Anvil ID needed

Greetings all,
With any luck, I have posted 4 pics(Anvil1-4) as well as a .txt file(Anvil10ID) of an anvil that my Dad bought about 20 yrs. ago in the drop
box. http://metalworking.com/dropbox With his recent passing my brothers and I have been finding many treasures in the moving process. I may be posting more pics later for ID help, just giving ya'll fair warning. The anvil weighs every bit of the 300 lbs. Dad bought it at, I can personally attest to that.<G> the "logo" in the pics looks to me like an arm holding a hammer with , what appears to be stenciled or painted on, the letters "U.S.E." below it. It has had a ~3/8" plate welded onto the top, with the accompaning square and round hole to match the anvil, I am unsure why, but would probably like to remove it at some time. I want to thank the group in advance for any and all help ID'ing this anvil, and as mentioned above I may be asking for your help in the future to ID a few other pieces we have found, some of them I think I know what they are but would like an amen from the group before pronouncing them.
Thanks again, Jim C Roberts
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You might want to take a "rubbing" of the text ABOVE the stylized farrier. [The "logo" appears to be a representation of a man, wearing a billed cap, making a horseshoe with a bottom view of a horse's hoof on the right side of the anvil.]
BTW - could that last yellow letter be what's left of an "A"? If so, the anvil might, once, have been used to make shoes for Cavalry or Artilliery horses.
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Hi Jim
You might want to think again about removing the 3/8 inch plate. Many anvils were made of wrought iron and forged to shape at which point a steel face was forge welded on to the top of the anvil. If the anvil "rings" true without a dead or hollow sound, then the steel face is still welded on to the top of the anvil and all's well. It's not uncommon for faces to get unwelded. There was one that had separated on an anvil in the place where I bought mine. That one was at least 5-600 lbs. But they had a bunch of old anvils, and I took a two hundred pounder that's just perfect for my use.
Mine was pretty beat up when I got it but I welded three layers of 8018-C3 on to the top of the face. I preheated the anvil to 200F prior to welding and burned 50 lbs of wire in a late night session (with a Lincoln A/C tombstone) then had a local machine shop true up the face. I took care of the corners myself with a hand grinder and finished them with a file. I thought I'd want to hardface the top, but I haven't needed to do that. After all, the steels that are being worked on the anvil are hot and pretty soft. By the way, I didn't have any trouble with duty cycle on that welding setup. I kept the amps pretty low and a very tight arc. A long arc would have meant more voltage and therefore more power use. As a matter of fact, the machine forced me to use a tight arc if I recall correctly, but then this was 25 years ago.
If there's a crack between the face plate and anvil body that's making the anvil dead, and you decide to take it off, you can weld directly to the wrought iron with mild steel electrodes and then follow it up with a few more weld layers with a little more strength. I used 6011 to weld up some scars on the body of the anvil and aside from some color mismatch, the repairs are fine.
John Gullotti

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I can sell some hardfacing rod, hardness RC60-62.
i
On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 20:58:01 -0400, John Gullotti

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I'd strongly suggest posting this to alt.crafts.blacksmithing since, on that NG, there are quite a number of people who not only *use* anvils but are quite knowledgeable of their histories.
Good Luck!
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Also rec.crafts.metalworking
also this
http://www.abana.org/resources/discus/messages/5/435.html?1141669439
http://www.blackiron.us/anvil-types.html
http://www.celticknot.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=6
I think...think..IIRC..the arm with the hammer logo is a Vulcan brand, made by the Columbus Anvil and Forging Co., West Frankfort St., Columbus, Ohio.
I have a Hay-Budden anvil..its 38" from heal to tip of horn. Badly abused in its oil field past. I think at one time..it was used to back up cutting cable with a chisel, based on the wear marks and dings. Ive done a modest amount of restoration to it, but the horn and so forth needs to be redone with hard surface wire then reground.
About 300 or more pounds in weight..its been very handy to have, with a very large hardy hole..easy to make tools for.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Jim, Don't quite know what you are refering to, but "would probably like to remove it" seems to be about the 3/8 plate. DON'T REMOVE THIS. That's the hard steel table. The anvil is forged steel. I have it's 125# brother with the Arm& Hammer logo. Grind the top smooth and it's ready to use. These were sold by Sears Roebuck at one time. RichD
Gunner wrote:

