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[4Sale] Rail anvils


#1

All,

The weather has been getting warmer, and I have now been cleaning
out my shed to prepare for projects come spring.

I have two things I would like to get rid of. Back when I was
scrounging for a piece of rail to make an anvil of, back in Sanders,
I was actually able to find three pieces approximately a foot and a
half long which I horse-traded from other people.

Last year, I had made one into a polished anvil, mounted it
properly, and I have found that it is about as much anvil as I need in
a lifetime. I don’t nee d the others, but I’m willing to sell them
dear because the demand is so high.

I therefore have two more pieces of HEAVY rail, very rusty, one of
whic h a person had crudely cut with a wedge shape on an end, the
other which is ready to shape as you see fit.

I am asking $200 each PLUS ACTUAL COST OF SHIPPING by whatever
available service can carry it (about 50 - 70 pounds). If you want me
to get the r ust off and polish one, I’m asking another $150 because
it consumes both massive effort and massive amounts of abrasives.

Small pieces of rail such as these have become extremely difficult to
obtain in recent years.

If you’re serious about obtaining and polishing up a rail anvil for
silvers mithing, this is the way to go. $200 plus actual shipping is
not trivial, but it is a significant savings for those crafters who
know how badly they want or need one of these.

I will email pictures to those who interested contact me offline.

Sincerely,
Andrew Jonathan Fine


#2

I dont want to step on any toes here but I think your prices are a
bit out of touch there are millions of miles of rail all over the
world and the going rate for steel rail is less than 20 dollars a
foot. Most steel yards around the US carry it. The train yards in
your local area will usually give you a piece for free. The yard here
in Tucson has piles of it, the scrap yards across the US are full of
it. Ebay has chunks of rail for 10 dollars.

I dont mean any offense I just happen to deal with steel everyday
and I am very up on current market prices for it.

Sincerely Kevin Potter / Potter USA.com


#3

Kevin,

When I was living in Sanders (near Gallup, NM), the steelworker I got
my pieces from had told me that in current times, railroad track was
extremely hard to obtain legally, you had to be someone (like the
steelworker) with some kind of connection to the railroad company,
such as having worked on a project with them.

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#4
When I was living in Sanders (near Gallup, NM), the steelworker I
got my pieces from had told me that in current times, railroad
track was extremely hard to obtain legally 

Google turns up sources for around 50 cents/pound. Minimum order one
ton. :slight_smile:

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#5
the steelworker I got my pieces from had told me that in current
times, railroad track was extremely hard to obtain legally 

Not any more though, dime a dozen… CIA


#6

If you want a rail anvil, connect with a blacksmith who knows a lot
of other smiths and who can ask around for you. Rail anvils are
fairly common among this group and often come up for sale.

Rene Roberts


#7

You can get used Rail Track from any of your local train companies.
Just call the maintenance shop. They will be able to get you to the
right person

Jerry
esglegems.etsy.com


#8

Having an anvil made from railroad track I can add a little bit to
the conversation.

If you want an anvil, buy a real anvil. If all you need is a chunk
of metal then the rail might work though it can never perform like an
anvil since it can never be made to have the attributes of one.

J Collier Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com


#9

I am curious if any of you who have railroad anvils have ground them
down to remove the under part to make a regular anvil that you can
get all the way around on one end. If so, who did you take it to for
that work? I have one and want to have it ground.

thx
brenda


#10
If you want an anvil, buy a real anvil. If all you need is a chunk
of metal then the rail might work though it can never perform like
an anvil since it can never be made to have the attributes of one. 

Maybe

Mark Bingham
fourth-axis.com


#11

I have machined down several rail anvils. The steel is very hard not
as hard as a real anvil but tough. The amount of effort involved in
making a piece of rail into an anvil is not worth it unless your time
is free, or you have the machines needed to do it. A machine shop in
your local area might do it for you but they are already familiar
with rail I can assure you. Some may be willing to do it but chances
are it will be a couple hundred bucks to shape it since they will
chew up lots of cutters. If you are real determined give me a call
and I can help you find someone in your area who might do it.

