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How Many Anvils Does A Guy Need?

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by Grayzer86, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Personally i am finding that the answer happens to be "all of them". I know i am probably more interested in anvils than most but figured i would share a few pictures of some that i have picked up so far.

    The first shot shows the back of my truck loaded up for last summers hammer-in in Regina. Left side is my first anvil, an 1896 Mousehole weighing 168lbs and missing about 2.5 inches of face behind the Hardy hole. The right hand side background anvil was my second purchase and is a 1911 Peter Wright weighing in at 131lbs. the Front anvil is my Brooks pictured later.
    [​IMG]

    Next up shows my wrought iron Attwood, dating somwehere between 1840-1870 which is my lightweight at 72lbs. This little guy is sitting on my absolute favorite anvil, a wrought iron, Brooks from around 1830. It weighs 140 lbs and is an absolute joy to work on. Its also rare enough to half stump Mr Postman, and when looking for value was told, "seriously just dont sell it". The true wrought Brooks anvils from this era are sometimes known as Sasquatches, because even though people say they exist, most people never really see one. It is confirmed as a wrought anvil but the quality of forging made me double check that it was not in fact cast. For a forged anvil the symmetry and finish is astounding in person. Its the small multi piece weld lines that give it away.
    [​IMG]

    This picture shows my largest anvil, another recent acquisition, which is a more modern 200lb Westeel. It is a cast steel anvil, the majority of the 200lbs seems to be in the face as the waist is very skinny but the face is far longer than any of my others. I havent actually even used this one yet so cant speak to performance but rebound is excellent.
    [​IMG]

    Not pictured is the anvil i have not been able to pick up yet, and will be the permanent centerpiece in my collection, a giant bridge anvil weighing over 300lbs. Im not sure how much over 300, just that it was heavy enough to pin the 300lb scale it was placed on. The deal has been made and i have seen it in person but have not been able to pick it up yet, as i was on my motorcycle at the time haha. I am not in a huge hurry to pick it up, since i know the seller well enough to know its not going anywhere, so it can wait until i make the rather long trip back there.

    As a side note i do know of quite a few anvils kicking around that i have passed on for a variety of reasons (too similar to what i have, have same in slightly better shape, didnt have cash on me at the time etc). If someone is serious and looking, let me know, as we can probably hammer something out to get you hooked up.
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I think the answer to your original question is:

    Many

    I'd be happy with one real anvil. LOL
     
  3. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    I think I want an anvil too. But I don't know where the hell I'd put it!
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    The answer is "Another one" of course if you have so many anvils you can't swing a hammer then you need a bigger shop to get more anvils.
     
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  5. Jim T

    Jim T Active Member

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    A martial arts mentor of mine faced a similar question when his exasperated wife asked him, "How many knives do you need?" He's an avid, almost obsessive, knife collector and loves descending on the Blade Show in Atlanta every year armed with a fully loaded credit card. His answer was, "Just one more." And that was scores of knives ago. After a few years his wife got extremely POed. Long story short, he kept the knife collection, ditched the wife. Said he couldn't afford both.

    Jim T
     
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  6. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Oh that sounds so familiar how is that go, DFOL
    (dentures fell out laughing)
     
  7. TriFlyGuy

    TriFlyGuy New Member

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    Grayzr86
    I am brand new to Knifemaking and am trying to get a shop set up. Can you point mt to someone who might have a decent Anvil around 100lbs. The new ones sold in the states are a little pricy. I live in Airdrie, Alberta.
    I took some lessons from Tai Goo in Tucson and made a couple of knives with his direction and help.
    Dan
     
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  8. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Check on kijiji Saskatchewan is a good place for anvils
     
  9. TriFlyGuy

    TriFlyGuy New Member

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    Ok, thanks.
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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  11. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    @TriFlyGuy I agree with checking kijiji and such but be aware that many of the prices on there are idiotic. I keep a close eye on it and there is very little on there that i would buy at the advertised prices. People seem to have this wild idea that they should be getting near $10 per LB when thats just not the case given the condition of what i see most often. If that was the case, i would have about $12,000 sitting in the corner of my shop. The typical reasoning i hear is "they dont make these anymore" or "these are getting really hard to find". While they can be tough to track down until you know where to look, every town and the majority of farms, had at least one anvil at any given time in the last 300 years. While i appreciate the history more than most, the vast majority of anvils are not some precious antique, they are a 100 year old tool. Combine that with the fact that there are so few people that have any use for that 100 year old tool, and you see what mean. i think that for most of the anvils, $5 per lb would be around the max and $3 in average condition is a better range.

    Farm auctions can be a good place to look if some are close by, but you have to know what you are looking at and set a price limit so you dont get caught up in a bidding war and pay way too much.
     
  12. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    The one thing I found last year was that for an anvil to be an antique and valuable placed them in the 1700's and early 1800's the majority of which would have been recycled when they wore out. I also like to point out that two years ago old anvils could be had for $1 per pound and have a ad from new manufacturer's handy as reference to what a good anvil is or a new one, still have the problem locally if that a tool is rusty and in an antique shop it is worth double new.

    Best I saw for this was a $10 Pakistani knife sharpened with a file (old) selling for $70 and a pair of snips from Princess Auto $8 new selling for $90
     
  13. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    There seems to be this resurgent interest in all things blacksmith. I wonder if baby boomers are trippin' on Mother Earth News and getting all hot and bothered by photos of bearded guys and gals banging out rustic door knockers from coal forges? That'll drive the prices of anvils up. ;)

    Sorry for this post, but I had to do some creative writing as my day fixing VPN router problems with Telus has left me rather left-brained.

    Dan
     
  14. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Sounds about right. I'm making do with the stuff I have but a real anvil would be super nice.
     
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  15. Camil

    Camil New Member

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    Amazon.ca has a 55lb for $108. Its not 100lbs but its not to bad.
     
  16. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    20 years ago, i spent several month in Alberta. I literally think I visited every town/city in Alberta over those few months. I was intalling several library consortium networks. I spent so much time working with Telus who had "installed" all the services to each site I went to i got to know the techs by name and voice. I know what you mean about being render left-brained. And for the record, I was rocking a beard ling before all the hipster wannabe's stopped making fun of them and realized they were actually cool. Same with wearing plaid flannel shirts before grunge. My philosophy is to never change my style but to wait until things circle back to me and I'm fashionable again. For a few minutes anyway.... : ) How does that go "everything old is new again".
     
  17. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    There's an old Home Hardware in town and the owner is selling. I know he has a big ol' anvil in his tin shop that i'd love to make an offer on.
     
  18. Grahamm

    Grahamm Active Member

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    Are you still able to hammer something out? I've been looking but no luck around here. Of course if you're in Alberta or PEI that may not work. Postage would kill me. But in Ontario let me know because I'm actively looking for a good one. Thanks.
     

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