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How much does a substantial anvil cost these days? What are good names, and what makes a good anvil?? I would imagine one could readily add/replace the hardened steel plates. I'm likely gonna get a blacksmith's anvil, roughly about 1.5' high by 1.5' long. Approx weight??
I'm also thinkin of getting one of these huge 8" machinists vises (import, screwed up) for about $25. The Kurt equiv is about 160#--useful as an anvil? -- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll Party Nominee, IPPVM Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses "That's proly not a hemorrhoid you're feeling.... " entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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On Sun, 22 Oct 2006 01:23:28 -0400, "Proctologically Violated"

Its been said that the Russian anvils sold by Harbor Freight are pretty decent.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber6
Good used anvils..proper ones run about $2-3 a pound.

Not really. If you really want a cheap anvil..find yourself a chunk of railroad track, put it in a big bonfire and get it redhot..cover it with dirt or ash and let it cool slow. Then machine it to the shape you want. Work hardening steel. Makes a pretty decent anvil. Rail track comes in all sizes. Bridge Crane rail can be pretty big.
I lucked into my big HayBudden. Its 36" from heal to end of the horn..about 300 or more pounds. It was going to be scrapped. I got it for scrap value. About $5
But then..I was lucky.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Old rail should be hard like a muhfugguh, from the incessant pounding of steel wheels. Good idea. I think I can get a couple feet. -- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll Party Nominee, IPPVM Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses "That's proly not a hemorrhoid you're feeling.... " entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs
wrote:

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On Sun, 22 Oct 2006 11:00:16 -0400, "Proctologically Violated"

Do NOT try to mill the face of the rail without annealing it.
The first one I tried..cost me about a dozen inserts, a new, scary sharp face mill and hours of time. Annealing it..it machines pretty nicely.
Now if you grind..different story. Course you are gonna use up lots of media.....
http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/anvil-1.htm
http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/anvil-0.htm
http://theindependentamerican.freeyellow.com/forge1.html
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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wrote:

Da, Tovarisch!
The best media I've found for grinding the face (top) of MY 2 1/2' section of track with a 4 1/2" grinder are metal CUTTING wheels - the GRINDING wheels only polish it.
The cutting wheels also let you "shape" the "web" to provide for relief underneath.
The reason that I did NOT anneal mine is that I wouldn't have had the facilities [or knowledge, for that matter] to be able to re-harden it.
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wrote:

Rehardening is via the Armstrong method. You only need a strong arm..and a hammer.
It works just fine "unhardened" and like foreplay..only gets better as time goes on.
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Rail steel is pretty neat and has received lots of attention over the years.
See: http://www.schoolscience.co.uk/content/5/chemistry/steel/steelch3pg4.html
I remember when a friend and I decided we wanted a 10 foot chunk of dismantled track. Tried to carry it home. Made it about 100 yards and determined it was WAY too heavy. Came back with a cutting torch and cut off 2 1 foot lengths. I still have mine. Mostly use it as a door stop now, but occasionally as an impromptu anvil.
Mike
Gunner wrote:

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Gunner wrote:

Well Jim, it looks like you're in luck. The anvil you have is an "Arm and Hammer" produced by The Columbus Anvil and Forging Company" which was a spin-off of the "Columbus Forge and Iron Company" (which made Trenton anvils) and was started by a Mr. Tom Long, an ex-employee, which is why, without the logo, these can be misidentified as Trenton anvils. These A & H anvils were produced from 1900 to 1950.
For reference the cast iron Vulcan anvils, with a similar logo, were produced by the Illinois Iron and Bolt Company in Carpentersville, Illinois from 1875 to about 1969.
Richard Postman in his book "Anvils in America" calls A & H anvils (he's inspected 30+) the very finest American built anvils he's inspected due to the higher quality of the steel in the top plate and the fact they were partially forged wrought iron (unlike the cast Vulcans), of the 3 parts the anvil was made of, the base was cast steel welded at the waist to the forged wrought iron upper portion. This means you will find the logo "stamped in" rather than cast-in (as on a Vulcan). In the late 1930s the wrought iron was changed to low-carbon steel because of cost considerations and in 1940 the process of welding the upper and lower portions was changed from forge welding to arc welding due to forging difficulties with impurities in the (reclained) steel base, although the top plate remained forge welded.
The top plate of the 300# anvils should be either 5x20 or 5 1/2 x 22". If your anvil is different and you let me know the size I can provide a weight which should be close. Look on the front of the foot under the horn and you may still find the serial number, on earlier anvils it will be toward the middle or right and after 1930 it should be toward the left. If you can wire brush it clean enough post the serial number and I should be able to come up with a close age.
Congratulations on having such a fine anvil and talk to us more about the condition of the top plate and how it can be "correctly" refurbished without damage.
dennis in nca
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Dennis, Thanks for the info. My 125# anvil has S/N 51724 and is a 3 piece. The S/N is left with the 125 on the right under the horn. Any input for the mfg date? RichD, Atlanta
rigger wrote: SNIP.......

