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The anvil hunt pays off!

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by Grayzer86, May 14, 2013.

  1. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Well I have been hunting hard for an anvil since the hammer in and found one today. I had been asking around with people I know and talking to some auctioneers, and ended up randomly finding one. I was talking about knives with a guy and he said he had an old anvil at his farm that he thought was 120 lbs. I went out after work to check it out and found a dirty old hunk of steel. Bob Hazel had instructed me to take a hammer, a ball bearing and a wire brush, and it paid off. I scrubbed the side to uncover 1.2.0 which is the stone system not lbs. I also uncovered the makers mark and some other stamping, and from what I have researched so far, what I have now is a 168 lb Mouse Hole Forge anvil from Sheffield England. From what I read they made anvils from 1780 to 1933 so I know it's older than 1933, and based on the stamping I believe it is pre 1910. The entire body is wrought iron with a steel face. I don't have any pics yet as its dirty and also dark outside, but I think I scored alright considering he threw in the two hardy cutoffs too. They are marked W&B CO, not sure what that meanns yet. It rings clean and has impressive rebound so I am pretty darn happy tonight.
     
  2. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Congrats on that find. Can't wait to see pics!
     
  3. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    Nice find Brandon , gotta love Sask farms and old barns , just never know whats in there !!
     
  4. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Very true Rob. I'm just glad I snagged it before it ended up being tossed. The anvil was in a little lean to behind their barn that burned down but this building was not affected by the barn fire. I would hate to think of them junking it all when they cleaned the area up. Few interesting facts I have found since I posted. Mousehole forge was the oldest and longest running anvil factory in the world. They were also written about in a poem called Revelin in the mid 1800s that read "and yonder stands the mousehole forge, in dingy honours dres't, famed in the days of good king George, for anvils England's best. From some further research on the markings I am starting to think it may be 1896 due to the placement of several words and the lack of the word England in the stamping anywhere on the anvil, just Sheffield.
     
  5. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Awesome man! I'm jealous! How much did it run ya? I have been looking for a 150 plus poun anvil for ever you lucky bugger. I keep finding 100 pounders lol. I have 5 now... Just picked up a 100lb Columbian for a friend today.
     
  6. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I have no idea what it was really worth, and I needed an anvil so I just forked over the cash he asked for. He hummed and hawwed a bit and then Asked for 100 bucks so I feel like I did ok. Considering the hardys as well. Not to mention he is one monster of a guy and carried it out of the shed before I got there so I could see it in the daylight so I didn't bother bartering. I knew right away when I picked it up by myself to put it in the truck that it was more than 120 lbs haha.
     
  7. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    You thiefe! You stole that anvil!!! The 100lb Columbian I picked up today was a decent deal and it was $200!!! I am sooo jealous man... And it's a moushole to top it off. You did well, consider that a good investment. Now lets see some pictures! :)
     
  8. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    One thing to note however is that it has some bad face damage behind the hardy hole. The steel face had clearly cracked some time in the past and the back two or so inches of the face behind the hardy hole is gone. The wrought body is still there just no face. But at 168lbs, there is still more than enough for me to work with, and it doesn't affect the hardy luckily.
     
  9. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Still a great score. Sounds repairable. Your mostl likely never going to need to use anything beyond the hardy hole.
    Now... Where are the pics?
     
  10. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    I know nothing about anvils but that sounds like a hell of a deal !! I'm in Sask all next week for week , I'll be driving by thousands of barns wondering ......................

    LOL good for you Brandon !
     
  11. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Well guys here are some pics finally, they are not great but it still needs to be cleaned up some. The edges look more beat than they are, and this side is a bit more wounded than the other side. Measurements are: 168lbs, tail to horn 25 inches, working face 15x4 inches with 12.5x4 inches left due to missing piece on tail, height 11.25 inches, and as strange as it seems, a 3/4 hardy no a 1 inch.

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    Also i included a pic of another find i had a while back, an old Stihl brand logging saw. Its a beast, but i have never found anything big enough to make it worth while using. But for free, i wasnt going to leave it behind. For the record as a size comparison, I am a bit over 6 feet tall, and weigh 230.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Nothin wrong with that score! I thought an anvil that size would be longer then that. Mind you yours has a thicker waist then my anvils. As far as the hardy hole goes I don't think they stuck to a certain size for a set weight. I have two Peter writes the same size. One has a 3/4" hardy and the other has a 7/8"-1" (I forget what size)
     
  13. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    That makes sense, I didnt actually realize the hole was not 1 inch until i looked closer at the stamp on the hot cuts i got. Overall i am still pretty happy with it, but i also plan to continue my search for more anvils. Its not perfect but its got a nice rebound still and doesnt have the swayback that many wrought bodied anvils are said to get, so its more than enough for the time being. Right now I think i may have leads on two more large ones so i will see how that goes as well. I found 3 last week but couldnt manage to talk the old dude into selling any of them, he had 2 peter wrights and a vulcan.
     
  14. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Stay away from vulcans if you can. They are cast iron and are pretty crappy really. Make sure you don't let the "arm and hammer" logo fool you into thinking its a Vulcan. There are also arm and hammer brand anvils that are made very well. The vulcans have a raised logo and the arm and hammers have a stamped logo. Good luck in your anvil hunt! I hope you don't get addicted like I did...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    mmmmmm, anvil envy , don't get me started , my wife wont like you !!!
     
  16. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Most of my friends wife's don't haha
     
  17. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Very nice collection there metal. That center one in the back row looks so clean and straight. Is that a PW? Even if this anvil I have doesn't work out the history lesson I am getting researching it was worth the buy haha.
     
  18. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Thanks man. That one is a Trenton from 1899. The two on the left are PW, the one on the right closest to you is a columnian that I picked up for a friend in Regina. The one right in the corner is unknown and that weird looking square one is two different things. Apparently it's a railroad anvil and a railroad jack stand. I have only seen one other one like this online before.

    The Trenton was broken at the waist when I got it. I don't think it saw much use before it broke.

    This is a better pic of the Trenton.
    [​IMG]

    Even with that broken face you did good on the mouse hole. I bet it would last another 100 plus years the way it is.
     
  19. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    whats this worth fellas, 100lb PW 30km away , heavy enough ??

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    dam you guys !!! my wife just gave me the "look" and walked away.........hahaha see what you have to look forward to ICHO !!
     
  20. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Man that Trenton is so clean and sqaure. I think you are right that it didnt see much use before it got broken. I wonder what happened? Might have taken a dive off a truck or something.

    Rob, I am no expert but i have read that 100 lbs is absolutely enough for any bladesmith work, short of hand forging large damascus billets. The edges are a bit chipped up but should be reparable if you wanted to go that route, if not it looks like there is still lots of edge left to do anything you need. Is it just the anvil for sale or all of it together? I have been told depending on condition and size that prices can vary between 1 and 5 dollars a lb. I think more accurately they would be between 1-3 per lb. I would love to find a leg vise like that, and those tongs would be nice to have too. Has the owner listed a price or are they waiting for an offer on the stuff?
     

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