As I was working on fabricating a coal forge to heat the metal, I set about acquiring the other tools and equipment I’d need to begin blacksmithing. I picked up a 300 lb anvil and a post vice from a guy on craigslist. In her book “The Backyard Blacksmith”, Lorelei Sims describes an anvil stand which a bit different than the massive tree stump you usually see in photos. It’s basically a big box made of 3/16 inch plate steel that is tapered slightly to be larger at the bottom than the top. You fill it full of sand and place a separate piece of plate steel on top that floats on the sand and then put the anvil on that. The benefits are that you can raise or lower the height of the anvil by adding or taking out sand, it’s more portable because you can empty out the sand to move the thing around, and the sand works to absorb some of the sound and impact of the hammer blows. I thought it sounded like a great design so I built one.
I figured out pretty quickly that “portable” is all relative when you start working with weight of this magnitude, so in order to avoid breaking myself and my friends, I ordered a shop crane to assist in moving the anvil and stand around.
Here we are, ready to be hit.