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Thread: anvil repair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Simcoe Ontario
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    90

    Default anvil repair

    Hey guys I got an old anvil that has some chips in the edges and the centre of the face is lower than the sides. Just wondering I it would be better to get it machined flat again or to build it up with some hard facing rods or maybe machine and then hard face. Opinions? Experiences? Thanks. Also how do I tell if it's cast steel as opposed to cast iron? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Use a good build-up rod that will work harden. Hard surfacing electrodes should never be used for build-up. With multiple layers of hard surface on the anvil there is a very good possibility of pieces flying off the anvil under heavy use. Use a grinder on it to determine if it is cast iron or steel. Lots of sparks its steel; very few sparks its cast iron.

  3. #3

    Default anvil repair

    What would be a good "build up rod" to use in a situation like that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Streamwood, IL
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    87

    Default anvil repair

    As an user/owner of a few large anvils (200lbs+), I'd like to provide a bit of my opinion.

    When I'm working a piece of steel that I would like to have flat and straight, i prefer to have an anvil face a bit "swaybacked", meaning not flat.

    And with regards to the edges, i like to have a tapering radius along the edges, from about 1/16" radius to 3/8" radius.
    _kevin

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  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
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    Streamwood, IL
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    Default anvil repair

    For cast iron with steel tops, and cast steel anvils, I've used For general buildup Rankin BBG ( rockwell C47 ) , and for the final surface I've used Rankin DDG ( Rockwell C56 ). T
    _kevin

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    375

    Default

    As an amateur blacksmith, I would be REAL careful about welding or grinding on a new anvil, even if it is old and chipped and swaybacked, and especially if you are a noobie at blacksmithing, because:

    1. Welding on an anvil properly is something of an art to do it right without a) damaging the tool-steel (high-carbon) face or b) ending up with a disaster because you didn't pre- and post-heat properly. It takes a while to heat a 200# hunk of iron and steel to 400* or 500* evenly! And welding on high-carbon steel is no picnic when it comes to anvils. It's best left to the experts, unless you have lots of anvils to throw away when you trash them.

    2. Even if you spend $$$ getting it welded up right and blanchard ground flat, as a noob, you are still likely to chip and damage it again.

    Lots of good blacksmiths make lots of good stuff with anvils that, to a noob, look like they're unusable. Much of the art of blacksmithing is learning how to "work around" things, and imperfect anvils, and hammers, and pieces of material are just some of the things you need to learn to "work around." And as one previous poster said, some "imperfections," such as a swayed back, turn into "assets" once you learn to not only "work around" them but work WITH them.

    Good luck. Here are some forums that can help:

    http://www.iforgeiron.com/
    http://www.anvilfire.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    90

    Default anvil repair

    Thanks for the replays guys I actually only had a chance to look at it for the day I picked it up as I had to fly out to work. But after researching I'm not sure the edges aren't deliberate as for a swage block idea. And I guess for now it will remain in it's old beat up glory. Another question the only markings I found said 116. I researched a bit and found out that was a weighing system. But is there any way to find out who made the old girl? Thanks again guys

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,149

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    As an amateur blacksmith, I would be REAL careful about welding or grinding on a new anvil, even if it is old and chipped and swaybacked, and especially if you are a noobie at blacksmithing, because:

    1. Welding on an anvil properly is something of an art to do it right without a) damaging the tool-steel (high-carbon) face or b) ending up with a disaster because you didn't pre- and post-heat properly. It takes a while to heat a 200# hunk of iron and steel to 400* or 500* evenly! And welding on high-carbon steel is no picnic when it comes to anvils. It's best left to the experts, unless you have lots of anvils to throw away when you trash them.

    2. Even if you spend $$$ getting it welded up right and blanchard ground flat, as a noob, you are still likely to chip and damage it again.

    Lots of good blacksmiths make lots of good stuff with anvils that, to a noob, look like they're unusable. Much of the art of blacksmithing is learning how to "work around" things, and imperfect anvils, and hammers, and pieces of material are just some of the things you need to learn to "work around." And as one previous poster said, some "imperfections," such as a swayed back, turn into "assets" once you learn to not only "work around" them but work WITH them.

    Good luck. Here are some forums that can help:

    http://www.iforgeiron.com/
    http://www.anvilfire.com/
    I Agree

    over the years I have seen a lot of great old anvils ruined or damaged by well meaning but ill concieved attempts to make them cosmetically more perfect...

    Let's face it... we are talking about an ANVIL....

    you beat on it to work red hot iron and steel with it...

    why even worry about it... unless you are going to have a display piece for your "Man Room".... and then you would have to paint it with flat black rustoleum for a color match ..... wouldnt dare use it for fear of hurting the patina...

    enjoy the character that it has developed over all these many years of honest work... the nicks, wear and scars were gained in it's daily toil..... why not use it as is and leave it unmolested??

    99 out of 100 "Repair" attempts that I have seen did more harm than good...

    Last edited by H80N; 07-06-2013 at 08:04 AM.
    .

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    375

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan128 View Post
    Another question the only markings I found said 116. I researched a bit and found out that was a weighing system.

    In the English hundredweight system, that means your anvil weighed


    1 (112) + 1 (28) + 6 = 146 pounds when it was made. This is a good all-around size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan128 View Post
    But is there any way to find out who made the old girl?
    Go to:

    http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/

    and then click on

    Anvil Selection
    Anvil Finding
    Anvil Gallery/Anvil Series/Types and Specifications
    Anvil Gallery/Anvil Series/Buying Used Anvils
    Last edited by Helios; 07-06-2013 at 08:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    990

    Default

    go to iforgeiron.com and post a pic in the anvil section. Someone will likely be able to identify it. As for repairs I would leave it be until you know what it is, and how to use it.

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