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Isaac H.




Location: Northern California
Joined: 06 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Nov, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Anvil avice,anybody?         Reply with quote

I have been getting by with a makeshift anvil for my bladesmithing projects for a while now,but it's limitations have frustrated me one day too long,and I am finally shopping for a decent anvil.I do not want to pay(a lot of) extra bucks to ship one,so I've been searching locally for a "real"anvil.Fortunately ,I have found a man a few hours away who is liquidating his anvil collection and has 70+ to choose from.However,i had a few questions before I drove the distance to pick one out.First,is bigger always better?Is 100 to 150 pounds enough weight for forging most types of blades?Are there certain manufactures that are the best for this type of work?Finally is there anything i should watch out for when buying a used anvil? Thank you so much.
Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

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We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Wed 24 Nov, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple of things. Pick one in the 100-150 range, bigger is better if you don't plan to move it. Take a hammer with you and hit them. If they don't ring, don't buy it. Try to find one with well defined edges, rounded and chipped bits are irritating and in my experience the edge work in knife making happens near the edge of the anvil. If you can find one with a cast iron stand, they are the bees knees. Good luck.
To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Wed 24 Nov, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Anvil avice,anybody?         Reply with quote

Isaac H. wrote:
First,is bigger always better?


Yes, generally speaking, the more mass in the anvil the better. Besides the logistic issues involved in moving more mass, there is no downside to having a bigger anvil.

Isaac H. wrote:

Is 100 to 150 pounds enough weight for forging most types of blades?


I'd say yes, with the caveat that it depends on how much forging reduction has to be done to get from the steel bar to final shape. If you have to forge down 1+ inch round bars, for example, a heavier anvil will make a difference (i'd recommend a power hammer at that point). If you are forging starting from, say 1" x 1/4" bars, though, 100-150 lb anvil is just fine.

Isaac H. wrote:

Are there certain manufactures that are the best for this type of work?
Finally is there anything i should watch out for when buying a used anvil?


Ideally, you'd want a forged steel anvil (unlikely you'll find this). Baring that, a cast steel or hard-faced iron anvil is just fine. You'll want an anvil with most of the mass concentrated under the main surface of the anvil (look at medieval or colonial style anvils). A long horn or beak isn't really necessary for blade-smithing, and pulls mass out from under the main working surface. You'll see this in a lot of Japanese blade-smith anvils, medieval anvils and some modern day blade-smithing anvils...they are essentially just heavy blocks of steel...you don't necessarily need a large surface area to forge a blade on. You can test the anvil by bouncing a steel bearing on it. The better the anvil, the more energy is reflected back into the ball (i.e. the higher it bounces back).

Dustin
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Nov, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a link to a site that might provide some answers;
http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/19380-monster...ntry199045

And another great location for the "brotherhood of the black booger."
http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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