My Very First Anvil!

My Tools

Central Forge 15 Pound

Can you believe it?  A man, of a certain age, and this is my first anvil.  To be sure, I've never had a tremendous need for an anvil until recently.  Since I started to delve into the world of tool restorations, I've hit a point where an anvil would be a nice assist!

Up to now, I've used the little anvil on the back of my vise:

But that's not very convenient as far as positioning is concerned so I would often just need to punch out pins and straighten a piece here or a nail there just wherever I could.

The Purchase

I don't know exactly what prompted me that now was the time to get an anvil, but last week I found myself heading out to Harbor Freight.  It didn't take long to identify the one - a nicely shaped 15 pounder.  I think it cost about $25.

Anatomy of an Anvil 

While my anvil is shaped a little differently than the London pattern, which we typically picture when we hear the word anvil, my anvil has most of the same features.  

On the typical London pattern, the horn or "bick" is at the front of the anvil and lets the smith hammer different curves into the piece they are working on.  On my anvil, the bick is at the back end and doesn't have the horn shape.  

The step is the flat area next to the horn, just below the face, often used as a cutting edge.  The face is the main large flat slab where most of the hammering takes place. It also contains the hardy hole and the pritchel hole. The hardy hole is a square hole through the anvil that allows you to secure various tools in the anvil.  Mine will just be used as a space for pins to drop through as I'm driving them out of some tool part.

As great Pythagoras of yore,
Standing beside the blacksmith’s door,
And hearing the hammers, as they smote
The anvils with a different note,
Stole from the varying tones, that hung
Vibrant on every iron tongue,
The secret of the sounding wire.
And formed the seven-chorded lyre. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Problem

Well, "problem" might be overstating it a little.  The fact is, I just don't like the blue Harbor Freight's 'Central Forge' uses for their tools.  There's really nothing wrong with the blue itself, but in my mind's eye, I think an anvil should be bare steel (or iron) or black.  I dunno - it's probably just me.  You know, personal preferences and all.

The Solution

Literally within a half hour of having the anvil in my workshop at 173, I took to solving my self-imposed problem in a couple simple steps.  First, I taped the table and the name plate:

Pulled out the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze paint...

And just like that - the anvil was looking the way an anvil should look!

Then I let it bake in the shop oven for about 24 hours.

Even rotating while half baked.

And et voila!  Done!

Its Natural Habitat

And here she is in her natural habitat - right on the workbench, within easy reach without taking a lot of space.  A nice addition to the arsenal of tools here at 173!

Thanks for stopping by - see you soon!
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