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Hank Rearden

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The Anvil.- A typical anvil found today was most likely made in Europe or America. Many are made by using casting methods. Cast wrought iron or cast steel. Some cast anvils also had a steel plate welded on top. The plates are made of tool steel and on some anvils this tool steel was also found on the top of the horn. Other anvils where forged from steel.  Some people feel steel anvils are much better and should be used if they can be found or afforded. On the other hand you'll find plenty of folks who prefer cast iron anvils.  The two kinds can be distinguished by striking with a hammer. A cast anvil has a dead sound while a steel one has a clear ring.

A fisher anvil was cast with a steel plate as a work face. They advertised it as a quite anvil and it was favored by blacksmiths who worked in town or other populated areas.


Working areas on anvils:

  1. Horn: Used to curve and bend and shape metal.
  2. Table or chipping block: Used to cold cut or chisel.  
  3. Face: General hammering and forging. Some anvils have one edge rounded to make sharp bends and metal and reducing stress.
  4. Hardie Hole: A square hole on the work face used to hold other blacksmithing tools. ie: hardies (forming and cutting tools, hold downs).
  5. Pritchel Hole: The round hole in the face of the anvil is used for punching holes.
Other parts of the anvil:
  1. Heel
  2. Body
  3. Waist
  4. Base
  5. Foot
  6. Shoulder
Anvil Don'ts:

Don't abuse your anvil. Good anvil's aren't easy to come by.
  1. Keep your anvil clean. 
  2. Add an rust inhibitor to the surface when not in use.
  3. Don't use a chisel on the work table It will damage both the anvil and chisel. The chipping table is soft to help prevent damage to chisels. 
  4. Don't use a heavy hammer on a light anvil. This could crack the anvil.
  5. Don't use it to hold items for grinding. Use your vise for this job.

Remember to use tools the way they where intended to be used. This provides the safest work method and gives the tools a long useful life.

code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!

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