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  #1  
Old 01-30-2017, 07:21 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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anvils

i have been traveling 1 hour each way learning how to forge and i am ready to start tinkering some at the house with less direction to make sure i am getting the concept so i can start on my own.

With that said, i am looking for a cheap anvil to tinker with at home. Are the 55 lb harbor freight anvisl any good? i notice they are cast iron vs steel...whats the difference when pounding on metal on these 2 different type anvils? The guy that has been helping teach me has a 500 lb steel anvil, but i am not ready to sink hundreds of dollars into an anvil at this time.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2017, 07:46 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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I have no experience personally, but I have looked into it with some interest in possibly forging in the future. What I have found is the words "Cheap" and "Good Anvil" do not go together. And apparently cast iron is not really good for forging knives.

I just kind of put the word out to some locals to "keep your eye out for an anvil". Somewhere around in a basement, garage or barn there is an unused anvil someone will sell for cheap.


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  #3  
Old 01-30-2017, 07:49 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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Thats kind of what i was thinking about cheap and good anvil...however...i have put the word out,a few weeks ago but the cheapest i have found is 400 locally in north florida. Which i am not ready for that kind of $ just yet...darn it!
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2017, 08:17 AM
DaveF DaveF is offline
 
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A hunk of rail road track works good for a starter anvil. A sledge hammer head set on end in a log also works well.All you really need a hunk of metal that is just slightly larger than the hammer you are using.

The HF anvils are soft and dont stand up to the beating that an anvil with a hardened steel face will take. If thats all you can afford though its better than nothing. There are plenty of people that have started with them im sure.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2017, 11:53 AM
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Naboyle Naboyle is offline
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Don't buy a HF anvil. They're junk. So to the scrap yard and look for something that is big and heavy. A piece of 4" round bar set on end works great for smithing blades. A railroad track works also but set it on end also. Yeah it's a small area to forge on but even on a big anvil you'll find it's "sweet spot" where you'll do 90% of your work anyway.
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:43 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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My bro in law is a mechanic at the train yard he got me a piece of 12" long "TALL" rail road track...I didn't know this but apantly there are 3 main sizes of rail track short medium and tall kinda thing so obviously the tall one has more weight and mass wich is better...if you have a local train yard go there and ask around or a scrap yard might be the next best bet....I don't do a lot of forging but I have used it making a couple blades a while back and used it to make Damascus A couple times, the top of the rail is slightly curved I flattened out half of it and left half curved
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:06 PM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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well i just had a friend call and say he located me a pieces of 1/2" flat steel about 12" square..that should work fine!
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2017, 06:50 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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It's not gonna unless you are forging miniatures. It's all physics - mass/resistance/force/energy displacement.
You will need more mass straight down below your hammer impact area. The suggestions above will work ok until you can find better.

One of my favorite "homemades" is the butt-end of a broken forklift tine. Total mass weight is 50#, but all the mass is straight down below the hammer impact. I can reduce 1" round bar on it, not as easily as on my big Peter Wright, but much more effectively than you will be able to on 1/2" plate. With a little "poor puppy" posturing and some asking, you can get one for pennies on the pound.
I actually use mine when I'm traveling to do half-day demos. It's easily portable and quite the workhorse. I have even adapted some scrap metal to make up quite usable and effective hardies for speciality work.

If I get a chance I'll take some pics for posting in the next day or so.

Just a note: My very first "anvil" was a large chunk of reject granite headstone. Still got it and it still works. All about working steel hot and eye/hand/hammer control.


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  #9  
Old 01-31-2017, 07:26 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Crex is right 1/2" isn't going to cut it and may not be very hard anyway. Try a recycling yard as well as a scrap yard. Go to a machine shop and see if they have a "cutoff" about 1' thick or better about 4-6" square or round. Almost everyone will have a piece like that in their scrap barrel.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2017, 12:43 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I found an 87 lb block of steel from a seller on Ebay. They are/were a steel warehouse in St. Louis selling cut offs and, with shipping, it cost me about $140. Moves steel like a gem. It may not have a horn or a hardy hole but there are ways to work around that.

Doug


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  #11  
Old 01-31-2017, 12:46 PM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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yes, i wouldnt need the hardy hole. Do you have a picture of what you use? I just do basic forging as a hobby and stress relief so i dont want to put hundreds of dollars into a anvil.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2017, 06:11 AM
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NF - sent you an email with multiple pics and tutorial. Hope they're helpful. Would post them here but I don't have time to resize them at the moment.


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  #13  
Old 02-03-2017, 08:01 AM
Bowarr Bowarr is offline
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I have a 55 pound Vulcan, steel-faced cast iron body anvil that I can sell to you for what it cost me.
I paid $235 plus a 10% auction fee but I'll sell it for just $235. You pay for shipping.
Let me know if you're interested.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2017, 09:47 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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not really a expert with this but if you get a piece that is a lil to soft...cant you hardface it of course that would require some welding skill, but I have heard of people doing this
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2017, 06:04 AM
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Ever price hard rod. Enough to face an anvil so it stand up to impact with any integrity will cost as much as a good used anvil once you add in the labor of welding and regrinding the surface. Surfacing a large chunk of metal takes more skill/knowledge than the average hobbiest welder has.


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