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August 2009 Archive

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J. Dempsey  <webmaster> Rev. 7/98, 3/99, 5/2k, 6/2k, Friday, 04/06/01 16:43:25 GMT

working vacation : Yah, I'm also spending my one and only vacation for the year working in the blacksmith shop at the annuale show for the antique power club I belong to. It's this week end actualy. Been a pretty good show so far, very good weather, cool breeze blowing through the shop all day. Looks like I my have picked up a commission to make some accsessory parts, for artisan textile looms, as well.
I had some photographer taking alot of pictures of me while I was drawing out a butter knife too. He asked me to sign a release form too. I should have asked him for royalties (he's writing some book on rural Wisconsin I guess) but, maybe I'll see if I can get copies of the pictures to use on a web site some day instead.
- merl - Saturday, 08/01/09 20:14:45 EDT

My project: I am helping with a project to teach some people disabled in the big quake how to do some metalwork. Pleased to say that some money has come through at last so I can buy a decent welder, a band saw, a pallet truck and some other bits and pieces. The Anyang 25Kg is ordered and the main thing for which I am waiting is the 3 phase power. Will let you know how things progress.
- philip in china - Sunday, 08/02/09 10:09:56 EDT

Great news, Philip!: I'll be really interested to hear how the Anyang works out for you, too. I'm getting almost to the point of wanting/needing a real production hammer and am considering the Anyang 55kg. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who has one I can play with to try it out and the US distributor is not all that forthcoming with specification details and pricing. I imagine an Anyang is considerably cheaper in China than here, too!
vicopper - Sunday, 08/02/09 22:27:50 EDT

Rich, I have been running an Anyang 88lb/44KG for a good 5 years or so now, and I really like it. It aint no Nazel- it is simply and almost crudely made, but very sturdy, easy to work on, and, best of all, aside from the motor starter, has not NEEDED to be worked on. And I run the hell out of it, when I use it- in fact, I really wish I had bought the 165lb machine- I am often running up against the machines maximums, especially when using stainless.
I think the 165lb chinese machines are the best combination of price and utility available today- simple, tough, relatively cheap for what they are, and extremely capable. I probably know 2 dozen smiths with them, and they all love em.
An equivalent chambersburg or Nazel doesnt really exist- there are a few Nazel 1B's out there, prized and expensive, impossible to pry out of their owners hands- but, practically, most older american self contained hammers are 3 or 4 times as big physically, and require much more investment in time and money to get running.
A 165 can run without a dedicated footing. You can just bolt em to a concrete slab, as many do, and they work great.
And a 165 can run as big of material as most of us will ever want.
Resale value is good, as they are usuable most anywhere.
- Ries - Monday, 08/03/09 12:53:43 EDT

Thanks, Ries!: I was hoping you'd chime in on this one, as I know you've had one for some years now and liked it. In what little I've been able to see on the 'net they appear to be just what you describe: a bit crude, solid and pretty robust. With crappy motor starters. :-)

Yea, verily - I would live to pry Bob Bergman's 1B away from him, but it ain't gonna happen. I've run a 3B and it was a great hammer, but it is too much machine for my shop (read, huge as an elephant). Your recommendation of the 165 Anyang makes sense to me and it would fit my shop - barely. I'd certainly have to pour it a slab/foundation as my floor is only 2" of un-reinforced concrete that pitches 2" in ten feet. :-( I can do that, easily. I'd need to do something to get it up to working height anyway, since I don't enjoy squatting to run a hammer.

I just need to find out how I can get one down here to the islands without selling my truck and one kidney. Sure wish they made them in Argentina instead of the Pacific Rim.

Thanks for the info!
vicopper - Monday, 08/03/09 23:51:04 EDT

Anyang vs Striker: I looked really hard at the Anyang and the Striker which is very similar and got the 65 Striker mostly because the supplier was so helpful. He has continued to be helpful throughout the set up and my first clumsy attempts. Also the occasional stray question that I would e-mail him. The unit does everything I want to do and surprisingly my wife says it's quieter than my anvil. It comes with a rubber pad and requires no foundation. I've had it for 5 years and no problems.
- Tinker - Tuesday, 08/04/09 07:08:35 EDT

Anyang Vs Striker: I have the best of both worlds on that one-
I bought my Anyang from Striker.
At one point, years ago, James at Striker was sourcing some hammers from Anyang. And I bought one.
So my hammer is both.
Generally speaking though, I would agree that the hammers are similar, and that James gives superiour service- and the fact that he is still answering the phone, while we are on something like Anyang importer number 3 or 4, tells you something.
So I would definitely buy another hammer from James, and recommend him.
- ries - Wednesday, 08/05/09 19:02:10 EDT

Just a quick foot note on the Anyang hammer in the USA,....

James Johnson of Texas took over the Anyang distribution about 12 months ago, and is working very hard to repair the customer service problems created by the old dealer.

I think hes on top of the 'mess' left behind (sorting out back orders for dies etc), and by all reports is giving really good service now. I have given him all my hints and tips for feeding & careing for the Anyangs (decent Pre-Delivery Inspections etc), and hes visited the facotry in China, so knows his products.

His web is

Give him a bell!
- John N - Thursday, 08/06/09 05:54:52 EDT

Anyangs in USA: doesn't seem to want to work on my email.
philip in china - Thursday, 08/06/09 09:34:34 EDT

Try our manufacturers list on the Power Hammer Page.
- guru - Thursday, 08/06/09 11:37:33 EDT

Anyang: Philip,

The Anyang hammers are shown on James' hammer site,, rather than on his shop site. I didn't have any problem getting it to load for me, BTW.
Anyang Hammers USA
vicopper - Thursday, 08/06/09 22:50:14 EDT

125lb bradley : if anyone is looking for an AMERICAN made hammer there is a very sweet 125lb bradley on ebay for 2k.....machine is in sweet looking condition
- buy american - Friday, 08/07/09 07:21:20 EDT

Bradley Hammers: are not self-contained hammers. Bradleys were decent hammers, but they are mechanical hammers with all the attendant issues thereof. And, of course, the issues of buying an orphaned machine for which there are no repair parts made unless you do it yourself.

I'm all for buying American-made when you can, but there are no self-contained hammers currently being made in the US, and what I want is a self-contained hammer.

I did get a call back today from James Johnson, the U.S. distributor for Anyang hammers. He was exceptionally helpful and friendly and quite knowledgeable about the hammers and power hammer forging in general. I think he'll do quite well.
vicopper - Friday, 08/07/09 22:43:25 EDT

Buy American: I agree. We should all buy products made in the country where we live. Support local industry.
philip in china - Saturday, 08/08/09 00:40:58 EDT

Self contained hammers: Rich- There is at least one self-contained hammer being made in the USA. Most of it is sitting in the corner of my shop while I figure out how to hone large diameter cylinders on my lathe. Sadly I don't foresee going into production any time soon!

Judson Yaggy - Saturday, 08/08/09 07:51:56 EDT

Self Contained Hammers: John Larson did build one, recently- but decided it was not where he wanted to focus his energy. Too bad, as I am sure an IronKiss self contained would be a great hammer.

Me, I much prefer a self-contained, to a utility or mechanical hammer, for a variety of reasons.

First, while I have a big compressor in the shop, I use it for a lot of stuff- and if I had to run my hammer with it too, it would need to be a REALLY big compressor. I have a 7 1/2hp, real US made industrial compressor, 3 phase and heavy duty, with something like a 120 gallon tank on it.
And that compressor, which, new, is in the $3000 to $5000 range these days, is just about able to run EITHER my plasma cutter when its running full bore, OR my sandblaster, OR my larger air tools. When running any of those tools, for more than ten minutes, the big compressor is basically running full time.
So, for my shop, to run a utility power hammer, I would be looking at having a 15 to 20 hp compressor, with probably a 200 gallon or so tank, to have enough capacity for two people to work at one time.
This is just too much machine for me- in terms of space, dollars, and maintenance.
Which is one thing that is not brought up enough- all tools suffer at the hands of entropy. But when your main tool, the power hammer, is at the mercy of another complicated tool, the compressor, you double your potential downtime.
My compressor works hard, and, while tha actual compressor pump has lasted over 20 years with no problems, motors, belts, starters, and other electrical parts do break, wear, and need replacement.

So I much prefer my self contained hammer- it is bone simple, and, aside from oiling, needs almost no work, and has almost nothing to break. It has been a lot more reliable than my compressor- in the time I have had the hammer, the compressor has broken at least 3 times, each requiring trips to town or mail ordering parts, each running $200 to $500. Meanwhile, the selfcontained hammer has broken exactly zero times.

On a related hammer note- the Guru's Den recently had an inquiry about Kuhn hammers, and the Guru said he thought they could sell here- and I have to disagree.
With current Euro/Dollar exchange rates, a new Kuhn would run 2 to 3 times the price of an equivalent chinese hammer- and, speaking as someone who has run both- IT AINT WORTH IT.
Frankly, if given a choice of a new Anyang or Striker, versus a new Kuhn, at exactly the same price, I would be taking the chinese machine in a New York Minute, and not looking back.
Last year I ran a Kuhn that was officially rated at ten KG more than my Anyang- and it was weaker, less satisfying to forge with, and just not up to the chinese machine as a working tool.
I have no doubt the Germans used better steel, tighter tolerances in machining, higher quality fasteners, and CE certified electricals.
But when the rubber meets the road, the sheet metal framed, fabricated Kuhns just dont work as well as the cast iron chambersburg copies the chinese make.
Similarly, the turkish Kuhn copies usually get left standing at the altar if there is a chinese machine standing next to it, at least in my experience.
This is not to say the Kuhns, Sahliners, and similar machines arent good tools- and I am sure some of it is just personal preference- but to me, anyway, these fabricated frame machines just dont have soul, not to mention power and solidity, that a cast machine does.
- Ries - Saturday, 08/08/09 11:54:28 EDT

not a chambersburg copy: ries anyang is NOT chambersburg copy...its a nazel copy... and copper i would be interested to know if youve ever even a run a bradley, as you refered to them as a "decent" hammer(their very fine examples of american craftsmanship)...sure the spare part issue is something one would face with a so called orphaned machine... but with very few exception almost all parts can be fab'd in a machine shop....with anyangs...youll still have ta have your part shipped which will cost as much as the part itself(or more) would really be interesting to hear the guru's thoughts on this, but sense he cant really give an unbiased comment on it sense he takes advert money from both anyang and striker...we'll have ta just do without it.... walmart is satan...anyang his handmaiden buy american or do it by hand
- buy american - Saturday, 08/08/09 15:07:35 EDT

Ries, a gentle disagreement on entrophy when using two machines. Every component in a system added increases the failure rate by the expontential.
IE> 2 machines square the probility of failure, or so I was taught in reliability theory class at Red Stone Arsenal.

