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Low-cost Blacksmithing: How to Make Your Own Anvil

Low-cost blacksmithing

Yes, you too can be an anvil-head! Here is my just completed low-to-no cost suggestion for an anvil, will include pictures when I can, but to be honest, am so anxious to go build a fire and pound on these things I can barely stand it! Now firstly, I have assisted in the tortuous, and hot labor of creating an anvil, from scratch, as it were, and I will say it is a hot, labor-intensive drudgery that will put your patience, heat-tolerance and back to a good deal more than a trial, it seems more like being accused of witchcraft, tortured to confess, convicted, dunked in sweat, tossed in the river, and, for good measure, turned into a newt just for the sheer meanness of it!

     To begin, this process started over five years ago, I was given a number of short cut-offs from railroad rails, which can be used by themselves as a suitable, but small anvil, but what I was seeking was a flat, heavy and durable pounding surface that was stable, very nicely shaped and portable. I had seen people turn a railroad rail upside-down, using the bottom as a pounding surface, but the mass is just not adequate to absorb the hammer blows, and so the ring and punishment to your hand and wrist is too great. I also had been given, gratis, by a former railroad employee a bunch of the steel connector plates, but their thinness was also not good enough for a hammering surface, and so I accidentally ran into some excess weights for a small lift truck, the weights are steel, about three inches thick, six inches wide and 20 inches long,.... needless to say, they are heavy as sin, but not stable enough to pound on just laid on another surface.

Well, ok,.... so far two wrongs, and now it should be right, the rail is used to form a foot, and also a wide, stable base for the anvil, and if the lift weight can be welded to the rail, it should be about the right height, weight and provide enough shock absorbing to deaden the weight, but what is essential to remember is that the weights are MILD steel, that is, they CANNOT be used with cold metal, or be directly hit with the hammer, or they will quickly dent and detriorate or break off it is ESSENTIAL you only use this type of anvil with HOT iron and lighter blows, such as is done when you are learning the craft, not with heavy hand or to form cold steel, just trust me, it would be a waste of time to depend on such a homemade anvil for anything but small items, such as forming knives and other tools!

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Comments (1)
Joe Horn

Thanks Google, your stupid add is in the way of the post.