I have a 21" piece of R/R track. Could I make this into an anvil? Has anyone used a R/R track for an anvil? What would be the best pattern to do one at. I printed off the Anvil-pattern from Ernie's drawing, maybe that may work with an lot of grinding and torching... Any better ideas anyone?
Better than no anvil at all. Not so great compared to a real anvil. The one I spent a while using was longer than a real anvil, which left it some weight - don't cut any length off what you have, just make the stump (support) to fit what's left of the bottom. Torch off a bit of the web/bottom on the heel end, a larger bit on the horn end. How much you make the horn section "like a real horn" depends on how much you need it that way for the work you are doing, and how much time you want to spend grinding. The one I used had a step that wasn't really a step - just a groove ground into the face, and the "horn" was not very pointy at all.
Used track is work hardened, so making a flat suface on top will be difficult and slow. I wound up milling off over 3/4 inch with carbide cutters when i made one years ago. I was afraid to use it without safety glasses (spalling), although thats a good idea anytime you pick up a hammer. Used real anvils still only sell for about $1 per pound, I would stay away from chinese crap. There are a lot on Ebay, but shipping could be a deal-killer
You can use a rock as an anvil. Of course you can make this railway line into one. The question is how much effort it is, and how good an anvil you end up with.
IMHE, it's an awful lot of trouble and you end up with a very small anvil. If you want a tinsmithing stake of a particular shape, then it's great. If you're after an anvil for blacksmithing, it's so far too small you might as well not bother.
It's also a lot of work. You need a cutting torch, big saw etc. to remove the waste from beneath the horn (if you have a horn). You'll need a 9" angle grinder and a good few disks to grind that top face flat and square (new rail is better than old rail). It's also a good time to get some anti-vibration gloves. Unless you've a good forge and are used to smithing with a smith and a sledge-wielding striker, you won't be able to draw the horn down by forging it (BTDT, smashed a chip out of a friend's real anvil 8-( )
I have two of these things. One was standard gauge, one was from a 3' narrow gauge line. I wouldn't do it again - it's easier to get the real thing.
Lane What are the dimensions of your anvil? I see a lot of torching and grinding went into your anvil. Nice job. Did you torch most of the horn or a lot of coarse grinding? Again good job... Gives me something to look forward to, and hours also when I need out of the house. Don D.
Yes a lot of torching and grinding, including the horn. Torched as close as I dared and ground from there with my $20 Horrible Fright angle grinder. But it turned out pretty well. I'm happy with it. Without going out to measure it right now, I'd say that it is 14 - 16" in length.
I have several and they are great for some types of work, if for no other reason than I have no problem modifying for a particular job. A couple of pieces get used as dolly-blocks, one has a groung-flat face and no other work, one has a horn and sinks for doing jewelry work, etc.
Not a good general-purpose blacksmiths anvil, but excellent for small work and customizing. Most scrap yards wil have scrap rail avail for the cheap, an added benefit.
I torch weld and my father had a 100lb real anvil that I used 30 years back. It was OK but hard to move around - so driveway use was limited to when I needed it bad enough to drag it there.
More recently I cut myself a 40" piece of junk-rail, cut the top of the basket off a shopping cart, and laid the rail onto the cart. I've been using it like this ever since. And in this 1/2 done arrangement it's already better for me than was the 100lb real anvil. It's really nice having it on the cart. Mostly used to bend or straignten bolts or flatten round-pipe. And the shapelyness of it on it's side is really helpful too.
I do figure on attaching it more solidly to the cart - but...
I'm struggling with what face to place upwards. On it's side, the U shape is very useful for bending. Upside down its large and flat. I don't think I like it right-side-up.
Thanks for the picture post-and explination - it does inspire ideas... I will probably mount mine up-side-down for the flat area. Then one end cut-down to a horn and the other end cut a v-notch into it. And rather than welding it to the cart I will probably bolt it so that I can somehow turn it on it's side. I'm also considering wheather to attach a 4" vise opposite the horne (maybe slide up/down the rail on foundation ("L" shape) 3/4" bolts).