Once that old recip compressor gives up, look at a lubricated screw. If you are running a compressor hard, as you do, and need the CFM, a lubricated twin screw compressor is the ticket. Much smoother and reliable.
ptree - Saturday, 08/08/09 20:34:22 EDT


If you added a second 7.5 HP compressor rather than going to one 15, you'd greatly reduce the risk of a total failure. (Or that's what I thought before ptree confused me [grin].) And I bet you could have a diesel-powered rental in the driveway in an hour if you were desperate.

But you make a point I hadn't thought of before: The
- Mike BR - Saturday, 08/08/09 21:15:36 EDT

self contained hammers: As far as I understand the Chinese hammers have mostly Massey in their ancestry. I could be wrong but recall reading that somewhere.

B.A.- The reciprocal question could be asked of you. Have you ever run a self contained hammer? Please note that this is the somewhat anonymous internet and you may well have spent the last 40 years in industry and used every piece of equipment under the sun. If that is so, please let us know so that we may weigh your experience accordingly.

That being said, for full disclosure I've been making 50% or more of my income from architectural ironwork for about 13 years, 100% for the last 5. More than some, less than others. I've run professionally in my shop and others a Glasser self contained, a Beaudrey, 2 Fairbanks, a Champion, a Kane & Roach, and several Little Giant mechanical hammers, from 150# to 25#. All the mechanicals were made in America, and I've listed them from best to worst as I see it.

So, setting aside the utility hammers for the reasons outlined by Reis above, anyone shopping for a hammer needs to ask: why do I need a power hammer? Huge industrial forgings? Get a press or giant steam hammer. Knife, chisel, or occasional forgings of a fairly standard size? This is where mechanical hammers rule, set the stroke once and forget it. Dead simple to run and repair, but be prepared to make your own parts, and better not stick that piece of 1/2x6" under it the hard way. Are you a 19th or 20th century re-enactor or museum? Mechanicals again.

I've made an ok living with mechanical hammers as one of many tools in my arsenal. Use them hard for any length of time and you will both see their limits and gain tremendous respect for the men who designed them.

BUT if you are producing work for pay, art or architectural or industrial with lots of tooling or stock thickness changes, the self-contained hammers are the most versatile, cost effective, and TIME SAVING hammers out there. And currently no one in America is making them. Capitalism is a 2 edged sword after all, but that's another rant.

By the way, I agree with you 100% about Wal-mart, I've never set foot in one in my entire life and try to buy as much as I can locally. That is balanced by the fact that some stuff is simply NOT local and you just gotta call McMaster-Carr or MSC or China to get it. Buying local or even just American is a luxury afforded to us by our tremendous natural resources (or our ability to go and get them from other places on the globe) and the insanely hard work of previous generations of Americans.

Wow. Long post. Rant off.
Judson Yaggy - Saturday, 08/08/09 21:16:08 EDT

The "you need a compressor anyway" argument doesn't go far outside a one-man shop.

(The system noticed that I forgot to enter my name, but chopped off my post once I'd typed it in.)
Mike BR - Saturday, 08/08/09 21:18:09 EDT

screw compressors: I have to back ptree up 100% on the screw compressor.
Yes, they need an intercooler and an air dryer but, they more than pay for them selves with ease of maintainance and lower electrical bills.
There is also a certain comfort level as they are very quiet for their size.
At the shop I work in we have a pair of 50hp screws in their own room that are wisper quiet.

Buy American, I certainly agree that walmart is the great satan but, we are just as guilty if we don't resist the temptation to buy there. Where we spend our discretionary income is probably our only true freedom.
As I'm the sole income earner of the household I get to decide ware the money is spent. I FORBID my wife to buy at walmart.
- merl - Saturday, 08/08/09 21:40:14 EDT

judson ive run several self contained hammers,striker and nazel...and most of the mechanicals you listed(but no kane and roach)and several you didnt list... my point is this.... yes by far self contained hammers are a more versatile....but for 99% of the folks that visit this page a mechanical will do everything they need and then some.... so why for godsake spend money thats going ta china...its that sorta habor freight/walmart thinking thats screwing this country....these new self containeds have no real track record....anyone been running their anyang HARD for 20 years 30 ??? 40??? i'm running a 100 yo american made 100lb hammer in my shop and i wouldnt trade it for chinese hammer twice it size(but i would trade it for a nazel) to all of you wanting to buy a chinese hammer... your no better than the fools that spend their whole paycheck at china-mart... you know china... the country that sends us posioned tooth paste.... pet food that kills our dogs... pirates our music and movies and sells them back to us.... and cheap hammers ..... i just would like to end my lil rant with this...... forgive them for they know not what they do(ing to this country).....
- buy american - Saturday, 08/08/09 22:33:19 EDT

judson: how much cash would you need ta finish your self contained hammer....
- buy american - Saturday, 08/08/09 22:38:16 EDT

Buying American: While good in theory, buying a used American made product does not support any more American workers than buying an import, new or used.
- Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/08/09 23:31:04 EDT

Kane & Roach Inc.: I never knew they made a forging hammer. I worked for Kane & Roach in 1977. At that time all they made was roll forming machinery. The company had previously been owned by Birdsborough Corporation. I have no idea when they aquired the company, or what it's prior history was.
- Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/08/09 23:41:14 EDT

buying a used american product keeps that money in our country dave,and thus the money doesnt go to china..and as far as i'm aware,all the spare and replacement parts for anyang are made in china so buying a "used" anyang,one would still have to order parts from china....
- buy american - Sunday, 08/09/09 06:53:16 EDT

Cash to finish? Probably about $200 in hardware and paint as I've already gotten the majority of parts. It'll probably be around $1000 in materials when all is said and done BUT a lot of parts are drops from other jobs. That's just materials, it'll be about 60-100 hours of fabrication and machining. And as soon as it's done I'll probably redesign and rebuild. This project is for fun, a learning exercise. It DOES NOT make financial sense. Something to do in the early morning when the wife and kid are still sleeping.

Dave- The Kane&Roach is an interesting hammer, the linkage is like the Bradley uprights with a pair of springs sticking off the sides of the linkage rather than in the center like the Dupont linkage. It gives nice action to the hammerhead. The pitman is a pain to adjust thou, and the anvil is a little light.
Judson Yaggy - Sunday, 08/09/09 08:26:18 EDT

Merl, twin screw compressors do indeed need a cooler, for the oil and is onboard on all the smaller units. I have lived with water cooled and air cooled, and will definetly go for the air cooled twin screw. The bigger recips almost always have an intercooler between the stages to stop possible deiseling in the compression cylinders from blowby oil.
Screws do require some scheduled maintenance that recips don't IE changing the air oil seperator, and if you don't change the oil when you should you will kill the air end.

Any shop running a 20 Hp compressor or above should really have a refrigerated dryer, especially if running anything water sensative.

Anyone running a 7.5Hp or above, near capacity on a regular basis should have at least an extra reciever, with an auto drain, to help with water seperation and removal.

So in the end, a higher usage shop, especially which spray paints, or runs water sensitive equipment, would be well advised to go for a screw compressor.
And Merl is right, so much quieter.
ptree - Sunday, 08/09/09 08:41:37 EDT

Chinese Hammers. . . who did they copy, The industry in general:
No, no, no. The Chinese hammers are more Cburg than Nazel but are actually a combination based on Beche' modifided designs that the Russians redesigned a bit and then distributed plans to all the Soviet states and their allies such as the Chinese.

The Chinese hammers have the same gear reducer design Cburg used so that they could use standard speed motors rather than low speed (900 - 600 RPM) Such as did Nazel. These drives (on the larger hammers) have a habbit of failing and being VERY expensive to repair or replace. Those with the belt drive and no gears are better.

While Nazel DID use a gear drive it was single reduction. The Cburg design has gears stuck between two parts that act like flywheels that can hammer the gears to death. Remember, they did this to avoid expensive special order low speed motors.

The Nazel hammer has a big cylindrical snubber that runs in the ram and is attached to the cylinder head. Cburg and the Chinese hammers DO NOT. Early Beche's do but they were actually German made Nazels. Later ones did not.

Nazels all had external exhuasts. Cburg and the Chinese exhust the air into the frame of the hammer. This reduces oil spray or the need for exhuast pipes but causes the hammers to run hotter. These hammers also have internal intakes.

Massey has a long cylindrical valving system that neither the Nazel or Cburg's used.

Cburg used roller bearings in places Nazel used plain bearings. The Chinese use ball bearings in locations where Cburg used rollers. . Hey guys, I have parts manuals for all the Chinese hammers as well as Massey, Nazel and Chambersburg. . .

The Chinese hammers are fourth cousins to both Nazel and Chambersburg but are more Chambersburg than Nazel and actually a Soviet design with minor modifications. Mostly they are lighter than their American counterparts and the quality of the iron used is much lower. Both Chambersburg and Nazel bragged about the special high quality iron they used that allowed for their designs. The castings were also MUCH better in finish (before the bondo) and had less porosity OR casting were rejected that had pits and holes in the cylinders as has been reported in some Chinese hammers.

But you get what you pay for. If Chambersburg or Nazel was still in business one of their hammers would cost 5 to 10 times a Chinese hammer. They were heavier, they were better and it is why people STILL pay more for a 75 year old Nazel than an equal size Chinese hammer.

The difference between Anyang and Striker is that they are made in different factories and each has made some minor modifications to minor parts of the design. There are also differences in the source of the iron used do to sulfur content in coal. BOTH factories will tell you THEY are the #1 Chinese factory and the other is the #2. . . Both will bad mouth the other.

The biggest difference is going to be your US dealer. Striker has been steadily in business and taken care of their customers for over 10 years. Anyang has had a hard time keeping dealers. I think this is largely because they will sell to ANYONE. There has been a lot of rancor between Anyang dealers who thought THEY were the one. . . and were not.

Personally I would prefer not to need to have to take money from folks selling imported products, particularly Chinese. I think it is VERY bad U.S. policy and it is destroying a lot of US industry. But we also import TONS of blacksmithing tools from Europe, the Middle East and India.

