk." 

 

Plain old bolting tightly works pretty well on its own.  A sheet of horse stall mat is as good as caulk if the anvil is really solidly bolted down over it.  

 

Both of these methods are much more effective than chains, buckets of sand hung from the horn or heel, and so on.  And don't even think about magnets.  Some people swear by slapping a big magnet under the horn, heel, or just to the side of the anvil, I swear AT them.  This turns the ring into an annoying buzz as the magnets vibrate and makes all the scale stick to the now-magnetized anvil.  

 

Of course, this is for ordinary anvils.  That beast Kenon has here is a giant tuning fork, and might need both the caulk/bolting AND the bucket of sand on the horn to keep it quiet! :P

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Hahaha that it is. Probably rings like a bell. I don't plan on grinding her at all, always viewed that as the best way to ruin an anvil, I will take a scotchbrite disk to it however, these have a very light touch and it would be work to remove .001 from the face even, but they do a good job of cleaning and knocking burs and crap down. Brush the rest, the horse mat caulk chain and magnet and soundproof the shop wear two pairs of ear muffs and I should be good. :) Didnt know about the caulk trick that's interesting. It doesn't cure in thick chunks because it reacts with water to set, but forms a skin. I suppose it doesn't matter for the application though. And I can always make a huge mess and goop it all into a bucket and mix some water in to get it cookin.

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