It appears to me that the hard plates were about 1/2" thick or so.
Thicker on heavier anvils, I'd think, but about that thick on yours.
Things to think about:
- It also appears that the hard plate starts at the height of the
"cutting table". So, any thickness above the cutting table would be
-We don't know how many times that anvil may have been dressed in the
past, so you can't simply assume that you have 1/2" to play with.
-The whole hard plate may have never gotten fully hard. There's a fair
chance that the plate gets softer as you dig deeper into it.
-If there are lots of chisel marks, maybe it's one that never got all
that hard to begin with. I think they used simple carbon steel for the
hard plate and you only have a few seconds for the material to get from
"non-magnetic" (about 1450° F) to below 400 or 500° F to get full
hardness. With all the mass of the base firmly attached to it, it's
easy to see that on might get a real hard plate for only the top 1/4" or so.
-It's also possible that someone already repaired the anvil with mild
steel welding rod. There was a guy around here who did that for many
So------ I'd first get out a sharp file and test various places on the
face to see how hard it is now.
-If it's pretty hard by about the same amount all over, then it won't
hurt to take off 20 or 30 thou.
-If it's pretty soft in some places, primarily where it's worn the most,
Then the "temper" is already gone and you might as well take it down to
get rid of the dings, because you'll be driving those "designs" into
every thing you ever make. And, if you ding it up some more yourself
(more likely from wild hammer blows than from chiseling, since you are
already sensitive to that), you can:
---Just grind some more off.
---Or, you can rebuild the whole face with special rods made for the
purpose. This is not a job to be taken on lightly. It is a hot and
dirty job. If you want to learn more about this approach, email me off
list for more information.
Note: I don't rebuild anvils. I do surface grind them for others who
are in your situation and for those who have rebuilt them and want them
What if you ground the surface flat and then welded a chunk of hardened
steel to the flat top?
Seems to me you might get the flat hard surface you want without having to
re-heat treat the whole thing.
I definitely buy the resale explanation!
Reminds me of a story an (often delusional alcoholic) neighbor told me
once as a kid... he claimed he'd had a job in a train yard, and one of
his duties (when not otherwise running the place), was to go around
smacking train car wheels with with a ball peen hammer... and report any
non ringers he found.
Then supposedly one day every thing he hit started sounding dull...
turned out his cheap ball peen was cracked.
Ringing and rebound are very similar physical properties, they are a
manifestation of how little energy is absorbed by anvil, as opposed to
being returned to work. So a "good" anvil keeps ringing for a long
time after being struck, which is utterly useless, but is a good sign
of anvil's other abilities to return energy back to work.
Anyone has a good suggestion to reduce ringing? Stick a rag into the
hardie hole? Put a female tit on the heel?
"Richard" wrote: "Do not call" list???
That list doesn't even work on my telephone.
Welding a flat plate to the top of an anvil would doubtless leave some
airspace in many parts of the interface. Pounding on that setup would not
have the solid feel of a one-piece anvil.
On Sun, 21 Dec 2008 20:36:41 -0500, the infamous Pete Keillor
scrawled the following:
A lead sheet on -top- would work a whole lot better. ;)
Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
--Robert A. Heinlein