Anvil Stand - Pt.1 - Sourcing Materials & Construction

About: Benjamin Carpenter is an Interactive Artist/Blacksmith/Fabricator/Teacher who works in the space between our industrial heritage and the forward momentum of contemporary media. Working at the Lost and Found...

Metalwork can be done in many scales and with an equal amount of skill levels, but one common thing that no metalsmith can do without is some kind of anvil. Lucky for me, I just got a new one, and this past week I made a custom stand for it. 

More than anything else, anvil bases need to be secure. Naturally, you don't want your anvil to bounce when you really have to wail on it and so ideally, a good base will also have a small amount of flex so that they can absorb some shock. 

A wide variety of materials can be used to build them and common examples include tree stumps, stacked lumber, I-Beam and structural steel tube drops. The former two can be found just about anywhere at little or no cost. Call around to tree service companies and ask if you can get a stump the next time they cut a tree down. The latter two can be more of a challenge to find and can get pricey. Ask you local steel supplier if they will sell you their drops, chances are they will for the cost of scrap. They might even just give them to you. Of course, availability is always an issue, so if you really want a steel base, you may have to check in frequently. 

I have a small junk yard attached to my shop that is full of stuff left by previous tenants. Needless to say it had been a gold mine to me and my shop mates. I found a 6" x 10" beam buried on a rack that I though would be perfect for this project.

Here is what I did with it:

1. First I cut the beam into two sections of the appropriate length. 
2. Next I found a length of 1/4" x 2" steel flat bar, which I cut into 4 equal lengths. These would become the brackets that hold the beams together.
3. I laid out the position of the brackets, drilled and used lag bolts to join the two beams into one solid block.
4. After that, I placed the block onto a 13" sq x 1" thick steel plate. 
5. I located the center of the plate and welded two pieces of 2" angle iron to the steel base. These secured the wooden block to the base.
6. Switching gears, I cut four additional pieces of the 1/4" x 2" and welded them into a "T" configuration. These became the mounting brackets for the anvil itself.
7. Once I centered the anvil on top of the block, I lagged the "T" sections into position on the side of the block.
8. I then heated the bars and forged them to conform with the contour of the anvil base. This provided a very solid and secure mounting. 
8. Lastly, I sealed the whole thing with a paste wax to protect it from any water that might spill over from my quenching tub. 

Whether you are a blacksmith who forges large sections of iron or a jeweler who sets precious stones, a properly secured anvil is of the utmost importance to your productivity. 

-Stay Tuned

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    18 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Pretty similar to what I built, but I used 4 cutoff true 6x6's. Did you bolt yours to the floor?

    1 reply

    I would have liked to get my hands on some true 6 x 6s when I was building this.

    My shop is not huge and so I often need to move my anvil around to make space to use some of the other equip I have. Except for my post vice, nothing is bolted down.

    Yes, that was a gradation from 3/4" to 3/8" rd stock. It was a pattern in one section of a gate I was making at the time. It was supposed to look like a wave form / ripples in water.


    I like it! What are you doing on your work table in the first photo? Are the pieces of round stock for patterns?

    I router, cut, chisel, out the bottom so I have three legs on the stump. makes it easy to level out the three legs then put anvil back on as usual. Not my idea, a black smith from San Antonio TX game me this trick. I have a terrible memory for names, but wanted to give credit where it is due.

    Leveling a stump is more challenging than it looks. I remember when I did mine. I used a power planer to reduce the work. I still had to finish it with a hand block plane though. As the stump dried it still moved a bit on me. I ended up sweeping some junk under it, and now it is stable on a concrete floor.


    5 years ago

    Nice stand. I have a 4x4 stand except it's strapped with 2x4s. Might switch to metal strapping. I like your anvil straps idea too. Might try something similar but with thumb screws so I can easily remove my anvil.

    2 replies

    5 years ago on Introduction


    1 reply

    5 years ago

    Seeing the progression of your projects/shop is most interesting.

    1 reply