Introduction: Make a Baby...Anvil
There are times when you say to yourself, "Self, what should I make today? Ahh yes, a baby anvil."
Okay...not a lot of people do that verbatim, per se, but this idea came to me when I was bored in the shop. I was also recently looking on a famous marketplace site and it seemed everyone and their mom was selling little anvils, jeweler anvils, and the like (which coincided with the time I was making copper turtles...who says our phones don't snoop).
All that being said, I wanted one and didn't want to pay when I had the means to do so myself. Also, quite frankly, I wanted a smaller one, too.
metal to craft to your whim
some that cuts metal like an angle grinder, band saw, or hack saw
cold chisel or something blunt to weaken/loosen metal parts
A magnet to hold while buffing
safety gear like goggles, ear protection, and a dust mask
Step 1: Quick Video of the Process
Check out my Make it Kozi video of the process and if you would, check out my other YT videos!
Step 2: Roughing the Shape
After looking on the interweb for ideas and general shape, I hand drew an outline of an anvil on my scrap metal. An angle grinder can make quick work for getting the rough shape. I go back with a cold chisel and a flat screwdriver to bend the relief cuts off. Think of it like bending your soda can tab back and forth until it breaks off.
Side note: Don't have an angle grinder? Use a hacksaw or a bandsaw with a metal cutting blade. That doesn't work for you? Look online or at your relatives house. They are relatively cheap especially for someone not using them or even upgrading their supply. I got my first one from harbor freight with a 25% off coupon (do they still do that for non Inside Track folks??). I also got a second one from a yard sale where the old dude was retiring and his kids didn't want to get into using it. I picked that up, with a whole boat load of wheels, grinding discs, and wheels for $20 (and some files you see me using later, a steal in my opinion).
Step 3: Filing...filing...filing
I then go through and file off the rough edges. Grab a good playlist or podcast because this takes 90% of the time...
Start out with your roughest file and move to finer teeth, like you would sanding wood. For example, when sanding you would want to start with 80 grit and move to 220. I use the big bastard file (I mentioned getting from a yard sale) first to get all the metal flattened to the same plane. Then, I go in with the round files to detail the inner parts.
Step 4: Getting the Horn of the Anvil to Shape
Again, I use the angle grinder for roughing the shape of the anvil horn, but you could use files or some other sanding station.
I know, I know...I used the cutting wheel in the picture which is a huge NO NO! That is NOT the intended purpose of the cutting wheel and I should have used a grinding wheel.
(Why you may ask? The wrong angle for shaping like I do there and the cutting wheel could have shattered and caused an injury)
Please keep this in mind and go with the intended part for the intended purpose!
Step 5: Buff It Out
Now that I have the shape where I like it, I used my microwave blower motor turned buffing station to get a nice polish on the metal. As you may recall from a previous step's photo, my shop vise metal jaws really marred the sides of this thing. I later swapped out the metal jaws with softer HDPE jaws (repurposed and melted into shape from old coffee containers. Yay recycling in the shop). I digress. I used a magnet and held that while buffing the anvil, just to keep my fingers away from the wheel.
I blackened up the metal to make it look less shiny and aged. Honestly, to do that I just put the metal up to my lighter and let the soot do the rest. It will easily come off if rubbed too aggressively.
Then I made a tiny "hammer" to post up next to it. This was made with a bamboo chop stick turned "handle" and a dowel I carved into a hammer head shape with a round file. To give the handle an aged look, I, again, used my lighter to give it a yakisugi-style char. I made the head "metallic" by rubbing a carpenter's pencil lead on it. The carbon looked much better than a spray painted one I did. The hammer took me about 10 minutes to make, by the way.
I hope you like this little project (pun intended) and if you stuck around this long, you know how to make a teeny tiny hammer out of wood, too. Thanks for checking out my Instructable!