I recently helped two fellow blacksmiths work on their anvils. Each
anvil weighed in around 300 lbs. and the technique that we used was to
set the anvil upside down on top of a lit woodstove in order to
preheat the top surface and edges where the welding would take place.
We let them heat up until they were at least 400 degrees before
flipping them over and using a MIG welder with standard wire and gas
to weld the dings in the face and the chips along the edges. Next came
a gentle grinding followed by more welding if needed. Rough grinding
was followed by a flapper wheel to polish the welded areas. The anvils
were then allowed to cool on their own.
Hope this helps,
On Aug 20, 4:23 am, paul firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Through the years I've read dozens of accounts by people
who've welded an anvil face or who've heard of it being done
and yet I don't believe I've ever read an account of accurate
follow-up testing for hardness and uniformity of the anvil face
after this has been done.
Has anyone seen this documented? Not to cast dispersions
(I'm not much of a welder myself) but in my 45+ years of
industrial experience I've met many folks who called them-
selves welders but were anything but. I'd be cautious who
I entrusted a favorite anvil to, for repair.
You might want to post this in sci.engr.joining.welding it's been discussed
there before. I believe its a combination of normal (softer)weld filler
metal covered by a high moly hardfacing filler. Look for a response from
Ernie (welding guru)
1. How bad is the anvil under repair?
2. How good of a welder are you?
1. Sometimes I think mellowing out a few dings make more sense than
restoring a lot of sharp corners that you may be better off without.
2.If you are experienced in using whatever type welder that you have
been using, and the welder is up to the task, then the process can be
rewarding. This is not the project to hone skills on.
If you are really going to use this anvil, I'd discourage you from
simply using MIG wire (7018?). It's too soft. I had an anvil repaired
by a guy who used 6011. He later told me that it shouldn't be a problem
because you should never beat on cold iron. Well, It IS.
Guys around here have used two Stoody rods for years. I don't know if
they are still available, but your welding supplier will know. One is a
build up rod that you can make several passes with. The other is a
hardfacing rod that you only use for a top pass.
You may notice from the replies so far that they talk about preheating
the anvil and doing all the work at about 400 degrees. This is bad
enough when welding, but the grinding has to be done then, too. It's a
I regularly grind anvils that have been repaired using an old surface
grinder. Even those guys who weld, grind, weld, grind to get a good
job leave the occasional void. And, I have often noticed fine cracks
that start at the edge and go about 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the face. I
don't know if they later on break out, but they sure are there.
One poster said that his friend lets the anvil cool on its own, but the
guys I know drop the thing into a box full of vermiculite to slow the
As another poster asked, "how bad is it?". If face is not too bad, it
might be better to simply grind 20 to 60 thousandths (or even more) away
than to attempt welding. Many blacksmith anvils have too much sharp
edge anyway. (I'm not talking about farriers here). So it may be
possible to round off some of the dings, leaving sharp edges back by the
hardy hole. I've seen some anvils where the face has actually been
squashed out sideways. This is, I think, because that anvil didn't ge t
fully hardened when it was made. If this is the case, you can gain some
edge improvement just by grinding the face back flush with the sides.
I have done this grind-only procedure more often than grinding
You don't have to have a surface grinder to do the job on the face.
A big angle grinder and a framing square can take you a long way. Or,
if there's a friendly auto machine shop around, you may be able to get
them to Blandchard grind it for you. I have heard of people getting
this done for $50 or so. (I charge $2.00 per thousandth).
Having said all that, take this link to as good an article on the
subject as exists: > http://www.cvbg.org/tips/anvilrepair699.PDF
Hope this helps,
This sounds like a job for your local track welder. :)
They do this type of work every day.
I remember when they were told not to arc weld directly
to the rail anymore, they had to lay down a layer with
gas first. Arc builds it up faster but certain welders
were having trouble with the "chunk" breaking out.
Fred French the track welder at Bowie AZ wasn't having
that problem but laid down the gas weld first anyway.
The gas rod is 1/4" and spark tests like 4340 or 4140.
They use a rose bud and make a puddle that's ~1+1/8".
They pre-heat the rail.
If you see a track welder, stop and talk to 'im. :)
See what he does and how he does it and then ask why. :)
Should be no problem for him, he gets paid by the hour. ;)
...and many of them do the same sort of work after hours
things like fixing anvils etc.
For sure, and the track welder's job is one job I never wanted.
Tell 'im an old SP signal-ape offered his time to you. ;)
That's something a track welder's got fiNgured out, you know it? ;)
Alvin in AZ
ps- wonder when old Fred's going to google his name and find
where I've bad-mouthed the silly old fart? ;)
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