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Feb 11, 2018

I was watching some YouTube videos on making your own anvil. Looked like fun, so I scrounged around the shop and came up with enough metal to cob something together.
I don't do blacksmithing, and don't really need an anvil, but they are very manly and just having one is known to increase testosterone. When your buddies come over and see an anvil in your shop, you know there is immediate anvil envy. When company comes over, you can casually slip your anvil on the coffee table as a conversation starter. If you have someone who arrives on horseback, and has happened to throw a shoe along the way, you can saunter on over to your anvil and say, "I'll take care of that for you ma'am. Go on inside and the missus will fix you a nice glass of lemonade". I guarantee she'll swoon over your manliness.
Anyway, I had an old cast iron counterweight that I appropriated from a former job. These things were laying around for years since the piece of equipment they were used for was long gone. It is basically a 3" x 3" x 12" chunk of iron with a slot at either end. I cut off two of the slot tangs on one side to make the bottom, and added two pieces of 3" x 3/8" mild steel flat stock to the top. I cut the first piece for a "horn", and added the second piece as a squared off step-up.
Here's a picture:

I had to add a couple of pieces of steel below the horn point to fill out the contour. I welded them on, and then drilled and tapped a hole through both the upper piece of steel and the added bit. This was so when I started grinding the shape, something would be there to hold them in place if I ground most of the weld off. Some would look down their noses at this innovative approach as structurally unsound, but then I don't give a poo poo. I'll probably never use the drat thing anyway.
The feet were a pain in the rear end. I have this old Grizzly lathe, milling machine combo POS which is good for machining plastic, but just about had a heart attack when I tried to level out the bottom of the cast iron. It would reluctantly mill off about a half of a millimeter if I went slow and used a lot of oil. The motor shut off numerous times because of overload, and the whole arm shook with the effort. This is not hard cast iron either. I can drill through it like butter.
After a couple of hours of this I said screw it and went to weld the feet on. Now, I don't claim to be much of a welder. I have a Lincoln MIG welder with flux core wire in it. I didn't properly clamp and tack the feet into place before welding one side and paid the price. Consequently, the feet came out pretty wonky. Fortunately, I have a large belt sander that will make pretty much anything flat, which I used to good effect. I only had to change the belt once.
To customize this work of art, I screwed a plate on the back which will have a 1/2" threaded hole in it. This is to add a jig or a clamp, or to just look purposeful. I also added a 1/2" tapped hole to the top for clamping.

I may add a 1/8" plate of hardened steel to the top since mild steel doesn't hold up to pounding very well. I'll probably only use this thing for bending small pieces of cold metal, but a hardened top does have a certain appeal. I also need to add a hole through the top for pounding out pins, and do some more grinding. I did entertain the thought of painting it, but that would make it look pretentious. Besides, the wife will probably steal it eventually and throw it into the garden for that rustic look.


Feb 11, 2018

I added a clamping system to the anvil. I drilled and tapped another 1/2" hole in the horn, and made a hold down with a piece of 1" x1" square stock.

This is a typical application for this clamp:

This will be a better alternative than beating a small piece of metal in the vice. I don't have a brake, which would be the preferred tool.

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