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Blacksmithing and metalworking questions answered.

Anvils in America, THE book about anvils

Anvil Making, Amboß, Amboss, l'enclume, incudine, el yunque, bigornia,
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Rail Road Rail Anvil Photos :

Typical RR-rail anvils

Simple and artistic RR-rail anvils
Ever since crane and RR-rail became available in the 1800's anvils have been being made of it. Hobbiests, welders and even manufacturers of small bench anvils have used it to make anvils. They range from rough cut to machined or finely hand crafted. Some even have little square hardie holes.

In general these are not suitable for forging except the smallest items and are best used for bench work and sheet metal. For better methods of using RR-rail to make anvils see our article on Making RR-Rail Anvils.

The following is from our NEWS coverage of SOFA Quadstate in 2004. All these below were photographed at that event.
RR-rail anvils Anvilfire NEWS Ohio : Rail Road Rail Anvils

Each year there is something that jumps out at you at Quadstate. This year it seemed to me that there was a LOT of rail road rail anvils. I'm told that two years ago the most plentiful items were sheet metal tools.

LEFT: These rough cut pieces have the flange under the horn and heel cut off short. This is a not a good way to cut a rail anvil. The anvil is too light not to have support directly under all the work surfaces.
HD RR-rail short sections Plain Sections cleaned up and painted.
Short horned RR-rail anvil Short Horned finished and aged.
Well finished and polished RR-rail anvil. Beautifully Finished railroad rail anvil.
Worst RR-rail anvil to date.
Wost of the lot
Rough old RR-rail anvil Old railroad rail anvil in "Honest" Bob Cruickshank's collection.

Although this is one of the rougher looking RR-rail anvils it has the best general shape. A foot has been left under the horn and it is notched to bolt it down. If slabs were welded on to the sides of the web to stiffen it and the horn dressed it would be a fair light duty anvil.

In general RR-rail anvils are too light for most forging. The best for heavier work are the plain cut off sections like the red painted ones above.

RR-rail anvil from Australia
RR-Rail Anvil from Australia

They are made all over the world, even "down under".

RR-rail anvil with hardy and machined horn

RR-rail anvil with hardie and machined horn.

There are a number of folks that spend a lot of time whittling square hardy holes in RR-rail anvils. The welded on horn is unusual.

From Ken Scharabok

Railroad rail anvil by Scott Grandstaff

RR-Rail anvil by Scott Grtandstaff.

It has Caterpillar ground engagement steel (cutting lip) for its top and side gussets. I was replacing the edge on a big loader bucket and had good stuff from the old one left over. Ground engagement steel is tough stuff that welds well.

Notice the strapped hammer? Scott says, I like strapped hammers. Got tired of handles breaking off just below the eye, so I do this to all my striking tools over 2 pounds now.

References and Links

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