View Full Version : Cleaning up a bridge anvil

06-18-2012, 05:41 AM
Several years ago I was given an old bridge anvil. It had been abused to the point of not having any flat or smooth surface left. I decided a couple of weeks ago that it was going to be made usefull or go to the scrapper.

How it started out

After a few exploratory cuts. Started out with one end being about 3/8" higher than the other.

How it looked after removing just under a half inch of material from the highest spot.

Ian B
06-18-2012, 06:28 AM
Interesting anvil, first one of those I've seen.

Knowing nothing about them, I wonder, rather than machining more off, could you first build the missing metal up by welding, and then machine flat?


06-18-2012, 06:36 AM
I've seen sucessful anvil repairs done by building up with spring wire which seems to have the right characteristics.

Ian B
06-18-2012, 07:44 AM
Here's someone who made his own anvil from steel plate: http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/anvil1/anvil2.html

He also gives some advice on building up old ones.

Not sure if it'd be a good solution, but the 1/2" machined off could be replaced with a 1/2" thick slab of hardox welded on. That'd take a while to beat to death...


06-18-2012, 08:45 AM
My first question is - "WHY?"

06-18-2012, 09:47 AM
Interesting anvil, first one of those I've seen.

They're also known as sawyer's anvils -- highly prized in bladesmithing, where the horn of a conventional anvil is a hindrance.

Coalsmk: you might want to check if the top is laminated (forge-welded) to the base. If it is, you're getting dangerously close to the thickness of the steel insert.

Ian B
06-18-2012, 09:57 AM

Any particular reason for the bridge? I was thinking it was for something to pass beneath, a prong of a fork or something. Most of the beating seems to be done on the bridge section, rather than above one of the legs.


06-18-2012, 03:11 PM
The one in the pic would appear to be made from cast iron. It probably would have made a mess of the cutter if it were hardened, either wholly or in places.

06-18-2012, 07:29 PM
If this anvil ever had a hardened steel face it delaminated some time in the past. It cut like cast all the way down. I gave some thought on building it up but that was going to run into some money fast.
As far as why, the anvil weighs somwhere in the neighborhood of 350lb. That makes it a nice solid backer for when something needs a good solid thump.

06-18-2012, 08:08 PM
Do u think that amount of metal was " lost" to just deformation?