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adatesman
07-24-2011, 03:02 PM
Howdy All,

Probably a question better suited to a blacksmithing forum, but I'm not a member of one and there's a good amount of overlap, so.... I gave my great-great granfather's anvil, and after 50 years of neglect and abuse in a job shop (and whatever abuse came prior to that) it's in need of a bit of love. The top's mostly flat, but has the not-unexpected rust and dents of a hard life. Were I like most people I'd see it as patina, but being of the HSM variety I acutually use it as intended fairly often. If it matters, it's a decent sized Fischer cast in 1887 and bears what looks to be an eagle logo and letters saying the design was patented in 1884. Will head out to take a pic once the mill's done with this part.

adatesman
07-24-2011, 03:10 PM
Here are some pics, with a 6" rule for scale...

http://shariconglobal.com/misc/anvil1.jpg

http://shariconglobal.com/misc/anvil2.jpg

http://shariconglobal.com/misc/anvil3.jpg

Weston Bye
07-24-2011, 03:16 PM
Now show us the surface you want to clean up.

adatesman
07-24-2011, 03:34 PM
Sorry, thought it obvious that the working surfaces were the ones I was interested in. I don't care so much about the dents in the nose (or whatever it's called), but the top surface is rather uneven and could use some cleaning up (BTW, the rust does a good job of hiding the unevenness so it's worse than it looks). I'm more inclined towards minimal material removal/conservation than complete reworking given its age/provenance, so bear that in mind.

http://shariconglobal.com/misc/anvil4.jpg

macona
07-24-2011, 03:53 PM
Looks pretty decent to me, I would leave it alone.

uncle pete
07-24-2011, 03:54 PM
Fly cut it on a vertical mill using a braized carbide tipped cutting tool? That anvil can't be super hard or it would chip in use so a flycutter with light cuts should do it. Then again I know nothing about anvils.

Pete

Toolguy
07-24-2011, 04:03 PM
I cleaned mine up. First filed and stoned all the high spots off the top working surface. Next, put it upside down on the mill and milled the bottom parallel to the top. Turned it over and faced off the top with a carbide insert face mill to get the worst of the dings out. Finished it up on the surface grinder. I didn't take out all the dents because I didn't want to remove that much of the hard top surface. I probably took off .025 to .030 total. Still, it turned out to be much better than it started. it was a worthwhile project. Mine says Vanadium Steel 125 on the side. The main flat part of mine is 4" X 15". I think it's a 125 lb.

JoeLee
07-24-2011, 04:17 PM
It looks beautiful. I would leave it the way it is.

JL...........................

Forrest Addy
07-24-2011, 04:40 PM
Every fiddling feature of an anvil has a name and a purpose. The face, the horn, the bill, hardy hole, pritchel hole, etc. There are little radii on the corners that taper from a 1/4" r at the step to a sharp corner a few inches away.

I do know the top of a good anvil has a welded face of hardened tool steel and this may pose problems for machining. Carbide will cut it well enough but your settings have to be right and the set up stout. Not all the top of the face is hard. I think every thing out from the hardy hole (the square one) is soft and not intended for hot forging. Only bolster for tooling and clamping. The hardy hole is intended to take fullers, flatters, hot chisels etc and also a bent dog.

If I was going to tune up my pretty good shape 250 lb anvil, I'd start with a Bayflex on an angle grinder working the whole surface down tracking progress with a straight edge of some kine (a limb of a framing square maybe). Work gently keeping the wheel relatively flat crossing scratch patterns every few seconds. In the end I'd lay the wheel flat and moving rapidly go for a cross hatch scratch pattern using a witness coat to see where the hollidays were.

If you're careful you can get it almost as flat as machining but that takes skill and patience.

