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Securing my steel bench block to a table

How do I secure my solid steel bench block, which is just a solid steel rectangle, to my table? It moves around as I try to forge on it, and makes forging difficult and unpleasant. How shall I go about securing this to my table? I don’t want to drill a whole in it, but I fear this is what I’ll have to do…

If it is a semi permanent location, nail or screw small pieces of molding into the table around the base of the block. The molding will hold the block in place, but allow you to remove it if you need to. This is how I secure my anvil to the top of my anvil stand. I can still remove the anvil to polish it whenever I need to…Rob

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Sorry if I’m not understanding you, but do you mean to put nails or screws around t he bench block in such a way to prevent sliding? Like hammer in some nails into the table to hold it in place, and I can remove the nails to polish the bench block?

Rob is referring to molding used in the building trade, similar to what you see in the first picture of this article: https://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/wood-molding-profiles-guide.html

No need to remove anything in order to move your bench block. If the molding is shorter than the height of your bench block, then you can easily remove the bench block …similar to how the beverage holder in your automobile is shorter than your cup, so that you can easily remove the cup from the holder.

Rob’s method helps to keep the bench block in a stationary.position, instead of it moving around on your bench. As Rob mentioned, all anvils, even heavy anvils, need to be stabilized to prevent them from sliding around, falling off the table and crushing your foot.

Thank you Betty2, you saved me from having to take and post pictures. Your description is exactly what I was trying to say…Rob

I had the same problem when I was doing Demos on stage. I went to the grocery store, purchase rubber like shelf liners in rolls. I cut out a piece about 3 inches wider than the steel block. Being rubber like it held it in place. It was fast easy and cheap. If anything happened to it, I just cut another piece.

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I like the concept. It would be a couple of bucks more expensive but I would use 1/2” angle iron instead of the wood, drill holes and countersink for screw head. When you remove it filling the screw holes is easy.

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You don’t need much to hold it in place. I just use pieces of small 1/4 round wood molding on each side. If you use angle iron, I would suggest aluminum if you can find it. As Aggie suggested, I like just placing it on a piece of rubber. Reminds me of our dad who used a piece of foam rubber. Like so much of what we do, there is no one right way, just the way that works for you.

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I use a styrofoam shelf liner material…it is kind of spongey feeling and has little holes over all the surface…I use it for tons of things…like to keep my chasing and repousse tools from rolling on the table when I am working, etc…love this stuff…it is designed for shelf lining but is non-slick as both sides are the same…just looked it up on Walmart’s site and it is called EasyLiner Select Grip Shelf Liner…I use it under my bench blocks all the time plus bunches of anything I don’t want to move on my bench while working! Good Luck…hope it works for you.

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Years of work in the disabilities access trade has left me with many bits of odd foams and rubber. All of it will help to keep a bench block from walking away. I have one block that applied a 1/2" if GE II silicone to. Sand the bottom, degrease it with acetone, cover the surface with GE 2 , set it silicone side down in a piece of wax paper and leave it for a week to cure. Peel it away, trim the squeeze out. To get a consistent thickness it is best to hold the block off the surface a little with something of consistent size. I used push pins pushed through the wax paper into the plywood I was using as a level surface for my project. The pins came loose when I pulled the block of the wax paper. The anvil stays put and the ringing sound is deadened a bit as well. At some point too much rubber is too much and the anvil bounces a bit. I am not sure when that is but that’s the fun of experimentation.

Don Meixner.

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I use old computer mouse pads. not only will they keep the block from moving, but they so cut back on the noise of hammering. I have also used folded up rags.

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Following is a link to pictures of what works for me. The bench block is on a cork coaster, the anvil is held in place by small pieces of screen molding nailed into the top of my anvil stand. They can both be moved, but stay put when in use…Rob

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Hello Rob,
Nice to see the anvil and its stand, which you talked about some time ago…one thing that hasn’t been discussed in this thread is that anvils and bench blocks will tend to bounce more if they are on surfaces which flex somewhat and bounce like a drumhead…and I note that your anvil stand, based on four 2x10’s or 2x12s standing on end and tied together, is not going to bounce much. An item that is based on the same thinking is the old post leg vise, which has a leg extending down to the floor to keep the vise from flexing or bouncing and to make the blows directed at something in its jaws more effective. The OP’s troubles with a bouncing anvil or bench block might relate to the item sitting somewhere where it is not directly over a table leg or column. Just moving it where it has more direct support might help.

That’s a really nice anvil…it looks like it was cut out of one that was bigger…what’s the story there? Thanks for all you contribute here!

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I had my anvil made 45 years ago from a piece of heavy rail twice as long. It belonged to our dad. I traded house painting time for my half of the anvil. I also paid to have it cut in half and the machining done to level the top and add V grooves. I have used it ever since. It needs to be resurfaced, but I prefer to just keep polishing the surface as needed. Thanks for asking…Rob

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