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The current anvil thingy I build is too big for my taste and I don't really need a hardy hole, I'm mostly doing traditional japanese forging, so a square block is all I really need.

 

So I'm thinking of downgrading in size and upgrading in weight.

smaller anvil gets hot faster. Less space to muck around, more focus?

 

What I'm planning is to take a railroad track piece(oh god not this again. Yeayea I know, lol)

So and then use the foot as the forging face, harden, temper it and weld it up into a square block by filling it in with steel cut offs.

And then as a final step before welding the bottom or the last side piece, fill any remaining spaces with fine quartz sand?

 

Now a big concern is, that I don't want the piece to ring.

 

How's that sound?

Any tips/ideas? 

Sand good? Or should I go for...resin? Cement? Leave it out?

 

Edited by J.Leon_Szesny
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In fact, the anvil I use for 90% of my forging looks just like that, only longer.  Unhardened 4140, 5 x 6.5 inches (12.7 x 16.5 centimeters).  I have been using it for about six or seven years and the

100€ would buy more 150mmx100mm steel bar stock than you would need.  Get a 2-300mm long piece and set it on end in a stump.

The number one thing you should probably learn from this is that everyone who knows about these things is telling you not to do it and you should listen to them and stop.  My company buys about 10,000

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31 minutes ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

The current anvil thingy I build is too big for my taste and I don't really need a hardy hole, I'm mostly doing traditional japanese forging, so a square block is all I really need.

 

So I'm thinking of downgrading in size and upgrading in weight.

smaller anvil gets hot faster. Less space to muck around, more focus?

 

What I'm planning is to take a railroad track piece(oh god not this again. Yeayea I know, lol)

So and then use the foot as the forging face, harden, temper it and weld it up into a square block by filling it in with steel cut offs.

And then as a final step before welding the bottom or the last side piece, fill any remaining spaces with fine quartz sand?

 

Now a big concern is, that I don't want the piece to ring.

 

How's that sound?

Any tips/ideas? 

Sand good? Or should I go for...resin? Cement? Leave it out?

 

Erm, none of those things belong in an anvil. An anvil should be a solid piece of steel, nothing more. What you describe is something that will take out as much of the energy from you hammer as possible, which is exactly the opposite of what an anvil should do. In that case you might just as well use a bag of sand as an anvil. I see that you live in Germany, so finding old anvils shouldn't be that much of a problem. If you are concerned about ringing, get an old church window style anvil. Those are mostly wrough, and don't ring very much. If that's too large, then get a stump anvil of decent size (10kg or more). These may be a bit more difficult to find, and need to be very well fixed to a base  (and the base fixed to the ground) to work effective, or they'll bounch about. 

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4 minutes ago, Jeroen Zuiderwijk said:

Erm, none of those things belong in an anvil. An anvil should be a solid piece of steel, nothing more. What you describe is something that will take out as much of the energy from you hammer as possible, which is exactly the opposite of what an anvil should do. In that case you might just as well use a bag of sand as an anvil. I see that you live in Germany, so finding old anvils shouldn't be that much of a problem. If you are concerned about ringing, get an old church window style anvil. Those are mostly wrough, and don't ring very much. If that's too large, then get a stump anvil of decent size (10kg or more). These may be a bit more difficult to find, and need to be very well fixed to a base  (and the base fixed to the ground) to work effective, or they'll bounch about. 

Anvils are painfully expensive, not to mention either not available or too big for my space and liking.

So my best option is to make it myself and try to make it as solid as possible

 

 

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Just out of curiosity, what would you consider painfully expensive? For 385€ you could have something like this 60 lb beauty.

image (1).jpg

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22 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Just out of curiosity, what would you consider painfully expensive? For 385€ you could have something like this 60 lb beauty.

image (1).jpg

For Germany, that would be very expensive. I'd expect he should be able to find something like that for less then 100 euro easily with a bit of searching. 

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35 minutes ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

Just out of curiosity, what would you consider painfully expensive? For 385€ you could have something like this 60 lb beauty.

image (1).jpg

Seen stuff like that.

But for more like 500-750€

 

Yea my limit is about 100€ or 200€ if it's really amazing!

But then I'd have break into my savings

Edited by J.Leon_Szesny
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100€ would buy more 150mmx100mm steel bar stock than you would need.  Get a 2-300mm long piece and set it on end in a stump.

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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

100€ would buy more 150mmx100mm steel bar stock than you would need.  Get a 2-300mm long piece and set it on end in a stump.

Love to but no idea where to look.

I tried a couple of german websites and most only let you order if you're a company.

 

What I would love to have is a hardened plate and weld it to a steel chunk but again...it seems not available for a little green hob like me.

 

So Im limited to scrap.

Sorry...for giving you guys second hand frustration...

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I don't know how it works in Germany, but in my part of the world you can go to scrap yards, and they will sell you off-cut of what they have. 