Adding: Adateman. Your anvil is identical to mine except mine has no name on it. Only pattern numbers. Mine is cast steel so it may no date bat to the 1880's. Mine has a hardened face. As I understand it the tool steel face was placed in the mold and the anvil cast to it resumable bongng to it as some sort of weld. Regardless the joint is invisible and the face hard and very durable. The most prized anvils were made of wrought iron not cast. Way back in the dark ages when I was a young apprentice old Tetrazini (I don't think anyone used his real name and now I can't recall it) the master forger took me around the forge shop and gave me the fire hose version of what made for good anvils, pointing out subtlties and nearly invisible marks and jooints that were an open book to him but magic to me. A few of the anvils (mucht have been 30) rang like a bell wen struck.

My anvil just goes "clink!" so I gues it's not up to old Tetrazini's standard.

gwilson
07-24-2011, 04:44 PM
Anvil tops are about as hard as a knife blade,or about 52 R.C.. !095 spring steel is 52 R.C.. I would not try to cut it with a fly cutter.

My old anvil is solid steel with no top welded on. Tough as blazes. I managed to resurface it with a belt sander with blue zirconia belts. It was not damaged much,though,and it was a messy job.

Most anvils have a steel top welded on. Usually they are over 1/2" thick or more,but I have seen them as thin as 1/4",so you want to be careful. I don't see how a 1/4" thick anvil top wouldn't soon crack,but did see a Vulcan anvil like that. I think it had never been used.

I have heard about getting anvils re ground by a Blanchard grinder.

As some say,the anvil looks o.k. the way it is. You don't have to have a 100% smooth flat top to use it. Pick out an area that looks good and use it.

gary hart
07-24-2011, 05:03 PM
Have a 250 lb Fisher anvil like yours. It had been abused bad by someone using chisels on the face and chipped out corners. Bought some stick welding rod recommended by my welding friend, Eureka HWTS (Hot Work Tool Steel). Ground out bad chipped corners and anyplace that looked like cracks.

Preheated to 365 degrees F. and welded and peened each little spot. This was is 1994 and there is only one little spot out of dozens that failed. If the weld looked full of gas holes then reground out and welded again.

Agree with Forrest, don't machine. Grind with angle grinder then flap sand or belt sand. You want different radius in edges and having a wallowed spot on the face isn't all bad, in fact can come in handy sometimes.

50BMGBOB
07-24-2011, 06:02 PM
Nice anvil. I agree, it doesn't look bad and I don't think I would worry about it. A lot of blacksmiths like to see some wear and a repair job can sometimes lower the value of an older anvil. Of course, it use to be a good blacksmith would not leave any tool marks, now people think the tool marks add charm and show it was made the old fashion way.

I guess what you need to ask yourself is what is your goal? Is the surface causing problems with the work you are doing? Or is it the machinist in you that wants everything perfectly flat and square?

lazlo
07-24-2011, 06:39 PM
Anvil tops are about as hard as a knife blade,or about 52 R.C.. !095 spring steel is 52 R.C.. I would not try to cut it with a fly cutter.

Anvil hardness is all over the place, depending on the age and manufacturing technique. Older anvils, like the OP's, were cast iron with a steel plate forge welded on. Really old anvils were wrought iron with a steel plate. These tended to be in the 48 - 52 Rockwell range. A high quality knife blade is 59 - 61, by comparison. Don't use a commercial hammer on these -- you *will* dent the top. The laminated anvils ring, and rebound, less than monolithic anvils.

More modern anvils are monolithic cast or forged steel. Peddinghaus and Kohlswa are around HRC 55. Refflinghaus are hardened to 1" deep to HRC 59


Agree with Forrest, don't machine. Grind with angle grinder then flap sand or belt sand. You want different radius in edges and having a wallowed spot on the face isn't all bad, in fact can come in handy sometimes.

+1. That's, by far, the most common way to resurface the top. The edges of a properly dressed blacksmith anvil have varying radii: 1/4" on the far-side edge closest to the horn, decreasing down to 1/16" (in steps) at the heel. I would leave that alone, unless you get serious in blacksmithing.

gwilson
07-24-2011, 06:49 PM
59-61 is entirely too hard for a knife blade.I made a knife from 01 which I left at 60 R.C.,it would never hold an edge very well. 60 is at the upper limit for 01. The HSS I tested wasn't that hard.

