Wednesday, March 30

Quick Mount Anvil

This method of mounting an anvil is extremely stable and allows for quick and easy installation and removal. The hardware and tools we need today are:

- hammer
- (2) 60D 6" - 2 gauge nails               $0.35   (1.40/lb.)
- (2) 3/8" x 10 1/2" turnbuckles         $5.98   (2.99/pc.)
- (1) 3' length of 1/4" link chain         $4.50   (1.50/ft.)                    
Total cost: $10.83 before tax

This hardware can be found at your local hardware store. As a side note: make an honest effort to avoid big box stores. They may be cheaper, but often so is the product they provide. Besides, hometown hardware stores have more character and characters in them. And I have no doubt, the good old boys and girls at the store would be interested to know what you're up to. They won't sniff at the extra business, either.

When selecting nails, it's important to find a size that can be easily driven into your stump and can also serve as solid anchors for the turnbuckles and chain securing your anvil.

I used a 16 oz. hammer to drive the 60 penny nails about halfway into my piece of shagbark hickory. If it seems easier, use a bigger hammer.

My piece of railroad track is 18" long (it hangs over my stump face a little) and has three holes that are 1 1/16" in diameter. These received the spikes that secured the rail to the ties in its past life. We'll pass the chain through these to anchor the anvil. I measured these holes before selecting my chain size. That means less work for me when I get to mounting it.

Note: This piece of rail was a gift from a good friend and fellow blacksmith in the Appalachian community where I studied. I'll write more about where to acquire track and the necessary properties of a makeshift anvil in an upcoming post.

Once you have your materials together, drive the 60 penny nails into opposite sides of the stump within reach of your chain. Driving them in deeper will give you an extremely secure anchor. This is what we want.

The turnbuckles will cover some of the distance from the chain to the nail, but having too much chain is better than having too little.

Thread the chain through the center hole of the track. Open up/unscrew/lengthen the turnbuckles. Thread each nail through the closed end of the turnbuckles. This secures it and allows for easy hooking onto the chain link for tightening.

When the chain is hooked on both sides, tighten the turnbuckles as far as you can. Your anvil shouldn't be moving at all.

     And there it is:

Removal is even quicker. All you have to do is loosen one of the turnbuckles, slide them both off of the nails and your anvil is free.

Another simple option is to take a few large nails and drive them into the stump face. Then, you would bend them over the feet or foot of your anvil. I chose this method because I need to be able to install and remove my anvil quickly and easily since I travel quite a bit. This way, I can mount it quickly on any old stump at my destination and not have to fuss with bending nails back.

Next time: Creating your space


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