 

You can also go to local machines shops.  They often have a piece of left over tool steel stock lying around from a past project that they are willing to sell.

 

Dig around, and I bet you can come up with some sort of tool steel bar stock.  It would be far better than trying to weld something up.

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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I don't know how it works in Germany, but in my part of the world you can go to scrap yards, and they will sell you off-cut of what they have. 

 

You can also go to local machines shops.  They often have a piece of left over tool steel stock lying around from a past project that they are willing to sell.

 

Dig around, and I bet you can come up with some sort of tool steel bar stock.  It would be far better than trying to weld something up.

Machine shops huh?

That's might be worth a shot but well... I already started! Now I have to finish it.

 

Even if it's no improvement over my current main anvil.

At least it's a learning experience right? XD

Anyway, I can just use it as a shop anvil, for straightening stuff or such..

 

Here's were I'm at unsure how to fill it up..

 

Might weld flatbar from the inside out?

 

IMG_20210311_171804.jpg

IMG_20210311_171811.jpg

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i got a 5X5X10" block of 4140 form ebay, it was 1-2$ a pound. im very happy with it especially for the price and i could possibly harden the work face in the future but it seems to be a little hard already. 

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1 hour ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

I already started! Now I have to finish it.

 

1 hour ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

At least it's a learning experience right?

 

The number one thing you should probably learn from this is that everyone who knows about these things is telling you not to do it and you should listen to them and stop.  My company buys about 10,000 pounds of steel every day (we actually buy it a couple times a month and get it delivered spread out to about 10,000 pounds per day, but you get my point).  Not a single place we buy from lets you order through the website.  Never limit your searching to just the web.  Call them at the very least, stop in if you can (pandemic might make this a not so great option at the moment).  

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Guys im not saying you're wrong, I wholeheartedly believe you

what I mean by "learning experience" is:

"im a masochist!"

err...what I mean is, I like failure because it really teaches you completely about the thing you're trying to achieve and when you finally succeed, you will have almost complete comprehension of it all, how you got there, what it took or how little you can get away with.

 

its like, sure I can have someone else read me a story but

I'd rather read it myself

and at worst, I got a heavy block of steel and some tig welding practice, also I never hardened something that big so that's also something im looking forward to trying out

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23 hours ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

Seen stuff like that.

But for more like 500-750€

 

Yea my limit is about 100€ or 200€ if it's really amazing!

But then I'd have break into my savings

That's if you look at the highly overpriced buy-it-now adverts on ebay.de. If you keep an eye out for auctions, you'll get one for much less. But still ebay is the more pricy option. It would be cheaper to get one offline. But that takes a bit more exploring to find a place that may have them, such as used tool stores, antique, curiosa and garden ornament stores etc. I don't know if you are near the dutch border, but here I at least know my way. And the dutch marketplace is more favorable then ebay, with a large amount of anvils for decent prices. 

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11 hours ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

its like, sure I can have someone else read me a story but

I'd rather read it myself

Yeah, I was young once...

 

Knock yourself out.  The worst thing that can happen is you will set yourself up in 20 or 30 years to be firm in your beliefs when you give some other young guy the advice you have received here :lol:

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If I were you I would look around for an old hornless anvil or even an anvil with a broken horn, these are quite common in germany and would be perfect for bladesmithing.

If I didn't already have an anvil I would go this route myself.

some of the church window anvil are actually very similar in size and weight to the japanese anvils.

 

I have no idea where you are in germany but with a 5 minute search I found this link which would be all you'd ever need for forging knives.

Just as an example of what can be found for reasonable prices.

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/amboss-ca-70kg-sensen-dengeln/1695443126-84-98

 

of course if you want to build your own anvil I'd say go for it, it is a cool project, but it will probably give dissapointing results compared to a ''real'' anvil.

 

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Railroad track is where a lot of people learn for the first time. And I've seen learned smiths still keep their old RR track anvils around even after they have invested in a true anvil. But I will say this, you will never get that anvil heat-treated to a level where it can act as an anvil. It will chip and dent, which will affect your work. But, no all is not lost. You can have a fairly decent stake anvil without selling your first born lol. Just go down to your local hardware supplier and get the biggest sledgehammer you can find, the bigger the better although 20 pounds(9 kilo) is the average biggest. Remove the handle and sink it partway into either a stump or a bucket of concrete. Dress the edges lightly with a file or grinder and now you have an anvil similar to the Black Robin, just not as heavy. But if it is supported well, that won't matter. You'll be able to pound out a blade on it with so much better results than you would get from a piece of low carbon iron like a RR track.

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7 hours ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

If I were you I would look around for an old hornless anvil or even an anvil with a broken horn, these are quite common in germany and would be perfect for bladesmithing.

If I didn't already have an anvil I would go this route myself.

some of the church window anvil are actually very similar in size and weight to the japanese anvils.

 

I have no idea where you are in germany but with a 5 minute search I found this link which would be all you'd ever need for forging knives.

Just as an example of what can be found for reasonable prices.