When steel gets too hard,the microscopic edge breaks off,and the edge feels dull.

There are many steels,of course,but I refer to those commonly used in knife making. An edge about 55 R.C. in 01 holds a much better edge than a harder one.

Most anvils are in the 48-52 range.I just checked and a Peddinghaus was listed at 54.

I know my anvil can't be much above 53,or so,because I can barely cut it a little with a new fine cut Nicholson(not Mexican!)

I keep my anvil from ringing by having it chained down tight to the stump. Some require different deadening techniques.

The anvils I made patterns for for the Williamsburg blacksmith shop(Anderson) were cast from 4140. They have been used hard every day for 30 years,and haven't gotten worn yet. I posted pictures of them on PM forum,I think.

lazlo
07-24-2011, 07:01 PM
59-61 is entirely too hard for a knife blade.

Funny. The Bladesmithing society teaches their students that 59 - 61 is the ideal hardness for a high quality blade. Every blade made by an ABS journeyman or master bladesmith is 59 - 61. Chef knives by Master smiths such as Bob Kramer are treated to at least 61. Japanese-style chef knives considerably harder -- up to 64.


An edge about 55 R.C. in 01 holds a much better edge than a harder one.

There are quite a few competitors using O1 in the ABS cutting competitions, and they all harden to 59 - 61. 55 is considered poor heat treat.

lazlo
07-24-2011, 07:07 PM
By the way, here's a great video showing a new steel top being forged on an old anvil at one of the 2009 ABANA conferences. You have to heat the whole anvil up to forge-welding temperature -- not something you're going to do in the home shop :)

http://www.youtube.com/v/8G-hXW31bsw

airsmith282
07-24-2011, 07:39 PM
some anvils are not even hardend at all, i got a 7lb one not very big but it suits my needs any how didnt know it till i looked under the thing and it was stamped in this anvil is not hardened i was like that explains it all now, but i think the one you got there looks fine just as is and if you are planning on selling it ,, if you fix it youll lose alot of money on it leave it alone and it keeps its value up ,, but its upto you ,

gwilson
07-24-2011, 07:47 PM
There are a lot of knife makers who think harder is better,but it isn't always. Many of those guys are amateurs as far as knowing steel is concerned. Knife freaks!!

Rosco-P
07-24-2011, 07:52 PM
The anvil top doesn't need to be dead flat. How would a smith straighten a hot piece of steel if he didn't have a slight belly in the surface to use to his advantage? Surface grinding the top of an anvil flat within tenths, serves no real purpose.

The topic is anvils, not ALO's (anvil like objects), not lumps of crap from china, sold by horror freight, princess auto or some other tool discounter. Even railroad rail, a poor a substitute for an anvil, would be better than the cast junk from the far east.

dalee100
07-24-2011, 10:29 PM
There are a lot of knife makers who think harder is better,but it isn't always. Many of those guys are amateurs as far as knowing steel is concerned. Knife freaks!!


Hi,

Most serious knife makers know far more about steel composition and heat treating than machinists do. Good knife makers know every alloy has it's best hardness range. Even Victorinox pocket knives are heat treated to 57-58Rc as stated by them. And those are pretty soft compared to many more modern knives.

And Lazlo is correct in stating the best O1 blades made today are in the 59 to 61Rc. Even my cheap $10 Mora knife in 1095 tests at 61Rc.

dalee

gwilson
07-24-2011, 11:11 PM
I am a tool maker. I make punches and dies that must stand thousands of cycles between sharpenings,among other things. The edge holding capabilities of knives is puny compared to what expensive dies and punches must do. There is a balancing point in steels where you must trade some hardness for some degree of toughness. An excessively hard piece of 01 is too brittle,and loses its edge too quickly as I said above.

