One of my favorite stories is how I came by my first anvil. My dad was always eager to hear about the projects I had going in my shop, and we’d talk about problems I was running into or ideas I was kicking around. My sense was that he enjoyed this in part as it was something we still had in common when there were so many other things in my life to which he felt he couldn’t relate or was too far away to participate. But we could talk tools and welding gas and debate the pros and cons of brazing versus soldering. We were discussing my efforts in trying to bend things with my new manual bender and I mentioned in passing that it would be great if I had an anvil, but had no idea where to get one around here. A month or so later I happened to be at home one day when the doorbell rang. It was the FedEx man and he said, “Thank God you’re here!” I soon understood his relief when I saw sitting on my stoop an anvil with a shipping sticker plastered on its side. The shipper hadn’t bothered trying to put it in a box, which wouldn’t have worked at all. I immediately called Dad, and he said he’d been down to a farm sale and picked it up at the auction for me. I don’t remember what he paid, but I’m sure the shipping well exceeded the cost. Thanks Dad!
I’ve since learned a bit more about anvils, and this old fellah is pretty beat up and so not great for blacksmithing, but it was perfect for my early cold shaping work.