Blacksmith Tools For Sale
Blacksmithing Tools, Forges & Anvils For Sale
Anvils come in a plethora of different styles and designs. Depending on your purpose, some anvils may be better suited for your task at hand.
Anvils can be made of a number of different materials, and the savvy shopper will know the differences. As a rule, stay away from any cast iron anvils you may come across. Steel is a far less brittle material for anvils, and are better at not absorbing the energy of a hammers blow. Some very old anvils have a steel surface, but are cast iron below. They're quite rare, but you should be aware of the differences.
Used Blacksmith Anvils For Sale Today - New and used anvils for sale.
If your having a hard time trying to find anvils adequate for blacksmith work, you're in luck. We've collected a few choice anvils in the links below. Some may actually be being auctioned off, so be sure to check the end dates, to see how long till the auction closes.
NC Big Face Anvil
Blacksmith Forgemaster Forge
70 lb Horseshoer's Regular Face Anvil
NC Short Sugar Anvil
Excalibur Forgemaster Forge
TFS 70 Lb Anvil
TFS 70 Lb Anvil
Future 5 with Aluminum Base
Blacksmith Forge with Dual Valve Control
TFS Lil Giant 70 Lb
E-1 Forgemaster Forge
NC Short Sugar Anvil with Slot
70 lb Horseshoers Wide Face Anvil
Future 2 with Aluminum Base
Future 2 with Aluminum Base
Future 4 with Aluminum Base
Future 3 with Aluminum Base
NC Big Face with Slot
Holding Down Tools For Working With An Anvil - Hold downs help in different types of anvil work
David Robertson, a very accomplished and successful blacksmith, shows in detail some of the hold down tools that help him with his work. He uses a bike chain, a mushroom cap hold down, and a spring hold down. Quite informative, and good things to look for when shopping around for an anvil.
Blacksmith Forge Buying Tips
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If you've never bought, or used a blacksmith forge before, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Old style blacksmith forges used to be coal burning, but most of the commercial forges you'll find today, are gas powered. Either natural gas or propane.
One of the most important features of a good forge, is the accessibility to the heart, or hottest part of the fire. It should be easy for the blacksmith to place the metal he is using into the hottest part of the fire.
The forge needs to accommodate whatever size or shape of metal you will be working on. Clamshell designs, or dual door forges are helpful in this regard. A forge that is too small, will take longer to heat the metal, and burn a lot more fuel.
While coal powered forges are somewhat more nostalgic, they can be very unhealthy for extended use. Coal smoke contains a lot of nasty stuff, that can cause a whole list of ailments, not the least of which being irreversible nerve poisoning. Buy a gas forge!
If your going to be working with large pieces of metal, or even elaborately shaped metal, get a forge with a clamshell design. It's specifically designed for just those purposes.
Federal regulations, and greener initiatives are making it harder to find and buy good blacksmithing coal. That's another good reason to buy a gas powered forge.
Gas forges are simpler to use, and the beginner or experienced blacksmith will produce more output with a gas forge.
Contrary to what some blacksmiths believe, gas forges can do forge welding. Just make sure that your unit has big enough burners.
It's important to have a hot enough fire inside your forge. It's better to have too much that can be turned down, than too little that you can do nothing about. Generally speaking, if you have a three-quarter inch burner for every 350 cubic inches of interior forge space you should be fine.
If you find that the forge you bought, does not get as hot as you would like, there is a simple trick you can try. Add a few fire bricks to the inside chamber of the forge. This should decrease the space to heat, and result in a hotter forge.
Coal burning forges require more skill to control and shape the fire. If your just starting out, gas forges are the way to go.
Blacksmith Forge For Sale
Time to stoke the fire a little.
A forge is where the metal is heated, so that it can be shaped on the anvil with hammer and various other tools. There are a number of different forges to consider when shopping around. They are the charcoal/coal forge, the gas forge, and the finery forge. The primary distinction between the three, is the fuel used to heat the metal. A forge may also be referred to as a smithy, or a hearth.
Used Forge For Sale - Knowing what forges are available is the first step.
This is a good time to do a little comparison shopping for a forge. There are quite a variety of units available. Many offering different features for the discriminating blacksmith.
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Anvils vary quite a bit in price, anywhere from a quarter to 3 bucks per pound. A few decades ago, about $1 per pound was pretty standard. These days however, prices are kind of all over the place. It really is a question of the individuals involved in the sale, and whose the better negotiator. I heard of a few friends, that have paid considerably less that $1 per pound, some other friends who've gotten anvils donated to them for free, and some less fortunate friends, that have paid over $2 a pound. Now, for brand new anvils your going to pay around the five or six dollar per pound mark.
