Anvils in Blacksmithing Guide

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Anvils are a crucial tool in blacksmithing, as they provide a hard, stable surface for the blacksmith to shape and form metal on. They have been used for centuries and have played a vital role in the development of many different societies throughout history.

What are Anvils made of?

An anvil is typically made of cast or wrought iron, and its surface is usually hardened and tempered to increase its durability and resistance to wear. The anvil’s shape is also important, as it typically has a horn at one end for curving and shaping metal, a flat surface for straightening and flattening, and a square or round hole (called the “pritchel hole”) for punching and drifting.

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Types of Anvils

London Pattern

One of the most well-known anvils is the London pattern anvil, which is considered to be the standard for blacksmithing. It features a rounded horn and a square hardy hole, which is larger than the pritchel hole and is used for cutting and bending metal. The London pattern anvil is a versatile tool that is suitable for a wide range of blacksmithing techniques.

London Pattern Anvil
Source: Wikipedia

German Pattern

Another common type of anvil is the German pattern anvil, which is popular for its wide and thick waist, making it well-suited for heavy forging work. The German pattern anvil also has a tapered horn for precision work, as well as a hardy and pritchel hole.

Anvils also come in a variety of sizes, from small portable anvils that can be carried to job sites, to large industrial anvils that weigh several hundred pounds. The size of the anvil will depend on the type of work that needs to be done and the size of the piece being worked on.

Farrier’s Anvil

Farrier anvils are smaller and lighter than traditional blacksmith’s anvils, making them more portable. They are designed for use by farriers, who are professionals who shoe horses and other animals. Farrier’s anvils typically have a smaller horn and a rounded face, which makes them well-suited for shaping horseshoes.

Combination anvil

They have a larger horn than farrier’s anvils, but they are still smaller and more portable than traditional blacksmith’s anvils. Combination anvils are a good choice for those who want the versatility of a blacksmith’s anvil, but need to be able to move the anvil around easily.

Tools used with Anvil’s

In addition to the anvil itself, blacksmiths also use a variety of other tools in conjunction with the anvil, such as hammers, tongs, chisels, and punches. These tools are used to shape and form the metal, and are often specially designed for specific types of work.

Blacksmithing is a skilled trade that has been around for centuries and continues to be an important part of many cultures today. Anvils are a vital tool in this trade, providing a stable and durable surface for shaping and forming metal. With the right tools and techniques, a blacksmith can create a wide variety of beautiful and functional metal objects.

To learn more about forging in greater details, please reference our Blacksmithing Forge Guide & Directory

This post is part of The Forge Hub’s Blacksmithing Complete Guide & Directory.

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