First of all,you are lumping very different steels together,and saying they all should be thus and so hardness. That's not how it works. Wenger stainless is very different from simple 1095. How do you even know what the hardness of your $10.00 1095 knife is? I tested each blade with a Versitron hardness tester.Are you citing some manufacturers B.S. specs? They cannot be trusted on a $10.00 knife,any more than you can trust the spec sheets on a Chinese lathe. You need to get your facts straight before you can make any intelligent assessment about knife steels. Stainless steel,like the Swiss Army knife rely on chrome and other alloys,not just carbon for edge retention. I can tell you from real experience that Swiss army knives are NOT that hard. And,from every cheap knife I have seen,their blades are a LOT softer than your knife seems to be. Suggest you test it with reliable equipment. The Versitron is one of the best hardness testers,and I had one.

I had 1" break off one of my Marples 01 wood chisels,WITHOUT straining the chisel. It was too hard. Tested at about 59 RC. Too much hardness,NO mechanical strength. That's the fact. Do you want strength like glass? Over harden,then.

I have plenty of experience in this field,and I am not arguing any further. Lazlo described my work as "superlative",or some such term. I suppose that means I do great work,but know nothing about tool steel? not likely. We use dozens of punches and dies in our work. If they fail,it can be a lot more trouble than making a new punch and die set.

tdmidget
07-25-2011, 01:53 AM
some anvils are not even hardend at all, i got a 7lb one not very big but it suits my needs any how didnt know it till i looked under the thing and it was stamped in this anvil is not hardened i was like that explains it all now, but i think the one you got there looks fine just as is and if you are planning on selling it ,, if you fix it youll lose alot of money on it leave it alone and it keeps its value up ,, but its upto you ,

7lb? I didn't know there was such a thing. What is it intended to be used for?

dp
07-25-2011, 02:15 AM
7lb? I didn't know there was such a thing. What is it intended to be used for?

I have a Dunlap anvil in that size that I use frequently for size-appropriate projects that need banging on. Sometimes just to straighten a nail, more frequently to roll steel rod into hoops for hanging planters and pot holders, or to fold an edge of sheet metal. I've also used it to anchor metal I'm welding. It is extremely portable and has stood up to my banging.

I originally bought it for cracking Macadamia nuts. You put the nut in the center of a closed cell foam donut and whack it with a 2 lb hammer. Works a treat and without crushing the nut.

http://metalworkingathome.com/images/anvil.jpg

tdmidget
07-25-2011, 02:58 AM
I have a Dunlap anvil in that size that I use frequently for size-appropriate projects that need banging on. Sometimes just to straighten a nail, more frequently to roll steel rod into hoops for hanging planters and pot holders, or to fold an edge of sheet metal. I've also used it to anchor metal I'm welding. It is extremely portable and has stood up to my banging.

I originally bought it for cracking Macadamia nuts. You put the nut in the center of a closed cell foam donut and whack it with a 2 lb hammer. Works a treat and without crushing the nut.

http://metalworkingathome.com/images/anvil.jpgKind of hard to scale it in that pic, or is that a very small mill it is sitting on? Or is that a Whatchacallit, picture made from a bunch of others (moulage maybe)?

lynnl
07-25-2011, 08:39 AM
7lb? I didn't know there was such a thing. What is it intended to be used for?

As a paperweight. :)

I bought something (forgot what now) from Grizzly several years back, and as a complimentary gift they included a little anvil (or ASO) of about that size.

Cute little thing. Don't know if I still have it, or gave it to my grandson.

dp
07-25-2011, 09:41 AM
Kind of hard to scale it in that pic, or is that a very small mill it is sitting on? Or is that a Whatchacallit, picture made from a bunch of others (moulage maybe)?

It is 9" from the tip of the horn to the heel, and 4" from the foot to the face.