However, there is no one in the U.S. making a self contained hammer. I'm sure that someone could build one cheaper than a Kuhn as our costs are somewhat less than the Germans and there is transportation added as well. They would have a tough time competing against the Chinese dollar for dollar but I KNOW folks would buy them IF they were as good as a Kuhn and made HERE.

Kuhn opened itself up for competition by having hammers made for a short time in Turkey. They did not like the quality and brought the manufacturing back home. Meanwhile this put the Turks in the hammer business. So you have another chap clone on the market. Centaur Forge has not helped the situation either as they have not marketed the Kuhns as aggressively as they should in a market with serious competiton.

Big Blue and Phoenix have proven there is a global market for their goods. I suspect but cannot prove that Big BLU sells more hammers than anyone else in the US.

Currently there is a FINE mechanical hammer being made in the US for sheet metal work. It uses the Dupont linkage and most important of all, it is WELL made and made in the US.

So, there IS a market for a good small American made self contained hammer. But it would need to be done done as a professional business, NOT a part time special order, no inventory, no support, hpbby business as some have done. It is a ripe market for the right person or business.

Grant Sarver in particular has also shown that we in the US CAN compete in making blacksmithing tools in the US. There are whole lines of tools that are imported that could be made here IF the quality was as good or better and the supply consistent.
- guru - Sunday, 08/09/09 10:35:35 EDT

While I believe in buying american, and I have never bought anything from WalMart, I dont believe in cutting off my nose to spite my face, and I recognize the inevitability of global trade.
In fact, I have sold my work to buyers in Japan, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and Canada.
I do not see how you can export, and consider it moral, and yet declare all imports as "Satan".

Many of my shop tools are american. But others are from Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, and, yes, China.
To run my shop based on ideological and political standards, rather than economic and artistic ones, is a luxury I cannot afford.

I need good tools, at a reasonable price, that are reliable and well designed. I have run mechanical hammers, and I prefer a self contained for the work I do, and of the self containeds that I could afford, and were actually for sale, the Anyang was in the right place at the right time, and I like it a lot.
Nope, it aint a Nazel. It doesnt have the history or good looks of a Beaudry.
But it is a very reliable, great working tool.

I find it amusing that many of the people I know personally who hate the chinese also own Chi-Com Ak's. Somehow, that one always slips by. And, of course, are typing on Chinese made keyboards, wear chinese tube socks, chinese meshback hats, and chinese sneakers.

We all have to decide on our own compromises- I am not criticising yours, and feel no shame about mine.

As for parts from China- I doubt it. I have a machine shop, and would make my own. I feel the best defense, for a fading USA manufacturing infrastructure, is simple- MAKE STUFF.
So thats what I do. I manufacture. It aint much, but its all I can do.

I would love a screw compressor- and someday, maybe I will get one. But my current, 20 plus year old recip only cost $500 at auction, it was made in Johnstown Pa, and has a pleasing blue color. Til it pukes, I am not in the market.
- Ries - Sunday, 08/09/09 12:06:06 EDT

Reis, The Sullair twin screws, made in Michigan City Indiana, are a not as pleasing green, but are well made. And their old, no longer politically correct motto, "The best screw in town" made for very popular tee shirts from the distributors:)

By the time you recip pukes, the small screws should be plentiful on the used market. Almost all have hour meters to help in oil changes etc, look for one with under 30,000 hours. If a Sulliar or IR, They should be good for at least another 45,000+ hours. The oil used of course has a big effect. Plain oil such as Rottela will give about 1000 hours to an oil change and folks like to push that since the seperator usually is also changed at every oil change. The seperator is usually about the same cost as the oil. PAO oil will usually give 3000 hours and poly-glycol will usually go at least 6000 hours. The poly-glycol is kinder to the sewer if you condensate goes there, and although more up front expense, much better term costs. The air ends last longer as well. The silicon oil versions are usually near unlimited life on the machines with huge life hour gaurentees, but they are about an even cost long term vs the poly-glycol per hour.
ptree - Sunday, 08/09/09 12:28:00 EDT

Rick Smith, who teaches at Carbondale, recently scored a Kaeser screw compressor on Ebay for a song- an amazing huge hunk of high precision german tech. Not, unfortunately, american made- but he got it for around 10% of new price, and he is going to use it to run his huge, american made utility hammer- I think the thing is about 500lbs or so- the earth shakes when he runs it for miles around.
I was eyeing it jealously.
- Ries - Sunday, 08/09/09 18:54:50 EDT

Quality of stuff made in China: What worries me the most is the over all and continuing poor quality of China made repair parts.Take something as basic as a bearing set. The whole world of machinery relies on bearings.
Part of the build perameters for my power hammer were parts either on hand or available at the hardware store or farm center, where the general public would shop.
When I changed from pillow block bearings to flange mount I had to get them from my local farm center.
They carry a veriety of NSK products, made in China of course.
The first set I looked at had a "tick " in them and so did the other 8 sets that were on the shelf and one set was rusty inside the protective plastic bag.
This is a reaccuring problem were ever I go for parts. More and more stuff is ONLY made in China and is of such generaly poor quality it's not worth having.
The problem with that is when we don't even have a choice about the make and quality of things we need to keep the basics of life going...
I have a fully equipped machine shop at home with the knowlage and machines to work to the 4th and even 5th decimal place but, I shouldn't have to make my own tapperd roller bearings because I can't find any without quality issues.
When I go to the bearing and tranmission ditributor in town I get the same thing but, at least I can still find high quality bearings there from other makers.
My point is this contry is loosing its abillity to take care of its self.
We used to call the cheap import stuff at Kmart and other dicount stores "Jap Crap".
When was the last time you saw somthing made in Japan?
Even the Japanies (NSK) is having their stuff made in China.
If China were to suddenly stop their exports to us for some political reason (putting pressure on us to stay away from Iran or N. Korea?)
Whare would the US manufacturers be? Are there enough left to take up the slack? Does any one out there have any idea how close we are to the point of no return? Does any one care?
I am an Eagle not an Ostrich. Mess with me or my family and I will tear you appart... I don't want to have to live like that, I just want to be able to buy a set of bearings for a piece of machinery and not have to wonder if they will last through the job!
I just want to know that my kids are going to get the same opportunities that I have, and not end up living in a third world contry because the big business model is "profit, at what ever cost"
I admit I voted for Ronald Reagon's "trickle down economics" but, so far all I have seen "trickle down"is the quality of the import goods that flood this contry every day. Meanwhile people like Sam Walton's heirs make BILLIONS of dollers in personal income of the backs of the poor and soon to be poor.
Why didn't Wallmart need a government bailout? Aren't they the largest employer in the world, like GM used to be? Consumer spending is at an all time low, isn't wallmart going under?
No. When you're the CAUSE of the problem the water may lap at your feet but, you can always climb on someone elses back to stay dry...

Rant Mode: OFF
- merl - Sunday, 08/09/09 23:50:59 EDT

Iforge demo #39 "bit": Frank Turly, anyone who may know.
In this demo Bill Epps makes a nice bit for a horse and I want to try it out my self.
I'm wondering about the U shaped bump out in the middle of the cross bar. Is there a certain rule of thumb for the size of this feature and what is the actuale purpose of it (some one will no doubt ask this when I do it for a demo)?
BTW Frank, if you're wondering, the hammer forged gun barrel did not turn out as we hoped.
Too many prosses changes made at the last minet like useing coal dust instead of gaphite and useing a striker instead of the power hammer.
I did manage to draw the piece out from 6" to 18" but, the mandrell got stuck in it and it ended up looking like a large cat tail so I made a couple of long thin leaves to go with it... More research, try again next year.
- merl - Monday, 08/10/09 00:21:25 EDT

merl for prez i say......nationalize all assets in this country ...put a 50% duty on all "cheap goods" imported....
- buy american - Monday, 08/10/09 06:19:19 EDT

Reis, while a Kaeser is indeed made in Germany, and will run and make air cheaper than a recip, I had 4 of the things at the valve shop. I had 200Hp 900 cfm units. I hated them. My pipefitters who had to maintain them hated them. Part of the issue was that they were made with typical German engineering. They made have been elegant designs, but were a devil to repair, with no though to how the poor so and so who would have to do the preventive maintenance would do so.
Kaeser also played games with their CFM ratings. They claim to make more air/Hp than the US machines. The US machines are rated with the air oil seperator in use and the air cooler fan Hp included. The German rating scheme measures air coming out of the air end only, and only looks to driver HP.
On a 200Hp unit the fan is going to be about 15HP, and with the filter and air oil seperator the total cfm is way less than just air end. NO one runs air end only.
If the price was right, than he may have got a deal. We saw cracking of the alumnum oil coolers at about 2 years run which was weld repairable, and after another year, cracking so bad the cooler had to be replaced. The Kaeser coolers cost $4200 vs $1100 for a Sullair. When we moved to the new location, we took the best Kaeser and installed a new Sullair. This was all 4 machines. We also saw terrible parts support, as there seemed to be no U.S. master inventory. Last but not least the Kaesers are belt drive, and they play with air end rpm to get more air from a given air end size. The overspeeded air ends do not last. We saw a typical 30,000 hours from ours. The Sullairs were usually 60,000+. At my current employement, we have Sullairs and IRs. We just upgraded to VFD IRs to replace several very old IRs that were still well supported and were still running well. We just wanted the extra effeicency of the VFD to set trim levels.
If I could choose between a used IR, Sullair, Atlas Copco, Vs the Kaeser, I would always choose against the Kaeser.
Ptree - Monday, 08/10/09 06:54:55 EDT

Steering away from the political issues of country of origin of hammers Ill make the following comments,.

Yes, the Chinese self contained hammers have been tested and used hard, and the designs refined for 40 or 50+ years, by the Chinese, for there own domsestic industry.

The hammer factory I deal with has 1000+ employees, and I would guess less than 10% of their output is exported. Thats alot of hammers staying and being used in China. Do you think the chinese railways, automotive, tool, aerospace, outer space, petrochemical,orthopedic, forging industries etc etc etc would put up with machinery that wont do the job, hastle free, 100 hours a week????

One of the reasons they are inexpensive is ecconomies of scale. Unless someone is willing to tool up to make, say a 50lb hammer, 100 at a time no one will make them cheaper than the chinese are presently.

