Dressing an anvil

I just got my new anvil from ebay. It's one of those Russian jobs
that I inquired about on here before. If I remember correctly, the
anvil has to be dressed properly before use.
Since I have access to a welding shop with lots of tools (angle
grinders, etc.), I was wondering what the steps are in dressing the
anvil. I've searched the Web and have come up kind of empty.
I know you have to grind the face smooth, but how do you keep it
level, etc.? Also, what's the best way to get the right radii on the
face? Is it a fillet or is it chamfered?
Any information would be great!
rvb
Reply to
rvb
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There are 2 steps IMO:
1. lightly go over the top and the horn with a flap wheel grinding disc to remove tool marks and paint
2. using a slightly heavier touch with the flap wheel, put a radius on the corners of the anvil face
When I cleaned up the horn of a Russian HF anvil it had a few casting pits in it. I just left them.
I saw a guy the other day use a block of steel with a hardy shank on it, which had sharp corners on the top face. It's what he used when he wanted a sharp corner. I'm planning to dress a radius on my whole anvil and then make a supplementary block like that for when I need a sharp edge. YMMV.
Grant
rvb wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
I like to leave a portion of the face with a sharp edge. It comes in handy for calks and similar forgings. After the initial grinding, I generally finish with a 24 grit disc instead of a flap wheel because it's easier for me to get flat. YMMV.
[deletia]
Reply to
Tom Stovall
When you're putting a radius on the corners of the face are you going for an exact radius such as 1/8" or just eye balling it? And if you are going for an exact number, how do you achieve and measure it?
rvb
Reply to
rvb
(Grin) You're in danger of being called one of those "micrometer blacksmiths"!
The correct way to put a perfect radius on the corner of an anvil is to clamp the anvil onto the table of a mill, put a corner rounding 1/8" radius solid carbide bit into the spindle, and mill it. Unfortunately the solid carbide bit will cost you more than your anvil.
The point of putting a corner on your anvil is that if you don't sooner or later you're going to take a heavy angled half-face blow when you're tired, and you're going to miss the piece and you'll break a piece out of the corner of your anvil. (Look at old anvils on ebay - you'll see a bunch of cracks like I'm talking about.) Also, if you bend something over the edge of your anvil it is likely better off if it has a radius in the bend because a sharp inner corner is a very weak spot in any design, and often leads to a crack.
If you use a coarse-grit flap wheel, you will have a lot of control. If you keep it moving and blend everything well it will look real nice. If you have a radius gage then you can check yourself every so often if you're really trying to hit some number, or even to check if your radius is consistent. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, this is blacksmithing not machining!
Grant Erwin still a real rookie blacksmith
rvb wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Haha thanks for the reality check. I'm a computer programmer/system engineer by trade, a novice MIG and TIG welder, and a total neophyte blacksmith. I guess the engineer in me keeps trying to creep out in everything I do. :)
Reply to
rvb
wrt edge radius
[regarding precision in anvil edges]
You might have one edge rounded somewhat fine, and the other coarser.
Get your technique going, and then see what suits you.
Machinist radius gauges in sets are readily available (Starrett, etc., make 'em), btw, and could be used to scope what you want. FM
Reply to
Fdmorrison

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