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  1. #101
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Just picked up this anvil today not a blacksmith but thought it would be a good addition to the shop it weighs around 180# paid 175$ for it on the stand has a protrusion out the side not sure what its for Name:  IMG_20170525_214052_205.jpg
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  2. #102
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Better keep an eye out for the fire department cause that's a smokin' deal!
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
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  3. #103
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    WOW , that is a heck of a deal. Sellers near me would be asking $600 at least for a no name anvil.

    That will be a real asset to your shop. Can't tell the height but the top of anvil should be knuckle height making a fist standing next to it.
    Last edited by BD1; 05-27-2017 at 08:21 AM.

  4. #104
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Looks like a mousehole or variant of that style. Great deal!

  5. #105
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Good to hear that I did well on it I bought it from an older gentle men in town he said it was his grandfathers I'm surprised he parted with it but glad he did
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  6. #106
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwood1070 View Post
    Just picked up this anvil today ... paid 175$ [/ATTACH]

    Steal of a deal!

    That's a great size anvil, and will be very sellable if you ever put it on the market. Figure that it should run at least $3 per pound considering the quality of the face, edges and horn. That's it's on the "small" side makes it rather sought after because folks like them since they can be moved around more easily. I wouldn't quibble about the price if you asked even $5 per pound because it's in good shape and has the side table.

    Yours is what's often referred to as a wheelwright's anvil because of the odd protrusion. Being below the main face, it's not as handy for general smithing, but better to have it than not.

  7. #107
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    So should I clean this up with a flap wheel and paint the non striking surfaces or leave it as is
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  8. #108
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    On that anvil, I would not use paint. Personally, I would leave it except for a coat of oil. I did use a wire wheel on mine just to rid it of surface rust, then oiled it. Never take away material from an antique anvil, especially the work face.
    The good folks over at I Forge Iron might be able to help you I.D. your anvil.
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  9. #109
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    OK I'll look into that I am curious about the history of this anvil thanks for all your help guys
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  10. #110
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwood1070 View Post
    OK I'll look into that I am curious about the history of this anvil thanks for all your help guys
    This is the "bible" of anvil history and identification.



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  11. #111
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwood1070 View Post
    Just picked up this anvil today not a blacksmith but thought it would be a good addition to the shop it weighs around 180# paid 175$ for it on the stand has a protrusion out the side not sure what its for...
    Very nice anvil. It was a super-duper steal of a deal at less than a dollar a pound. Even without the stand, you could get $2/lb without any effort at all should you decide to resell it.

    Looks like a Mousehole anvil, but there were a ton of anvil makers back in the day. Are there any numbers on the side?

    The shelf is often described as being used in making wheels. I'm not sure what exactly it was used for, but that's how I've seen it referred to.

    Don't work a lot of cold steel on it. Anvils were meant to be used with hot steel, and the more cold work you do will only wear the anvil out quicker. I've seen anvils pretty badly worn because of cold working. It's a horrible way for an anvil to go.

  12. #112
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Just picked up this anvil today not a blacksmith but thought it would be a good addition to the shop it weighs around 180# paid 175$ for it on the stand has a protrusion out the side not sure what its for
    It's called an upsetting block or shelf. It's to keep the wear and tear off the anvil face when upsetting.

  13. #113
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Oh man.... we lost a lot of info on some of these threads from the last 6 months. Glad they could recover some of Doug's older posts.
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  14. #114
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    So true!

    I still miss Doug and his contributions to the field. Such a great guy!

  15. #115
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    One of the most important tools in the blacksmith's arsenal -------> The Apron.

    Seriously, not only do they act as armor against the odd bit of hot steel flying about, they save you a ton of money every year because you're not having to constantly replace shirts burned all to pieces.

    Before I started wearing an apron regularly, I'd go through $200 a year in t-shirts. Even the "flame-resistant" shop shirts you see a lot of places selling aren't really as resistant as you'd like, or the resistance wears down with repeated washings. Or maybe it's just that I'm really unlucky.

    Regardless, the apron has saved me a fortune.

    A good apron has the cross-back straps rather than hanging around your neck. Very comfortable for hours on end and it just looks "right".

    I've been running a Tilman 48" apron for the last two years. The strap design sucks balls, but if you're okay with reworking that, it's a pretty good piece of kit for the money. It won't last forever, sadly, and mine's on its last legs. The leather has dried out, filled with sweat and grime because I never washed the thing, and it's tearing just about everywhere, but at least my shirts are in fine fettle.

    In the process of building the shop brand, I thought it was time to invest in a custom, quality apron that looked as good as it functioned. It's being made right now, and I'm super stoked to see it. No idea what it'll end up looking like since the guy making it is all the way out in California!

    The key things for me were quality all the way around, with some of the major flaws in apron design being addressed. Since this is a custom design of mine, I didn't see the need to repeat the mistakes the major brands seem so fond of incorporating into their pieces. I guess they're going for something that'll need replacing so they can have a steady stream of customers. I can understand that, but.... not interested in Planned Obsolescence for the Three Rivers Forging Apron!

    The leather looks absolutely delicious!



    The worst part is waiting. Every day I put on my old apron, I know my new one is in the process and soon to be here. I just hate waiting!

  16. #116
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    All finished, the Three Rivers Forging Apron is ready for work!






    I'm very happy with how she turned out. Made for me by Giovanni Zappetta (pictured) of the Castleberry Saddle Shop in California, the TRFA was a collaborative effort that blended Giovanni's knowledge of leatherworking with my needs in ironworking.

    For the last year, I've been shopping for a new apron because my old Tilman apron was dying a slow death. It was a cheap apron, getting me through a year before I had any serious problems, but I wasn't going to buy another one just to have to deal with the same problems all over again.

    Dying slowly as it was, I spent the last year keeping it repaired while looking over better options and comparing their designs with what I was experiencing firsthand. The key thing I focused on was the weak points in the designs -- those places where things were certain to fail. Oddly, it seemed like everybody making aprons does the same basic design so the weak points are industry-wide.

    The TRFA starts out with 7-8oz Bull hide. While it's flexible and moves with the body, it's also exceptionally durable stuff and isn't going to tear easily or allow something through. I call it "Dragon Hide" since blacksmiths have long been known to hunt dragons (unlike those sissies in their shining armor!), and I think it's apropos considering how durable and tough this stuff is.

    To insure comfort, the only option was the cross-back straps. Anyone who has ever used an apron that hangs off the neck knows how uncomfortable that gets after a few minutes. Why they are still produced is a mystery to me!

    The straps really benefited from Giovanni's years of experience in working with horse tack. He used the same solid brass hardware you'll find on pack saddles and such because it's durable and designed to take abuse. I love the look of the brass center ring contraption and how all the brass melds so beautifully with the leather.

    You'll notice that the sides of the apron have grommets. This was one of the points I insisted on because I felt that the side tie-in point was where the leather received the most stress. This is where you're moving the most, and where the straps, stitching and apron proper all have to twist and pull the most. On my old apron, the straps are sewn directly to the apron body and you can see how the leather is tearing due to the stresses.

    Instead of repeating that, I insisted on the grommets and snap links for the straps. Not only does this make it easy to put the apron on, but it creates the maximum amount of slippage in the system so stresses are minimized. Plus, it looks cool.

    And, of course, there's no reason to not double-up the leather, making it stronger where the stress is greatest.

    The lack of rivets was also intentional. On my old apron, the rivets actually corroded away due to the sweat. Maybe I'm the odd duck and have super sweat, but I opted to go without the rivets because I felt that they really weren't necessary. If a stitch fails, I can repair it in five minutes with a needle and thread - something I have on hand already. If a rivet fails, that's just a job of work I wasn't interested in. And, oddly, the only thing that has failed on my old apron is the leather and the rivets -- the stitching is just as solid now as when I bought the thing!

    So, no rivets. I really don't see the need for them, and if that changes, I can always send the apron back to Giovanni for updating.

    There she is, folks. The Three Rivers Forging Apron v1.0 is done and ready to go to work. She's expensive, to be sure, but she'll pay for herself really quick not only in shirts saved from burn holes, but also pride. Quality craftsmanship is a wonderful thing and I firmly believe it rubs off on you. Surrounding yourself with quality, supporting other craftsmen trying to ply their trade, and looking good while doing it ---- that's a winning proposition if ever there was!

  17. #117
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That came out nice. Almost embarrassed to say it, but before you started posting about this, I had been looking at an old black leather jacket that's seen better days. I was going to get a friend with an upholstery sewing machine remove the lining, and then remove the back and stitch it over the thigh area... leaving the sleeves for welding sparks and UV protection. Yea... it wouldn't have looked anything like yours. Nice work!
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  18. #118
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    That came out nice. ... it wouldn't have looked anything like yours. Nice work!
    Thanks. I've gone through a lot of "adapting" in my years, and I've always been left with the aggravation of the thing coming out functional, but lacking in every other measure.

    Heck, the Tilman apron I bought had to be adapted right out of the box because their insane strap system not only didn't work well, but was a pain to use. Within an hour of unwrapping the thing, I had the scissors out and was glad for the roll of parachute cord in my desk drawer. The adaption worked, but it was never ideal and certainly not something I wanted to be seen in public with.

    My opinion, but you'll be a whole lot happier if you spend the money on something really nice. Good tools are a pleasure all themselves. If it's not a Three Rivers Forging apron, check out Moonshine Leather. Their designs have some points I addressed, but they're still pretty good and look sharp.

    I'm still in a bit of shock over the whole situation.

  19. #119
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That is a lovely piece of leatherwork; in my climate i can't imagine wearing all of that, but if it works for you, awesome. I have a cheap apron which only gets worn rarely, mostly when forge welding, to keep flux away from the crotchal area. It is too hot here!

  20. #120
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Got the apron in the mail and I'm honestly amazed at the quality.

    The leather is super-thick, yet as supple as a t-shirt. You'd think the weight of the thing would be uncomfortable, but it's been a joy to wear, the straps distributing the weight just as nice as you could imagine.

    The only real downside to the thing is that it's so frickin' nice you don't want to wear it in the shop where it'll get dirty! This is the kind of stuff you want to wear to church or a wedding, not a grimy blacksmith shop!

    Was it worth $400? Honestly, the leather alone was almost three bills, so yea, the apron is certainly worth four bills. The craftsmanship is awesome and the quality of the apron will carry over when customers see it.

    My old apron cost me $40 and lasted about 2 years. Using that as the "standard", I could buy ten of those cheap apron over the lifespan of this beauty, so the costs are very similar. Where the custom apron shines, aside from pride of ownership, is that it shows potential customers that you're serious about your trade and have an appreciation for quality. That gives them a sense of comfort and assurance, making it more likely that they might buy from you.

    There's no comparison between this apron and the old Tilman I have been using. Quality, durability, style.... I really can't imagine going back to a cheap apron after this experience!

  21. #121
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Back before the Penton implosion, I was discussing how I was "cheating" my way to a set of forging tools by welding/stock removal methods on bulletproof chunks of metal in my scrap bin. The hiatus off the site must have helped because I finally got back to it. This time I started with the end of a broken IHC deep tiller shank. The earlier tool was a "bump" as I call it for want of a better term ( painted that ugly blue green to match my anvil). This time I've made a swage block with multiple sizes and depths that fits into the Hardy to keep it sturdy. The railroad bolt also got ground down to fit in the Pritchel hole.
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  22. #122
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That's great work, hoss. I have a similar swage block and it's been more handy than I cool imagine!

    If you have any of that tine left over, I'd suggest you make a bolster block so you can work on bolt heads and the like. It's just a flat chunk of thick steel that has holes for 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", etc. You can drill as many holes as you like, and I've been adding holes as I need them. Mine's mild steel and shows some wear, but thick tool steel would last a lifetime even if it's not heat-treated.

  23. #123
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I'm not sure what kind of steel this is, I'd hesitate to call it tool steel because it has some spring, but definitely a lot tougher than your garden variety cold rolled. Drilling holes in it is not easy, but I'm in the process in changing pulleys and belts in my drill press to get it down under 100 rpm so that would certainly be a good test. I do have more shank to work with, but you can see in the above pic that it's curve increases as you get away from the top portion, and soil movement wears it thinner towards the bottom. I could probably make a couple out of short pieces ... maybe small holes in one, and larger holes in another one? I was eyeing up a piece of broken drawbar with a large ( think it's 1 1/4"?) hole that could end up on top of one of my odd shaped railroad anvils.
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  24. #124
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That spring is what tells you it's definitely tool steel. It's hard because it's been heat treated to flex and bounce back to shape. If it was mild steel, it would be useless since the pressure put on it would just straighten it right out when you pulled it behind the tractor. Without being hardened and tempered, even the best tool steel alloys will straighten out under that kind of use.

    To make it easier to drill, you have to take the hardness out of it. Just heat it up to an orange and viola, no more hardness. Whatever alloy it is will still be tougher to work than mild steel, but removing the heat-treat will make it as easily worked as it can be.

    A short bolster block is handy, and you really don't need much. All you're basically doing is making holes that are smaller than your pritchel so you can better support the steel you're trying punching and drifting through. I prefer something that's long enough that I can grab it with a holdfast so it doesn't bounce around when I'm drifting through the hardy hole.

    If you really want to enjoy doing it the hard way, as some traditionalists insist on, here's a great video that shows the steps.

    For me, I'm happy to drill when I can.

    I've not had any need for a hole larger than 1/2", but I'll probably put a 5/8" one in there when the mood strikes, just in case I get the urge to do something wild.

    Having the bolster block allows you to really tweak things, playing around with the normal to make something that really stands out.


  25. #125
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Taking the temper out to drill it kind of defeats the purpose of using the bullet proof stuff in the first place doesn't it? If I wanted something easy to play with I could just cut a chunk off the piece of 1x4 flat iron on the shed floor. Is that a flower shaped drawer pull you are working on there? It looks good. That rounded railroad bolt I made to fit the pritchel could come in handy for a piece like that...
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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    Lincoln 180C MIG
    Victor Medalist 350 O/A

    Les

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