Potter USA


#12
Maybe http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1qb 

It is possible to make an anvil shaped object (ASO) from railroad
rail. The problem is that it will not function as an anvil. Anvils
have a hardened face to allow for the proper rebound when striking
work on the anvil and keeping it from being dented by the occasional
missed blow. Rail is a work hardening steel that forms a hardened
face from the work the rail car wheels impart to the rail by rolling
over it. To grind, or machine the rail to look like an anvil removes
that hard case and leaves a soft surface. So while a rail ASO might
be slightly better than the cheap Asian cast iron ASO’s that are
found in places like Harbor Freight it is still an ASO.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#13

Okay, due to lack of demand, I withdraw my offer.

If you want an anvil, buy a real anvil. If all you need is a chunk
of metal then the rail might work though it can never perform like
an anvil since it can never be made to have the attributes of one. 

When I was first playing with the silver in Sanders, I had nothing at
all except for a small piece of tool steel I had pressed into service
as a bench block, placed on top of a stack of firebricks.

I had acquired the rail pieces as gifts just before my family moved.

A few months afterward, I took all the rust off the one with the
best shape using rotary abrasive stones, then used 60 and 200 grit
rotary sanding drums, then used 400, 800, and 1000 grit automotive
papers plus a lot of elbow grease.

I maybe used up $20 in rotary abrasives, and a negligable amount of
others, and devoted about 6 hours doing it.

Once my custom shed had been constructed, I mounted a three foot
railroad tie endwise to the intersection of the wall and the floor
leftward of my desk, using angle brackets.

I then anchored my polished anvil to the top of my railroad tie,
using small angle brackets.

Then, I tried it out.

Compared to a bench block, my anvil performs like a champ!

Lots more surface area, lots more angles of attack, and a curved
surface if I want it. Very springy, too, only have to drop the hammer
on the anvil and it rebounds.

So, Mr. Collier, just what exactly am I missing? And just how much
more would I have to pay to get it?

Andrew Jonathan FIne


#14

The easiest way is to go to a scrap yard and ask the steel cutter
with the oxy/propane cutting torch to cut out where you have drawn a
line with chalk. then when its cooled!! dont pick it up !! right
away, you need someone with an angle grinder to clean up where the
steel was cut out. Simple.


#15
Maybe http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1qb 

WOW!

My planing and polishing is downright primitive in comparison. It’s
just one single, reasonably flat surface that I sanded and polished.
But at least I used the same side of the railroad tie.

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#16

I have a couple of rail anvils. They start out with a gradual rounded
top. I needed mine completely flat with nice sharp edges. I took it
to a local machine shop. He could have done anything to shape it in
any way I wanted. Just check the phone book or google for your area
to see if there is a machine shop and call them to see what they can
do.


#17

Mark

That is a beautiful anvil

Did you make it yourself ?

And how did you do it?

Regards
Milt Fischbein


#18

That picture is exactly what I meant. I have seen online videos on
how to do this but I am not equipped with the machinery myself. What
are the properties of an anvil that are not found in a rail? I
thought that a rail was the poor man’s anvil, or for beginners
anyway. brenda


#19

Interesting that some are saying rail road anvils are no good. Maybe
rail road tracks are better made in the UK because I’ve seen amazing
knife blades and such made with them. How can they be good enough to
forge knives on but not good enough to make jewelry with?


#20

Hi Andrew,

So, Mr. Collier, just what exactly am I missing? And just how much
more would I have to pay to get it? 

I apologize for a blunt response about railroad anvils and then
failing to list their shortcomings.

Anvils are to provide a work surface that can be used for working
another piece of metal by hammering against it. One essential
consideration is that there is conservation of the worker’s energy.
The surface must not deform from the hammer blows against the worked
object or there will be energy lost. A deformed surface will present
other problems. Railroad iron is tough but soft to blows. Certain
shapes of an anvil’s structure allow for work to be performed for a
particular result. That shape in itself doesn’t make that piece of
metal into an anvil.

A piece of railroad rail can be a useful addition to a shop in lieu
of a true anvil. There is an upper limit to its performance however.
Within the context of the type of work you are doing in your shop it
may perform very well, but once that limit is exceeded a better tool
is required. You can be the best judge of that performance. For
others who need the performance of a true anvil the railroad iron
will not be the right tool regardless of how much effort goes into
making it.

This link will be useful in giving more insight about anvils, the
different attributes and considerations about purchasing either a
new or used one. http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1qv

All the best,
j

J Collier Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com