Gazz
07-25-2011, 09:58 AM
If it's really needed, the anvil can be resurfaced with an angle grinder and a cup wheel stone. Holding the stone flat against the surface while grinding you can feel the dips, valleys and high spots. I have done a few this way and it is not to hard to get it flat. Your picture shows an anvil that looks fairly useable the way it is. If there are deep pits which are not shown in the picture you may want to grind it but then this also depends on what you want to do with it. Certainly if you are going to be doing copper smithing or silver smithing on, you will want it flat and smooth, and polished! Knife making also demands a flat smooth surface as any pits in your anvil will show up as lumps in your blade. I do not know the rockwell hardness of an anvil. Blacksmiths will frequently test them by letting a hammer free fall against the face to see how much bounce there is. Also the ring of the anvil is a good indicator of hardness. I once saw a master knife maker do a demo with one of his knives wherein he attempted to slice an empty soda can in half while it sat on the anvil. He missed and the edge of the knife cut a serious gouge in the face of the anvil with no apparent damage to the blade.

gwilson
07-25-2011, 10:09 AM
Well,first,that was a stupid stunt. Secondly,that was a pi$$ poor anvil.

Gazz
07-25-2011, 10:18 AM
I do not believe it was a stupid stunt. Things like that are commonly done by knife makers, cutting the can in half anyway. He just missed. The anvil was not pi$$ poor by any means. If I recall it was a Haybudden, a quality US made forged steel anvil that had plenty of ring to it. It was just that his knife was better.

gwilson
07-25-2011, 10:30 AM
Maybe he could put the can on a piece of wood next time? Or would that not be macho enough? So now he has a messed up anvil top? Repeat,stupid stunt,anvil too soft. NOT the way to treat your tools.

lazlo
07-25-2011, 10:50 AM
Well,first,that was a stupid stunt. Secondly,that was a pi$$ poor anvil.

It's not a piss poor anvil -- that was my point George :( Good knives are 61 Hrc, anvil tops are 48 - 50. You can cut the top of just about any pre 1956 (i.e., non tool steel) anvil with a knife, or ding the hell out of it with a commercial hammer :rolleyes:

That's why blacksmith hammers are heat treated softer than a commercial hammer -- so you don't bang up the anvil top on a miss.

gwilson
07-25-2011, 10:59 AM
I am not arguing tool steel with a chip designer. Not supposed to argue with each other,either. I am a tool maker, over 40 years experience,with access to some of the finest blacksmiths in the country,and an excellent library on tool steels. 61 is too hard for a knife. And,the stunt resulted in a damaged anvil. I am not calling that a smart move,sorry.

lazlo
07-25-2011, 11:03 AM
Along the lines of "Stupid Stunts", a friend in Austin is a competitor in the Blade Cutting Competitions. It's basically a Western version of tameshigiri (Japanese sword test cutting competitions): ~ 10" blade with a weight limit, and you have to complete the entire run of cutting challenges in one go. The test starts with cutting a 2x4 in half :), severing a 2" free hanging sisal rope, cutting a rolling golf ball and tennis ball in half, severing PVC pipe, and then shaving slices off a drinking straw and paper tubes... I.e., intentionally mixing heavy chopping, slicing, push cutting...

http://www.youtube.com/v/aNYf56upj0M

The blades are all hand-made (most of the competitors are bladesmiths) from ) O1, 52100, 5160, 1084V, 3V, and M4. All > 59 Rockwell.

Fun to watch! :)

gwilson
07-25-2011, 11:08 AM
More macho stunts with knife freaks!!! So,are these guys hoping some day they will get the chance to hack off someone's arm? What is the point of this silliness?

lazlo
07-25-2011, 11:25 AM
What is the point of this silliness?

As I said -- like Japanese Tameshigiri -- to test the quality of their blades.

They manage to heat treat to 60 rockwell and beat the daylights out of their knives without chipping the edges ;)

adatesman
07-25-2011, 12:28 PM
I guess what you need to ask yourself is what is your goal? Is the surface causing problems with the work you are doing? Or is it the machinist in you that wants everything perfectly flat and square?

