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
The downsides to RR track anvils are a curved top surface and very
You can grind away the top to make it flatter, and weld some chunks of
steel on the sides to add mass.
They do work and thousands are in service every day.
If you can get BIG crane rail it work even better.
One of my students years back welded 2 pieces of track side by side to
get a bigger working surface.
It made it easy to add a hardy hole too.
He just cut half the hole in each piece of track.
He welded them together and then built up the middle with hardface.
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
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
Again good job... Gives me something to look forward to, and hours also
when I need out of the house.
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,
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
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).