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Old 03-13-13, 09:11 PM   #1
bennelson
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Default DIY Anvil Stand



No, an anvil stand is neither a yoga pose, nor something done at a frat party. Itís simply a place to put your anvil. Think of it as a portable tree-stump.

The only thing is, I didnít have one, so there was nothing to do but make it happen.Iíve been interested in blacksmithing for a long time. I always loved seeing the smith at a Rendezvous or Renaissance Faire as much as anything else there. On the other hand, it seems like one of those hobbies that requires some very special equipment.

While the basics arenít too difficult, having just a bit of the right gear really helps. Earlier this winter, I threw together an improvised forge and had some fun heating and bending square-cut nails. A few weeks ago, I tagged along to an UMBA meeting, and spent a Saturday talking with smiths and watching demonstrations. As part of that, I bought a used 55 lb. anvil.

Thatís not too big. Just a ďstarted anvilĒ. However, I wasnít really happy with the hunk of log that I was using as an anvil stand. Itís not level, too low, and not exactly portable (especially when it freezes to my driveway in the winter!) So what I really needed was an anvil stand Ė a small and solid workbench to hold the anvil and associated tools.

Once again, I had the same project budget as usual Ė $0.

However, I was working construction last week, and part of my job was taking torn-out material from the household remodeling job to the dumpster. Of course somebody else sees garbage, and I see possibilities. I packed up some used lumber, still full of nails, into the back of my truck at the end of the day.

After spending a little time removing the old nails, I had a nice small pile of 2◊10s, 2◊6s, and some cribbing that was sort of a super-sized 2◊4. I would have liked to have used 4◊4 posts for the legs of the stand, but since I had none of those in my supply pile, I instead screwed together pairs of 2◊4s to make square legs.

Next, I cut two pieces of 2◊10s to 18″ long. Together, the two pieces side-by-side would make an 18″ square table-top Ė large enough for my starter anvil (or even a future larger anvil) with plenty of room around it to set tools, and maybe a vise.

I temporarily tacked together the two planks to make the top, stood up the four legs, set on the top, and ran a few screws to attach it. Next, I cut 2◊6s to 18″ and 21″ as an apron to go around the top of the four legs. Screwing those on to the legs and the top cross-braced the structure and it pretty much looked like a table!

I did the same thing with 2◊6s around the bottom of the legs.



Next, I drilled 1/2″ holes through the 2◊6 and the doubled-up 2◊4s of the legs. That was too deep of a hole for the bit I had for my cordless drill, but I did have an extra long bit for a brace, which I used to finish the holes off with. Next, I ran long carriage bolts through the holes, and added a pair of washers and nut. All the hardware came from coffee cans in my Dadís shop that didnít sell at the last rummage sale.

Once tightened, those carriage bolts really hold on the legs!

With the stand flipped over, I added a couple extra-beefy 2◊4s UNDER the table top to support and spread out the weight.



I really wanted to add some sort of metal reinforcement to the corners, but wasnít sure exactly what. I had some old-fashioned hinges that would have made nice decorative elements, but because hinges are flexible, they only would have added rigidity in one direction. Since this IS an anvil stand, why not do a little blacksmithing to build the project?

I had some one-inch by 3/16thĒ thick flat metal scrap. I cut that into four one-foot long pieces Ė one for each corner. Then, I broke out the current version of the improvised forge, started a coal fire, and put in my irons. With the middle of a piece heated, I could easily hold it over the edge of the anvil, and beat it to a nice 90 degree angle. I also tried to give a basic little ďfish-tailĒ to the ends of the stock. I also tried punching a nail or screw hole into one piece. It worked well, but was a lot of work given what I have for tools right now.



I brushed the soot and scale off my corner brackets with a fiberglass wire-wheel. I drilled a couple of holes in the brackets, and then nailed them on with old-school square-cut nails.

So, thatís where I am now. The Anvil Stand is most of the way done. Itís a sturdy little work-bench. Nothing too fancy, but itís the right height and rock-solid. I still have to install the back two brackets. After that, Iíll put on a few hooks to hold my fire poker and hammer, and maybe nail a coffee can to it for water for quenching.

Iíll consider staining it, but will probably prefer a natural weathered look. Weíll see. For the moment, not a bad little project thrown together with no budget, and a whole lot of fun!

What do you think? Have you ever built one? Send me your favorite blacksmithing story or tale of workbench design!

ítil next time,

-Ben

PS: More photos on my blog. Anvil Stand

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Old 04-15-13, 03:09 PM   #2
Daox
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Default

Hey Ben. Have you used your anvil and stand for anything yet?
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Old 04-15-13, 07:35 PM   #3
bennelson
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So far, I've made a fire poker, some decorative hooks, and a primative rail-road spike knife.

I haven't had any material to work with other than misc salvage and scrap, and the forge is really low-tech.

I'd like to do some more in the future, but need a decent forge first.




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Old 04-16-13, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Nice Work You're Doing There...

Nice work you're doing there.

I see that you're using coal to heat your work... Probably an excellent choice, but I thought you might also be interested in these:
  • Here is a link to converting an 1.8 kw Induction Cooker into an Induction Heater to use for heating ferric materials for forging, annealing and tempering.
  • Here's a link to a 1000w induction heater (a kit, I guess).
  • Here's a ink to a Simple Induction Heater


...I think the 1.8 kw conversion is the best bang for the buck.

Best,

-AC

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