Anvil restoration

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Draftshoer, Jan 30, 2015.

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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    Here's a few pictures s of the Hay Budden anvil I am working on.
    KIMG0363.jpg KIMG0364.jpg KIMG0365.jpg

    And here's a couple with the edges prepped for welding.
    KIMG0366.jpg KIMG0367.jpg

    I will be using the method that Jim Poor has used successfully which involves preheating and arc welding. I will document the whole process. I know of someone else who has successfully repaired several anvils with the same method.
    Brian, it would be usable but the edges radius wouldn't allow me to pull clips or rocker toes.
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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Are you welding on a new deck of just building it up
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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    I am just building up the broken edges then grinding and polishing everything back square and level
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    brian robertson Active Member

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    just like they say on the PBS program Antiques Roadshow, there goes the resale value.
    It's your anvil to do with whatever you chose; best of luck guy
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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Think you would be better off to replace the deck but hay if it works :) is it a welded deck?
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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Looks like fun to me.you need to get it to at least red heat to ark it on anyway.make it thick and add your cams while your at it.
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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    I figured I'd tell the story of how I got this anvil. It's pretty funny. A friend of mine own a small restaurant in town. I was eating lunch there one day when my friend comes out of the kitchen with a big ol boy following him. I'm 6'2" and 240 and this guy would've made two of me. My friend points at me and says "THAT'S HIM, RIGHT THERE" As the guy was walking up to my table I couldn't shake the feeling that I was fixing to have to fight sasquatch's first cousin. When he walked up he said "Are you the blacksmith?" With a big sigh of relief I answered that I was. He said you want to buy an anvil? We walked back through the kitchen where his truck was parked out back. After a little more talk I offered him $30.00 for it which he took. I through it over my shoulder and walked back through the restaurant and set the anvil on the table till I finished eating. That got me some odd looks. I took it home and through it in the barn and forgot about it till the other day.
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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Lol you should see what ive done to my wright
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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Hard to see in the pics but it has six different radiouses on the deck ,a v notch a square cut away in the heel and a cupped section behind the horn were someoe had swamped it bad now works great for cupping stock . Make it work for you you will make more useing it then you will selling it.

    Attached Files:

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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    You are so right about that monty. I am not concerned about resale value besides a PROPER restoration usually increases the value of an item.
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    Mikel Dawson Active Member

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    When I moved to Denmark I had a NC Big face, 70 pound. I attached it to a flat board, attached a couple ropes for handles and checked it in. You should have seen the people in Copenhagen when I got to the baggage claim area. This anvil comes comes out on the baggage belt and people are looking at it. As it came around to me I casually walked up, picked it up and departed. Lots of eyes followed me.
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    Mikel Dawson Active Member

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    brian robertson Active Member

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    Monty, I would say you have made improvements= more value to your anvil. most all welding on anvils reduces value.

    A proper restoration of an anvil with wrought iron base/tool steel face, if there is such a thing, requires the following steps
    1. heating whole anvil beyond the critical temp (non magnetic) followed by very slow cooling in order to normalize
    2 grinding/milling all failed areas
    3.pre heat to recommended temp, per rod recommendation and held there throughout all the weld process
    4. insulated for very slow cool down, normalized again
    5. reheat for hardening process (takes a big ass forge to do even a 100lb anvil)
    6. the quench to harden, the quench medium for both weldment and W1 face have to be compatible (hopefully water and lots of it; like 2"
    firehose/hydrant, river, lake etc)
    7. drawing the temper, again to a temp that's compatible to both the weldment and the anvil face
    8. dressing the face and edges

    A few folks have done these steps for proper restorations and have not been successful more than about 80% of the time. As a point of reverence, the successful manufacture of these forged anvils was not much greater than 80% and they were professional that did this everyday. But they had the option of remelting their mistakes.

    What gives theses anvils their value to us is the fact that they were fairly hard to start with and have "work hardened" from use and time oer the last 100yrs or so. Hard= rebound of your hammer=less fatigue in your arm=more work per day or longer career.

    improper restoration:
    1. preheat to inconsistent temp by guessing
    2. arc weld with hard surfacing rod or something not really compatible with the W1 face or wrought iron body
    3. kind of post heat again by guess
    4.grind until pretty or until run out of abrasives because the weldment is too damn hard

    the problems:
    well the wonderful old hardness that we all seek is now gone in some pretty important areas of that anvil. The pre heat, welding and post heat have drawn the temper down in an area 1" to 1 1/2" from the weld. The face on these anvils now have 3 incompatible areas of hardness that are going to fail with hard use.

    sorry for the rant, I am a repentant sinner against anvils, so do as I say not as I did
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    brian robertson Active Member

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    unrestored Hay Budden Anvils $3 to $4 per pound; over 400lb $4 to $5 per pound

    welded on Hay Budden $1 to $3 per pound if the buyer doesn't know or doesn't care

    just the way the anvil biz is...
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    monty.styron Active Member

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    Hows it coming along?
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    Jack Evers Active Member

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    Here's one I restored in the 80's. Edges had been destroyed using it as a cutting torch rest. Can't see that my repairs would hurt the value any more than those O/A grooves. Pritchel groove may hurt it but made it more useful to me. Seems it has held up OK for 30 or so years. Made a number of draft horse shoes on it. It's marked 250 pounds, but a scale says 280. Maybe I got lucky.

    Attached Files:

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    Draftshoer Active Member

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    Jack, looks good. What was your method for repairing it?
    Monty, I haven't had a chance to work on it any more.
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    Jack Evers Active Member

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    Google Rob Gunter - anvil restoration. Nothing special. I used a few hundred degrees of preheat, filled in with 7018 rod, Gunter has some better rod tips.Don't know your skill with a stick, but my control isn't so good and I used a copper dam to hold the weld metal in place. clamped a strip of copper alongside of the edge to be welded, filled the gap, smoothed the top there, laid the anvil over and repeated. save me multiple passes. My top plate wasn't broken back to show he wrought under it like yours Gunter suggests how to handle that.
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    Jack Evers Active Member

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