On the design of the chinese self contained hammers Im with Jock, I think its loosly based on a Beche design, I see the odd hammer out of eastern europe & Russia (with no instantly recognisable name on them) that are also clones.

I would love to have a new UK made hammer in my workshop (and Ive considered manufacturing small self contained hammers again), but I aint a millionaire, and If I could have 3 chinese hammers, with different tooling in each for the same price as one european made hammer, im afraid I would be a 3 hammer shop. Thats a simple fact.
- John N - Monday, 08/10/09 07:06:57 EDT

Buy American: Nationalise ! Yes I agree. So you are a fellow Communist. Good man! Not many American communists are as open as you are. You should be proud! Workers sieze the means of production. Marx (not Groucho) all the way. BTW O'Bama (is he the president or is that O'Bama - all these Irish names sound the same to me) is a big advocate of what you say. Power to the workers!!!!
- philip in china - Monday, 08/10/09 10:17:03 EDT

Merl, SOFA did a pattern welded gun barrel as a demo for one of their meetings back in the 1990's. You might find out if they have a video of it you could borrow/buy and see how they did it.

Luxury: folks out here have a 160 to 200 mile drive to get non-wally-world stuff. I don't hold their buying habits against them. (I generally buy used at the fleamarket and thrift store. As I told my wife last night "I'm not impressed when I see a shirt on sale for $9.99 at Wally World as I bounght it for $1 at a yard sale)

Thomas P - Monday, 08/10/09 10:35:07 EDT

Means of Production: As I remember; the head of one of the (former) Big Three automakers was showing a Union boss some of the new robots that he had installed and bragged that "they never go on strike."

To which the Union head replied: "They don't buy cars, either!"

Finding the magic balance between production and consumption and the wealth of nations is proving more difficult that we were led to believe. ;-)

"I warned people about the 21st century, but nobody would listen to me!" (UAVTBoW)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 08/10/09 10:39:58 EDT

buy american: No, I don't want the government telling me what I can and can't do. That is what I have a clear, guiding set of morals and ethics for.
I don't do "anything 'ta make a buck"
I do NOT do something because I'm affraid I'll get caught.
If it's right, it's right. If it's wrong, it's wrong. That's it.
The persuit of profits at the expence of all else is wrong. There is no benevolence in anything wallmart does. I guaranty if they could get away with ANYTHING they would do it.
A few years ago walmart wanted to put up one of their super stores in the area. We already had a walmart and couldn't see what the benefit of a bigger store would be but, the city council that was desperit for money and noteriety let them go ahead under the assurance from walmart that the project would use local labor and biulding materials.
That turned out to be a flat out lie. walmart does not use union labor for anything (try to find a non-union labor construction company on this side of the border)they also had contracts for the building materials all arrainged befor hand so there was no chance of local purchase as promised.
Well, fine so they are chronic liers. No suprise there. You don't make the kind of money they do without some kind of deseptive practices.
What concerned me the most was when someone took out a billboard add along the highway to tell the people about walmarts business practices it was up for exactly 4 days befor it was quashed by walmart and orderd removed under threat of leagle action.
When the sign company put up a notice on the billboard explaining why the original sign was removed they were again threatend with leagle action from walmart.
So you see walmrt is now more powerfull than the US constitution (you know, the one that guarentees freedom of speach...)
Of corse the local and state government rolled over and acted like nothing was happening because MONEY TALKS!!
I'm not bitter or jelous because I am poor.
We are not poor, we do all right and we rely on our own whits and capabilities to make ends meet.
I do get angry when I continue to see big business setting such a bad example and causing so many others to think they have to get in the same line or die.
This one web site is a prime example of what we could all do if we realy wanted to.
The number of and, range of skills, and knowlage possessed by the patrons here is astounding!
If we all worked at the same company there would probably be nothing we couldn't do.
This is just one small web site like the countless others of its kind full of people just like us.
With all this knowlage and ability and, the comunication abilities available, how do we let things get the way they are?!?!
Where we spend our money is the only true freedom we have.
If I can get the same cheap chinese junk anywhere else as I can get at walmart, why would I continue to willingly give it to the driving force behind so much of the problems in the contry and the world today.
Walmart is not the great Satan. Look in the mirror...
Furthermore, I do not suport buying American just because it was made in America. If the quality isn't there then I'll go where I need to to get it.

'Nuff said for now.
- merl - Monday, 08/10/09 12:22:58 EDT

Coal forge for sale: Large, rectangular (about 2-ft. x 3-1/2-ft.) old forge plus hand crank blower for sale. The blower looks kinda like a typical Champion but says "Royal" on top and "Western Chief" on the bottom. I've also got a few 5 gal. pails of coal. asking $350 but will consider offers.

I can email photos.

I've also got a few anvils I could part with.

I'm in Northwest Connecticut. Call Rob at (203)770-5673
- Rob Wotzak - Monday, 08/10/09 14:09:36 EDT

merl i still think you should run for prez... in my earlier post i left something out...... we should nationalize ALL non-american held interests in the country...
- buy american - Monday, 08/10/09 17:47:35 EDT

Nationalize?: This is a very simplistic, feel good solution that is completely impossible if you look at it very deeply.

If there is one national characteristic of our capitalist system, it is the corporation. Agree with it or not, it is at the base of our entire economic system.
And corporations are owned by shareholders.

In our case, there ARE VIRTUALY NO "american held interests" in the USA. Sure, there are mom and pop businesses, and small shops like mine.
But almost every large "american" corporation is owned by Russian Olgiarchs, Chinese Banks, Dutch Union Retirement Funds, African Dictators, and Saudi Princes.

Ford, for example, is not required to exclusively sell stock to american citizens- and actual americans hold an undisclosed amount of its stock, along with plenty of Non-americans.
Chrysler, of course, was owned by Mercedes- so all those Dodge Rams were profiting Mercedes stockholders- the biggest group of which are Arab princes, from Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Everything is way too intertwined for it to be even remotely practical to determine which companies are "american" and which are not- but my guess is that most of the Fortune 500 are almost certainly "non-american interests". I believe Burger King and KFC are still owned by foreigners. All the AR-15's and M-30's, most of the Strykers and armored vehicles, a good half of our steel mills, around half of our domestic auto factories, gas stations like Shell, Budweiser and Miller beer, and on and on and on- all largely foreign owned.

On the other hand, you or I can easily buy stock, and become "foreign" owners of, Toyota, or Honda, BAE or AmBEV, FN or Mittal.

Nationalising companies would, of course, cause retribution from the offended countries- and, in the end, screw us MUCH worse than them.
The USA is still one of the top 2 or 3 manufacturing and exporting countries in the world- we live by global trade.
Imagine if in response, China, or whoever, suddenly stopped buying Caterpillar, John Deere, GE, Boeing, Microsoft, Apple, and similar american products?
Billions and Billions of dollars of US income would be lost, Millions of jobs.

Look- I am in favor of buying american. I do more than many people do, in that respect. But its silly to get all jingoistic about it, and to let emotion rule.
And the simple fact is- American products often cost more, because of our higher wages and standard of living. Many americans are not willing to pay more, given a choice.

Me, I eat almost exclusively expensive, local food. I wear clothes that are made here as much as possible, and pay for the privilege. I buy Milwaukee, Makita, and Bosch tools that were made here, rather than cheaper Black and Decker or Dewalt imports.
I bought a made in the USA Honda, rather than a made in Mexico Dodge. I specify more expensive domestic fasteners, drill bits, and end mills when I order from MSC.
Still, the world is not black and white anymore, and really, it never was, and its impossible to stand alone as an isolated island of "american-ness".

- Ries - Monday, 08/10/09 19:50:18 EDT

Nationalize ?: Let it rain Ries, let it rain brother.
That is ALL I'm talking about. Just everybody doing their little part.
My parents and most of my family don't understand what it is to have to depend on the manufacturing sector buying goods and services from people like me, a machineist, making things like web converting machines and repair parts for all the custom made manufacturing equipment used by the makers of the basic needs and luxury items in this contry.
They don't see that when they buy something made in another contry it doesn't just effect the life of the out of work manufacturers but then runs straight back to the guys that make the machines and the guys that drive the steel trucks and right on down the line.
I know alot of this is preaching to the choir but, we all know that unless something impacts you directly in this contry, people just don't care.
If an economic engine is aloud to just operate without reguard to any sence of morality, fairness, or ethics it is going to naturaly pursue the path to maximum profits, what ever it is that is seen as "the profit of the endevor".
It may not be money or accumulated wealth but, maybe simple controle over anything and everything and everyone that drives the engine and it will take what ever path it sees as the most logical to acheive the end goal.

This is why we are taught morals, values and ethics, or why we are supposed to be taught them, to prevent this from happening.
It is an old saying and it rings absolutly true, "Absolute power, corrupts absolutly"

Not to be rude but, what do you see in anything that I'm saying here that seems like it would qualify me to be the president of the United States??
- merl - Monday, 08/10/09 22:34:22 EDT

Nationalize All non-American held interests...: That would amount to THEFT on a terrific scale and being supported by the US government, likely to be taken as an act of war by the rest of the world, with nothing but a self defeating outcome for the whole of mankind.
Like I said, where we spend our money is the ONLY real freedom we have. Like Ries, I make a conscious effort to buy from local sorces and American made goods when I can find them.
I ALWAYS buy American tools and tooling when given the chioce as a show of solidarity with the Americans that made the stuff, maybe they will buy my good and services as well.
Go listen to Arlo Guthry's(SP?) Allices Reaturant. Have fun with it, after all it's ment to be a funny song but, the message comes at the begining when he tells the audience if you want to get things done you have to stand up and be heard and take action.
- merl - Monday, 08/10/09 22:56:32 EDT

Blabber Blabber: Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah is all I read. Why not get this recuring topic on a roating schedule and save yourselves typing. It is all to late now to fix the giant mess. Who cares. The greedy CEO's, greedy government and aloof engineer's screwed us all over.
- Hurl - Monday, 08/10/09 23:01:18 EDT

but i cant get everything that i want.....cause i want alice........

and yes fellas i know i know... ya'll are right....
- buy american - Tuesday, 08/11/09 00:00:09 EDT

My Point. . . .: Is that there is profitable business to be done in blacksmithing tools in the U.S. Prices are high enough on the top quality stuff that we should be able to produce much of it here. A good machine along the lines of a Kuhn should be able to be made here competitively without producing hundreds at a time.