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RichD wrote:

Hi Rich. It appears you have one of the last Arm and Hammer anvils produced, either a 1948 or 1949.
A little side story about the originator of the Arm & Hammer anvils if you like.
Quoting from Anvils in America by Richard Postman: .....while Tom Long was still with the Columbus Forge and Iron Company, he had an argument with the plant superintendent. Thereupon, Tom was fired and ushered out of the gate and told not to come back. Tom then went around to the back of the plant, climbed over the fence and went back to the job he had been doing. The superintendent, upon seeing him again, threw up his hands and said in effect, "If he is this determined to stay...well, Iguess I will let him." Apparently, that did not last very long.
Since I have this great book I'll be happy to answer any historical anvil questions anyone may have.
dennis in nca
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Hey, thanks Dennis. At least it's not as old as I am!!!! We are both in great shape tho. RichD
rigger wrote:

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I have a similar 125lb Arm and Hammer, from Columbus, and its a great old anvil. You definitely do not want to attempt to remove the top plate- it is not "pretty easy" to replace one- these were originally either forge welded on, or cast in place, depending on the brand of anvil, and either process is virtually impossible to replicate in a home shop. The Fisher anvils from Trenton New Jersey used to cast a tool steel top plate into a cast iron base- basically, nobody today can do that- the theory is understood, but the institutional knowledge, and equipment, does not exist in one place any more. When people stick weld a plate on, by welding around the edges, you get no weld in the middle, so the top plate just bounces around and does not conduct the blow very well.
If you have worked with good anvils, you can immediately feel the difference when trying to use an anvil with a loose top plate. They suck.
Nowadays, labor is a more significant factor than the raw metal cost, so good anvils are usually monolithic castings of good hardenable steel.
My other anvil is a Nimba, made by my late friend Russ Jaque, in Port Townsend Washington. His wife still sells these, and they are incredible anvils. The design is based on a 19th century Italian anvil he used to have, and it is quite a bit more sensible than the classic "london pattern" most of us think of when we think anvil. It has more meat where you need it, meaning more of your energy goes to actually moving the metal. You can feel the difference between swinging the same hammer on the Arm and Hammer and the Nimba, on the same weight of hot steel- the metal moves more on the Nimba. For an old guy like me, less arm strain for the same result means I use the Nimba 9 out of 10 times, and they are right next to each other.
http://www.nimbaanvil.com /
Needless to say, not cheap. Made entirely in the USA, cast from 8640 alloy, heat treated, then hand ground and finished by one of the best blacksmiths in the world (Jim Garrett) who has an incredible eye, and LIKES grinding. These will last a hundred years, though, and are quite beautiful to boot.
The other main players in the anvil biz right now are the Czechs- an old soviet era foundry, Bronko, makes european style 2 horn anvils, and they sell them here under a couple of names, cheaper, but still not as cheap as an old one fresh from the barn- http://www.euroanvils.net/index.php http://www.oldworldanvils.com /
Railroad rail, by the way, makes a particularly poor anvil- the shape of the section means that the narrow neck of the vertical wiggles all over the place when you apply a lot of force. This is not a big deal with a train- its actually desirable to spread the load out. But when you are hitting hot iron, you want maximum bounce to the ounce- hence the very large mass down low of most commercial anvils. When they design big power hammers, they often go with 15,000 or 30,000 pounds of cast iron for the anvil, in big blocks- not tall skinny wiggly little things. Railroad anvils look cool, and are worth collecting as folk art. Some of them are really cleverly made. But for serious metal banging, a plain old cube of steel is far better than something that looks a lot like an anvil, but is wiggly as a worm. Knivemakers often just use 6" x 6" x 24" blocks, on end. Or even just a 3 foot piece of 4" round bar.
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