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TOPIC: Anvil size

Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 03:24 #1

  • cowboyjl
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I have been shaping with a 50# anvil since I started shoeing six years ago. It was pretty beat up when I bought it and now I am considering getting a newer, bigger anvil. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the bigger anvils and what is an ideal size? Thanks
Jeremy Lawton

"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, and live like you ain't afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy your ride" Chris LeDoux
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 04:35 #2

  • T.L. Buck
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I use a 70# JHM Basic Horseshoers anvil. It is about the lightest I would go. Somewhere between 70 and 125# is ideal for most shoeing needs. My JHM has the heel turning caulks on the end. Which is what works best for me. It does bounce a little. But I keep a heavy leather pad under it and that helps a lot. An advantage is at the end of the day it won't kill you putting it back in the truck.
~ Buck - Farrier


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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 04:56 #3

It depends on the size of the stock that you need to bend. Querry do you work the horn or the heal?
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 05:02 #4

  • Donald Ruff
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100-125 lbs is more than sufficent to shape keg shoes and build a wide variety of hand mades off of. The turning cams I would think is a personal opinion. I don't have them on my anvil and things work just fine. Again personal preference.
100-125 lbs you can do allot with.
My anvil weights 121lbs it suits me just fine. there are many ways to secure your anvil so it won't move around on you.
Don
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 05:10 #5

  • Mike Bailey
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I shoe a lot of warmbloods so I use a JHM certifier 100 lbs. and I find it works well for any size from Draft shoes, though I try not to do them down to #000 we have a 2 ponies for the kids. :D
I also have a MFC hollow core but just is not solid enough for me so I do not use it.It weighs 81 Lbs. but is the size of a 125 Lbs.
Mike
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 05:59 #6

Well, you can tell me and Buck are the oldsters here... I started out with a 150# Peter Wright. After ten years of putting it in and out of the truck, I went to a 126# Hay-Budden. After ten years of putting it in and out of the truck, I went to a 99# Sodofers. I've been toting it for more than ten years, but I might be interested in buying your 50# anvil soon :)
~~Danvers

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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 06:51 #7

  • Mike Ferrara
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An often repeated blacksmithing rule of thumb is to use an anvil that is at least 50 times the weight of the hammer you are going to use.

The more the anvil moves, the less energy there is being used to move steel and the harder you have to work.

Of course, we also have to work to get an anvil in and out of a truck so there's an obvious trade off.

I have a little 70 pound Nc in the truck and two peter wrights in the shop, a 170 something and a 180 something. Making shoes in the shop is FAR more pleasant on the bigger anvils but I don't move them around much. the 70 pounder is fine for shaping light shoes hot but for any job that I would select a hammer of much weight it STINKS (as comparred to the bigger anvils). the 70 pound anvil is certainly not my choice for shaping heavy shoes, doing any significant forging on any but the very lightest stock or even punching nail holes. Even pulling clips on it is a lot more work than on the bigger anvils.

I also use a stall jack which really makes a very poor anvil but I can get a light shoe bent some and I can carry it a long way with little effort.
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 07:17 #8

Just to add a little bit to Mike's good points. If you strap an anvil down, it's going to work as if it's heavier. When I've got my 126# Hay-Budden strapped down, it works like a 200# anvil.

And, anvils are not created equal. My old 99# Sodofers works "heavier" than a lot of new 125# anvils.

Finally, weight is only one issue. As other responses imply, size and style also come into play. If you're working shoes cold, you might like a flat-topped horn and/or turning cams, but if you're working hot, you'll likely prefer a round horn. Likewise, if you're working bigger shoes, you'll want a fuller horn and a broader face/table.

