Anvil tips

Where might I go for a primer on anvils?
I want one. Not sure yet I need one, but there's the occasional time I want to hammer something on a solid object. I used to have one that was just
about 12-18" of railroad rail that had a point cut on one end. It had been ground off to make it rounded, something I would anticipate took someone quite a few hours to do.
I have seen a couple of used anvils in my area at garage sales for around $200. I believe they were antiques. In the southern Utah area I live, I believe I will be able to locate one with a "wanted" ad.
I know there are lots of shapes for lots of purposes. What would be a "general purpose" anvil? Can you send me to a site where I can start answering my own questions about anvils?
How much is a "good" anvil worth? That is, something a total newbie would use, and not the finest or rarest.
Also, most anvils I have seen were mounted on big round pieces of trees. Is that common, or would a stand mounted in concrete be better. I would think the wood would take out some of the vibrations and shock. But I'm just guessing.
Thanks in advance.
Steve
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Try here. http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs /
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Mike H. (To reply remove FOOBAR)

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Steve, this may be more than you want to get into, but Rocky Mountain Smiths is very active in Colorado, Utah and NM. I know there are a couple of people in Utah who are pretty active, but don't know where they are in relation to you. http://www.rockymountainsmiths.org / Of course, an anvil you locate thru them is going to be priced at market rates rather than a bargain.
I lived in Colorado for about 20 years (Loveland) up to 3 years ago when we moved. My impression of anvil prices is that $2 a pound for a usable anvil is a deal. Also, from a lot of auctions and sales, it seems like people will pay a premium (per pound) for smaller anvils, say 100 pounds and lower. I don't know why, just what I saw.
Peter Wright, Hay Budden (those will cost more), Fisher, there are lots of good brands. There are a lot of junk anvils coming in from Asia, along with a few good ones.
Steve
Steve B wrote:

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wrote:

There are at the moment..a rather nice Hay Budden and a Famco? Anvil..both about 75 lbs available at the local oddities dealer for $225 each, here just outside Bakersfield California.
Plenty of tongs, pinchers and so forth also.
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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I saw what a chinese Vise looks like after the bondo has been removed in a dip-tank. The guy wantedto paint it and it wound up in the scrap pile Amazingly bad castings these guys use when bondo is part of the finishing process. Take a scribe to HF and check it out. I think the figure of $2 a pound has been accurate for a lot of years.
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Steve: Check out Wayne Goddard's book "$50 Knife Shop". He has a section on constructing an anvil from heavy pieces of scrap iron. He also gives anil advice, depending on your use. Great book in any case. You can find it locally at Barnes and Noble, etc. -Mike Steve B wrote:

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Steve B made an inquirie on anvils and to this I say: I went to an auction today in Sandstone MN. (about 80 miles north of St. Paul) an old time country shop. He had An unbranded 300# anvil that A guy got for the bargain price of 200 bucks! Very nice shape too. I needed A more portable anvil so A 300 pounder is not an option. I went to Harbor Freight about A year ago and got there Russian made cast steel 110# anvil. With there 20% off coupon and it being on sale I got it for around 75 bucks. I don't cold bend metal on it as I don't know if it will hold up to the abuse we gave to the forged steel anvil at the shop I apprenticed at in my misspent youth but it has done it's job well for the last year on hot metal. Go to abana.com for more anvil and blacksmithing info.
Good Luck! H.R.
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Sorry! it's getting late. That should be abana.org. Also check out the blacksmith web ring.
H.R.
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One of the (IMHO) better tips I've seen for manufacturing anvils from odd steel is to use the bulk of the steel you have effectively, rather than trying to make something "London pattern" from inconvenient shapes. This came up a few years back, and someone mentioned a very satisfactory (albeit small-faced) anvil made by setting a 30-32 inch length of 5 or 6 inch diameter shafting on end (with some type of stand to keep it from falling over). Someone else mentioned doing the same thing with railroad rail. Beaks, tables and aprons could be welded on as needed.
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Used rail has a work hardened top surface prone to spalling. Milling it down is hard on carbide flycutters as it flakes. If you can get a section of new it should be great.
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wrote:

If you make an anvil out of a rail..light a big bonfire in the back yard, and stick in the rail. (last time..we put in 10 3' long rails) and keep the fire going until they are nicely red, then cover with dry sand and dig em out in a day or so. This of course anneals them nicely, making them very easy to machine and so forth. The tops are work hardened as you say..and for a considerable depth. I milled an un annealed rail flat...a chucnk 18" long..and it used up all three sides of a insert face mill..costing me 6 new inserts at $12 each.
Dat be some hard shit dude! <G>
Annealed rails make pretty nice anvils actually.
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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Working with a 4" angle grinder on a 2' piece of un-annealed rail, I found [rather quickly] that Cutting discs work fairly well but Grinding discs only polish the thing. <grin>
Still, I made the choice to NOT anneal it because I had no way to re-heat-treat it later and, as it is, it's both harder and tougher than many of my files. [I refuse to try the rest of them on it since I don't want to ruin THEM! <grin>]
FWIW, this particular piece had seen freight traffic for well over 60 years. [When the "line" was about to be abandoned the rails were pulled up and I managed to scrounge this section from their scrap pile.]
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I think one of the Lincoln projects books had anvil plans. I do not know if this is still in print.
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I have an anvil (65 lbs. according to my bathroom scale). The only markings I can find are on the side and they are hard to make out. Its either PFP, PFB, PEP, or PFB, or something along these lines--I am not sure. Does anyone have a clue as to what I have? By the way, I guess I am sort of a passive subscriber here on this newsgroup. My welding skills are minimal at best but I do learn from the postings on the group. If you would like to see some of my welded metal sculptures you can go to http://www.geocities.com/pzazam/sculpture . Thanks.

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