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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 08:25 PM
grant grant is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Helena, MT
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New Anvil

I just finished getting the new anvil setup.

I built a stand out of 2"x12" lumber. I didn't realize until I measured that it is more like 1.5"x10.75", so it's a little cramped for real estate. I put down a good layer of silicone and threw the anvil up on it and realized that the stand isn't flat either.

I'll be replacing this stand as soon as possible... Really looking forward to scraping off all of that silicone (I used a whole tube).

Anyway, I've got a bunch of steel all ready to go for Forging Sunday. I'm going to go until I run out of steel or propane.

No pictures of my "shop" yet. It's so ghetto I can't bear to show anyone but the dogs.

One more thing. I noticed something fun with the anvil and magnets. Steve said NEVER use a magnet on an anvil because the anvil will become magnetized over time. I had a hard time believing him because I'd had one stuck on the side of my Hay Budden for months without it doing that.

I tried it with this anvil to quiet the ring a bit. It didn't deaden the ring at all. After leaving the magnet on for a couple of minutes, I took it off and, voila, the anvil was noticeably magnetic. It faded in another couple of minutes... I guess I'll be getting some chain to kill the ring, as the silicone isn't doing the job...

I wonder if the difference in metal types is what caused the new anvil to hold the magnetic charge. H14 vs. whatever the HB is made of.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:18 AM
cdent cdent is offline
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Congrats Grant, happy forging. The chain idea is probably a good one. I think a lot of ringing is just energy you're putting into the anvil, but not doing work for you. You might even consider a length of steel pipe with an ID that will fit the base of your anvil and fill it with sand up to the height you need. Very heavy and dense, but compact. I got the original idea a bit ago from Randal Graham, and it works very well.

Just rambling, congrats again, Craig
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2011, 05:47 PM
grant grant is offline
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Thanks Craig.

The anvil really worked great. The little side shelf made it easy to start the plunge cuts. First time I did it evenly and without a great deal of trouble.

I might give the pipe thing a try. I worry about it shifting too much on the sand though.

In the end, I only got one blade forged and in the anneal tub today. I wound down for the day when the heel of my hand started to blister.

I've really got to get on building a new forge. This cheap off the shelf thing heats very unevenly.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:46 AM
cdent cdent is offline
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Sorry about that Grant. If your base is working, I wouldn't change it.

Just to expand a bit on the comment, the anvil sits on a plate. The chain draws the anvil against the dense and heavy sand, not the pipe. No shifting and very solid. I tweeked the idea to fit my stuff, but I get kind of a thud/crack instead of ringing. Much quieter and noticeably better rebound than the recommended way of mounting my particular anvil.

It may not be perfect, but maybe you can use hot spots in your forge to work on smaller sections of a piece at a time. Early on, it might be helpful to say put the tip in a cooler spot if it looks like it's over cooking. Just thinking your idea of a forge may change as you figure out your preferences.

Have many more blisters, in a good way, Craig
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:23 PM
grant grant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdent View Post
It may not be perfect, but maybe you can use hot spots in your forge to work on smaller sections of a piece at a time. Early on, it might be helpful to say put the tip in a cooler spot if it looks like it's over cooking. Just thinking your idea of a forge may change as you figure out your preferences.
Usually I run two of the three burners on low while forging, and leave it that way for normalizing and annealing. I played around and found that if I just leave one burner on at barely a trickle I can control the heat much better.

Next time I'm at the forge I'm going to try just running one burner for everything. I noticed I burned the steel a bit with two going.

Slow and steady. Right...
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:23 PM
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jonwelder jonwelder is offline
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Another anvil ringing trick is to hang a weight with a leather strap over the anvil "horn",, it can always be moved when you need the horn..... What's wrong with a magnet?... Jon


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  #7  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:52 AM
grant grant is offline
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I've got one gripe about this anvil now. This pattern has no edge at either end of the long axis. Also, the long tapered heel isn't great for when I want to get in close and not bang my knuckles. When I get it far enough back not to bark my knuckles there's too little anvil underneath the steel.

Probably another case where I just need to learn my tool better...
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2011, 03:57 AM
Ed Tipton Ed Tipton is offline
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Two comments. I have a conventional London Pattern anvil which I have mounted in one of the smaller plastic barrels (30 gallons?) which I have filled with sand and then covered the sand with a circular piece of plywood. this has effectively dampened the sound, and it was cost effective and easy to do. The base of the anvil sits down inside the barrel about 2 inches below the top of the barrel and the edge of the barrel prevents the anvil from sliding around when in use. Occasionally, I do have to remove the anvil and "re-pack" the sand and get everything squared up and level again, but it's easily done.
I also made a post anvil. This is a simple construction where I started with a section of 4x4 thick walled steel tubing. I welded a base onto the tubing, and then filled the tube with an old heavy chain and concrete. after about two days, I welded a piece of 5"x5"x5" 4140 onto the post. The whole thing now weighs in at about 250 pounds, but all of the mass sits directly under the hammer, and it really moves the metal. The feel of this anvil is similar to a "dead blow" effect, It has no ring what-so-ever since it has no projections, and it has a small footprint in my shop. It also has the advantage that if the top ever becomes dinged up too bad, I can simply re-surface it with my angle grinder, although after about 100 knives, it is still perfect.
I use the post anvil for most of my forging on my knives, but I also keep the Peter Wright nearby for those operations not suitable for the post anvil, and also I have never included any provision for using any hardies on the post anvil, although it would not be difficult to do.
These are just some ideas that work well for me.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:51 PM
grant grant is offline
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I've been fascinated by the idea of a post anvil for a while now. I think when I eventually get around to getting a welder, I'll build one.
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