A newbie anvil question

Prometheus wrote:


Hi Prometheus,
I re-read your original post.
You can do a lot with a one (1) fire brick forge, powered by a JTH-7 Bernzomatic Hose Torch. Get a couple of adapters to fit it to a standard BBQ cylinder. This little forge is often underestimated.
Definitely you would be able to make chisels, gouges, hooks, knives and specialty tools for your lathe.
To make it get a K26 fire brick (costs about $8 AUD), get a spoon and carve out a hole through the length. Carve out a hole in the side to allow the gas to come in. Wire the brick so that it will stay together for longer. The JTH-7 and adapters will set you back about $95 AUD.
The risk of fire from the torch is minimal.
Regards Charles P.S. I can't be blamed for the idea, you can blame Wayne Goddard for it.
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On Wed, 29 Nov 2006 03:47:43 +1100, Chilla

That sounds like a winner, at least until I can build something bigger and more perminent. I can get that together this weekend!

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wrote:

Based on what I found with some web searching, I told the guy that is looking into his dad's used anvils that I wanted to avoid any that had been used as a welding table. Anything else in particular to look for? Sounds like he has at least three of them over 100#.

I guess my concern with that was that I might burn through a lot of propane- any estimate on how cost effective it is compared to charcoal over any length of time?
I figured, but do not know for sure, that if I was a little short one day and needed fuel, I could substitute some hardwood chunks for charcoal in a pinch.

There's a local place that sells scrap by the pound, and I've also got more or less unlimited access to scrap 7 ga. and .25" 1018 hotroll, 310 stainless, and cold rolled 1018 from 20-11ga., with a shear availible to cut it into rough shape. One I get the hang of it, I figure I'll work up to some of the harder metals.
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If you want to go with charcoal, you'll need a large supply of chunk/stick - not briquette - charcoal since you'll be going through A LOT of it.
Straight wood doesn't burn hot enough to do the job.
For the long haul [unless you're in the charcoal-making/-selling business] Propane is more cost-effective - especially if you have to pay for ash disposal - and a lot cleaner-burning. This can become important if not all of your neighbors appreciate your efforts...
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I have a propane forge that is probably quite similar to the one described here. (see plans at > http://www.spaco.org/bk.htm ) Click Gas Forge Plans P1 and P2.
Mine uses about 2 pounds of propane per hour, maybe 3 when welding.
You can figure the rest out at your own costs for propane and for charcoal. Note that if you make your own charcoal, the smoke generated will make almost any neighbor unhappy.
Pete Stanaitis -----------------------------------------------

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Well, if he's letting those go cheap I'd still not necessarily turn up my nose--it's real hard to take the mass out of an anvil. A 4.5" grinder is cheap (and useful for many things besides, if don't already have one). Weld up the worst holes and gouges, use up a few grinding wheels and a few flap wheels and you could be good to go... --Glenn Lyford
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wrote:

Unfortunately, I guess he sold most of them, but it sounds like the lead isn't entirely dry. He said he might know yet another person that has a few stashed away. If need be, I'll go to a scrapyard and find something suitable.
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wrote:

I may have found a guy that has several- now it's just a matter of discovering whether or not he'll part with them. Sounds like they're old farm anvils bought from various auctions on a whim.

I'm in Bloomer, WI- about 15 minutes north of Eau Claire.

Any contact info for the club? It may well be close enough to check it out.

Well, here's to hoping that your crowd is near enough to visit, then!
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Hey, Prometheus, I'm about 25 miles West of Duluth! I've been past Bloomer many times on 53.
There's a guy who sells really good anvils out of the Milwaukee area on Ebay as I remember. I bought one from a guy outside of Chicago on eBay and drove down to get it. Shipping is a killer! Another I got by advertising in the free shopper locally, but which was read by a guy in International Falls.
The propane forge is so economical you won't believe it. I used a partial 20 pound tank for two full days of forging (not successive, I was too tired and sore after the first day) and still had some gas left. Charcoal is more expensive if purchased and much less user-friendly. You can build your own burner using the book by Michael Porter which I bought and loaned out and never got it back. You can also check our Ron Reil's web pages for ides on building burners. (A quick search tells me Ron's pages are unfortunately no more, but there are lots of references to his work.) But I really liked the workmanship and performance of Rex Price's burners. That said, they are pricey. I got my propane regulator from eBay also. Acetylene and propane regulators are the same thing, but the propane regulator will deliver higher pressures (acetylene is unstable over 15 psi) so if you have it gone over by your local gas supplier, make sure they understand it will be used for propane. They also have hoses and quick disconnects that are rated for propane. The quick disconnect is also pricey, but likewise very handy, especially for a portable forge.
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wrote:

Small world, I guess- I've been known to head up to those parts once in a while myself.

