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Looking at a 355 lb Fisher anvil tomarrow; what to look for?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Fred.Rowe, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    The gentleman that has it for sale told me it was dated, 1903.
    355 lbs actual weight. He just had it weighed.
    Says the top is level and clean.
    It is on a metal stand.
    Asking, a little under 2 dollars a lb.

    How do you access an anvil this size?

    Thanks in advance for your replies, Fred
  2. Troop


    Oct 26, 2006
    Fred, I have a 200 lb. Fisher dated 1913. A 355-pounder! Wow! What you really need to look for are a couple of corn-fed "fellers" to help you on and off load that thing. Fisher's are supposed to be a part of American history; they're getting pretty hard to find. I'd grab it. My 200-pounder rebounds really nice.
    - Mitch
  3. oldold442


    Dec 11, 2006
    don't plan on moving it around too much.... my 126lb peter wright is about all i can handle.
  4. jorasco312

    jorasco312 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Here is a link that should help answer your question of "how to assess an anvil of that size". http://www.anvilfire.com/index.htm This is the home page of AnvilFire. Immediately to the right of the Anvilfire.com! you will see Home | Store | Getting Started in Blacksmithing.. Click on Getting Started in Blacksmithing. When that page opens, scroll way down till reaching References and Links. Below that click on Selecting an Anvil. That page opens and one may read down to or just skip to another References and Links on nothing but anvils. #3, Buying Used Anvils, may be of interest to you. Hope the info is helpful and good luck with your find!
  5. Kevin R. Cashen

    Kevin R. Cashen

    Sep 9, 2003
    THe anvil I now work off from the most is a 350lb Fischer. Mine came at about the best price one could ever hope for, it was a gift from my dear friend Dr. Lucie. I also have a 160lb. Fischer that I got at 50 cents a pound, I have considered letting that one go at times. They are good anvils but get used to the "clunk" instead of a ring. I personally think that ringing is overrated, as long as the thing rebounds the hammer for you the noise is irrelevant or even annoying. I also have a 112lb Trenton that rings like a bell and I only use it at public demonstrations to call in the crowd, at home that blasted ringing only gives me a heachache. I like the clunk of my Fischers!
  6. Alarion


    Nov 26, 2001
    I have an 80 pound italian cavalry anvil on a metal stand that I can move around pretty easily, and an old 1907 forged italian pattern anvil weighing 254# on a wooden stand.
    I can move it around somewhat, and I can lift it to reposition it, but I wouldn't anyway try to move it around seriously alone. And I'm 6'6" by 210 pounds. Doing such things won't help your back, and you can serioyusly injure you.
    Such an anvil as the one you found requires at least two very strong guys to move.
    I have the larger anvil at canonic, cnuckle height, while the smaller one is higher, and I use it for precision work and finishing, so that I don't have to bend over to have a closer look.

    Kevin: I agree with you. My 254 pounder doesn't ring a lot, but has very nice rebound. Older anvils often had an iron forged body with a welded on thick steel face. Thus, poor ring. If you want to dampen the ring of your other anvil, put a big, stereo magnet under the horn. It will help a lot.
  7. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    I thank you for all the great information, it will help me to assess what I am looking at and listening too.
    What ever the outcome, I will take some pics while I am there and post comments about the roadtrip.:thumbup:

    It will be good to take a break from the spring cleanup that is happening at our place.:D My back is killing me.
    I am going to lift what [355kbs] into the back of my truck? :eek:

    Have a good day, Fred
  8. Wulf


    May 10, 2000
    I use a really nice 300# Fisher that I bought a few years ago for about $1.15/#

    Great anvil, flat, hard face, good edges, rebounds smartly. As far as the ring goes, noisy anvils are a nuisance. Since when did loud noises help anyone forge steel?

    Fishers are nice due to the construction method (cast steel face poured over a cast iron body using a patented proprietary method). Fishers will never get sway backed like wrought anvils, and I've never seen a Fisher with a weak weld between body and face like you sometimes see with traditional wrought iron/steel face anvils. If the edges are good and the face is clean, you should definitely buy that anvil.
  9. Alarion


    Nov 26, 2001
    For gossake, use a forklift or a block and tackle or something like that! :eek:
  10. Fred.Rowe

    Fred.Rowe Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 2, 2004
    I am calling a few large friends as we speak. Don't want to get laid up and not be able to use the thing.:D
  11. Steven Penner

    Steven Penner

    Jan 29, 2006
    If i can offer a suggestion.

    If you are going to lift it with guts and glory - instead of mechanical means...
    (Myself, i like wheels and rollers)

    bolt on a couple long peices of steel with threaded rod about the waist - as high as you can. (think wheelbarrow handles)

    It will give some nice handles to grab onto and lift with the legs - gives everyone some room to move / walk.
  12. indian george

    indian george

    Feb 15, 1999
    Leatherface, I have a 300# Fisher from 1916.:thumbup:
  13. Guy Thomas

    Guy Thomas

    Feb 1, 2000
    At under two dollars a pound that's a nice bargain! If it's in good shape you will not regret it. Working on a really big anvil will spoil you from anything else except a really nice post anvil perhaps.

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