My advice is to go to a local hammer-in and beat on everybody's anvil to see what you like :)
~~Danvers

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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 07:54 #9

  • tbloomer
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I used a 100# TFS for several years.

http://www.deltahorseshoe.com/html/detail/anvils_farrier100.html


Then I upgraded to a the luxury model.
http://www.deltahorseshoe.com/html/detail/anvils_future2.html


I thought I would miss the turning cams, but I don't. I don't miss the noise or the elbow shock either. I've worked this one side by side with a 150# and it has a similar feel/energy return.
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 07:59 #10

  • tbloomer
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Yesterday I was hanging out with Matt Taimuty, CJF. He has one of these. It's a sweet 55# that feels like something a lot bigger.
http://www.deltahorseshoe.com/html/detail/anvils_future5.html
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 10:20 #11

I spend years in the US all in all, go there frequently, love it and learned a lot in the process!

But how you guys manage to shoe horses on those funny itty bitty anvils is beyond me!

My anvil in my van is a pre WO II (really) and weighs 165Lbs. Ask Don Ruf, he's seen it. In my shop I have replaced the old one and now have a Swedish anvil a nice solid 330Lbs.

Size matters guys!! :p


Ronald Aalders
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 11:32 #12

  • smitty88
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cowboyjl wrote:
I have been shaping with a 50# anvil since I started shoeing six years ago. It was pretty beat up when I bought it and now I am considering getting a newer, bigger anvil. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the bigger anvils and what is an ideal size? Thanks

depending what you want to do if its hot fitting only pulling the odd clip
small one like the one you have will do

if the one ypu have is level and has a good edge for clipping its ok
if you want to make shoes

you might need somthing a bit bigger
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 12:42 #13

  • cowboyjl
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Right now I only do cold fitting with keg shoes. I am wanting to start hot fitting and eventually try handmade shoes. The majority of the shoes are #00-#2 and the #2 seem to engulf the anvil. Makes it kind of hard to get them just right some times. I have a stand that I built that locks into the receiver hitch of my pickup. The anvil sits down inside of a cradle and basiclly locks into place. Its is just high enough that I can use my tailgate as a workbench. Thanks for all the insight guys.
Jeremy Lawton

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RE:Anvil size 07 Oct 2006 13:32 #14

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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cowboyjl in gray

Right now I only do cold fitting with keg shoes. I am wanting to start hot fitting and eventually try handmade shoes. The majority of the shoes are #00-#2 and the #2 seem to engulf the anvil. Makes it kind of hard to get them just right some times. I have a stand that I built that locks into the receiver hitch of my pickup. The anvil sits down inside of a cradle and basiclly locks into place. Its is just high enough that I can use my tailgate as a workbench. Thanks for all the insight guys.

A few thoughts to add:

Unless the stand that ties into your receiver hitch touches the gound someplace, it's making your light anvil work even lighter because of your truck's suspension and tires.

You'll have an easier time shaping keg shoes cold if you get a bigger anvil.

You'll have an easier time loading your anvil at the end of the day if you use a lighter anvil.

Shaping shoes hot will save your body, no matter how heavy your anvil is.

(Like another old pfhart on this forum, I went from a 167# Hay-Budden to a 100# Bruce Daniels - and if I were still shoing many horses, I'd probably be working hot iron on a 15# stall jack.) :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Anvil size 08 Oct 2006 02:22 #15

  • calshoer
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If you're mainly doing cold shaping get the biggest anvil you can easily put in and out of the truck. Or get a "Future" anvil, they are terrific.Istarted out wit ha litle Brooks 85 lb , it was bouncy, and was soft. I then used a GE that was about 125 lbs or so (the old original style) and loved it but had to give it back to the ex in the divorce (nevermind who gets the silverware and china , just give me my anvil! )
I now use a 110 lb "PCHS". (Bob Smith's design) .
The stand makes a difference too.
A smaller anvil should be sitting on a pretty darn solid stand to avoid rebound and bounce. The stump type stands are best when you have a smaller anvils.
My PCHS sits on a frame type stand, but it is heavy enough that there's no bounce. And I welded the d a m thing so it wont fold up anymore because it wiggled to much .
Patty
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