I have an anvil that is well battered and worn. The edges are rounded off
and the top is dished about 1/4. What is the most effective way to clean
this up? Its just a general purpose anvil but I would like to be able to
flatten stock on it, and have a clean edge to work on betimes.
Pictures are in the dropbox under "anvil restoration 1 &2". #1 shows the
overall state of things, #2 shows the dishing in the top.
Thanks in advance.
You want to use a milder rod for the majority of the fill, and harface
only for the last couple passes, according to what I have read.
I think that the reality is, that no matter what you use, the anvil
will outlast all you can use it, as well as it's next three owners.
There are damn few shops left in the world that do enough work to wear
out a big anvil,even a soft faced one, and most of them use presses or
power hammers these days, rather than a team of strikers with sledgehammers.
Whats the length of the working surface?
A 1/4in over a couple of feet is an advantage, on any anvil less than
12in its too much.
because if yove done any thicker iron straitening you need a depression
to hammer the metal into to take it past its yeild point to get it quite
Certainly hard face up the edges if theve become somewhat rounded.
Tho id only do one side as sometimes you need an edge thats not sharp.
I had an anvil come my way that had a 1in depression in the bic. I
filled it in with weld then hard faced on top, you wouldnt know it had
you need to check what type of anvil yours is
It could be old ,forged from wrought iron with crucible steel fire
welded on the top. Look carefully underneath as if its got a square type
of hole in it its an iron one not steel. These holes were used to hold
it whilst it was being hot forged to shape. Some muscle mem!! with
If it is its rare and you need to be careful what you do to it not to
depreciate its antique value.
Ive several anvils here, one from about 1750, one dated 1914 ex UK
cavalry shoeing /farriers weight 112lbs. and a modern swedish steel
thats about 1935, signed with themakersname.
As to the right working height, you need to have it on some end grain
tree round so your nuckles just touch the face when you stand along side
with your arm hanging down.
I dont do much iron work mostly forging copper ,bronze and silver on it.
So ive polished the face to reduce tooling marks.
The flat is about 17 inches long and dished about 1/4" which I find too
It has a square hole in the bottom so I guess that makes it forged iron? I
can't find any markings on it anywhere. haven't ever weighed it, Only know
that at one time I could lift it, can't anymore.
It sits on a block of elm. I had a friend who insisted that the only way to
set up an anvil was on the end of a 12 to 16 foot tree set into the shop
floor. Otherwise it bounced too much. I've never had a shop quite that
Actually a tree stump is not necessary. You can make a base out of 3/4"
plywood scraps. The base sorta looks like a cube that is larger at the
base and then smaller at the top. Measure the base of the anvil and add
a couple of inches in both directions this will be the size of the
opening at the top of the cube. Increase the dimensions of the top by
2-3" in each directions. These will be the dimensions of the base of the
cube Add a piece of plywood to bottom the cube. Make sure the joints are
tight or use a sealant on all joints. Place the box where you want the
anvil to be and fill the box with sand. Level the sand so you are 3"
from the top. Now you can place your anvil on top of the sand. This box
will keep the anvil from walking when hit and it will reduce the ring by
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It sounds like it IS an iron one!! probably the standard Victorian 1
and a 1/4 cwt pattern.nice! better than all steel.
Now Id suggest you take a small grinder to the top and see what kind of
sparks you get.
then grind some off say, 1 side. If the top is layered with crucible
steel youll see very different sparks than from the side.
If you plan to build it up with weld, can you leave it in the sun
from morning till say mid afternoon? to warm it through?
as theres a risk of cracking the steel layer when you arc into it cold
as in over night temp.
As for age certainly before 1866, when Bessemer introduced the steel
process., making steel cheap enough to use right through most things.
if you look at where the four sides splay out , you may see notches on
the top of the shoulders.
If you do, its where the smith has been testing the hardness of the
the chisels hed been reforging.
when youve done welding, leave to cool slowly out of draughts.
If youve an asbestos blanket put that over it over night .
Grind up next day.
If it is forged , as in hammered , the sides will look somewhat
uneven.Thats because they made these anvils from scrap wrought iron and
never got it as smooth as the later cast steel ones.
Does anyone know more than Google does about Wilkinson anvils? After
reading this post I reexamined the old anvil - with MY name on it - I
tripped over in the back of a friend's garage.
"son" was stamped very lightly with a different stamp and "Joseph" or
crossed ovals aren't visible. It weighs 0 1 8.
for anvil stuff look around in this page
begin 666 [ABANA] The Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America, Inc..url
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You can straighten stock just fine on a swaybacked anvil. Unless there
us something unusual there isn't a reason to straighten it, especially
if it's just 1/4". Have you tried straightening anything on it? Has it
been a problem? Are you straightening hot metal, or cold?
If you decide to hardface it be prepared for a lot of grinding... you
might want to run it through a Blanchard grinder or a surface
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