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Old 09-07-2011, 12:36 AM
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I want a cheap/ homemade anvil. I know I could use a section of rail road track but I've heard that they transfer energy and vibration poorly. If you have any ideas on other things to use or a way to improve the rail track that be great. Thanks
Old 09-07-2011, 01:54 AM
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http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-shop/anvils.html
I bought the 55lbs one awhile back and it is working just fine for me. You can also check out vices with a anvil-ish back.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Crunchtime View Post
I want a cheap/ homemade anvil. I know I could use a section of rail road track but I've heard that they transfer energy and vibration poorly. If you have any ideas on other things to use or a way to improve the rail track that be great. Thanks
I'm not a blacksmith, but I can tell you from experience that either "Road" or "Yard" grade rail will crack like an egg....I lost a friendly bet to a guy that works in RR maintenance that he could break a piece of of Road rail about a foot long with a ball-peen hammer. I was amazed.

I'd find something a little softer, lol.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:27 PM
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Standing a piece of RR rail up and using the end will actually work better than using the top of the rail. Depending on what your planning to forge you may not need a full-sized anvil.

If you have a metal salvage yard nearby, check to see if you can go through their scrap piles to find a good-sized chunk of steel. Back when prices were only 10 cents a pound, I picked up quite a few pieces of 6 and 8 inch rounds weighing up to a couple hundred pounds each. I used a couple of them to build an anvil (about 400 lbs worth) for a junkyard tire hammer. Prices for scrap are higher now, but finding a 4-8 inch round six inches or longer would still be a lot cheaper than buying a real anvil.

The Harbor Freight anvils are cast iron. They will work, but they can break, they won't have the feedback of a steel anvil, and they'll make you work harder. A good-sized chunk of steel will work a lot better.

An anvil doesn't have to have the classic anvil shape to work. As long as you have a smooth flat surface, and a well-defined edge (not sharp), you can get a lot of work done. Eventually, if you get seriously involved in blacksmithing, you'll want the real thing, but in the meantime, a good chunk of steel (not cast iron) will work pretty good.

Illinois has a lot of rural communities, right? I would start checking out some of the farm auctions. Sometimes, you can find a decent anvil at a decent price... but you might have to look for a awhile. Expect to pay $2-3 a pound. I've actually had better luck by advertising for one. I did that and found a really nice 125lb Trenton for $100. I had a larger anvil at the time, but eventually sold it. 125 pounds is about right for being somewhat portable yet still heavy enough for anything I'd want to forge.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:12 AM
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Thanks Pete, I never thought about BUYING from a scrapyard, even though I scrap alot lol. BTW welcome, glad to have someone so knowledgeable join the board.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by n2xlr8n View Post
I'm not a blacksmith, but I can tell you from experience that either "Road" or "Yard" grade rail will crack like an egg....I lost a friendly bet to a guy that works in RR maintenance that he could break a piece of of Road rail about a foot long with a ball-peen hammer. I was amazed.

I'd find something a little softer, lol.
That's amazing, we used a section from the 1970's to around 2000 when it got stolen, on a whole lot of projects. It's a good thing we didn't know it was easy to break or it might have broken, considering all we used it for.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:37 AM
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I've made a long horn tinner's anvil out of a piece of RR track and it worked great. The trick to it, is to weld a 3/8" piece of AR 500 steel across the top.

I had mine for years until a friend wanted it. I gave it to him thinking I would just build another one, just never did it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KsPete View Post
Standing a piece of RR rail up and using the end will actually work better than using the top of the rail. Depending on what your planning to forge you may not need a full-sized anvil.

If you have a metal salvage yard nearby, check to see if you can go through their scrap piles to find a good-sized chunk of steel. Back when prices were only 10 cents a pound, I picked up quite a few pieces of 6 and 8 inch rounds weighing up to a couple hundred pounds each. I used a couple of them to build an anvil (about 400 lbs worth) for a junkyard tire hammer. Prices for scrap are higher now, but finding a 4-8 inch round six inches or longer would still be a lot cheaper than buying a real anvil.

The Harbor Freight anvils are cast iron. They will work, but they can break, they won't have the feedback of a steel anvil, and they'll make you work harder. A good-sized chunk of steel will work a lot better.

An anvil doesn't have to have the classic anvil shape to work. As long as you have a smooth flat surface, and a well-defined edge (not sharp), you can get a lot of work done. Eventually, if you get seriously involved in blacksmithing, you'll want the real thing, but in the meantime, a good chunk of steel (not cast iron) will work pretty good.

Illinois has a lot of rural communities, right? I would start checking out some of the farm auctions. Sometimes, you can find a decent anvil at a decent price... but you might have to look for a awhile. Expect to pay $2-3 a pound. I've actually had better luck by advertising for one. I did that and found a really nice 125lb Trenton for $100. I had a larger anvil at the time, but eventually sold it. 125 pounds is about right for being somewhat portable yet still heavy enough for anything I'd want to forge.



I saw two complete blacksmith shops for sale earlier this year in N IL ...... one south of Joliet and the other south of Kankakee ..... forge, anvil, tooling, material ..... $200-$400
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
[/I][/B]


I saw two complete blacksmith shops for sale earlier this year in N IL ...... one south of Joliet and the other south of Kankakee ..... forge, anvil, tooling, material ..... $200-$400
smoking hot deal there. You could have bought those, pieced them out and made money.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
[/I][/B]


I saw two complete blacksmith shops for sale earlier this year in N IL ...... one south of Joliet and the other south of Kankakee ..... forge, anvil, tooling, material ..... $200-$400
Where did you see these? Both of them would have been driving distance for me. If you find another one it be great if you could PM me.
Old 09-08-2011, 06:42 PM
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Where did you see these? Both of them would have been driving distance for me. If you find another one it be great if you could PM me.
This was beginning of May ...... no specific address or contact # ...... one was on the north edge of Coal City and the other one was in a subdivision of Chebanse
Old 09-08-2011, 08:49 PM
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This was beginning of May ...... no specific address or contact # ...... one was on the north edge of Coal City and the other one was in a subdivision of Chebanse
I fish out in coal city sometimes, I'll have to ask around.
Old 09-09-2011, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2xlr8n View Post
I'm not a blacksmith, but I can tell you from experience that either "Road" or "Yard" grade rail will crack like an egg....I lost a friendly bet to a guy that works in RR maintenance that he could break a piece of of Road rail about a foot long with a ball-peen hammer. I was amazed.

I'd find something a little softer, lol.
I can back that statement up. Flat spot on a rail wheel can destroy several miles of rail. Rail is a 130 pound per 3 foot steel but its designed to flex and bend sideways.
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