Sounds like that's the way to go, then- I just figured the charcoal was the thing to use, though it would appear that things have changed a bit from old days.
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Charcoal and coke have their place -- outdoors. If you don't have an exhaust hood, stick with propane. I prefer to work in my garage where it's darker. And whatever you build, the more you insulate it the better it'll perform.
I'll have to see about posting pictures of my forge.
Prometheus wrote:

Snip
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wrote:

Okay- another question for you guys:
I still haven't found an anvil, but have some pretty good leads. Until I find that, inspiration struck, and I remembered the broken 50# (give or take) cast iron bench vise that was in my basement when I bought the house. Dug it out from under the stairs, and it turns out that the base is flat, thick, and big enough to goof around with, so I flipped it over and mounted it to a bench with some big lag screws. It's a sturdy and tough temporary thing to bang on, anyhow.
There are a couple small tools I'd like to make this evening for another project this weekend, but I did not make it to the masonry supplier that carries fire brick before they closed this afternoon. What I *do* have is 15 or 20 old (120+ years old) red bricks reclaimed for a chimney that are left over from when I installed my patio. Specifically, they're the old Menomonie red "rubbing bricks".
Now, I know that regular chimney brick is *not* firebrick, but I do have masonry drill bits that I could use to make a one-shot single brick forge with the propane torch. I need to heat the end of a 1/2" dia A36 hotroll bar enough to hammer it to shape, no problem if I need to hit it harder than is generally required- I'm a big guy with a heavy hammer.
Is there any advantage to trying to use a regular brick for one project, or would it just be wasting my time? If need be, I'll just use the torch freehand like last time- but it would be nice to be able to set it and alternate between two bars, hammering one while the other heats. I also have some 20ga (.063") stainless steel sheetmetal and regular (formaldehyde free) fiberglass insulation to work with, if that might help things along at all.
Any suggestions appreciated- I'm going to run to the hardware store now just in case they carry firebrick, but I figured I'd ask here first, in case they don't.
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Prometheus wrote:

There is a real possibility that regular brick will 'explode' when subjected to a point heat source. Be careful, definitely wear your eye protection. Regular fiberglass isn't all that refractory, it'll probably just melt into a lump of slag under the torch. You're probably better off just heating the end of the bar with the torch until you can get the right materials.
Charly
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Charly the Bastard wrote:

Quite right Mister Bastard, a house brick will crack or go "bang". Thanks for the safety warning.
Only use fire bricks for the fire box.
There is a way to use ordinary house bricks for a forge, but they don't go anywhere near the flames. You basically make a huge planter box filled with dirt. I can provide a pattern if you need one. These forges are large, and not portable.
Regards Charles
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CliffT wrote:

The Hybrid Burner site (http://www.hybridburners.com /) mentioned earlier links to Ron Reil's current (new?) site hosted at Abana.org. Here is the new burner design page, site notes a recent update (on Nov 14, 2006) http://ronreil.abana.org/design1.shtml
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You are almost in our backyard. I also belong to the Badger Blacksmiths, a club which covers western Wisconsin, from the St Croix River east to about Black River Falls and north up to Catawba, Ridgeland, etc and south to about Pepin. We have members close to you: Stanley, Chetek, Eau Claire, Fall Creek, Glenwood City (Pres), Ridgeland and Menominie.
I live about 10 miles southeast of Baldwin, Wi.
Email me off list or call me at 715-698-2895, or you can call our President, Don Hogenson at 715-265-4701.
Pete Stanaitis
Prometheus wrote:

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If you want a good new anvil go to: http://www.oldworldanvils.com / N8126 Postville Rd Blanchardville, WI 53516 888 737-5714 These are cast steel anvils from the Czech republic. A single horn 66 lb anvil is $225.A double horn 118lb is $435. That's about $3.40 -3.70 per pound. A good value for new anvils. I have two of them. A portable 118lb for demo's and a 205 lb for my shop. I'm very happy with both. Also, contact a local blacksmith group. The networking with other smith's for knowledge and equipment will well worth it. Rob Wichita, Kansas

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