Pretty good site, though it seems to me to come across with a bit of an
attitude. Also, rather than using a hammer test, I like dropping a 1"
ball bearing on the face and seeing how much of rebound you get. You get
the same information, and it doesn't freak out the owner as much and is
harder to screw up and mark up the face of the anvil.
He doesn't spare much time trying to not hurt anybody's feelings, and
he has some pretty clear opinions.
About the only point he really pounds on that I don't really agree with
is that the used anvil must be perfectly flat and straight as I have
beat metal on some pretty swaybacked anvils that have not caused undue
issues with the end results. I was not trying to build commercial fence
pickets or anythin like that, so it may or may not affect the anvils
I was surprised to find the link to his site, as I had just posted a
link to another of his pages on another group a few minutes earlier.
I happen to agree with his opinions on the prices paid at auction, and
of those that pay those prices. I was lucky enough to live in southern
Saskatchewan for a few years, and it was pretty rare for an anvil to
break $200 at an auction sale. More common was to not make $100 for a
nice 125 or so pound Peter Wright. The 112 pounder I have right now cost
me $68 CDN and was in pretty nice shape. The most I saw paid for an
anvil at an auction was a bit over $650, but the anvil was around 450
pounds or so, and only a little swaybacked.
By the time I was moving away from there prices were starting to go up,
some selling was to commercial buyers that were sending the stuff into
the States, and some selling for "decor" .
I like the idea of a ball bearing for testing. Easy to carry in the
One of the things I did not see mentioned there is to check the surface
of a welded anvil such as a Peter Wright for delamination or non welded
areas of the tool steel plate. That shows up a little better with a
hammer, I think, and sounds a lot like there is something loose rattling
under the anvil face (there is, the face itself against the body).