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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Hunting Knives and Crafters » Anvil and other tools to get started (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Anvil and other tools to get started
NittanyRider
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I'm planning on heading out to mid-Ohio next weekend for the annual SOFA Quad State event. One of the reasons I'm going is to buy an anvil, as I was told that this was *the* event to buy smithing tools at. Anyway… I know the basics of what to look for (flat face, square edges, no cracks, no Avnil Shaped Objects, etc), but other than that, what else should I look for? Any brands to stay away from… or keep an eye out for? Also, what other accessories should I try to pick up (hammers, tongs, etc).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

David

Posts: 394 | From: State College, Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ray Hammond
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You don't need square edges you just don't want edges that have big chips or chunks missing.

--------------------
“Courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent-that is what Wisdom wants us to be. Wisdom is a woman, and loves only a warrior.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

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gudspelr
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Big. You mentioned some good things to watch for, I'd add size. Get as big an anvil you can afford. I got lucky and found an old ACME anvil local for a great price. It's just barely over 100 lbs, which is better than a 75 lb anvil. It certainly works, but I'll say that I wish I had a heavier one after getting to forge on larger anvils in other shops. There really is a difference when forging on a 200+ lb anvil compared to the one I have.

Hopefully Lin will see your thread and give his perspective, especially on hammers and tongs, as well as anvils. Good luck and please post whatever you pick up.

Jeremy

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"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
- William Morris

Craftsmen strive to make their products both.

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NittanyRider
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Thanks guys - I appreciate the information. I went to the mid-america hammer in last month and I heard the same thing about getting one in the 200+ lb category. I've got a budget and hopefully I can find one that doesn't break the bank!

I'm a little less clear on hammers and tongs, so any specifics on those items would be a big help.

Posts: 394 | From: State College, Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bjansen
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1/4" z box tongs are a great thing to have
Posts: 2271 | From: Germantown, WI | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve Nuckels
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If you have a large ball bearing about the size of a pinball that is helpful to determine the "rebound" of the anvil. Not all anvils are created equal. Hold a ball bearing 10-12 inches above the anvil and release the ball it should bounce back, higher is better.

Hope you find some use full and cool stuff!

Steve
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gudspelr
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I use box jaw tongs the most. I have two sizes, for the most common bar stock sizes I use. I also have a "normal" set of tongs for picking up and holding different projects. I have a set of "tang tongs" that specially made to hold hidden tangs while finishing out the blade. I use the box jaw tongs to hold the blade end when hammering out the tang.

The smith that helped me make the tongs I have has a LOT of tongs. All I can say is, I wish I had more. There are so many specialized ones, but the reality is, they're made for specific things. And not having a good hold on a REALLY hot piece of steel can end in BAD things happening... Making a tomahawk head without some different tongs to hold it securely makes the endeavor much more difficult. As with the anvil, get what you can afford and what will fit the blades you're making.

Jeremy

--------------------
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
- William Morris

Craftsmen strive to make their products both.

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Lin Rhea
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I just got home.

I like Hay-Budden anvils in the 125-200 lb range. Or I buy new. The tops and edges should be reasonably good and should fit the price. I don't want a damaged anvil no matter the price but one in good shape should be worth anywhere from $1.75-$3.00 per lb. More if it's exceptional. Always keep in mind the comparison to buying a new anvil. If the old anvil's price is too high, you might consider buying new. Emerson is a good anvil. Made in Shreveport, La. by Ross Emerson. I have a 200 lb that is very nice.

I do not like cast iron anvils, even with a steel top. Some do well on them.

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"We dont rent pigs." Augustus McCrae
ABS Master Bladesmith
TGMM Family of the Bow
Dwyer Dauntless longbow 50 @ 28
Ben Pearson recurve 50 @ 28
Tall Tines Recurve 47@28
McCullough Griffin longbow 43@28

Posts: 4542 | From: Prattsville, Arkansas, USA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NittanyRider
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Thanks again for the input! I think I'm starting to get a pretty clear picture in my head about what to look for in an anvil.

As far as tongs go… I'll pick up some box jaw tongs and some "normal" ones too.

BJansen recommended a post vise, so I will keep an eye out for one of those.

What about hammers? I was going to get a 2 - 2.5lb straight pein hammer to start with... anything else I should definitely have?

David

Posts: 394 | From: State College, Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lin Rhea
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I also like the 2 lb - 2.5 lb hammers but I have settled on the cross peen as being my go to hammer since I use the horn as a drawing surface in that direction. I like a square face with the corners softened a bit.

You'll need a post vise.

--------------------
"We dont rent pigs." Augustus McCrae
ABS Master Bladesmith
TGMM Family of the Bow
Dwyer Dauntless longbow 50 @ 28
Ben Pearson recurve 50 @ 28
Tall Tines Recurve 47@28
McCullough Griffin longbow 43@28

Posts: 4542 | From: Prattsville, Arkansas, USA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kbaknife
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As well, a good smithing rule is 50 pounds of anvil per 1 pound of hammer. Keep that in mind when buying an anvil.
You're always hitting the work piece on two sides - the hammer, and then the anvil face on the other side.
If your anvil is too small, the energy is not returned to the back side, but rather goes to China.

--------------------
When the last deer disappears into the morning mist,
When the last elk vanishes from the hills,
When the last buffalo falls on the plains,
I will hunt mice for I am a hunter and I must have my freedom.
Chief Joseph

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NittanyRider
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Good to know… thanks, Karl.

Leaving early tomorrow for the roundup! I'll post pics when I get back.

David

Posts: 394 | From: State College, Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NittanyRider
Contributor 2014
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Quick question about testing for rebound… if you don't have a large metal ball bearing, can I just let a hammer drop on the face from about 4 or 5"?

[EDIT]: Found a SS pinball at a local game shop… ready to go buy an anvil! [thumbsup]

Posts: 394 | From: State College, Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve Nuckels
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Good luck, fun process!

Steve
--------
Potomac Forge
Member, W.F. Moran Jr. Foundation
ABS AP

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Corey62
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I know this is an older forum, but taking a chance someone will see and maybe have some input.
We have a very old hay budden anvil, with the words stamped on front
Hay Budden
Manufacturing
Brooklyn N.Y
But on our the word manutracting is stamped upside down. All the other ones I'm seeing they are not.
Does anyone have any info on this and can help me out! Thanks for the help.

Posts: 1 | From: Indiana | Registered: Sep 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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