View Full Version : Anvil, clamp, pipe clamp?

07-13-2010, 06:19 PM

Im thinking about getting this, what do yall think?

Allen Newberry
07-13-2010, 06:30 PM
Vises are definitely good to have. However, it isn't going to work as an anvil for bladesmithing.

07-13-2010, 06:37 PM
If you want an anvil, take your time and shop around. The area where you are located should have numerous antique shops within a 50 or so mile radius. Start calling around and talking to folks and have them put your name on the list of persons to contact in the event they come across an anvil. Yes, I did say list. Every antique shop I've been to looking for them has a list of people who are also looking for them. Also, check out Craig's List. Last time I looked on Craig's List there wasn't much in your area though.

07-13-2010, 07:21 PM
OK. but Im curious why it wouldn't work for blade smithing.

Would it Not work at all. or Not work very well?

07-13-2010, 07:46 PM
and what about a i-beam or railroad track, for a make shift anvil till i get a real one?

Allen Newberry
07-13-2010, 08:00 PM
Railroad track could serve as an anvil to hold you over.

07-13-2010, 08:16 PM
OK. but Im curious why the first thing I posted wouldn't work for blade smithing.

Would it Not work at all. or Not work very well?

Rudy Joly
07-13-2010, 09:52 PM
At the very least you might/will crack it where the leg for the front jaw goes through the body under the anvil......at the worst you'll chip the brittle cast iron an put an eye out. :eek: :mad:

I had one (vise) crack right through years ago just from just beating out a rusted bolt on some flat stock. I can imagine what bladesmithing would have done. Don't beat on anything that's cast iron, it hurts like hell when a chip gets you.


Doug Lester
07-13-2010, 11:21 PM
This is a good vice for holding your work for filing, though there are better designs, but it is the wrong type to use in a forge. For that you need a leg vice. A leg vice has a leg, of all things, that goes all the way down to the floor to transfer the force to the ground. Also the treads on the screw do not contact threads in the frame but in a sleave that's loose inside the frame. That keeps the screw from being ruined by the force of hammering. The jaws of the vice are opened by a flat spring. However, even these are a poor substitute for an anvil for most applications.

I think that the jaws on the vice that you are looking at would get in the way of your hammer as well as not having enough mass under your work besides being at risk of breakage. See if one of the sites on Ebay sells a steel post about 3X3, 4X4, or 3X4 or even 3-5" round and about 1.5 to 5 feet long and set it in a tub of cement on end. This would be better than a rail road rail anvil, unless you can get the rail for free, and much better anvil than the vice that you are looking at and probably won't run you much more. There are some smiths who prefer an anvil like this to a clasical European style anvil.

Doug Lester

Wayne Coe
07-14-2010, 04:46 AM
I sure am glad that Doug took the time to type all of that and saved me the work. The only problem with getting a piece of square stock for bladesmithing is that it will probably be mild steel and soft. BTW, when using the square stock it is set on end so that your work surface is 4"X4". RR track is work hardened so works well,,,but,,,it is curved on the top so it works as a fuller and forging is complicated by the influence of the curved anvil. Grinding it back to flat removes the work hardened material not to mention a lot of work. With all this said, "Anything is better than nothing."
Check out www.msforgecouncil.com (http://www.msforgecouncil.com/). That is the ABANA (www.abana.org (http://www.abana.org)) affiliate in Mississippi. This is blacksmithing but there are bladesmiths there too. You can learn a lot by attending monthly meetings and can find tools for sale,,,,,and make good friends.

Carey Quinn
07-14-2010, 05:19 PM

To answer your question about the vise, it is a machinists vice and the 3X3 or so 'anvil' on it is designed for light work on soft steel. While red hot steel is soft, there is not enough mass in the vise to be of any use in knifemaking except for possibly peening handle pins.

I bought a 4 or 5" Wilton vise at Home Depot some years back for about the same price as the one you are looking at and the vise jaws rotate 360 degrees around the vertical axis. That comes in real handy when doing handle work.


07-15-2010, 08:57 PM
wheres the best place to buy an anvil (cheapest/good)

Doug Lester
07-15-2010, 11:03 PM
Try Old world anvils at www.oldworldanvils.com. I started out with a 30 kilo anvil from them, the largest of the small Austrian type and it's better than an el-cheapo anvil that I got off Ebay that had the hardy hole 45 degrees off and had to have the face ground smooth before I could use it.

Doug Lester

07-16-2010, 02:52 AM
as alredy said get on alot of list also go to every crappy lettle flea market yard sale old garages closing good luck

07-16-2010, 07:14 AM
Along with Old World, Emerson Farrier supply (http://emersonhorseshoe.net/shop/catalog/index.php?cPath=21&osCsid=4e0c70edec859f0c2b76a7cb8bf4acf1) offers very good anvils for the money. I've used both the 150lb and 200lb models, and give them good recommendations.
You'll probably look at any new anvil and balk at the prices....but if your bladesmithing, the anvil is one of your most important tools. How good or poor that anvil is will reflect directly in your work.

The other option, which requires time and effort on your part is a used anvil. They can be just about anywhere you could imagine, from Estate Sales, to yard sales. If your willing to do the footwork and take your time, you can often find some very good bargains in anvils by doing it this way.

The general standard for anvils is that you need a minimum of 10lbs of anvil weight, for every 1lb of hammer you intend to use, BUT, I would encourage you to double of triple that...it just makes it easier on you. I personally recommend no less than 125lb anvil for Bladesmithing.