Some months back we had some discussion on either RCM or SEJW about making anvils. Ernie gave us links to some very interesting pictures demonstrating cutting out anvil blanks from 3" or so steel plate, then grinding and hardfacing to produce beautiful anvils.
I've been wondering whether it would be feasible to "laminate" an anvil out of a series of vertical sections cut out of thinner plate. I don't have access to 3" steel plate, nor do I have a ready means to cut it if I did. But I do have a bunch of 1/4" thick sheet steel, and may be able to get hold of some 1/2" sheet. I have access to a plasma cutter that can easily cut the 1/4"; I'm not sure if it would cut the1/2" plate, but maybe I could haggle it into the rough shape. What I was thinking about was not only bevelling and welding up around the edges, but also cutting three or four holes in the same place on each of the sections, so that I could plug weld -- in effect, creating several continuous sections running across the laminations at various points in the body of the anvil, as well as the continuous outer "skin" of the anvil. Then grind flat and add hardfacing ...
Here is roughly what each lamination might look like (within the severe limitations of ASCII graphics!): _______________________________________ \__ __/ \__ _ _ __/ \_ (_) (_) __/ \_ / \ _ / / (_) \ / \ /_____________________\
Basically each lamination would be a lengthwise, vertical cross section of the anvil shape, with the holes cut as shown to plug weld each lamination to the next. Each lamination section would not be identical -- one would need to leave a gap in the tail part of some sections for the hardee hole (is that the right term?), and taper back the laminations on each side to create the rough shape of the horn. What do you think? Obviously, this would be a fair bit of work ... but I'm not sure it would be all that much more work than what Ernie has demonstrated using 3" thick steel -- there would be a lot of grinding to do either way! But would the resulting anvil be an absolute piece of junk? Besides costing more and being a whole lot more work, how it might compare to the $59 special at Harbor Freight?
Alternatively, would one get more satisfactory results by doing the lamination horizontally rather than vertically? I was thinking that doing it horizontally might result in some "springiness" of the resulting anvil ... but maybe the same thing would be true either way?
I look forward to your (no doubt gracious!) feedback on yet another hare-brained idea!