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Fisher anvil


James Hoffman
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That is a beautiful anvil.  In every case I tell a new owner, do nothing to it.  Work on it for a year (at least) and if you find flaws that you can't live with, then consider what you want to do and what you must do.  It's easy to remove metal, it's much harder to put it back on.

 

In this case, that anvil is nearly as good as when it came out of the factory, I wouldn't do anything to except forge some stuff.  I've never seen such nice edges on an anvil that is nearly 80 years old.

That said, the date looks strange to me.  It should have a 2 digit number opposite the date that is the weight.  It's possible that this is a 190 lb anvil and someone thought that part of the date was missing and tried to "fix" it.

This is the guy to talk to, he runs the FN museum.  Be careful, 'cause he may want to buy it from you.

You could take a wire wheel to the top, lightly, but I would not do more than that.  I don't think anyone ever used this boy, the table is pristine.  The only wear I see is a couple of small chips in one edge and chop marks on the foot.  This is nearly a museum piece.

Have I been emphatic enough?  Don't do anything it, except forge some stuff with it.  A couple of sessions forging will take all of the top rust off, and really, nothing else needs you attention.  That is a once in a lifetime find.  You should find the guy who tossed, thank him, find out what else he has, and then beat him senseless.

Geoff

"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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Whoops

Fisher Museum

 

 

"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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That is the nice thing about a Fisher, they have nearly no ring.  Cast iron body with a welded steel plate.  You can see the edge of the plate on the top (it's about a 1/2 an inch thick).  This was a proprietary process for Fisher.  Earlier anvils ( which mostly means English anvils) had very thin forge welded tops.  These could wear out, or break loose and spall off.  Fisher came up with a way to cast the body directly onto the top and then heat treat the whole thing without it flying apart.  There were other American anvils (Trenton and Arm and Hammer) that did much the same thing but with much thinner tops.

I have 3 of these, though none of them are as nice as this one.  I have a 200# that has been through the wars (but is still a great anvil), a 20# (a rare beast) that I use on the bench, and an 80# sawyers anvil (rare as dragon's teeth in the West where I live).  They are great anvils, yours is a treasure.

 

Geoff

"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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Geoff covered it well. Rescued from a dumpster?  Geez...  ask the guy if he has any other valuable objects he doesn't want. He might have an old Lamborghini in the garage too.  :lol:

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So I’m a heavy equipment operator and demo a lot of old properties. Lots in the Philadelphia area late 1700’s and early 1800’s. You guy’s would freak out if you saw some of the stuff that ends up in a scrapyard or landfill. I can’t save it all but I try to save some of it. Tons of old hardware.

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I have about 50 lbs of wrought iron tie rod from an old mill along the Delaware.  Keep an eye out for that stuff.  Folks will pay $3 - $5 per pound these days.  Well. Not all folks, but bladesmiths will.  If it's pre-1870 and it's not cast, keep it!

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Will do . Lots of barn door hinges, shutter keeper’s, hitching post rings and other small hardware. I wish I had a warehouse to fill. The old hand hewn chestnut beams are just beautiful. Old world craftsmanship. I guess guys like us that appreciate that stuff are few and far between. Most kids these days couldn’t tell you what a mortise joint was without their I pad. Let alone what a forge is!

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Holy smokes that's a nice anvil! 
I wouldn't even wire brush that. It does look like it's never seen any action at all.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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remarkable how nice and flat the face of that anvil looks from photos. 

 

I agree that vintage anvils should not be refaced unless absolutely needed. Any deep scaring are just places you learn to avoid. Sometimes they can be an advantage if you want a lot of texture in your work. I have a few nice nicks in the edge of mine - over time I've found them to actually be pretty useful. If you really feel like you need a nice smooth spot, you can only work as much metal as the size of the face of your hammer. Therefore, you can always polish up a small section rather than the whole thing.

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Thanks for all the info from everyone. Looks like I stepped in you know what.

Took a hose to it yesterday and washed the dirt off looks better just doing that. Won’t get to do anything more with it till the Fourth. Got a side gig doing security for The Peach Festival in Scranton. Four days of Allman Bros type music. Can’t believe they pay me to be there! I’ll post pics next week.

Happy Fourth everyone!

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