There is also a market for top quality anvils. The right shop could make really nice two piece anvils from alloy plate. Machined, hardened and tempered. . There is room right now for someone to jump to the TOP making the BEST possible anvils at a reasonable price.

I'm tired of seeing all the newest cheaper tools. Its time we see folks striving to make the BEST tools again. Some are doing so and doing a great business. But there is room for more.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/11/09 00:33:07 EDT

Who cares....: I care! I care for my childrens future and all of my fellow human beings here on this ONE planet we are known to exsist on.
But, hey I'm glad to see my ranting has had some effect already.
Someone we have never heard from befor (Hurl) has come out of the shadows to voice an opinion... the system works...

Guru, I've been getting "your point" for the past few years now and I agree 100%
I am working toward that end but, my machines are small and funds are limited. Still we press on.
I have four different power hammer designs on the table, one of wich I have built and am refining for sale to the public (maybe) and, I have a design for an anvil weldment that I like and am going to build and put out to a few smiths here in Wisconsin for triales.
Remember I do already make hand forged screw drivers for the discriminating cabinate maker or mechanic.
So I guess I don't spend ALL of my time whining without takeing some action too.
- merl - Tuesday, 08/11/09 11:07:27 EDT

I completely agree with the Guru.
Grant has proven that you can manufacture high quality tools here, and make a living at it.
While I disagree that the Kuhn should be the target you aim for, I do think that a self contained hammer could be made here, and sold. I think there are enough people who would pay a premium for made in the USA, and you could make it work for a 50kg to 75Kg self contained hammer that sold in the neighborhood of ten grand.

I also would like to see more anvils made here.
I put my money where my mouth is, and bought a made in USA, Nimba a few years ago. I love it.
I have seen a few other all cast steel anvils made here- Ratholes, and the BlackJack- but a two piece anvil seems like a definite possibility.
- Ries - Tuesday, 08/11/09 14:06:52 EDT

Power Hammers:
I'm not saying someone should clone a Kuhn but the method of construction shows that a good fabricated self contained hammer can be made.

I've played with some self contained hammer designs including one with a rocking compressor cylinder made from an off the shelf cylinder.

But there are many other tools and devices that there is room to be made. Various bending and twisting fixtures, top quality punches and drifts. . .

- guru - Tuesday, 08/11/09 15:24:22 EDT

Several of you have met Scott, AKA The Juggle Guy at Quad State and Tipton. We just had his birthday dinner of steaks grilled outside, yeast rolls, baked potatos and he has a "Death by Choclate" desert waiting for when he is less full.
To make us all feel old, he turned 20 today!
- ptree - Tuesday, 08/11/09 20:10:55 EDT

i know ive sounded like a ass about all this... but i'm grateful that there are some that share some of my views..
- buy american - Wednesday, 08/12/09 07:52:01 EDT

buy american: Hey, don't back away from your opinions.
If you think that is the solution then you need to come up with the supporting arguments to prove it.
'Corse if you're just trying to gain attention you'll get that too but, maybe not the kind of response you wanted...

Guru, anyone, what do you think of a one peice anvil with an induction hardend table and horn?
I'm not sure how you would harden just the top by induction but, I'm sure someone must know.
I wonder how a block of E8620 would serve if torched out to the desired shape, the face milled on and then zone hardend?
What about Grant? He seems to either have or have accsess to some big forging equipment, could he make a forged anvil of around 150#?
I'm not asking if HE wants to do it but, does he have the right size and the right set up for something like that?
If Grant doesn't have it, what size hammer, furnace and other supporting equipment would be needed?
I'm not talking about mass production but, maybe no more than 10-20 per month selling for maybe $300-800. (I'm always thinking of the beginers market)
I'm guessing you would need a pretty big hammer to offer a forged anvil much bigger than that.
Maybe it's just a pipe dream but, I look at my old H-B and think of how incredible it would be to have one like it that was brand new!
- merl - Wednesday, 08/12/09 11:56:22 EDT

Induction Hardening: Scanning induction heating only heats the surface similar to flame hardening. I'm pretty sure that is what Peddinghaus does.

The reason I mention a two piece anvil is because it can be produced from heavy rolled plate which is as good as forged steel in most respects. This avoids castings and the problems associated with castings and dealing with foundries that want to deal in large quantities.

Even when anvils were made by open die forging they were made in two pieces and welded at the waist. It may be another reason narrow waist anvils were popular among manufacturers. Peddinghaus does this with two closed die forgings. Only the smallest anvils are one piece forgings.

- guru - Wednesday, 08/12/09 12:52:42 EDT

Forged Anvils: Merl,

If you are making the anvils via an open die, two piece method, you don't actually need all that large a hammer-1000 lb would be more than enough. You might be able to use a smaller one, depending on the starting stock configuration. The problem you have is finding a minimum of 3 skilled operators to forge these shapes. Once forging is complete, you have machining and heat treat, and welding (if forged in two pieces). So the labor costs add up pretty quickly to make a forged anvil as a profit making venture. Bar far, the most efficient and cost effective way to make an anvil today is to cast one from steel and have it heat treated. Provided the casting and heat treating are done properly, a anvil made by this method will be every bit as good as one made by forging. This is a situation in which both manufacturing methods will give an equivalent product, so the choice is made on cost of production.(I say this as a metallurgist actively working in the open die forging industry). I too think it would be a neat experience to make an anvil via forging, and if you had access to the necessary tools and skills, you might be able to make an anvil this way cheaper than by buying a new one, but only if you desregard the value of your time.
- Patrick Nowak - Wednesday, 08/12/09 13:23:24 EDT

forged anvils: Merl, from my experience at the valve shop, where we drop forged valve bodies up to 1500#, with severe cross section changes, I would offer the following:(Note, I am NOT a forge die process engineer, just know what we did)

We used a 10,000 # Erie to make forgings of about the same weight class you speak of 150 to 250#. These had intergral flanges of about 12/14" diameter, with reduction to about 5" diameter adjacent to the flanges. It took 3 die block changes to get all the impressions to Bust,Block and finish the part. Now a good thick waisted anvil would not need near the impressions, not probably the size hammer. I suspect with a little open die work, a busted/blocked anvil could be done ona 5000 to 7000# drop hammer in one set of dies. I would say however that a set of dies for that size hammer would be in the $70,000+ range.
For the numbers you suggest, and for the size suggested I would think an open die, hammer of 2500# could make a decent machinable forged one piece anvil up to 150#, and at 10 to 20, no die expense.

Heat treat of the anvil face, with an induction system should not be hard if the right allow is chosen, the quench rate would have to be there though. You could probably get the entire anvil hot in 4 to 5 minutes, say 2 minutes for the face and horn.
In axles, which were induction scanned, we got good depth of hardness with 1541H. May not be hard enough for an anvil, as we got a surface of Rc48 and a core effect that went almost to the center of perhaps Rc32.

The advantage of the induction face only is that you would have less mass of metal to quench, giving an easier quench.

We were forging beam axles in Mexico with a 13,000# steam drop converted to air, and getting about the same amount of work on the forging. It had a 4 or 6" air line feeding same.
Unless someone has a shop already running production, 10 to 20 a day would not justify one piece anvils from a drop forge. 10 to 20 an hour would be a reasonable rate for these size hammers at minimum, and set ups would eat up another half day.

Go open die, or 2 piece. I have a Trenton, and it is at least 3 piece. I love it.
Ptree - Wednesday, 08/12/09 13:27:03 EDT

These economic problems are why Peddinghaus anvils are now made in small batches and are not in continuous production. I'm told that Ridge Tools would just as soon end production of the anvils as all they wanted out of Peddinghaus was the forged Vice line. These are pricey near indestructible things (a lot like blacksmiths vices) that are sold primarily to utilities and municipalities for use on their maintenance trucks.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/12/09 13:58:21 EDT

SMALL hand engraved ANVIL for sale: $1500.00, OBO: I have a small Soderfors anvil for sale. It is a beautiful anvil in excellent shape and the steel just looks and feels very nice. It is very interestingly engraved with several different motifs such as a "skull", "flying eyeball", "maltese cross", "dollar $ign", a "spade", and a logo:"anvil customs" on the bottom. Some of the engravings is over some markings: "Soderfors, ?1? LBS., 1921"

Only about 9" long, 5" tall, 1.5" wide face and probably between 5 and 10 pounds. If you cannot see pictures in this message, email for pics:

I'd say $1500 is a good price, but I'm open to offers.

anvildood - Wednesday, 08/12/09 14:39:09 EDT

Sorry, I meant to say that my name is Kenneth.....("small soderfors anvil for sale"): Sorry, I meant to say that my name is Kenneth.....("small soderfors anvil for sale")

and here are more pictures:

Thank you,
anvildood - Wednesday, 08/12/09 14:42:56 EDT

Forged Anvils: While I've seen an anvil forged entirely from one piece, it was relativily small, probably about a 1/4 pound. I am sure it could be done on a larger scale, but the the tooling required would probably take a crane to lift and would increase the time and manpower required to make the finsihed part. You would avoid the labor required to weld the two piece method, but I don't think that would offset the added difficulty of making the anvil out of one piece. I am not aware of any blacksmith sized anvils in the London pattern that were made as one piece open die forgings. In Postman's book they are all described as being either cast, two piece open die forgings, or built up from multiple pieces. He does make mention of some speicalty dies that were used by Columbus Forge and Iron to block out smaller anvils, but I think they still welded on the base seperately.
Patrick Nowak - Wednesday, 08/12/09 15:32:12 EDT

I also failed to mention the somewhat high wear rate of closed die forge dies, especially if you try for too much cross section change in too few impressions. There is also that heartbreaking time when a cold billet or a cold die block leads to that crash. Then you have 470,000 of broken dies. There are also those oops when the sow block or anvil crack and you call in the riggers and speciality welders and a couple of hundred thousand latter you can again use the hammer.
All of these issues lead to drop forging in closed die hammers being a neat but expensive process.
Ptree - Wednesday, 08/12/09 16:29:44 EDT

Forged anvil: I did a one-piece forged anvil a few years ago. It's forged by hand from 316 stainless and is about 1-1/8" long and weighs maybe an ounce. With my small power hammer I'm sure I could forge an anvil up to about 10# using top/bottom tooling on the flat dies, but it wouldn't be real quick. Might not be real pretty, either. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/12/09 16:55:35 EDT

Here is a link to a buetiful LITTLE 1500# Erie. Probably stands about 15' proud of the floor and about that much under as well. Now envision scaled up to 10,000 or 15,000 or 25,000#.
The 10,000 industrial drop hammer we hd used a die block about 4' square by about 18" tall, one on top and bottom. Usually made from Hardtem A or B.
The blank die blocks would get you several small utility hammers:)
The 25,000 had a 6" 145PSI 345F steam feed and took most of a 850Hp/82,000#/Hour boiler to run. Also took a crew of up to 5, 2 huge forges to feed the 11" round corner square billets and to reheat the busted or blocked forgings while you changed to the next die set. The dies could be sunk on the huge Cincinnati Hydrotel, or a very big EDM. We also kept a repair welder busy to fill in the underfills on the flanges, and we had to resink the finish dies about every 5000 forgings.
In other words, not a small or hobby shop.

