A 100# anvil with "England" and "JB" cast on it will be auctioned
locally at an estate auction house tomorrow. My online "research"
indicates the JB stands for John Brooks and that it made before WW-II. I
think it is in "good" condition. I assume an anvil worth shipping from
England is probably a decent anvil...
I'll report the selling price tomorrow (for the sake of anyone who is
interested)! Any hints on what a fair bid would be? I'd enjoy getting
it for less than a fair bid! : )
no argument from me, it is steep, but consider that there
hasn't been a proper anvil made in the US for over 50
years and never will be again.
Depending on who shows up at the sale you may get it for
next to nothing, all the better.
On Wed, 18 May 2011 12:09:45 -0500, Swingman wrote:
A good anvil will have a cast semi steel base and a slab of
high carbon tool steel forge welded to the top.
That combination will provide good rebound and make for a long life
anvil that will survive even heavy work.
Rebound is essential to keep from wearing the smith out.
A cheap cast anvil will cover most of what people need to do
these days but someone making forged knives or handmade
wrought iron work in volume would need better equipment.
I bought it from a farrier supply in OK when I attended Bud Beaston's
Oklahoma Farriers College after getting out of the service in 1972, and
used it to shoe horses full time for the next six years, and well after
that for our own horses. I pounded lots of hot iron during that time doing
gaited horses and later found it easier to use than my paternal, blacksmith
grandfather's anvil from the turn of the century. Had a chance to change
but liked the feel of the newer one better ( and of course it was a
different shape), it weighs about 85lb, about 20 lbs lighter. I suspect it
is a good anvil (it was their top of the line at the time, not cheap ...
The Festool of it's class, IIRC. :>) ) Dad still has it and uses it on
occasion but I haven't laid eyes on it, or thought about it, for a good
twenty five years. Next time I go up, I'm going to check it out.
Thanks for the impetus, and memories ... :)
That reminds me of the "anvil" I inherited from my father. It was a foot
long piece of railroad track. I still use it on occasion when I need an
unwielding surface to hammer on.
It also does dual duty at Christmas time. Several times I've put it in the
same box with some small Christmas present. It's always good for a laugh
watching someone trying to pick the box up.
As a kid, I was a blacksmith's helper. I am talking about 7-8 yrs old.
The blacksmith in question was a client of my dad's firm and he always
got a kick out of my curiosity. Most of the 'work' was wire-brushing
grates out of coal-burning space heaters and sweeping. On a lucky day,
I would get to watch him putting new shoes on a horse and if I was
really lucky, one of those horses would be huge and would be wearing
socks (or so I was told). In retrospect those must have been Belgians.
I would always cringe and worry about the hot shoes hitting the
hooves...and that smell.. I will never forget that smell.
The shop was old school back then. Bellows and a huge anvil. He'd
start 'smithing' by bouncing the hammer on the anvil then hit the work
piece and then bouncing on the anvil again, to keep it going. (I
thought he was missing all the time...)
Definitely one of my better memories.
One horse, called Vesuvius, had an ass so big, it almost completely
darkened the shed's door.... and when it took a piss, you better stand
On Wed, 18 May 2011 15:38:03 -0700, Robatoy wrote:
My Grandfathers brother was a blacksmith and mechanic, he was uptown
with a hand crank blower for the forge, powering the blower and
the hand crank drill press were my duties.
There was no such thing as scrap iron in his hands, everything could
become something useful.
I wish that he had remained healthy enough and lived long enough
for me to have learned more of the craft and its finer points.
A "Good" anvil will have been forged from a solid billet of iron or steel
- virtually unbreakable (A plate of tool steel may, however, be welded on
the top). Others are cast and have a greater propensity to fracture.
The ones linked to by Casper are cast, however, knowing Vaughans, they are
of decent quality. How long Vaughans will last is debatable. Hope works
used to be huge but the last time I was across there their operation had
shrunk down to one bay, still pretty big, but were down to only two or
Avoid chinese cast anvils like the plague, they are rubbish, usually known
in the UK as "Aero anvils" after the chocolate bar. They have voids and
bubbles due to included air or gas. The test is to get your big sledge
hammer and bring it down hard on the bick - wear PPE and watch out for
flying pieces of cast iron.
Wile E. Coyote.
Never shot into the air, either?
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no
distinctively native American criminal class except Congress.
-- Mark Twain
Silly joke. As others have noted, the character Wile E. Coyote
attempted to catch the Road Runner with Rube Goldberg setups,
implimented with the help of Acme Equipment(TM).
Many attempts involved mis-engineered methods of dropping an anvil
from a cliff to smash the bird. Of course, these ended up smashing
(This used to be childhood entertainment.)
Drew Lawson | It's not enough to be alive
| when your future's been deferred
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