Newbie has a question. I'm a lefty and am trying to decide if the horn
should be pointed toward my left side or my right side. Is this a matter of
preference or do certain techniques require the horn to be pointed towards
the arm/hand with the hammer for either a lefty or righty?
I am a lefty and my anvil horn always points to the right. Right
handers turn it around when they use mine. Since most of my hammering
is done on the face of the anvil, it seems handier to have the face and
the hardy hole to the left. When I use the horn, my right hand holds
the stock in place on the horn, and I often lock my elbow against my
side to help locate things. That way my left arm with hammer is often
over the top of the anvil.
The more I think about it, the more reasons that come to mind.
There are a few occasions where I have to walk around the anvil, but
that doesn't happen often.
I'd say go with what's comfortable for the job you are on.
I'm right handed and don't care wich way the anvil points most of the
time. The exception was when I demo'd making nails a couple summers
back. My friend (who's gear it was) had the anvil set with the horn to
his left, opposite his hammer hand.Traditional, he said. As a result it
was unsafe to leave the cutoff hardy in the hole as there wa a risk of
catching ones knuckles between the hammer handle and the cutting edge.
This caused a great deal of lost time, put the hardy in, take it out,
repeatedly. Dealing with nails that cooled rapidly, this WAS a problem.
My solution was to crank the anvil around so that the horn was under
my hammer hand and the hardy was on the tongs side. This allowed me to
utilise the face for working my metal and the cutoff hardy for cutting
the nails, without risking my knuckles. Production was much improved.
For normal work, do what you can do safely.
I'm a lefty too and mine horn is on the left. I like the fact that I
can use the horn and not have to lean over the body of the anvil.
Also, this way I can leave hardie tools in place without them becoming
a safety hazzard.
But, honestly it doesn't matter. Though some old-timers and
know-it-alls will tell you that the horn is "supposed" to be opposite
your hammer hand. DO WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU.
A survey needs to be done but I find that there are more left handed
blacksmiths than lefties in the general population. One blacksmith
hammer-in I went to had approx 27 smiths doing demos, and I counted
that 10 of them were lefties. That's 37%! The general population has
only 5%-20% (depending on criterial used) of lefties.
Gobae - The Smith
I wonder if some of the left handed blacksmiths are that way BECAUSE
they left the cutoff hardy in the hole.
We teach from day one to always remove the cutter from the hardy.
When I make nails (and I do make them fairly often at demos for the
public) I put the cutoff hardy in the vise, so It's not an issue.
I'm another skuzzy leftie, my anvil horn is to the tongs side, mainly for
convinience as I use the top a lot more than the horn. My work area is a bit
cramped, so I set up the fire in the corner, the anvil against the wall so the
treadle will swing out over it, then the triphammer at the end. It seemed
logical; fire to triphammer to anvil to fire... billet. Do what feel right to
you, just leave space for jumping back should the work get away. Safety first,
I feel so perverse!I actually prefer facing the heel with the horn
pointing away from me.The best way is the way that suits you
best,safely.Finding out which way suits you best is part of the fun!
People do not know,because people do not do.
Thanks for all the responses.
I've been working with the horn to my tongs (right) side because it just
fills right for most things so I guess I'll stay that way.
Reason for the question was that I was getting ready to order a new anvil
(from either Old World Anvils or Euroanvils) because my old Vulcan is a
piece of crap! I found it in a flea market for cheap cheap. The face of
this POS has been chipped all the way around it so there is no real
edge/corner, there is also NO flat surface on the face, and the horn has
about 3 inches broken off of the end of it. But it has served it's purpose
because it has given me something to pound one for a while without costing
me much money.
The Euroanvil I was looking at came with a small shelf and I was told that
the shelf should be on the opposite side of you from the anvil. I just
wanted to make sure that if I ordered one with a shelf, that the shelf would
be oriented correclty.....depending on the direction of the horn.
But I have since decided to go with the Old World Anvil two horn classic
(with no shelf) since they have them in stock and can ship
immediately.....it's in route now!!
From what I read both are good anvils so I don't think I can go wrong.
Thanks again for the input.