Hmm... After thinking on this a while, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I'll just touch it up the top a bit with a sander (to deal with the rust), oil it and get on with life.

Thanks for the suggestions, Everyone!

HWooldridge
07-25-2011, 11:09 PM
Hmm... After thinking on this a while, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I'll just touch it up the top a bit with a sander (to deal with the rust), oil it and get on with life.

Thanks for the suggestions, Everyone!

Good decision. I have repaired about 20 anvils; two of those got new top plates then were rehardened. Your anvil is in pretty good shape for its provenance so I agree completely with some light touchup then go to hammering. Welding can cause more harm than good if not done properly.

lazlo
07-25-2011, 11:20 PM
Hi Hollis :)

Will told me about an amazing anvil repair technique you do: you remove the top plate, replace it with a plate tacked in place with a small piece of round stock, and then stick weld from center out. You end up with a full depth weld on the top plate, and great rebound.

Very clever! I'd love to see you do that some time...

HWooldridge
07-26-2011, 10:57 AM
Hi Hollis :)

Will told me about an amazing anvil repair technique you do: you remove the top plate, replace it with a plate tacked in place with a small piece of round stock, and then stick weld from center out. You end up with a full depth weld on the top plate, and great rebound.

Very clever! I'd love to see you do that some time...

Yes, I wrote an article about it in Anvil's Ring several years ago. In summary, I originally decided to fix a 250lb Peter Wright that was in pretty sad shape - back when anvils seemed a lot harder to find (at least around here). I felt that edge welding a new plate to the body would not provide proper rebound due to the potential for an air gap. I found a piece of carbon steel that was the same width as the face, cut to length and chiseled/drilled out the hardy and pritchel holes. At this point, I had a 3/4" thick piece of steel that closely matched the face of the anvil. I tacked some 3/8" standoffs to the face and started welding from the inside out with 1/8" E6011 rods. The standoffs extended around the hardy and pritchel so no weld material could leak into those areas. I chose this rod because you can effectively weld over the slag without too much worry about contamination. I did all the welding in one afternoon and the anvil got too hot to handle without gloves but I let it cool down overnight then ground it down to remove the excess bead on all sides.

I then built a custom coal forge box to heat the face. A buddy of mine and I hung the anvil face down from an A-frame with a hoist so we could lower the anvil into the forge and retain control of it. We slowly heated the anvil until the face was at critical temp then we swung it to one side and dropped it onto the ground (face up). I already had filled two wheel barrows and a couple of 55 gallon drums with water so we started dumping on the face to quench it. The face got quite hard but the area near the heel wound up a little soft because we didn't have enough water volume. IIRC, it took about 3 hours just to heat it to cherry red.

If you try to repair one in this way, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES quench the anvil by immersion. You must have enough water available to cascade a large volume onto the face to consistently break the steam envelope. An acquaintance of mine went to all the work of refacing an anvil then quenched it in a horse trough - the shock made the face spall and numerous cracks formed. A large fire hose would work if you have access to one or a big water tank(s) with at least 750-1000 gallons of water and a large dump valve. There is an old Anvil's Ring from several years ago that showed a German anvil maker who used a ten inch pipe coming from a nearby river to do the quench - volume is key to a fast quench to achieve a hard face.

I liked that first one so much that I kept and used it since then as my primary forge anvil. It's weathered a lot of work and visiting smiths over the last 25 years with only a couple of very small chips. Rebound is great and the face does not mark so it is hard enough to withstand hammers. I've done or supervised a few other complete re-plates since then but it's a LOT of work - at least 80-100 man hours; I'm too old and fat to handle them anymore. Simple spot repairs can be done with a MIG but I usually tell people to leave them alone unless the face plate is fractured or missing. Some anvil makers appear to have used thin plates and I've seen a lot that have crumbled around the edges or completely separated from the body but Fisher's usually held up well unless they were abused. I think the main reasons for this is that Fisher employed a thicker face plate than was commonly used and cast the body to the plate using a mold rather than forge welding.

gwilson
07-26-2011, 12:23 PM
Anvils used to be quenched under a waterfall. That would be nice if there was one handy.