I would love even though to work up a forged big anvil. I just don't have those resources.

More reasonably, a Brazeel Bros style could be made up in a small shop, and give a high quality, USA made anvil, for a small price. Of course the buyers would have to get over that It does not look like an anvil.
ptree - Wednesday, 08/12/09 17:45:53 EDT

Anvil Costs: We used to make machinery with steel in it as heavy as large anvils and much heavier in total. This was precision parts with a high proportion of machining and it sold for $5/lb. Steel has gone up a lot since then but labor has not (proportionally). I still think a good all steel two piece anvil could be made by flame cutting, machining and welding. It would not be a cheap anvil but many are selling today in the $7/lb. range.
- guru - Thursday, 08/13/09 00:18:08 EDT

forged anvils: Thanks guys, that's alot of info in a short time. That will be something to chew on.
I can certainly here opportunity knocking and I feel a trip to the salvage yard coming on to pick through the pile of burn table drops...
- merl - Thursday, 08/13/09 01:34:17 EDT

I'd say that $1500 would be an excellent price---for you. I wouldn't give you $150 for it myself but might go for $15. It isn't big enough to use for much.

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/13/09 17:30:07 EDT

"Engraved" anvil: It's a darn shame that some vandal ruined a perfectly good Soderfors anvil by playing on it with a Dremel tool. As for the asking price, I can only laugh.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/13/09 21:47:37 EDT

Ill say that small engraved anvil is nothing short of vandalised. Looks like its been in prison with the 'white power' or a.b brigade.

I would speculate that it was worth quite a lot as a collectors piece ( I would have paid lots to have that sat next to my fireplace in the lounge ), to now being worth, well, nothing. :(
- john n - Friday, 08/14/09 04:10:39 EDT

"Artified" anvil: Almost too small to flatten a roadrunner.

You could try unloading it to the American Museum of Visionary Art in Baltimore ( ). They're pretty open-minded about what constitutes art. (It's their mission!) As it is, it looks like someone unleashed an early 21st century tattoo artist with a Dremel tool upon an innocent little anvil. No sense of symmetry, random composition with a small stock of overused and irrelevant symbols. Generally crude symbiology and execution. Plus, part of it intrudes upon the anvil face; a major no-no. Now if somebody had carefully engraved the Mithgard Serpent wrapped around the waist of the anvil, it might have marginally increased its appeal to some segment of the market. All that work, and the end result is a diminution of both looks and practicality.

(Atli mounts soapbox...) I'm tellin' y'all; if you have any spare money for investment (after food, clothing and shelter, savings, retirement, horserace and slot-machine money, etc.) invest in hearing aids and tattoo removal! This next group is gonna end up besmottered with random scribbling and deaf to boot from overpowered ipod earbuds; and they're gonna change their minds about their body art, and they still have to communicate, so y'all can rake it in some day! You heard it from me (…what?)!

(Atli [whose children have their share of tattoos and piercings, most of which may or may not be considered tasteful] dismounts soapbox; scratches head; mumbles; grumbles, and tries to remember the ‘60s.)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 08/14/09 07:54:35 EDT

Tortured Anvil: Hi Kenneth

Are you Ken Wasson who makes those nice little anvils? I think that is your email address and call name.

I agree with Bruce and the others 100%. The poor little anvil is ruined and for the price I laugh as well. I do like your paperweight anvils.
- Old Rusty - Friday, 08/14/09 09:35:13 EDT

I think we are the wrong market for anvil art that decreases the usability of the item. Sort of like going to an old car convention to show off a MINT Model T that you've carved up with a cutting torch into "ART"----Likely to be lucky not to be ridden out of town on a rail.

Now if you want to see some examples of the stuff we would like there is a picture out there of a renaissance French Armourer's anvil with a full scene worked into the *SIDE* that most of use would drool for and a NIMBA anvil has a great expanse of side to work with...

Thomas P - Friday, 08/14/09 11:18:01 EDT

"engraved" anvil: You mean that wasn't a joke?

Dang. I laughed and everything.
Alan-L - Friday, 08/14/09 11:38:51 EDT

Decoration of Objects as art:
This is a fairly common practice in some fields. Many relatively common guns are turned into collectors' items as works of art when engraved by a top engraver. But an amateur can turn the same gun into scrap iron. The difference is the ART.

Ward Grossman had once talked about carving up and old English anvil due to their being wrought iron and quite soft. But if Ward did something with an anvil it would be ART and worth much much more than the few dollars a pound and old anvil brings.

The most recent anvil I posted on in the Ferdinand Collection Gallery is a work of art in itself. While it is not a style I particularly like it IS art. There is no good reason for most of the shape other than it made the maker and supposedly the owner feel good about the tool and perhaps inspire good work from it. We also have art anvil possibilities in our Anvil Making galleries.

The ability of an anvil to be art OR artistically designed as well as a tool is what greatly disappointments me about most of the new crop of cast anvils. They can be works of art at very little extra cost (Or none to the customer) yet they do not even measure up to be being good clean designs that do not require any art other than copying the past work of others. The Rat Hole anvil is one exception. But as beautifully designed as it is, it's not fine art.

Ward Grossman in the NEWs
- guru - Friday, 08/14/09 12:57:19 EDT

Two questions:

1. In the mild steel hardening quench what was substituted for Shaklee Basic-I?

2. On the freon tank propane forges I make the tubes are at the top, resulting in two hot spots on the brick. I didn't want to put them on the side for fear of the forge tipping over. I think I have found a way to get by that. Would cost me about an extra $1 in parts and a couple of more minutes of fabrication time. By putting the two tubes at say the 10 o-clock position the blast would be at the base of the far wall - to the side of the brick. Question is whether or not this would increase the efficiency of the forge any?
Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 08/15/09 10:14:07 EDT

Substitutes: 7oz UNSCENTED Jet-Dry or other surfactant (like Simple Green) of appropriate quantity for 5 gal mix (wetting agents)
- guru - Saturday, 08/15/09 12:51:01 EDT

Ken: That's where I mount my burners and I find that the spot where they are directed is a bit hotter than the other side and slightly more oxidizing. So, for fast heats the stock goes right in the hot spot and for stuff I don't want scaled it goes on the other side. Seems to work fine. I can't say that it increases efficiency, though. If the flame comes in tangent to the perimeter, then it swirls around better and that should increase efficiency a bit - doubt you'd notice any big fuel savings, though.
vicopper - Saturday, 08/15/09 13:30:45 EDT


I've heard a number of folks say that swirl makes a forge more efficient. In fact, I almost posted to that effect this morning, until I decided to wait for someone who actually had mounted burners on the side.

I'm wondering, now, *why* it would make the forge more efficient. It seems like the hot gasses moving across the inside of the walls would heat them hotter and increase heat loss by conduction.

To explain: Because the walls are constantly conducting some heat toward the outside of the forge, the inner surface of the wall should normally be at a somewhat lower temperature that the hot gasses inside. Blowing moving gasses along the wall would bring the inner surface closer to the forge temperature, just as a hot item cools faster in front of a fan than in still air. Increasing the temperature of the inside surface would increase the delta to the outside surace, and thus increase heat loss by conduction.

Maybe, since much heat is transferred in the forge by radiation, this isn't a significant effect. And it could be that the air in the corners of a forge without a tangent burner is dead. In that case, the newly burned gasses might flow straight from the burner out the exhaust. Then inducing swirl might cause the newly burned gasses to stay in the forge longer, thus having more time to give up their heat, and even to finish burning.

So maybe I've answered my own question. But I'm still not really sure.
Mike BR - Saturday, 08/15/09 17:48:03 EDT

Burner Position:
I find that burner impingement spots get scaled up pretty bad and aim the burners to one side. But most small commercial forges blow to the center. However, trough forges blow at an end or side wall and radiant heat does a lot of the work.

In commercial practice in various furnaces they avoid impingement on the work (steel, pottery glass) and rely on radiant heat and hot thoroughly mixed gases.

If swirl and mix is what you are looking for then one burner angled from the right and one from the left would create a swirl with a vertical axis.

In my small crucible melters I set the burner so that it blows perpendicular to the furnace wall and the gases spiral around the crucible. Seems to work well. Ideally the floor in front of the burner slopes up like a screw thread so that the gases make a screw like accent.
- guru - Saturday, 08/15/09 18:25:51 EDT

One aspect I'm considering is the 'visual' one. It would make my forges 'different' than other eBay sellers. And the less scaling aspect is one I hadn't considered.

However, with a clay (fireplace) brick in the bottom would seem to take longer for it to come up to full heat retension.

I've pretty well decided to built a prototype and see how it goes.
Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 08/16/09 06:52:01 EDT

One definite advantage to having the burners on the side is that you don't get a chimney effect after you shut the forge down.
Mike BR - Sunday, 08/16/09 08:17:34 EDT

burner position: If you look at some of the homebuilt forges the knife guys use, the burner entry is always on a tangent. This is because of the scaling issue. If your forge is decently efficient, you should be relying on the radiant heat from the walls rather than the hot gasses anyway.

So saith the guy who still uses coal, anyway...But I've been around plenty of VERY good gassers.
Alan-L - Sunday, 08/16/09 12:10:08 EDT

Perhaps a bit embarrassed to admit I don't use one of my own propane forges. It is one I bought at Quad-State a couple of years ago and then reversed engineered to my Freon tank models. The burners on it come in horizonal at about the 10 o'clock position. However, to do so the holes had to be oval and then the tube receivers welded on. Does give a nice swirl but WAY more difficult to do than coming in flush to the side (round hole).

