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Thread: Help with anvil purchase

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Bloomfield, Michigan

    Help with anvil purchase

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    Ok, I have read about all I could find on anvils/brands/prices that I can get my hands on.

    So far here is what I have come up with:
    1: if you look around long enough you will find an anvil locally at a good price
    2: used anvils tend to sell from $2/lb up to $5/lb while new ones sell for more
    3: some people are asking crazy prices for anvils that are in questionable condition
    4: most people tend to think that #100 is a minimum size for a decent anvil
    5: The HF #55 anvil is more an ASO (anvil shaped object) than a real anvil
    5: I have read that like with anything spend the money up front to only have to buy once and you wont regret it

    With that in mind I have been thinking about getting an anvil. My wife has agreed to let me take a few blacksmithing classes at a local school and ever since then I have been looking for anvils. I know rail road track pieces have been sufficient for many a knife maker but I plan on doing just a little more that a RR track anvil will do. Also I don't really know of a local source for RR track. The only place I have seen anvils for sale locally is ebay. There is a beat up #130 fisher & norris for $400 obo, a somewhat rough looking Hay budden #160 for $275, and a #50 Vulcan in what appears to be unused condition (it is also located the closest) for $125. I also read that the vulcans were more geared towards schools and that they were a decent anvil but on the lower end of acceptable anvils. Maybe the other 2 anvils just appear to be in rough shape to a newbie: (1st is vulcan, 2nd hay budden, 3rd fisher & norris)

    Do I wait? are any of the 2 larger anvils good deals ?(I didn't think so but what do I know). I want to say bid on the vulcan but will I regret not going for a heavier one? Anyone who might be able to guide me please feel free to speak up. The vulcan anvil auction ends in 17hrs and I don't want to rush anything.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Hay Budden is the best anvil. It is also a good size, I'd get that one and have the top welded up and machined back down by someone who knows what they are doing. I have done this to several myself, and they are excellent. Hope this helps Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Lexington NC
    Here's the link to the anvil I have (The Calvery). The concern I had with a used anvil was: Cracks, Face flatness, hidden repairs. With a new anvil its unbox and go to work. I have had no concerns with this baby.
    I ruin perfectly good steel!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    northern edge of N.Y.
    Find Matchless Antiques on Ebay. He's located in Mi. and a very respectable gent to do business with. His stuff usually is'nt cheap but a little time and persistance will turn up some reasonable deals. I swear it rains anvils at his place sometimes.

    If you watch the Hay-Buddens, the later ones are one piece from the waist up so they can be cleaned up by machining the face without the fear of making a face plate too thin. Of course, there are plenty of quality anvils so look at anything that is nice and clean, but a well used HB is still worth a closer look.

    Hope this helps and enjoy the journey!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Woodward OK
    I just bought an anvil from matchless, great guy to do business with.
    Check him out.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Tonasket, WA
    You can always check CL; for example, check this out. Maybe he even still has it, tho I bet not... Feb 13th.
    "If life hands you lemons, etch a hamon with the juice!" - me.
    "No, it's not egotistical to quote yourself in your sig-line..." - also me.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Bloomfield, Michigan
    Thanks for the replies. I actually like the look of the calvary anvil. I have decided to wait and look locally until at least spring.

    I had been looking at matchless antiques stuff. Little far to drive and from what I had seen his stuff on ebay was a little out of my current price range.

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