EVguru
07-26-2011, 12:25 PM
I've got a Peter Wright at home (about 22" heel to horn) that needs some top work after being burried in a garden for about 25 years. The repair method I saw was to TIG weld pits and dings using spring steel (the original guy used springs from aluminium sash windows).

macona
07-26-2011, 01:06 PM
Could you not use a large trough of water with a high GPM pump to create a fountain and hang the anvil over that?

Black_Moons
07-26-2011, 01:10 PM
Previous video, In a more clickable to view in fullscreen link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNYf56upj0M

'Watch on youtube' link on the corner doesnt work for me, and its a pain extracting that url from the copy embeded url...

I just don't like trying to watch movies in that TINY embeded window..

lazlo
07-26-2011, 01:15 PM
Could you not use a large trough of water with a high GPM pump to create a fountain and hang the anvil over that?

I've heard of a lot of guys trying things like that -- the problem is you need to get the steel top down past the pearlite nose in seconds, and you have hundred(s) of pounds of thermal mass.

I read one successful exploit (possibly in Anvil's Ring) where the gentleman had his local fire department come out to water quench an anvil. You'd need to have friends in high places :)

EVguru: it's common to hardface holes/craters/cracks in anvil tops. I haven't had to do it, but I'm told the trick is to thoroughly pre-heat the anvil. Otherwise you end up leaving a cold bead on top of the old surface.

Black_Moons
07-26-2011, 01:18 PM
I've heard of a lot of guys trying things like that -- the problem is you need to get the steel top down past the pearlite nose in seconds, and you have hundred(s) of pounds of thermal mass.

I read one successful exploit (possibly in Anvil's Ring) where the gentleman had his local fire department come out to water quench an anvil. You'd need to have friends in high places :)

EVguru: it's common to hardface holes/craters/cracks in anvil tops. I haven't had to do it, but I'm told the trick is to thoroughly pre-heat the anvil. Otherwise you end up leaving a cold bead on top of the old surface.

Nah, Just heat the anvil, And then pile abunch of wood ontop and call the fire department to 'put out the fire' :)

'its still smoking! more water' 'that looks like steam' 'No its smoke! MORE WATER!'

HWooldridge
07-26-2011, 02:55 PM
Could you not use a large trough of water with a high GPM pump to create a fountain and hang the anvil over that?.

Yes, that would work so long as the volume of water was sufficient that you didn't generate a huge pot of boiling water in short order. The advantage to the dump method is that the water remains at the inlet temp and doesn't heat up - the disadvantage is running out of water before you hit transition to martensite.

HWooldridge
07-26-2011, 03:06 PM
I've got a Peter Wright at home (about 22" heel to horn) that needs some top work after being burried in a garden for about 25 years. The repair method I saw was to TIG weld pits and dings using spring steel (the original guy used springs from aluminium sash windows).

I believe you get some carbon dissolution from the surrounding material when spot welding so you don't need to use spring steel unless the repair is large. It is important to preheat but you can spot heat with an acetylene torch then weld up the bad area. It is also important to clean any rust from under the weld area so I typically sand blast all the spots to be mended then set up the MIG prior to pulling out the torch. The truth is that the entire anvil does not need to be pristine so long as the majority of the work surface is smooth and a few decent edges are present - but of course, it remains a matter of pride for many people.

I once welded on a Fisher that had some minor face spalls and crumbled edges using a nickel-manganese repair rod. The welds held up well but the filler material never changed color so as the anvil face darkened with use, each one showed up like a damascus knife after etching - silver on black. The welds were also softer than the rest of the face so a missed hit with a hammer would leave a mark.