Anvil Fixin' Party

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Martin Pansch
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:44 am
Location: Young America, MN

Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:58 pm

I celebrated Labor Day weekend in the traditional way fixing anvils with Tom Sanders for 3 days. I'll probably be writing an article for the Metalsmith on the lessons learned during the whole experience but thought I would share a few photos here. I might go into it more in detail on here later but it is too late to write a lot tonight.
Trenton ground prior to buildup.JPG
Trenton ground prior to buildup.JPG (86.57 KiB) Viewed 6300 times
One of the anvils ground clean.
Checking Trenton temp during preheat.JPG
Checking Trenton temp during preheat.JPG (120.84 KiB) Viewed 6300 times
Checking the temperature of an anvil sitting on a turkey deep fryer burner. We also used a weed burner for pre-heating for the rest of the anvils for a couple reasons.
Four anvils in cool down.JPG
Four anvils in cool down.JPG (117.33 KiB) Viewed 6300 times
Post welding we had the anvils cooling down in sawdust and ashes in a front end loader bucket. They were still about 100 degrees at about 10:30 the next morning.
Close up of pitting on Trenton.JPG
Close up of pitting on Trenton.JPG (100.28 KiB) Viewed 6300 times
We had an issue with porosity in our hard facing filler rod (Stoody 1105). It wasn't visible until we ground down into it though. I blame our stick welding technique. Since I got Miller 252 I rarely use my stick anymore. I really should practice more. We discussed a number of things that this could be but since we did most the anvils rapid fire the first day we didn't really have a lot of time to learn from our mistakes. A mistake in itself I suppose. Still, should be serviceable and much better than before.
Group shot of repaired anvils.JPG
Group shot of repaired anvils.JPG (113.29 KiB) Viewed 6300 times
This is a group shot of the anvils we worked on. All of these were either pretty chewed up or had a previous repairs and we had gathered specifically because we wanted to try fixing some anvils.

All together it was a great time and we -almost- got it all right. Though I guess I won't know that for sure until we torture test them for a while. I will probably practice my stick technique a little more in anticipation of doing it again. I will say that it really is probably not that economical unless you get a number of guys to split the 10lb box of hard face rods with as those suckers are expensive. Add to that the propane, electricity, abrasives, etc. plus whatever your time is worth... Well, it makes it seem much more worth it to spend a more money to get an anvil that is in good shape in the first place. Unless, of course, you are just looking for another project.

Jim Ericksen
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Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Jim Ericksen » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:11 pm

that looks like my kind of party ;-)

thanks for sharing

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Darryl Ponder
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Location: Minnetonka, MN

Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Darryl Ponder » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:29 pm

Martin,

I am very sorry I missed it.

What were the basic steps? I'm guessing pre-heat to 350-400F, stick weld with filler, stick weld with hard face, cool down slowly, rough grind, seek emergency medical attention, fine grind. Any quenching required?

How much was that 10lb box of Stoody hard face?

Darryl

Martin Pansch
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Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:01 pm

Darryl,

You got it. The pre heat is to 400. The slow cool down should be from 400 degrees as well. If the anvil isn't too big and you are only welding on the edges the anvil kept its heat pretty well. The big anvil cooled down enough to need to be heated back up after welding. The little Vulcan got dropped to about 260 degrees as well because I built up the horn last (heat from the horn welding didn't travel to the anvil face very well).

We basically followed the repair instructions laid down by Robb Gunter and Karl Schuler. You can find it in a few places but this one comes up top on a Google search for "Robb Gunter Anvil Repair"

http://www.cvbg.org/anvilrepair699.pdf

I bought 3 types of rods. The 10 lbs of Stoody 1105 and 2110 cost close to $100 each. I can't find the receipt for either at the moment. The high nickel rods (for laying down on the cast iron before the 2110) were maybe $13 for 1 lb. The rod costs for a 10 lb box is one of the reasons this wouldn't really be cost effective if you only have one anvil to do. There were 143 1/8" rods of 1105 and we averaged using maybe 7 per anvil (when you discard the large one as an outlier). The way to do it would be to have a bigger anvil fixing party with maybe 10 folks with an anvil each to split a box. I would want to get a real ringer on the stick welder though like John Adams, Bill the Welder, etc., set up a number of pre-heat and post heat stations and a big cool down pit. It could probably be done for about $40 in material each.

ardenhanson
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Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by ardenhanson » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:22 am

I have a large 100 lb one that needs some tlc. Let me know when and where. Do you have any left over rods?

Martin Pansch
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Location: Young America, MN

Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:44 pm

Arden,

I do have some rod left over. If you are going to be at the October Guild meeting at Jackson Street Roundhouse and are planning on making a go of it yourself I can hook you up with some.

I hadn't been planning on organizing a mass anvil fixin' party since mine are pretty much done. I guess it would be pretty easy to set one up if we had a bunch of guild folks with raggidy anvils and a desire to fix them. The toughest part would probably be finding someone great at stick welding and willing to hover over hot anvils all day. The rest of the logistics are fairly easy.

wayne.olson
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Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by wayne.olson » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:58 pm

I, for one would be very interested in an "anvil fixin party". I have been trying to figure out a way to effectively repair my anvil and this looks like a possible answer. The edges of my anvil shows its life scars as a previous farm tool.
Thoughts anyone?
Wayne

Sara013
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:32 am

Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Sara013 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:27 pm

I hope it's not a horrible breach of forum etiquette to resurrect an ancient post........

I've been hearing more about anvil repairs, with some people declaring apocalyptic doom raining down should the repair not follow a strict guide. But no one has really been able to answer my question: why is the pre-heating necessary?

Martin Pansch
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Location: Young America, MN

Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:15 pm

I don't think that it is any violation of etiquette. Maybe we need some sort of Carhartt-clad Ms. Manners to answer such questions for us. Until that though...

I am not an expert (Jimbo? Where are you?) but pre-heating and slow cooling is usually pretty standard practice when welding high carbon steel, brazing cast iron, and when using crazy high carbon filler rod (like Stoody 1105). I believe it is intended to reduce the shock and chance of cracking the base material and/or rod due to expansion and contraction. Same concept with non-pyrex glass, you can get it pretty hot without cracking if you do it slow but if you go hot to cold or vice versa or get one spot hot while leaving the rest cold something is likely to crack.

With an older wrought iron anvil the stakes are higher since there is a high carbon steel face plate forge welded to it. A crack in the right spot might propagate and knock loosen the face plate, a really tough thing to fix and a really hurts the anvils efficiency.

All that said, some don't preheat and get away with it. Of those that do not all preheat to the same level. Monty Bygd just leaves anvils out in the summer sun for a while though he uses regular mild steel MIG wire for build up. Tom and I defaulted to following Rob Gunter's instructions and the Stoody hardfacing handbook for preheats.

Of course, I am just an old country hack's apprentice so this all could just be so much drivel.

If there is still enough interested in it we should look at getting an anvil fixing party together soon. I have at least one more that could use a little touch up. As long as everyone participating acknowledges there is no guarantee of 100% success.

Sara013
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:32 am

Re: Anvil Fixin' Party

Unread post by Sara013 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:56 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for the information, Martin!

Would the process be any different for a cast steel anvil, since it's just one big chunk of steely goodness?

I'd definitely be interested in an Anvil Fixing Party. I have a wee Peter Wright that was abused by a cutting torch, and a Hay Budden or two that could maybe use a touch up. Besides, I think it would be great to see the whole process.

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