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help i need an anvil (not railrode) Answered

I need an anvil that is not railrode and is cheep so a 13 year old may get it. plese i cant make any thing so i cant post any thing and i am helpless.


I you can spend around $50
oldworldanvils. com as a Stump Anvil
for about that little more with S&H

Try going to Harbor Freight, I got a 110lb. anvil for about 90 dollars. Its not the best quality, but it works.

boy, harbor freight, that's scraping the bottom of the barrel no offence, though it probably is the cheepest anvil out there. i've had a theory design for making an anvil for a while (living in an apartment sux btw) but here's the theory:

take a stump of desired anvil size, if your somewhere where used telephone poles are avilible that's great, nice hard wood and all.

gather up some sheet metal (like old washing machine type stuff)

using some good size nails (like bigger then penny nails) drive the nails into the steel (i'm thinking a couple layers thick) and further into the stump.

heat the whole thing to a point where it is maleable and hammer it tightly around the stump, making sure there is no play between the sheet metal sheets, meaning they've melded together via hammering.

the whole set up is cheep, and if you wanted the pointy end like a normal anvil you could sink a railroad thingy into the stump before you hammer the steel on top of it.

this whole process should be fairly cheep

It all depends on whatur doin. I have had many (anvils, and i use the term loosly) and mosy were made of wood. Aka a log. I have also used a steel pot(killed it) and some bricks (demolished!!). My point is that one can usw any hard surface as a anvil. However not all are the best. Wood tends to split and burn though u could soak it. Bricks will last depending on what ur trying to make and how many u got. And the steel pot....... yea just dont do that. Trust me, its annoying. Flat rocks could work too but make sure they're not slate or you will be removing rock pieces from ur face. Btw what u makin?

all you need is a metal vise (about 20 dollars) for a small anvil, they generally have a small one one the back, and to mount it on a really sturdy platform.

I agree with the idea of using the anvil surface on a bench-vise. However, I also recommend caution as that surface is a typically a 'light forge-work only' anvil. Learned that the hard way when I was just starting out; lost my anvil and my bench-vise in a spectacular FAIL.

O well...live and learn.

The flat anvils on vices are probably only the equivalent of a 5 - 10 lb anvil, when you compare them with small anvils at the tool shops...

You get what you pay for ~ cheaper vices are cast, NOT forged ~ so their anvils are either cast (i.e. more brittle), or welded on..

Better quality vices are "forged", so their anvil parts are also forged ~ but will still be lesser quality than a well made dedicated anvil. "Horses for courses..".

And, as always: "Caveat Emptor" ~ let the buyer beware.

Search on line under ferrier supply-equestrian supply or blacksmith supply.As Lextone states it, what you want sounds in between.What you don't want is the freight charge.Get it locally....

I reckon those who only need small anvils (and vices and similar, also..), when using online resources to hunt one down, should use the correct keywords to start their search with ~

something like "small cheap anvil", to narrow the search field a bit..

~ and then like others have said, narrow the field further by only looking locally...

P.S. Concerning railway track anvils - I have one here I made in a welding class back in the 1980s, and it's still going well. One end of the 15+ kg anvil has been shaped into a classic anvil shape, by slowly and patiently cutting away with an oxy' torch, than smoothing off with a 9" hand grinder, than filing smooth - a couple of hours work, but the results are worth it.

I was in need of something like that and found a solution, I'm using a trailer hitch, it has a solid tongue and several curves that I use to help some projects

I took the top off an old table saw and use it for flat pounding. As also mentioned, an old sledge hammer head works well for simple shaping.


6 years ago

I'm suprised no one has suggested using a sledg hammer head. I've heard they work ok. You won't get all the shapes from a regular anvil, but it's a start. Maybe if you can find one, and make a little progress someone will help you find a proper anvil.

I recommend making a trip to the local auto-repair shop; once you get there, ask the guys where the local heavy-truck -i.e. dump/cargo/flatbed type- maintenance company is. Next, mosey on down to the heavy-truck maintenance company, tell them what you're up to and ask them if they have any broken leaf springs laying around that you can have. Usually, the typical guys in a maintenance shop will be quite accomodating when they find out you're doing something as cool as setting up a forge.

