Anvil Acquired! .......& Propane Forge Project Pics

davidwczerrDecember 18, 2004

As a follow up to my other post........I now have an anvil! I got it just a few days ago, it's a 180lb Hay-

Budden, 28-1/2" long and in very good shape. I cleaned it up today and took some pics that are posted below. I'm absolutely amazed by the amount of rebound this anvil has as compared to the chunk of mild steel I was using prior to this. If you let the hammer drop on the face it will bounce up almost as high as it was dropped from, while the mild steel bounces back about 20%. It takes a lot less effort to work a piece of steel on this. I didn't think it would be that big of a difference, but it is.

Also attached are some pics of the propane forge I've mentioned before. I finally put the finishing touches on it today, welding on the last few pieces and pouring the refractory cement. All it lacks now is some flat black high temp paint and we'll be forging! Some specs: the pipe is 8" diameter, 12" long, weldable pipe cap for front door, 3-1/2" square opening in the front and back, the back has a sliding door to accomodate longer stock. During normal operation I'll work through the front square opening, but will be able to open the whole front as needed. The stand was all scrap I had laying around and doubles as a really nice portable metalworking table for welding and grinding.

The refractory cement should be ready in a couple of days for firing, then it will be coated with a ceramic coating that reflects heat and should make it even more efficient. The burner is homemade as well with 3/4" black iron pipe, a 2"x1" weldable reducer and a MIG 0.35" tip to serve as the jet for injecting the propane. It will burn from about 3psi up to 20psi, maybe higher but at that point she's roaring like a jet engine and surely will provide welding heat in the forge.

Enjoy the pics and if you need close-ups or questions answered let me know.......David

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Very nice!

I am interesting in seeing pics of the final forge assembly.

I got bit by the anvil bug and picked up a lowly 55 lb cast iron number from Harbor Freight.

The bottom rocked on the inadequately ground casting flash, so I took it into the machine shop for some leveling. I wound up spending the entire day on it, much to the amusement of the instructor and fellow students. Most suggested that it would be a good idea to machine off the "CHINA" cast logo while I was at it. I didn't do that, but I did make the base and the top perfectly level, with a very smooth finish on the top.

It now looks too good to use.

The cast iron in this anvil, advertised as "Top Quality" isn't exactly that. After machining it, black specks of carbon are clearly visible. It would probably make lousy engine block material, but for occassional whacking it's probably good enough for me. I intend to use it for occasional cold working of lightweight stuff, and I prefer the finer finish so as not to mar stuff.

Question: This anvil has splayed feet like your big one, but no holes. How do blacksmiths secure anvils to a substrate? Is there a special way to clamp the splayed feet?

I'd post some pics but at present I don't have an account on a photo sharing site.

Whoops found Photobucket ... will post some pics once I find the spare memory card for the Olympus.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 9:45PM
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Did you make your own refractory cement ???
If you did please tell us how ....


    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 4:25PM
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The method I've seen most often involves some sort of large nail hammered into the stump and then simply bent over the "feet" of the anvil. Of course they always seem to be homemade, using the anvil to suit the specific needs of the anvil. This seems to be common for stump mounting, other types of stands would require different ideas. My anvil has a piece of 3/8" plate welded to the bottom with a hole torched out on either side, it's somewhat visible in the picture.

I plan on fabricating a 3 legged stand using 2" sch40 pipe for the legs. The top will be 3/8" plate (about 12"x14") with a 2" thick hardwood slab between the anvil base and the steel plate of the stand. The wood should serve to solidify the anvil's mounting to the stand if there were any imperfections on the anvil base such that it wouldn't sit flat. I'll run two 5/8" bolts up through the stand steel, wood, then the plate on the bottom of the anvil. I'll post pics when complete.

Kevin.........nope, all I did was cut open the bag and mix per the instructions. I used the internet to dig up homebrew recipes, but I remained skeptical and wanted this to turn out right. So I bought genuine 2600 degree refractory cement. Note that there is a 1/4" thick ceramic fiber "blanket" on the inside of the pipe, between the pipe and the cement. This prevents the cement from bonding directly to the steel pipe and will allow for different rates of thermal expansion between the steel and cement and prevent cracking of the cement lining, or at least that's the thought. Of course it's also a really good insulator, so it will help keep the heat in too.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 7:01PM
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David, Have you gotten the chance to use your propane forge yet? how you like it's performance? Keep us up to date..looks like you did a great job building it.

I know there's a lot of plans for them on the net and I definitely want to build one soon. I'm using a home made coal type forge now made from an old bathroom sink in a steal frame and home made hood (I use home made charcoal for fuel). I've gotten a lot of use out of mine but I'm ready for something a little more reliable and efficient.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2004 at 2:25PM
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Alright don't laugh! this is my home made forge...It works for small jobs but I'm ready for a propane forge. This forge is made from an old cast iron small sink that happened to fit this sturdy angle iron frame I had. It's on rollers so I can roll it around where I need it.. I just threaded some pipe in the sink drain for the blower.
I made the hood from some srap..The only thing I bought was the aint pretty but it works ok.
I'm making some strap hinges for some outside shutters.. (photo)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2004 at 3:12PM
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Warren8, thanks for the pics.......what's important is that it works and gets the job done! I like the idea of using a cast iron sink, and they are cheap and easy to find. I like the idea of a coal forge, but right now the propane fits my locale and life a little better; it's easy to get going, no smoke, quick to heat up, quick to shut down.

I've finally been able to use it a little bit the past few days. It took longer to fully fire the refractory cement than I thought it would. Finally the steam stopped, and I decided it was time to fully fire her up!

So far the results have been good.......I managed to get a few pictures of it in action and will post them tomorrow night for you to check out. Right now it's 10:00pm and the bed is calling my name.

Thanks for the interest, David

    Bookmark   December 28, 2004 at 9:57PM
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spamdamn, I saw that my brother had taken the outline of his anvil base, drew a pencil line around it, and routed out a half-inch depression. He put silicon caulk around the edge and set the anvil on top of it. No more walking anvils. Of course, that eliminated the loud ringing. Now there's just a quiet "thwack!" He says it works great.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 4:36PM
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That sounds like a great idea.

Now all I need is a router :-)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 11:54PM
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I recently picked up a claimed "cast steel" 110 lb anvil at Harbor Freight. Only $69. Amazingly, it's not made in China. Instead the box says "Made in Russia". There is also no identifying info cast into the anvil itself. One of these days I'm going to take an angle grinder to an inconspicuous corner at the base to see if the sparks tell me if it's steel or iron.

Other than that, it seems relatively well made. No globs of flashing sticking out of the base, so it sits flat and doesn't rock (unlike the 55 lb Chinese cast iron anvil I got last fall).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 1:24AM
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