What Is The Best Base for an Anvil?

How to Choose the Best Base for Anvil

An anvil is naturally tough and durable, but it doesn’t mean you can just let it slip from a surface. Hitting a hammer needs strong force and can definitely force a blacksmith anvil to move if not properly secured. To have a steady foundation, you must have an unyielding anvil base.

The base must be as robust as the anvil because if it’s not reliable enough to support it, then you might not efficiently get your work done. Having a feeble anvil base will just compromise the output of your project.

Before you head out and purchase a quality anvil base, you first need to know the different features that a base must possess. Here’s what to look for:

1. The Anvil Base must be spacious

One of the features that you should be looking for is the largeness of an anvil base. You need to consider extra space for your other workshop tools so you won’t feel cramped up. Having ample space also prevents injuries.

2. Durability of The Anvil Base

When choosing an anvil base, pick the one that you can rely on in the coming years. There are anvils that weigh only about 10 to 15 lbs, while other anvils are far heavier. If you’re planning to own a large anvil, it is necessary to buy a base that can bear heavy beatings for a long period of time.

3. Must be aesthetic

Though this feature doesn’t have a bearing on functionality, it would be very motivating to be working on an aesthetic anvil stand, right? This is also one of the reasons why a lot of blacksmiths still prefer using a tree stump as an anvil stand.

Not only are tree stumps long-lasting, but their vintage looks make them cooler. Whether you’re a true blue blacksmith or not, I know you’ll agree with what I’m saying.

4. Anvil Base support strength

For an anvil base to be considered dependable, it must offer an anvil staunch support. Even just a bit of involuntary movement of the base while hitting the anvil with a hammer could impair your blacksmithing project.

Blacksmithing is one job that requires well-calculated movements and angles. So, if you have a rickety anvil stand, there’s a big possibility that you won’t obtain a good result.

5. Height of the Anvil Base

It is important to get an anvil stand that can perfectly cater to the anvil height that you prefer. You may check several adjustable anvils stands either online or in your local hardware stores.

Metal Anvil Base Versus Wood Anvil Base

You’ve got 2 options in choosing an anvil base: metal or wood. Let me enumerate their PROs and CONs.

Metal Anvil Base

PROs

  • Metal can last for a long period of time if given adequate care.
  • It doesn’t break, chip or dent while hitting it with a hammer.
  • It doesn’t produce debris or dust.
  • It can’t trigger fire if the right oil is used for its treatment.
  • The vices of the base can be easily adjusted either by repositioning the clamps or unscrewing them.
  • It is less expensive.  

CONs

  • Needs to be regularly treated to prevent corrosion.
  • If the wrong oil is used, it could initiate a spark and cause a fire.
  • In terms of aesthetics, it lacks appeal.
  • It is bulky.
  • The color becomes dull just after a few uses.

Wood Anvil Base

PROs

  • A wooden anvil base is classic, and classic is good.
  • It mimics the tree stumps that were used by blacksmiths ages ago.
  • It is way easier to work with wood than with metal.
  • It doesn’t need any type of treatment.
  • It can be repositioned without much effort. Simply place a rug underneath the wood anvil and drag it wherever you want.

CONs

  • Changing temperatures can warp a wooden anvil base, which could cause it to become unstable and wobbly after quite some time.
  • Because it’s wood, it can easily catch fire.

How to Make a DIY Anvil Base

If you’re an expert in blacksmithing, making an anvil base may just be a simple task for you. But for those who don’t have experience, here’s a simple guide for you.

1. Get a tree stump. After getting hold of a tree stump, make sure to level its top and its bottom. This will prevent the stump from constantly rocking.

2. Position the anvil at the center of the tree stump. Distribute M10 washers on the anvil base and mark each washer hole with a dot using a pen.

3. Drill a hole on the dotted part of the M10 washer, then screw. The size of the screws must be about 2.5 inches to 3 inches long. The number of washers that you would be using is usually between 8 to 16 pieces. This depends on how small or big your anvil is.  

Types of Anvil

Before choosing an anvil base, it would be a great idea to know what the different types of anvils are first. 

1. Forging Anvil

It is also popularly known as the blacksmith anvil or general shop anvil. It weighs about 75 lbs. To 500 lbs.

2. Cast Iron Anvil

It is often referred to as the anvil-shaped object or ASO. This is a low-quality anvil because it is brittle and soft, which means it can likely break or chip even when used under normal circumstances.

3. Farrier Anvil

The farrier’s anvil is a high-quality type of anvil. It weighs 100 lbs. to 150 lbs. It is equipped with clip horns and turning cams and made of hardened ductile iron or cast steel. This is the number 1 choice of farriers or horseshoers. 

4. Stake Anvil

This type of anvil is designed for heavy use, but they are already on the road to extinction. However, there are smaller anvils that are ideal for creating artistic iron works and sheet metals. They come in various shapes and weigh between 15 lbs to 50 lbs.

5. Bench Anvil

This is one of the small anvils that only weigh around 5 lbs to 50 lbs. As the name suggests, it is used on benches, which provide support work.

6. Jeweler’s Anvil

This type of anvil is used in making jewelry or watches. It is square in shape and has a long and slender back.  

Anvil Base Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best height for an anvil stand?

There is really no perfect or best anvil height. Anvil height is actually a personal preference. What works for you doesn’t mean it works for the others as well. Your height and your level of comfort usually are the greatest factors in determining an anvil’s height.

Why are there chains around anvils?

Usually, hitting metals produce a sound like that of a church bell ringing. To reduce the sound, chains are put around them. The chains serve as a noise reduction tool.

What kind of wood is best for an anvil stand?

A heavy and robust wood that doesn’t have the tendency to split easily is the kind of wood that you should be looking for as your anvil stand. Examples of heavy and durable woods include American Elm, Honey Locust, Sycamore, Sugar Maple, Mulberry, and Walnut.

What is an Anvil?

The anvil horn, which is cone-shaped and is made of unhardened iron or steel, is often used in forming round shapes. This anvil, whether it’s a single horn or a double horn, is generally used for bending. There’s also what we call a table anvil that is used mainly for cutting. A hardie hole, on the other hand, is used in punching holes and also in bending. Another anvil that may be used for punching is the pritchel hole, mostly found in a modern anvil. You will find a number of anvils that have several pritchel holes.  

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