The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Anvil the affordable way (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MentalistCreationLab
View Profile
Inner circle
1526 Posts

Profile of MentalistCreationLab
I have noticed a few posts talking about anvils and in these posts many have mentioned that owning an anvil is an expensive proposition. While this is true for good quality American anvils I thought I would offer up the anvil I use as a cost effective solution. This anvil cost me nothing but a little time to craft and has served me very well for years and the quality of the steel can not be beat.

The anvil is made from an old railroad track.

Below you will find a couple of photos.

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa120......l001.jpg

http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa120......l002.jpg

After cutting the section of the old rail, this may take a while on the metal saw; I milled the top flat on a Bridgeport. This gives me a workable flat area to pound items on. Also note that the sides of a rail track are curved this will allow for you to form some curves using this sytle anvil. I also painted it to keep the rust down.

Note: in many cases you will not need to mill the top and it will still work well for most things. I need a Very flat surface for one project so I milled mine.

These things do turn up from time to time when people remove old sections of track from property. If you see someone that has some of this track ask them if you can have a piece as it will be going to the scrap yard anyway most will give you a section just so they do not have to lift it at 3 to 4 cents a pound.

Hope this is of some use to someone.

BTW I used this anvil to build several wrought iron fences. So don't let the width of the top fool you by thinking its too small.

The size of mine is 8 inches long and 6 inches wide at the base and because how railroad track is made very stable.

The best thing about this style of anvil is you can make it any length you want. Just remember this even this small anvil is heaver than it looks when picking it up. So do not drop it on your toe or toss your back out when lifting. Almost lost a toe but thanks to the steel toes I was safe. The boots were ruined but the toe is still where it should be.

Cheers
hugmagic
View Profile
Inner circle
7402 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
I have had one in my shop for years. I got my late uncle one one time that had been thrown out when they replaced the tracks. I carried up a hill about 50' but it was worth it when he saw the piece of track.

Mine is about 14" long and it is all I want to have to pick up and down on the bench.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Darkwing
View Profile
Inner circle
Nashville Tn
1845 Posts

Profile of Darkwing
My dad had one that he used all of his adult life. That reminds me, I need to see if my mom still has it in his workshop.
thegreatnippulini
View Profile
Inner circle
of Hell because I've made
2589 Posts

Profile of thegreatnippulini
True anvils havent been manufactured since the early 20th century. A real anvil is made from built up wrought iron with a tool steel face fire welded on top. The combination of large mass wrought under the tool steel has a significant effect on forging. RR track anvils are really ASO's (anvil shaped objects)... right along with cast anvils. They have the physical appearance of a London pattern anvil, but lack the specific qualities that smiths look for. The face of the RR track has been work hardened by years of trains running across it. This makes it too springy. The thin web (the vertical portion of the track) lacks the mass of a true anvil. Many people make their "anvil" by cutting with torches to acheive a bick (horn), but unfortunately it is a waste of time because they have made an ineffecient tool.

The BEST way to utilize RR track for metal working is by standing on end and securing it to a block or stump. The working area will be smaller, but really you only need an area slightly larger than the biggest hammer you intend on using. Check this page out for all the info.

http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/anvils......vils.php

I have three working anvils, a Mousehole, Wilkinson, and American Wrought. Nothing compares to a good quality anvil. I use 3 cast iron ASO's for my pierced weightlifting act, I would never even think about forging on one. Good anvils range in price from $3 to $5 per pound. My Wilkinson (made in Dudley England ca. 1860's) is 100 pounds and was appraised at $575. It is WELL WORTH the price... these are tools that were made to last hundreds and hundreds of years. My anvils will be willed to my son because I know they will outlive me.

Check out anvilfire.com they have resources for helping you find a good anvil.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
epoptika
View Profile
Elite user
Florida
471 Posts

Profile of epoptika
My father used a section of railroad track, as did I, for many years, as an anvil. Worked just fine.
Thomas Wayne
View Profile
Inner circle
Alaska
2240 Posts

Profile of Thomas Wayne
Quote:
On 2011-02-24 10:01, thegreatnippulini wrote:
True anvils havent been manufactured since the early 20th century. A real anvil is made from built up wrought iron with a tool steel face fire welded on top. [...]

I have three working anvils, a Mousehole, Wilkinson, and American Wrought. Nothing compares to a good quality anvil. [...]


Great info! But how can one tell a good anvil just by looking at it? I mean, I've kind of had my eye on an anvil like this one:

http://jeffreyjeffords.com/wp-content/up......00wi.jpg

But without being able to actually see a maker's mark or "brand" on the darn thing I don't know if it's any good. I suspect the brand of this particular one is "Acme", based on what I know about the owner (seen holding it in the above image), but I don't even know if that's a decent brand. Is there an easy way to test an anvil for quality?

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
R Don
View Profile
Regular user
West Coast
189 Posts

Profile of R Don
I'm laughing
jazzy snazzy
View Profile
Inner circle
run off by a mob of Villagers wielding
2109 Posts

Profile of jazzy snazzy
Quote:
On 2011-03-23 11:50, Thomas Wayne wrote:
Is there an easy way to test an anvil for quality?
TW

Tie it to your leg and toss it off a cliff.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
taiga
View Profile
Veteran user
Chicoutimi, Qc
317 Posts

Profile of taiga
I tought you'd be interrest by the following. My father worked for very long on rail road. He once told me that when they had to replace old rail by new ones sometimes (almost all the time) they had to cut one rail to specific length to complete their job. My father told me they score a line with a punch on the top (curve part) of the rail. Then they lifted the rail just enough to place another piece of rail at right angle under the scored rail just behind the score. they then let the rail fall on the piece place under and the rail snaped exactly where the score were done. Maybe this info could be useful to someone. It's shorter then using a metal saw.
thegreatnippulini
View Profile
Inner circle
of Hell because I've made
2589 Posts

Profile of thegreatnippulini
TW, the ball bearing test is a very good indicator of anvil quality. Drop a bearing ball from a couple feet onto the face of the anvil. The ball SHOULD rebound 90% back. Another (similar) test is striking the face with a hammer. A nice loud ring means it is good. A low thud or no tone means there is a fracture somewhere in the material. Of course you cannot performm these tests by looking at a picture. Buying things sight unseen can be dangerous territory, been burned.... There actually ARE Acme anvils, they are not too good. Check out Anvils In America by Richard Postman.... EXCELLENT resource for these obsolete tools.

Jazzy, I prefer to tie the anvil to my nipples and lift it.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Anvil the affordable way (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL