4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    62

    4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    So I headed into the shop with good intentions to get it cleaned up, yesterday morning. The first job was to get that 6'2" piece of RR rail I had used for some cold working of metal, in the sawmill build, off the floor. Thats when I got side tracked, The rail worked great for doing cold work and I have broke more than one vise, doing rough cold work with them. I figured a large piece of rail fitted to a stand would get much use in my metal shop, and save some of the rough work I subject some of my other equipment to. When I build a forge it would handle hot work as well.

    So I headed back into the house and worked out a plan for a stand to support a 4' section of rail and a nice supply of hammers. I wanted something that was widely stanced, and heavy, for stability, and to absorb heavy blows.

    First job was to cut the rail, I ended up with a 2'2" piece left over. I will either build a larger double horn anvil or cut it up for dies for a power hammer (one day).

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    Next I cut up all of the pieces required. The floor pieces are 3" square heavy wall tubing and the upright frames are all 2 1/2" heavy wall tubing. The bottom tie pieces are 2" angle and the hammer rack is 1 1/2" angle.

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    Here is a good view of the hammer rack with a good variety of hammers for various shaping work.

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    I have a feeling this is going to be the most used piece of equipment in my metal shop. So thats another piece of equipment that is ready for paint. Black for the stand I think. The rail will not be painted. I'll go over it with WD-40 and a power wire brush and do a lite grinding of the top surface to smooth things out and it will be ready for some heavy pounding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Under a Rock
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    3,409

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Looks good
    but I'm wondering if it hops or moves at all when you bang on it... ?

    maybe bolt it to the floor?

    I'd maybe fill it with sand and cap the ends...
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Hi John T, I considered that, which is why I went with the heavy wall tubing lots of weight there. The assembly is over 300 lbs. I get no bounce from the stand and the 1' at each end is solid as a rock with a good ring, the center 2' has some hammer bounce and the sound is not as clear but the reason I went so long is for working large pieces of sheet metal and lighter steel plate and for that purpose I have already proven it works fine. Heavy work which will produce more bounce is best done near the ends.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    bar stool
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    664

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    You ever notice rail ain't solidly connected to bed plates?

    Built mine with the rail inverted bottom up for straightening bailer needles. Worked well but wore hell out of the striker quick with a 14# hammer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    socal
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    440

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil5 View Post
    You ever notice rail ain't solidly connected to bed plates?
    Thats what cross-tie walkers are for!
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Bed plates are designed to allow lengthwise movement of the rail due to expansion and contraction and the movement of a heavy train, while still maintaining a relatively accurate cross sectional distance between the tracks. I welded the rail to the stand, the stand will flex to absorb a small amount of movement due to temp. changes, if cracks develop it's a small job to change the design to slide clamps to allow more movement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    1,623

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Nice setup.

    Don't worry about expansion/contraction due to temperature. If anything, you might develop cracks in your welds from heavy hammering instead. Have you welded the rail underside to your rack? That may help beef it up some.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Thanks shortfuse, no I didn't weld the underside, but thats a good suggestion to add more beef before the paint goes on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,208

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    That will definitely be handy. With that always easily avaiable you'll find it being used a lot.

    As for anvil, many mount RR track vertical so you have more mass below. Maybe adding to the base and mount the leftover vertical could be a option.

    Check this out too , a few members do Blacksmithing and may have input too. https://weldingweb.com/showthread.ph...smithing-tools

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    556

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    fill legs with sand or shot to add weight, kill vibration and tame the sound.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Hi BD1 and cd19, those are all good suggestions for devoted blacksmithing equipment but a bit sidetracking for this purpose. I am sure it will get used for some heavy hot work when I build my forge, but when that happens I also have a larger anvil to mate with my smaller one in the works as well as a very heavy power hammer made from heavy steel sections and concrete fill to absorb vibration from heavy work.

    The idea and purpose for this unit is more in the line of cold working lite steel panels as I did with the band sawmill guards and cold working small fittings, and bending work that is to heavy for my brake and has resulted in destroying a couple of cheap vises in the past. For these purposes, I first need the 4' length for large panels, and secondly the heavy rail section for tough cold working of heavier small fittings such as the bunk clamps on my sawmill. The fact that it is heavy enough to eventually do blacksmith work is a bonus but that is not what it is devoted to. Most of those projects are still on the project list LOL.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
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    8,208

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    I figured more for cold work. With every use you'll wonder why you didn't make one sooner. A solid heavy surface is a must as long as you have the room.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    I agree I think I will get alot of use out of it. At this point, no shortage of space, famous last words, thats what I said before deciding to roof over my breezway and build a ventilated shop space connecting my welding and rough work shop to the house attached shops.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    UPDATE:

    So I managed to get most of my shops cleaned up and organized after the sawmill build, so before I start on the property, I put in a day to finish the cold work anvil and stand. The finish is two coats of Tremclad flat black enamel. I soaked the RR rail in WD-40 and went over it with a wire brush and sanding disc mounted in my 7" hand grinder. I painted the bottom flange on the rail and left the rest unpainted. Before I painted I added another 3 or 4 lb's of welding rod to the underside of the rail and on the support joints. This produced a more even and clear ring across the full length.

    As far as space goes I located it in the center of a walk through area connecting three doors in my welding, and rough work, shop. So now its a walk around area, instead of a walk through, ha ha. It's right there when you walk in, so if it grabs my attention, it will save me destroying any more vices. Here are a few pictures.

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
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    664

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Got any foam rubber & Bungi cords?
    Those corners are going to hurt like hell when your leg meets them.
    Probably rip your Dockers too and may draw blood.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    62

    Re: 4' Cold Work (And Hot) RR Anvil

    Virgil5, there is lots of room to give it wide berth and when working with it I am not that clumsy. The corners are not as sharp as you think and I built it a little higher than you would want for a conventional anvil, the working face is actually waist level for me. The clamp rack is the back not the front. Gee, blood scares me, ha ha.
    Last edited by shophermit; 09-18-2018 at 05:54 PM.

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