I subconstract forge welding to the Miller Corp. However, the guy I bought it off of used it to make Damascus-pattern billets.
Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/17/09 05:54:19 EDT

ENGRAVED Anvil ...... come on you guys.....: Guys, dudes, gents......I couldn't agree more, in fact, I laugh right along with you. I must admit, I am the VANDAL that a few of you refer to. I did the engraving.
I've had this little Soderfors for MANY MANY years....ok only about 15 years, probably not many years to some of you. In fact, I've owned well over 800 anvils over 17 years, none of which I own now, except for this little one I engraved here. I had another Soderfors close to its size a while back.

I've owned anvils from the weight of this little one up to a 701 Pound Hay Budden that I found on its original Hay Budden Anvil Stand sitting at the base of a tree in front of a country restaurant. Hundreds of Hay Buddens, Hundreds of Peter Wrights, DOZENS and DOZENS of Arm & Hammers, and the list goes on, many over 500 pounds.

Now I say these things, NOT to be boastful, but ONLY to give you an idea that I might know a little something about anvils.

To conclude, my intent by engraving this little anvil was not to vandalize, but a simple self-expression and maybe a little kulture to boot.

I realize the value of the anvil if its not engraved, but again, I've had many anvils, and I've had this for a long time. I didn't think I would have made any mad by engraving MY anvil.

Hey, at least you guys got a kick out of it....right!?!?

Have a blessed week and let me know if you come across anyone in the market for a little Soderfors with a bunch of funky engravings!!

Oh yeah, and I didn't use a Dremel, I used an Ultra-Highspeed Rotary Engraver......600,000 would greatly remind you of the dentist office, for sure.

- Anvildood - Monday, 08/17/09 21:15:54 EDT

What's in a name?: Vandals, Visigoths, Berserkers, take your pick. Res ipsa loquitor...
vicopper - Monday, 08/17/09 22:48:18 EDT

Reinventing the wheel: Whenever I see or hear that phrase I wonder if before the invention of the wheel people would say "now lets not reinvent the sledge"...
JimG - Monday, 08/17/09 22:50:38 EDT

Old saws: I'll have to work on a new one I guess, Jim. The wheel is just so emblematic it's hard to better it. I'll give it a go, though! :-)
vicopper - Monday, 08/17/09 23:27:01 EDT

anvildood: Hi Ryan Kenneth Wasson

Personally the Soderfors anvil with those markings are not my thing, but it is what you like and your right to do what you desire. I do remember your 701 Hay Buddy on its stand. It sure is a beauty. I appreciate your little paperweight anvils. They are nicely done.

Make any vintage Peter Wright vises lately?
- Old Rusty - Monday, 08/17/09 23:41:24 EDT

New artist seeking feedback: Please take a look at my new website. It is still under construction, but some of my artwork and my blacksmith shop are on display as slideshows. I would appreciate any feedback. "Clams got Legs" is one of my very popular themes. All work done on my forge and anvil.
Blacksmith Artist
Danny Young - Tuesday, 08/18/09 19:55:54 EDT

New artist seeking feedback: Please take a look at my new website. It is still under construction, but some of my artwork and my blacksmith shop are on display as slideshows. I would appreciate any feedback. "Clams got Legs" is one of my very popular themes. All work done on my forge and anvil.
Blacksmith Artist
Danny Young - Tuesday, 08/18/09 19:57:44 EDT

At last!: The 3 phase is in and working- although not everything is yet wired in. I used the milk saw to cut some HT 1" rebar and it went through beautifully leaving a cut like a mirror! The big drill press is better as well. I just need to alter the v belts to slow her right down.I now have no excuses left. I really have to get on with the shop reorganisation ready for the hammer. I ordered a "small" 240 volt cement mixer. The one they have delivered runs on double V belts but will take a cubic yard if not more! I just worry that it might not be powerful to start the loaded drum turning from dead still. I know you will say- well load her up as she is moving but the problem there is that to discharge the contents I have to reverse the motor so she must come to a dead stop. Maybe I should have gone for a 3 phase there as well but I wanted one we could use anywhere on site- not just within range of the shop power. I might get a spare 3 phase motor as they just bolt on.
philip in china - Tuesday, 08/18/09 21:19:58 EDT

Glad to hear you finally got the 3ph in. Now you're ready to roll!
- vicopper - Tuesday, 08/18/09 22:52:10 EDT

anvildood, please email me
- tm - Tuesday, 08/18/09 22:52:31 EDT


Groovy art work and shop.
- Old Rusty - Tuesday, 08/18/09 23:39:50 EDT

3 phase etc. continued: Everything now in and working. I found a heavy piece of plate which will do as a mounting for the shear. The cement mixer has a 3 kilowatt motor so I calculate that as being 4HP so I hope it will be sufficient to spin the drum! Hope to do some welding tomorrow.
- philip in china - Wednesday, 08/19/09 06:04:54 EDT you? you didn't give me your email.
Anvildood - Wednesday, 08/19/09 10:02:11 EDT

anvildood: I did not request an email from you, that was someone else. My email address is always available by clicking on my name on the post.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/19/09 14:05:38 EDT

Old Saws: I didn't mean that as a chide of any sort. I was just thinking what we might end up with if we did re-invent the wheel.
Compared to wheels, sledges are so simple, no moving parts, can be made with very limited tools and skill, no infrastructure such as roads needed.
JimG - Wednesday, 08/19/09 14:20:04 EDT

JImG: I didn't take what you said in a negative way at all. On the contrary, I agree with you. Until someone manages to repeal a few of the laws of physics, I think that the wheel, in its traditional circular form, is going to be with us. That darn circle is just so efficient in terms of economy of materials, symmetry, aesthetics, etc, that no one is going to take seriously any major deviations. (grin)

Speaking of roads and wheels, did you ever happen to see the videos of the guy in Michigan who moves huge multi-ton concrete blocks by rolling them? Cubical blocks, not round ones. He built a "road" that has the necessary contours to allow a square block to roll almost as well as a round one. (Now, if someone would build a highway like that, we could use square wheels on our cars - what fun.) The guy's thesis was that his method is probably how the pyramids were built. It was pretty convincing.

Now that we've massaged that horse, how about designing a chair for people whose knees bend the other way? :-)

vicopper - Wednesday, 08/19/09 18:37:44 EDT

There's the old (well, I guess not *that* old) joke about the surgeon, the engineer, and the computer programmer discussing which is the oldest profession. The surgeon claims that God performed surgery on Adam when he created Eve. The engineer allows as that how that may be true, but surely the creation of the heaven and the earth was the greatest engineering feat ever.

The computer programmer claims that his profession is the oldest by far. The others say that's impossible -- before God created the heaven and the earth, there was only chaos. For which, of course, the programmer promptly takes credit.

So maybe before there were wheels, folks talked about reinventing chaos (grin).
Mike BR - Thursday, 08/20/09 19:04:59 EDT

Progress on the shop: Got one of my groups of workshop students in this afternoon. So I had them clean out an old open drain, pull some weeds and break up some concrete. This is so I can culvert in the drain and then extend my shop right out to our perimeter wall which is as far as I can go and as far as I really need to go. Also took out some dead water mains that got broken up in the earthquake. There is still a 2" pipe which I think is connected which I hope will make me a better source than the current little poly pipe. So watch this space for further news.
- philip in china - Monday, 08/24/09 05:37:30 EDT

Artesian Smithy:
I can see the fountain now in the middle of your shop when they turn on the water!

I found it strange in Costa Rica to see water pipes running all over the surface. Festooned on bridges, valves above ground. I thought "how primitive!". . then later realized than in a tropical country where it never freezes that burying pipes is not required except for mechanical protection.
- guru - Monday, 08/24/09 11:30:26 EDT

Pipes: I have just snapped off another pipe. For the first few minutes the water ran out orande red colour, after that clear. there is no force in the flow so I am hoping it is not connected to anything. That is not part of the system we removed yesterday. The whole area is just a tangle of pipes. One thing they do is run water pipes close to sewage pipes- OK as long as there are no cracks but otherwise yuck!
- philip in china - Monday, 08/24/09 21:25:30 EDT

Captain Alti?: Now before laughing at this stupid question, remember that I think I am about as far from an ocean as it is possible to be.

When you sink the long boats to get them out of harms way when a major storm is coming, how do you get them to float again? I'm picturing about 60 people bailing like crazy, but somehow I don't think that's the way...
JimG - Tuesday, 08/25/09 16:16:46 EDT

Hay-Budden Details: I know many of you have working knowledge of Hay-Budden anvils. I was wondering if you prefer older ones (face plate, 3 pc) versus later ones (2 pc, no face plate). I know there are many enthusiastic users, but I am trying to make informed decisions on possibile anvils for my first purchase. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. And yes, by the name, I am left-handed. That may be to my advantage on old anvils, unless they were used with a striker/helper.
bass-ackward schmidt - Tuesday, 08/25/09 17:21:31 EDT

Hay- Budden: In My opinion, the latter design makes the most sense, but they are all good anvils, as are many others.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/25/09 20:28:06 EDT

Resurrecting Longships: Actually, it's fairly simple. The vessel being built of the ultra-modern-high-tech material, wood, it has a natural buoyancy, and sits down in the water about down to the thwarts. If it's so low that the oarports are awash (as sometimes could happen on the previous ship) we plug the oarports. Otherwise we screw in the bilge plugs and (as you envisioned) a bunch of us get in and bail (especially since the dockside power for the sump pump is usually out after a hurricane). We start with just a couple of hands with buckets, and as the water goes down and we gain freeboard and stability, more of the crew come aboard with more buckets until it looks like "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." When we get the lyfting (quarterdeck) cleared, we can hook up a battery to the onboard bilge pump.

