Railroad track anvil, anybody?

Now that the HF 110# steel anvil seems to be gone, maybe it's time to think about other sources for inexpensive "starter" anvils.

I've been saving up railroad track chunks for some time, waiting for that day when I have time to make some, just for the heck of it. (This isn't that day, I still haven't finished the

Weyger's book has a plan and so does the book written by Harries and Heer, and I'm sure there are others.
As you all probably knnow, railroad track (in America at least) is gaged by the weight per yard. I don't know how low it goes, but I think the current max size is about 150 pound (per yard)rail. That's pretty recent for "main line" rail, so there may not be a lot of it around. But there should be plenty of 120 pound rail available. If one made an anvil out of the 120 pound rail and made it about 20 inches long, you might get a 60 pound anvil by the time you are done.
That wouldn't be too bad for a beginner.
Might be a good project for a group of novices. You could have one guy with a cutting torch to rough shape the things and then let the beginners do all the dirty grinding, etc.. Maybe the group could knock out 5 or 10 of them in a day.
what are your thoughts?
Pete Stanaitis -------------------------
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I had, and still have, a railroad track anvil for years.
http://igor.chudov.com/projects/Welding/13-Homemade-Mini-Anvil/
I enhanced it a bit by welding a thick steel plate on top of it. It was actually very useful for the little things I was doing, until I got the big anvil. If I conclude that the big anvil is not worth the space that it is taking, the little one should serve my minor maintenance purposes without too much trouble.
i
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Iggy What are your plans for the big anvil you have? I am going near your area in Feb. hint hint Steve
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I like this anvil a lot, so I doubt that I will sell it. I do not really need it, I think, but it is so perfect that I cannot bring myself to sell it. I think that it has a magnet embedded inside it that draws me to it. That's how I feel at the moment. Might sound stupid to you, maybe I will change my mind later and sell it.
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No, Not stupid at all. I have tons of iron I am attached to from cars to tractors to a whole shop full of metalworking equipment. Some more that others. I do however have a hankering for a larger anvil. I have a 55 lb Vulcan and an unknown 90 pounder but I think a 150 lb or more would be better. I started embellishing my plasma cut creations with the heat and beat method. Keep me in mind on the anvil. I go through there quite often on my way to shows. Steve
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Feel free to just stop by for a beer one evening.
My anvil weighs 340 lbs without the wooden base+cast iron base. With the base about 500 lbs. So I put that whole assembly on casters since it is already very heavy.
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Sounds good to me. I will email you if it works out!

That is a hunk of iron.
Steve
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I have an old railroad anvil that I seldom use anymore. Someone even took a torch and cut a long "V" horn on one end. It is about 2 foot long and works well.
I also have a regular 110 pounder but the one I use most is homemade! A friend of mine is a fork lift mechanic. He took the back plates off two broken forks and clipped the broken ends off them for me with an industrial hydraulic cutter. They are each 18 inches long, 7 inches wide, 3 inches thick and weigh about 125 pounds each. They are also tempered spring steel! I have them stacked on top of each other. Very good anvil!! They are not even welded together, just stacked. Just like Clyde in the Waylon Jennings song, "they don't move and they don't flinch, Buddy they don't give an inch!" And if it were possible to mar or cut one with a mere hammer (haven't even scratched one yet) you have 3 more surfaces to go!
Mitch
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Dad had - but it was lifted - a milled out anvil from Heavy line track.
The Heavy line was on an Air Force base and there were lots of scraps.... :-)
The horn was turned. The top was milled. A hole center through the side. (that might be a ring killer) -
It was turned on a monster lathe in the shops. It was a test for new machinist and Dad got one when others had one already... He was a Radar REP.
Martin
Mitch Dickson wrote:

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I've since picked up a nice peter wright forged anvil, but when casting about for ideas on substitutes, one of the more brilliant ideas was to take either that hunk of track, or even better, a section of round shafting, and stand it on end - thus getting a lot more mass under the hammer (one of the big downsides of a track anvil made the usual way.) If the anvil doesn't need to be portable, dig a hole and use a longer section for yet more mass under the hammer.
Work area is small, but solid.
The same basic idea also works nicely with (or as part of) a treadle hammer.
Back after being cut off from the alt groups by Verizon.
Is Alvin still with us?
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Cats really don't go with coffee and choclate, however a little gravey and a biscuit.............
Mitch
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Yep. :)

BTDT, and yeah, it works good. :)
Alvin in AZ ps- was just adding a photo to my file12 and checked in...
http://www.panix.com/~alvinj/file12/beltsander.jpg
Yeah, I know it's mickeymouse but knife handles aren't all that big. ;) I know-ed the dang switch was bad when I bought it, took it apart fixed it, it worked like a dozen times and just got done putting an ivory colored wall-switch in it. LOL :) pps- So how's everybody doing? ppps- Any interesting side projects? :)
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Good to hear.

See you have some familiar-looking rusty ford truck parts in file12. Lacking great brand loyalty, I ditched my rusty chevy for a less rusty ford a few years back, but time passes and now it's rusty too - and I'm torn because newer is not better these days - so it may be time to go for a real throwback (Willys, unimog, something old, solidly built, and able to be worked on that (hopefully) won't turn to lace when a smidgen of salt gets on it). Perhaps further back to something with a wooden frame - haven't got much in the way of termites here...

If the tool fits the job, it's the right size. And it's better than my really annoying 1x42 (LOUD universal motor, and doesn't like to stay on track, either. Might not have been a good buy for $15...)
<poking about a bit more in the free-form stuff that is file12>
The guard-free grinder does not bother me belted down to 220 rpm, but the direct-drive one does. Shall I dig up a few tales of folks getting killed by exploding grindstones for you, or would it not impact your operations any? Guards are not just for show...
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Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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Termites aren't your only problem--my Dad built an off-road utility trailer mostly out of oak (except for the axle and dump bed). It's starting to rot...after a mere 30 years. Fortunately, it only has to go about 5 miles an hour, and the consequences of a failure are only lost time. If he had kept up with a regular regimen of reoiling it, it may have lasted indefinitely, who knows?
I'd be a little more leary of something driven at higher speeds, longer distances, and with traffic around...
YMMV, --Glenn Lyford
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There is a green chemical - copper xxxxx that is painted on wood to prevent rot and termites... Copper kills both.
Used on foundation wood in the mountains so the house doesn't sink, sink,.... The xxxx is acetate or a like chemical sound. Standard stuff for wood. Home centers would likely have it - large lumber yards...
Martin
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Yeah it's all just one step from "file13". ;)

I should know better. I knew a guy at work that lost his hand to a governer on a gas engined grinder going bad, he reached across to shut it down -bam-. I wasn't there, just heard about it, never saw the guy again since he didn't come back to work and he was on the Division Steel Gang and didn't live anywhere near me (Bowie AZ).
Don't... do as I say, let alone, do as I do. ;)
Would it help you if I were to dig up a few photos of dead people in Volvos? ;)
A few words on your rusty vehicular problems... Craig's List, Califonia ;)
Alvin in AZ '75 F150 360FE T18 (been hidin' out on a truck wedsite forum;)
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