This Instructable describes how I made a small anvil for light forging work. It is made from a lump of railway line standing on end, welded to a plate of steel and firmly mounted to a hardwood stump.
Step 1: Technological Ingredients
Something to abrade steel with, I used a file and an angle grinder
A welder of some variety. I used a basic stick welder, though a MIG would have been easier to use.
Wood butchering equipment. I used a chainsaw and a hatchet but there are many other tools that could work
Drill - electric or otherwise
Personal Protective Equipment
Welding mask with correct filter glass - wear this when welding, obviously.
Protective clothing - Wear tough, close fitting, non flammable clothing when working with hot, heavy, sharp or fast moving things.
Protective footwear - This should be strong and non-flammable so they stop your feet being crushed and burned as badly.
Safety Glasses - May as well wear these the whole time, it's amazing how often stuff bounces off them.
Ear muffs - or other hearing protection. Wear when using loud tools.
A lump of railway line or other heavy steel section. Finding this can be difficult if you don't want to spend too much cash but scrap metal dealers are a possibility. Looking around railway tracks may be dangerous and illegal depending on where you live.
A piece of heavy steel plate. This spreads the impact loads over a larger area of the wooden stand, increasing the effectiveness of the anvil somewhat. It also makes it easier to mount. I used a railway fish plate which is convenient because it already has mounting holes.