Question for blacksmiths

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ChuckinVA, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. ChuckinVA

    ChuckinVA Well-Known Member

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    I am wanting to learn blacksmithing. I have a small coal forge and I have been looking for an anvil but have not had much luck. My questionis what size anvil should I start with? I plan on learning to make things like flower pot holders or bird feeder holders to start with like a shepherds hook. But hope to progress to more intricate pcs. Would a 100 lb anvil be large enough to handle this task? Would something smaller work. I have looked at auctions, Ebay, local trader papers but have not had much luck in finding an anvil I can afford. Most seem to be 125 lbs and up and the freight is expensive. What is your experience ?
    Thanks,
     
  2. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Anvil for sale in our local newspaper - 125 lb anvil antique $300.00 830-895-2052. Check shipping price via greyhound.
     

  3. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    used anvils are not all as good as what people think, some of them have chunks out of them, the corners are no longer square from years of use and abuse..... some have been well taken care of though.... and not all new made anvils are equal to the quality of the older one either.

    The shepard crook hangers are best made on a cone anvil, something that very few of even exist anymore, and once inawhile a person can score one here or there..... put an add in a local nikel sheet and ask if anyone has one to donate to you to learn on, and trade back some projects.... post ads at the local feed stores, and put the word oout in various places that you are looking, sooner or later a couple are gonna show up, problem around here is they sell old ones that are useless for more than a new priced one.... some people just have to have rust in their yards.

    William
     
  4. Yeti

    Yeti Well-Known Member

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    I got lucky and scored a set of tin smith anvils from an old friends barn. the guy who lived there used to do sheet metal work. I have one thats 30" long and shaped like a letter T laying on its side, its about 100lbs and then I have cones and squares of various sizes. I have been looking for a nice horn anvil and don't see much for sale up here in michigan. my shop has a 155lb set on a tree trunk thats hardly used, but they would never get rid of it.
     
  5. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Do you have a steady supply of coke? It would be a lot easier for you to use a propane forge.
     
  6. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    well, I entered blacksmithing and virginia, and got this as a first result:

    http://www.cvbg.org/

    Central Virginia Blacksmithing Guild.

    I've never met a craft organisation that didn't welcome new people interested in learning the old way. I immagine these people will be able to help.
     
  7. beowoulf90

    beowoulf90 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think one of the best places to start would be www.abana.org (Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America). They will have a list of others in your area. They are the national group and are a very good place to start. They also have venders and articles of interest to blacksmithing.

    ABANA
     
  8. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    ditto what blu3duk said...

    I let a few oldtimers know that I was looking for an anvil and other blacksmithing tools, about ten years ago. My neighbor told me had an anvil I could have... I went and picked it up... he called later that evening and asked why I didn't get the portable forge too... :) His one insistence was the forge/anvil was just on loan... he passed away two years ago, and his children could care less about blacksmithing...

    shipping will kill ya, so you're basically looking for anvils locally... or do what I did previously, used a short piece of railroad track iron...
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Some information for you here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Beginning-Black...ryZ13869QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem and here: http://reviews.ebay.com/Purchasing-an-Anvil_W0QQugidZ10000000001445709.

    Also go to www.anvilfire.com. In the upper right click on the Navigate anvilfire box. Go down the list to FAQs. Open that one and go down to Getting Started in Blacksmithing. There is a lot of background information on that site so check out all of the entries on both the FAQs and the main list. Also, on their homepage, find iForge. It contains about 100 small projects.

    I hesitate to recommend it, but you can go to one of the Harbor Freight retail outlets an buy a 110 lb anvil imported from Russia for less than $100. OK as a starter anvil. Will make you learn good hammer control in a hurry. When you find a better anvil you can use it as a buoy anchor or gluing weight.

    Anvils under 150 pounds can be shipped by one of the ground delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx or DHL. I had a 146 pound anvil shipped from Brooklyn, NY to TN for about $75.00.

    eBay is likely the leading source of new and used blacksmithing tools and equipment today. Use the category for Collectibles/Tools, Hardware & Locks/Tools/Blacksmithing.

    Except for the Russian 110 Lb and cast iron anvils there are likely less than 1,000 good-quality anvils being produced per year worldwide. Thus, simply supply and demand is driving up the price of used, but still good, ones.

    I started out on a 100 LB Fisher. After a couple of years I upgraded to a 160 LB Fisher. I was really surprised at how much that extra 60 pounds of mass made working metal easier.

    Trying placing a wanted ad in area small town newspapers to the effect: WANTED: Blacksmithing anvil and equipment. XXX-XXXX.
     
  10. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If your just wanting to learn and can't find an anvil, try and find a piece of railroad track and see if someone will cut it into the shape of an anvil. I built a small one out or rr tract to do some light work on.


    Bobg
     
  11. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Personally I think short lengths of RR track serve best as door stops.

    If there is a scrapyard in your area which will sell to the public check to see if they have a large chunk of mild steel. Locally price is $.25 pound, but varies around the country. Thus, a 100-lb chunk would run $25.00. For a hardy hole you can weld a piece of 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" tubing to the side. ID is 1" once the weld seam is filed off.

    The one I use has a nice chunk of stainless steel for $1.00 pound. A lifetime of use is unlikely to put a dent in that baby.
     
  12. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Grizzly sells anvils but I don't know where they are made. Seems reasonable in price. I look at the auctions every week 'cause I'm wanting the same thing.
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    The Grizzly anvils are cast iron imported from, I believe, India. C - R - A - P.
     
  14. poorboy

    poorboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was to a sale a couple of yrs ago where everything went, lady was moving to senior citizens housing. One of the last things to sell was a few concrete blocks sitting on a humongus chunk of steel beam. The auctioneer wasn't getting any takers on the blocks, so he said who will give 5$. I replyed that I would if it included the huge 5-6' length of beam. "sold" he hollered. Took two of the biggest young hosses i could find at the sale to upend it and slide it in our S10..:) :dance: :) :) http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/images/icons/icon10.gif
    Talking
     
  15. ChuckinVA

    ChuckinVA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for alll of the great replies. I have a piece of railroad rail but I have found it not to be very effective as an anvil. I have the coal forge because it was given to me by a friend. I would like to be able to learn both ways ( propane and coal ) but since I have the coal forge and access to coal it is my only choice right now.I am aware of Abana and the blacksmiths guild. Just don't have the time to devote to getting involved with an organization right now.

    Ken,
    Thanks for the great links.There is a Harbor freight store about an hour from my home. I think I will ride down there and take a look at their anvil offerings. There is not much in the way of scrap dealers in my area but I will chewck with them as they may be a source for metal to work with as well. I have been trying to stay on top of the anvils that have been offered on Ebay but most have been out of the price range I am able to pay and when you add shipping to the cost it is a great deal of money. I missed one the other day at the last minute by a penny. :Bawling: I did check out a copy of Bealer's The art of Blacksmithing from the library last year at your recomendation. I later found a copy in an antique store for $10.00 As I saw it on the shelf ,I walked by and snatched it off of the shelf without looking back !

    Thanks again for the support.
    CHUCK
     
  16. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Another book I suspect you would like is The Backyard Blacksmith: Traditional techniques for the modern smith by Lorelei Sims. Your local library should be able to obtain a loaner copy. It is also available at some bookstores and through the Internet, including eBay. Well covers the basics. Amply illustrated with lots of tips and techniques sprinkled throughout it. At end are 20 nifty items she shows how to make.
     
  17. terry stewart

    terry stewart Well-Known Member

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