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/amboss-ca-70kg-sensen-dengeln/1695443126-84-98

 

of course if you want to build your own anvil I'd say go for it, it is a cool project, but it will probably give dissapointing results compared to a ''real'' anvil.

 

Yes, definitely check out kleinanzeigen. There's a lot on there for very favorable prices. Anvils from 50 euro if you don't mind the face not being very straight, and ones below 200 euro in very nice condition. For example:

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/amboss-schmiedeamboss/1693516127-84-6864

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/amboss-steckamboss-klempner-schmied-schmieden-handwerk/1667430622-84-3704

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/schmiedeamboss/1667161198-84-6806

https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/amboss-alt-ca-100-kg/1655273140-84-19630

 

See more: https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-preis:25:200/seite:1/amboss/k0

 

P.s. and you know that I would very much like to be in your shoes having the possibility to go out there and buy one or more anvils. But I have already too many as it is ;)

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10 hours ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

That looks nice! Tho I'd have to see next month if I still got enough to buy it without starving XD

 

 

Btw, progress:

 

I got it hardened and greatly lowered the temper of the edges to reduce chances of chipping

It's still pretty hard, the files skates.

Not sure should I draw the temper more?

Most anvils seem to have a plate of much lower carbon than this, which I read had about o.70-0.90%

 

IMG_20210312_225156.jpg

IMG_20210312_225158.jpg

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alright

this is happening im making this thing into an anvil or into a "block with hardened face"

 

now I need some ideas on how to best do this.

 

Idea 1:

cut some flatbar and clamp+weld it to the stem of the anvil then cutting it off and repeating to follow the form

the problem I see ehre would be that I can only weld one side and the ends as I stack them outwards and also I could only weld the final side panels  from the outside and the ends.

 

Idea 2:

cut the flat bar and lay and clamp it all against the stem of the track, then weld the ends, take it away from the stem and weld it all around into a solid-ish chunk that fits snugly-ish into the form of the track then weld the side panels from inside and outside and slide the flatbar chunks into the recess then clap it down against the underside of the face and weld it against the bottom.

 

Idea 3:

weld all 4 side panels on somehow get a whole buncha lead pour it in and then weld up the bottom?

not sure tho if that might rob even more kinetic energy than having flatbar welded on but it def make it more solid since theres less spaces left?

 

other Ideas:

fill in the spaces left from flatbar welding with sand? fill it in with lead?

take annealed copper sheet and clamp it under the flatbar infills so it is more solidly "connected" -does that make sense?

just weld on the 4 sides and then fit it into a stump(that cant be better than filling it in right?)

 

 

I got a tig and a broken DDR stick welder that sometimes works and other times tries to scare me for fun.

and yes my forge can handle forging an anvil but...realistically speaking I dont think I got what it takes yet to forge weld such a massive thing, I could rig a lifting chain but...this is supposed to be a fun weekend-ish project!

 

any ideas?(other than "just buy nice things!" lol)

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Find your nearest steel stockholder, tell them you want a 'bar end' or offcut with some ballpark dimensions, in an alloy steel. Go and collect it, job jobbed.

 

Reinventing the wheel is a pointless task. 

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Managed to pick up about 3' of train track this morning at the scrap yard right before my registration was finalized for this forum. First topic I see. New anvil. I'm a brand new knife maker and super novice black smith. Literally just cured my single burner propane forge like an hour ago. Anyway, this is the anvil I'm working on next to the piece I cut it off of. First past with 60grit flap disc to knock off the outer layer. 

 

Going to cut the bottom down to the vertical section and then sharpen so it can be hammered down into tree stump or log and then the log set in the ground about 2'. 

20210313_160401.jpg

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13 minutes ago, DerickRivero said:

Managed to pick up about 3' of train track this morning at the scrap yard right before my registration was finalized for this forum. First topic I see. New anvil. I'm a brand new knife maker and super novice black smith. Literally just cured my single burner propane forge like an hour ago. Anyway, this is the anvil I'm working on next to the piece I cut it off of. First past with 60grit flap disc to knock off the outer layer. 

 

Going to cut the bottom down to the vertical section and then sharpen so it can be hammered down into tree stump or log and then the log set in the ground about 2'. 

20210313_160401.jpg

dont forged to cut a mortice first or you might end up splitting the log or not driving the stake down deep enough for it to hold

 

and hardening/tempering might be possible if your forge can handle it, since a lot of rail track has enough carbon in it but as it is they're only slightly harder than mild steel.

Use one of the cut off pieces and harden it to test, if your gas forge cant handle the process it should be possible with a simple brick campfire set up and A LOT charcoal(pretty much needs to be buried) 

hardening should be possible at bright red-orange. 

 

Edited by J.Leon_Szesny
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Thanks so much. My forge is quite small but I am looking into a hand crank blower fan so I can set up an outdoor coal forge to do non powertool blades and be able to smith while I travel. I could def do it I there. 

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