Large labor pools are a convenient thing when dabbling with medieval methods and technology; "It takes a village to raze a village." With 12 people aboard last Sunday we ran with eight oars, so we were at ".66666" power. :-)
(Teanna Tradigital) The Observer
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 08/25/09 20:36:41 EDT

Anvil types: Get a Nimba. A far more useful and effective configuration for an anvil than the London or American patterns - unless you're a farrier, I suppose.
vicopper - Tuesday, 08/25/09 21:52:28 EDT

Anvil types: Hey, Rich
Is that a response to my Hay-Budden post or a new string? I would love to sink major money into a new American anvil, but I better get my basic skills down first, donchya think? I'm not stuck on H-B, but there are a couple available, and you need to go with a reputable seller, yes?
bass-ackward schmidt - Tuesday, 08/25/09 22:11:50 EDT

Anvil types: FYI- Not a farrier...don't intend to be one. Horses are cool, but I'd rather noodle interesting projects than shoe a horse, whilst conversing with his butt!! Obviously, NOT from the horse's mouth...LOL.
bass-ackward schmidt - Tuesday, 08/25/09 22:14:44 EDT

help!!: i would really like to get into blacksmithing but i don't know where to start i have the space and tools to make a forge but don't know how any advice would be welcome
- jason - Tuesday, 08/25/09 23:15:05 EDT

Jason, You don't need to post the same question on both of our forums. Its answered on the guru's den.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/26/09 01:10:17 EDT

Anvil Preferences:
Hay-Buddens are one of the best anvils ever made from a materials quality stand point. But the shape is the narrow waisted American pattern which is springy and noisy compared to others. The longer horn and thin heel are primarily designed for farriers.

For solidity for the given weight the old English London patterns such as the Mouseholes are better. They have a wider waist and the body tapers outward to a very solid base. This blockier pattern is more efficient for forging but less efficient use of materials. You get a shorter horn for the amount of mass.

The Nimba type anvil is even more stocky and solid. But many people do not like the wide face.

Other anvil styles have other features and advantages. But in the end many people simply prefer what they are used to.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/26/09 01:25:56 EDT

First anvil - : Schmidt: For a first (and maybe only) anvil, I'd recommend a Fisher. They're a more effective forging tool than a Hay-Budden or Trenton or the other wasp-waisted anvils and they are supremely quiet. Their steel plate over cast iron construction accounts for the quietness and they have hard, flat faces. They tend to be a bit heavier in the heel, sue to considerations of strength, but not so heavy as to b e a problem. One big advantage of the Fisher is that many people think of them as "cast iron" anvils, and therefore undesirable, so they can be had for a better price. Before I stumbled into a terrific deal on m 450# Nimba, I used a 250# Fisher that is a terrific workhorse of an anvil. I still have it and still use it frequently.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/26/09 01:38:00 EDT

First anvils:
Actually any REAL anvil is better than no anvil so that you can get started practicing. The down side is that if you make a lot of tooling for an anvil it may not fit another. It is a good idea to think of hardy hole tooling to be part of the anvil and sell it with the anvil if you trade it off. However, a lot of modern anvils have standardized on a 1" hardy hole or something near to it.

"Not real" anvils (ASO's - Anvil Shaped Objects) are the cast iron junk sold by many discount houses. Only one, Grizzly is honest and says "cast iron". Others are now selling the same Chinese made anvils as "Professional quality, steel anvils". They gamble that you do not know better AND that you will not be willing to pay double non-refundable shipping to get your money back. A lot of this goes on at ebay as well. A lot of people spend as much on these ASO's as a good used "real" anvil.

The question about the various periods of Hay-Budden anvils makes the assumption that you have a choice. While there are a lot of used anvils on the market I've rarely found I had a great deal of choice in what was affordable and available at the moment.

If you have the money to be picky then you should probably look into buying new from Centaur Forge, the Kaynes (Blacksmiths Depot) or other reputable dealer. Nothing like shiny new tools. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 08/26/09 09:58:48 EDT

first anvil: i have to say don't get fisher's.... i want them! i have used all sorts of anvils from 1/2 steel plate (i was desperate) to rr track to my current fisher. all worked but find what works for you. any thing hard flat and heavy will do though. have fun on your anvil searches all.
bigfoot - Wednesday, 08/26/09 10:53:28 EDT

first anvil: Thanks all for wading in with the opinions. Bigfoot might hate himself for confirming the opinion about the fisher's. Another brand for me to keep an eye out for :o) It makes sense about the noise and springy nature of the narrow waist. Not sure if that has any to do with the rebound of the anvil?!! More important is tough, hard, and flat, especially for a newbie like myself. Practice and efficient striking will most likely make up for any differences in rebound. Thanks again all for your input.
bass-ackward schmidt - Wednesday, 08/26/09 13:21:35 EDT

Now Now bigfoot, I once bought a 515# Fisher in *mint* condition for US$350 about 5 miles from where I lived in Columbus OH (late 90's) and upon finally installing it as my main shop anvil and doing a lot of work on it I have found out that... *IT'S* *GREAT*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've moved the 410# Trenton over to pout in the armour making side of the shop.

Do you feel better now? I do!

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/26/09 17:33:54 EDT

Bigfoot, you must realize that ThomasP is know as the best anvil "finder" extant. In fact, I believe the name for a collection of anvils all belonging to one person was named for his collection and is known as a "Harem of Anvils"

ThomasP, If you make it to QuadState, what are you looking for from the land of the big scrapyard?
ptree - Wednesday, 08/26/09 17:50:25 EDT

Stealing Fishers: I actually bought my 250# Fisher on Ebay, and paid just over a buck a pound. It is in essentially new condition - I had to radius the edges when I got it. As I may have said already, I love it and would not trade it for any other anvil its size.

Rebound is mostly a factor of the hardness of the anvil face and the hammer face. And, to some smaller degree, the rigidity of the material under the face of the anvil. Of course, if the anvil face is not bonded to the anvil body, the rebound will be severely compromised.

To me, the flatness of an anvil face is less critical than the condition of the surface. Many older anvils develop a slight sway in the middle of the face and this is no problem at all. If, however, the face is pitted, gouged or dinged up severely, you will never be able to produce smooth work. Likewise for chipped corners - if they can be dressed to a smooth radius, no problem, but sharp chips will create cold shuts in your work.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/26/09 19:30:16 EDT

stealing fishers: thomas p i hate you! (not really i am just jealous). and i know that i made sure you go for the fishers, but i am the only smith i know of within 15 miles of my town (not my house but my town). and i got a noise complaint over using rr rail, so i am only able to get away with a fisher anvil. theese things are great mine is from 1894 and the edges are ok, but i made an anvil saddle so its no problem. and i know a guy who has a 5in think 4150 plate he whats to get rid of. 5*12*12. can anyone say custom anvil? :D. i cant wait to get that lump o steel.
bigfoot - Thursday, 08/27/09 11:34:40 EDT

Anvil: I have an Swiss made anvil and cant find any info. about it. Never seen another like it. Anyone know anything about them ?
- Boone - Thursday, 08/27/09 16:15:31 EDT

anvil: I have an anvil that is swiss made. Anyone ever seen one or know anything about them ?
Boone - Thursday, 08/27/09 16:17:51 EDT

Swiss Anvil: Did you send pictures of it to the Guru as he requested?

I've never seen an anvil that said "Made in Switzerland" on it, but I somehow doubt all Swiss-made anvils say that, so I might have seen one without knowing that was what I was looking at.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/27/09 23:44:33 EDT

Odd anvils are almost always someone miss reading the faint markings or trying make sense of partial lettering. Then there are tools used in trades such as jewelery and watchmaking that may be of Swiss manufacture.

Now, that is not saying that blacksmiths anvils were not or are now not being made in Switzerland. We recently found markings on one of the anvils in the Lyda-Ferdinand collection that was made in Hungary by a company that is still in business. However, they no longer make anvils. It is a wonderful anvil that I would not mind having in my shop.

Hungarian Anvil
- guru - Friday, 08/28/09 11:57:48 EDT

Hungarian Anvil: Oooooo, I think I just committed the sin of "envy." ;-)

That really is a pretty piece of work.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 08/28/09 14:07:09 EDT

Anvildood, I let you post this mess once. Twice is spam. Take it elsewhere. - guru
- anvildood - Friday, 08/28/09 16:33:59 EDT

Swiss anvil: My ancestors were Swiss, at least as much as any American mutt can say, and I've done some traveling there. The shops that I saw while there had not surprisingly German and Austrian style anvils. I didn't specifically see any Swiss made anvils, quite a few Peddinghaus and Refflinghaus anvils in the north and east, some no-name Italian style in the south.

Far from a scientific survey, just the observations of a backpacking youngster.
Judson Yaggy - Saturday, 08/29/09 06:54:58 EDT

Repointing Plow Shares: I've been hauling sweetcorn stalks to my cattle as a treat. When to get a load yesterday the guy said a neighbor would like to talk to me about his plow. An earlier model two-bottom one to where the moldboard/share is one piece rather than multiple pieces bolted together. One is missing about 3/4" of the point (worn down) and the other about 1 1/2".

I can make an attempted at it, but would rather someone with experience in repointing do the work.

Does anyone know of an 'old timer' who still repoints one-piece shares?
Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 08/30/09 07:32:53 EDT

Lister Share?: Ken, Do you mean a lister plow share?
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/30/09 21:14:59 EDT

Somethings Screwy: I made this thing for a big screw press/ vise i want to build just for the heck of it. It's a 2-1/4" - 3 Acme. The nut is 6" sq. 4-1/4" long and threaded the whole length. I cut this in an old belt drive Hendey lathe with a reversing lead screw so it took a while to cut versus had a i been using a newer lathe. First time I ever actually uncontrollably and unexpectedly smiled after finishing something! Still want to do a multi start screw, but i'm sure not doing it on that lathe.
- Tyler Murch - Monday, 08/31/09 19:21:20 EDT

Tyler, great screw. One of the things I like about my old Southbend with quick change box is that it goes down to 2 TPI and then has 2-1/4, 2-1/2, 2-3/4 TPI. One of my dream projects was to make heavy vise components for wood working benches. Starting with forgings. Making leg vise screws would be almost trivial.

Glad to see you using the good old standard engine lathes!
- guru - Monday, 08/31/09 19:38:20 EDT

Screw: Tyler, I was unable to make that link work - it said "page not found".
vicopper - Monday, 08/31/09 20:06:19 EDT

Thought that might happen. Here you go
- Tyler Murch - Monday, 08/31/09 20:18:43 EDT

Frank: I'm not a farmer so am not familiar with plow part names. He called it a mule moldboard. Instead of the furrow turning part being solid it has about a half dozen fingers. Said it was easier for a mule to pull. It is a one-piece point/share. Held on by one bolt and an eyebolt arrangement. Predates the current plow style with the replaceable parts.
Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/31/09 22:29:54 EDT

Tyler: Thanks, that worked just fine. Very nice looking work!
vicopper - Monday, 08/31/09 23:20:53 EDT

tyler: great work man.... miss you over don's way....yes i know ss is a pain but we still miss you....
- pete - Tuesday, 09/01/09 06:24:08 EDT

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