Hank Rearden
Fig. 244.--The anvil should be mounted on a solid block and at such a height that the face of the anvil can just be reached with the knuckles of the clenched fist when standing erect. Click to expand image  

Mounting the Anvil.Anvil Height.jpg
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The anvil should be mounted on a solid block, preferably of 
wood. It should be so located in front of the forge that the workman can take the irons from the fire and place them on the anvil by making a short turn and without the necessity of taking even a full step. The horn should be to the workman's left (unless he is left-handed, in which case it should be to his right). The face of the anvil should be at such a height that it can be touched with the knuckles of the clenched fist when standing erect and swinging the arm straight down.






This information came from the war Department on Blacksmithing.
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Timberline Iron Crafts
I agree. For me I found that when I placed my clinched fist on top of the anvil then maybe and inch higher worked for me, seems to be a good fit.

Working on my new welding table this afternoon.

Tom
Timberline Iron Crafts
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Hank Rearden
Hi Tom,

Do blacksmith as a hobby or a business? I hope to open a retail store locally with my brothers. Each of us work in a different craft. Wood, glass and clay pottery and steel.
A few years away still.

Victor
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Hank Rearden
 It's time to get the anvil up on a base. The quickest and easiest way for me to do this is by setting the anvil on the floor. Then standing with a good relaxed posture beside the anvil have someone measure  from the top of the anvil to the bottom of you clinched fist. (hold a handle of a hammer for better accuracy) Then measure from the floor to the bottom of your clenched fist. The difference will be the height of the anvil stand you'll need to set your anvil on.

Doing these simple steps will keep you from handling heavy objects unnecessarily.

The first stand is a nice round white oak log to mount a 203 lb. Soderfor forged steel anvil.
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mtforge
When I started blacksmithing I had the anvil height at knuckle height. My back hurt within a half an hour. I now have the face at almost wrist height. My tongs are almost straight out when I stand up. I use this all day every day. No sore back any more.

Also when I started I had the horn to the left (I'm right handed). I had to make sure to remove any hardy tools so I didn't hit them with my hammer hand. And when I made s-hooks they always ended up corkscrewing and had to be flattened. Now I have the horn to the right. Hardy tools can be in with no problem because its my tong hand. S-hooks (and anything else rolled on the horn) now come out flat because the taper of the horn is round to my tong hand.
I have since read that tool makers use lower anvils for strikers and maybe tooling. And European artist blacksmiths like the horn toward their dominate hand.
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Hank Rearden
Thanks for your insight mtforge.

I still use my driveway to forge since I haven't built the smitty outback yet. Still collecting building materials. I have a 203 lb. soderfor anvil set at knuckle height and a 147 lb. fisher I've set higher. I noticed my self going to the fisher when I had both out at the same time. Although I was forging with lighter tools doing leaf work. I did notice a difference, but wasn't sure if it was lighter work or the height of the anvil.

I want to build an anvil stand and I think I want to make one that's adjustable so I can fine tune it. Right now I have stumps. As far as the anvil horn I like it on my right side as well.


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mtforge
An adjustable stand would be great. Should be able to dial it in. When my daughter forges heavy items she will stand on an inch of plywood to get a little height on my anvils. Everything in my shop is set to my height because it's all about me.[biggrin]
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
  A lot of smiths say to put it at knuckle height, and I don't have any trouble with that, but every person can have slightly longer arms, a different way of holding the hammer, their posture is different, and dozens of other discrepancies. Sure, it's not what one wants to hear when they ask what height their anvil should be at and one has to say that they need to experiment, but if it's going to save their body grief then it should be worth it. 
  I've worked with anvils a little taller than my knuckle height, and those aren't any trouble as long as they are within two inches of my knuckles. Any higher than that and I cannot hit properly. Anything lower than half an inch from my knuckles makes me bend over and have back aches. 
  In short, I don't think an anvil should be lower than your knuckles, but within a couple inches above them is a decent height, depending upon the person.
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SW Reynolds
Due to the fact we are not, for the most part, employing a striker to operate a sledge, we want the anvil a bit higher. Thus  between the wrist and your knuckles. Tweak that as necessary.

The floor jack works well or any means of adjusting the height. Pounding on a piece of wood, perhaps 1/2" plywood etc. with a hammer is probably the best. Looking at the dent made into the wood. Adjust height as required for a nice even imprint from the hammer's face. Too low an anvil favors the toe of the hammer's face.
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mtforge
Hitting wood is useful for a lot of things. Besides checking how your hammer hits it's nice to see if you can hit a mark/dot on the wood. It helps to see where beginners are hitting to learn hammer control. 
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Scrambler82
this thread is over a year old but maybe we can give it some new life.

SW Reynolds wrote:
The floor jack works well or any means of adjusting the height. Pounding on a piece of wood, perhaps 1/2" plywood etc. with a hammer is probably the best. Looking at the dent made into the wood. Adjust height as required for a nice even imprint from the hammer's face. Too low an anvil favors the toe of the hammer's face.


Except for the floor jack, this is the method I found to work.
I used 3/4" plywood to handle the hit better, 1/2" can buckle easier.
I also ended up with the stand a little higher than my knuckles, not because of a missing Striker but because I am older and a bent over back equals a sore back, so working with a little higher anvil take the kink out of my back.

Any opinions on this ?
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GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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