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Old 12-01-2017, 06:42 PM
NewARKbldsmth NewARKbldsmth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 4
Someone destroyed my Anvil horn

I recently purchased a 55 pound anvil online. The anvil appears to be cast iron with a steel face. Whoever owned it before me knocked a huge crater into the top of the horn. I am new to blacksmithing and I am currently purchasing everything I need to make tools and knives. I do not like the shape of the horn and I believe it is made of cast-iron. Can I grind the horn down to any shape and size I want without destroying the integrity of the horn? I need to take between 3/8 and half an inch off of the top and I want the end pointed instead of rounded

Last edited by NewARKbldsmth; 12-02-2017 at 04:03 AM. Reason: Can't add photos. Tried 4 times
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:00 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
It would be helpful to know what kind of anvil, who made it as well as what kind of damage. There are ways of repairing cast iron, but it isn't easy. And at 55lbs it doesn't sound like it's one of the premium cast iron anvils like a Fisher.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:38 PM
NewARKbldsmth NewARKbldsmth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 4
It is definitely not a fisher. I paid 89$ for it. The entire anvil is silver in color. The horn has a piece that is roughly 6" long and 3" wide that is 3/8" deep missing out/off of the top of the horn. I have done some research and I can either have it filled at a welding shop or I can grind it down flat. That would mean that I am going to have to take my grinder and take 1/2" of an inch of the entire top of the horn. My question is how much of the horn can I take off without compromising the integrity of the horn? I just bought this anvil and I would like it to be right before I begin using it. I would really like to grind it down into more of a cone shape than the flat top rounded bottom shape that it has now. -Matt
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:40 PM
NewARKbldsmth NewARKbldsmth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 4
Also I am having trouble adding attachments. The smallest picture size my phone will allow is too large to upload. I get an error every time I try to upload pictures of the damage
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:39 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,274
Can't help with downloading from a phone.

Except to say you need to downsize the pixels to 600 instead of 1140.
How hard is the anvil? I mean does a hammer bounce back when the surface is tapped lightly like tapping a snare drum (don't ever hit your anvil hard with a hammer). Does the flat area have a bunch of dents? I would imagine that it's made in China for that price and may not be hard at all. The fact that the horn has a crater knocked into it points to that. If you determine it is already hard then forego the weld shop and grind it off as the weld shop won't be able to weld it without the weld popping off anyway because it has a high carbon content.

It would be best if a weld shop filled the hole and with a TIG welder and not a MIG. If it is cast steel with a high carbon content the welder will be able to tell as there will be cracks on the weld edges. So if that's the case it can be case hardened somewhat with a torch, but it would take someone with skill to not over do it.

Now having said all that, you will find as time goes by you'll need a bigger heavier anvil to forge blades with. This 50 lb anvil will need to be bolted down to something heavy to keep from bouncing around. If this anvil you have isn't hard it will get dented up pretty fast once you commence forging on it, then it will be difficult to get a nicer surface on your blades. Also for forging knives a horn really isn't a necessity (though is nice to have), some makers use a piece of railroad track to forge on as it is already at the hardness needed and can be cut to any length desired.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:57 AM
NewARKbldsmth NewARKbldsmth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 4
That answers a lot. Thanks brother-Matt
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