Likelihood is that they'll have at least one broken spring available that is something along the lines 3-4 inches wide, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Once you've landed that fish, bolt it across a piece of 4x4 to give you a little height over your bench and you're ready to go. Granted, it won't make the best anvil in the world but it will make a serviceable unit that you can do a lot of work on. And who knows...at some later point, you might find yourself with a good crucible and a sand mould reincarnating your beloved leaf-anvil as a traditional table-and-horn type farrier's anvil. Good luck, young man; you've caught the disease...speaking from experience, you'll never be quite well again. ;)

First of all you are NOT helpless...you have a good community here that will try to help you. Just asking for help and attempting to learn the blacksmiths trade is admirable. There are basically two types of material use in anvils. Forged Iron and cast iron. Cast is brittle (crystalline structure) and not the best material yet it is cheaper that forged iron. The edges on a cast iron anvil are easily chipped off if you miss when striking your iron. There is currently only one maker of new forged anvils and they are VERY expensive. Harbor freight has cast iron anvils for a lot less... BUT do you live in a rural area? There may be a farrier (horseshoe person) that may be able to help. There may be a farmer with an old anvil in back of his barn and he might be willing to let you borrow it or perhaps even work out a labor trade for it. The traditional shape of the anvils we are familiar with was designed for typical smithing trades. An anvil can really be any shape that fits your needs. Some use a large sledge hammer head mounted to a stump. The railroad rail is typical and I have two of these. Anvils are sold by the pound. Typical prices for forged anvils are $6.00 to $8.00 per pound. You may find an anvil at a good price on ebay but it may cost more than it is worth to ship it.

Try your local scrapyard or recycling centre - ask for big heavy lumps of metal that could serve as an anvil. Tell them you need it for a school project on traditional technologies or something. Or be honest and tell them you're penniless and offer to do an hour or two's tidying up in lieu of cash.

(and why not use a limp of railroad?)

No offense but those anvils are cast iron......not the best choice (look it up)....but if thats the only thing available i would guess its better then nothing

Oh, I hadn't noticed. I remember getting mine locally (meaning I had to carry the bloody thing to the car, and then from the car to the stump where I fastened it), and it ran about $1.35 per pound. But that was a few years ago. I haven't been in the market for them since I had to sell all my equipment.

As long as you don't use a limp railroad...


I have never seen one limp, so that might be difficult to find ;-)

My dad as an anvil made out of a piece of track--an extra made by some friends while he was taking a machine shop class. They cut out the web and head to make a typical anvil shape, apparently using an entire set of acetylene and oxygen cylinders in the process. It takes a lot of melting to cut through a railroad track--that's why they're welded with thermite.

I say SCAVENGE. like Raevun68 said, "Just because it doesn't look pretty or traditional does not mean it won't work." if it looks like it may do the job, why not try it? i saw some cast iron fireplace tongs at Canadian tire a couple months ago that look like they will work fine for metal working. Maybe ill find something like an anvil in the dump... Good Luck!

When working on a budget sometimes you have use what you can find. My first anvil was a six inch long piece of light railroad track. lol I got that for free. My next anvil I made from a discarded logging fork lift fork or what ever you call those things in the front. I packed that thing home on my should, about a mile, cut the connecting loop off with a circular saw and a metal cutting blade and bolted the thing to a piece of 4x6 framing beam. Like stated already harbor freight tools is an option for a small 55lb anvil you can get them on sale for around 30 dollars. Beyond that you best bet is to just keep looking in your local area, check the papers for free stuff, and even old machine shops are a possible choice as well. I have done some decent work with just hunting around and came out with workable tools. Just because it doesn't look pretty or traditional does not mean it won't work. Good luck on finding what you are looking for.

hi tis me .... did i mention i need help and does any one have tips for me

Read. Ask specific questions. Be willing to use junk. Don't expect anyone to give you something that they paid for or made.

Get a ball pein hammer. Hit metal with it and pay attention to what happens. Put the metal in a camp fire, then hit it. If you are dumb enough to hit it while it's still in the fire, pick a different hobby (I hear stamp collecting is nice). If you are too dumb to find a rock or chunk of cement as an anvil then neither I nor medical science can help. If you have to have a 'real' anvil then blacksmithing isn't for you (I hear collecting mint-in-box, never-been-opened action figures is fulfilling).*

Find your local ABANA website for local smiths. Look at iForge and I Forge Iron.

*most of these are tonge in cheek.** Blacksmithing is dirty, often painful and frequently uses very bad words. It's also one of the few places that you can play with fire and beat the crp out of something whenever you want.

**the part about action figures isn't. It's a toy doll. Get over it.

Try to put an ad in your local clasified paper.Mabye you can find someone who wants to sell an anvil for a cheap price.

Finding a local auction where there is a LOT of other "distractions" like paintings, and glassware.....along with an anvil. Many times you can get it pretty cheap if no one is really at the auction "for that particular item".

What is it you are trying to make? There are many types of Anvils for different types of metal working. There are Jewelers anvils and there are foundry anvils, plus a hundred in between. Here is a tip when asking for help. Be as precise as possible on exactly what you are asking for as possible. You want an anvil. Ok. Not Railrode ....ok (try spellcheck). What I gather from your post is you want a small anvil. An anvil that is not made from scrap. So my suggestion is to do a google search for anvil sales in your area. Then go buy one. Not sure of your definition of cheap, but plan on a small one for about $20-$30.