The important thing about buying used anvils, is having a sharp eye and know how for a quality anvil. Small chinks, pits in a used Anvil are to be expected. They're not a huge deal. Watch out for cracks, or extra large divots. Wrought iron is a good material for the anvil body. Steel is fine as well, and be sure to look for a face that is composed of hard steel. If you see an anvil made of cast iron, run away as fast as you can. Don't even consider buying one. You'll want an anvil with a good bounce. Your hammer should bounce quickly off a good anvil. If an anvil has been mounted properly, they will have a nice ring sound to them. If they're not clamped down properly, you won't get the same sound. The smaller the anvils (say less than 100lb) will have a very piercing ring, while a 300 plus pound anvil will produce a much more subdued ring. The heel of an anvil, as well as the horn, will produce a lounder ring. An anvil with a bad crack (or even not so bad crack), will not produce a good ringing sound.
The new anvils of the farrier style (longer heal and horn) that have a small waist and curved base are for lighter work. Tweaking or making slight adjustments to pre manufactured horseshoes would be one such suitable task. Don't use them for creating new horseshoes, or heavier duty blacksmith work. One advantage of farrier anvils is portability. Just be aware of their limitations. If you plan on doing heavy and frequent blacksmith work, don't buy any anvil less than 200 pounds. Otherwise, you just end up replacing your anvil within a year or less.
Knowing when to replace your anvil, is a valuable skill when it comes to looking at used anvils as well. You'll know what to watch out for. If your anvil face is so sway backed, that you can tell just by looking at it, then it's time to start shopping. Stress cracks are a sure sign to consider replacing your anvil as well. If larger pieces start to easily break off your anvil, it becomes a safety issue, and should be replaced right away.
Tips For Buying Used Anvils - There are a few subtle things to look for when anvil shopping.
Blacksmithing Tools For The Beginner - Essential tools for the amateur blacksmith
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Once you've made the decision to become a blacksmith, either as a hobby, or a profession, there are a few essential tools your going to need. I say essential, because I want to keep this list short for the beginner blacksmith. It's not necessary to have an entire shop full of tools to start blacksmithing. Any apprentice blacksmith that's walked into an seasoned blacksmiths shop, is sure to be overwhelmed by the abundance of tools they see. Keep in mind, that those tools were accumulated over a lifetime or more of blacksmithing. Quite often tools are handed down through the family.
First and foremost, you will need a hammer, an anvil, a forge, a vise, and some tongs. That's the basic building blocks to get you started. Lets consider these tools in detail.
When shopping for a blacksmith hammers, a cross peen is a good choice. A common mistake is to go for something a little too large. Don't go there. You can always move up to something you can handle, and use a lighter one for small jobs down the road. But, a hammer that is too heavy, will likely just end up sitting on a shelf, never to be used again. A two pound hammer, is probably about average. If your of a bigger build you can go up, but if your smaller than average, or very young it's better to start smaller.
The forge is another essential piece of equipment. Many blacksmiths make their own forges, but if your just getting started, you usually need a forge to build a forge. So, if you have a friend or relative that's a blacksmith, and can get some time in their shop, you may be able to build your own forge for cheap out of whatever parts you have lying around. Every blacksmith worth their weight in nails, has built themselves a forge at some point. Whether or not they still use it, is another question. Some of the newer high tech gas forges have a lot to offer the beginner. Don't discount them, just because their new.
Besides a hammer, the most recognizable blacksmiths tool, has to be the anvil. They can be expensive, especially if you buy brand new. eBay always has anvils for sale. Check out some of the links on this page, and also be sure to read our buying an anvil guide just a little further up from here. Some beginners use railroad ties, as a cheap alternative, but this is generally a case of you get what you pay for. If your going to be spending a lot of time in your shop, your core tools should be ones you can count on.
You'll need to either buy, beg, borrow, or steal some tongs to get you started. Later on though, you should be making your own. You'll get exactly what you want for less money, and become better at your chosen profession all at the same time.
It's hard to imagine any kind of serious workshop, that doesn't have a good vise installed. A blacksmith shop, is no different. Unlike the hammer advice from above, with a vise, it's best to buy the biggest one your wallet can stand. Preferably, a vise specifically designed for blacksmithing. They're often call solid box / blacksmiths leg / blacksmiths post vise.
Antique Blacksmith Tools Guide - Some simple tips to follow, when looking for old or vintage blacksmith hammers, anvils, forges, tongs, and vises.
Image by Svadilfari
Blacksmithing, is one of those old and ancients crafts whose origins date back hundreds of years to the old world. While it's not the oldest profession, it certainly is one of the oldest. In the olden days, it was what many would call a foundation skill. Meaning, the blacksmith was one of the craftsman relied upon to get their own work done. Being able to create objects from metal, was then, and is now a good skill to have.
Since it's been around for so long, there are a lot of old and vintage tools used by blacksmiths over the years. Partially due to the age of the profession, partially due to the longevity of the material they work with (metals), and partially due to the skill of the craftsman involved.
When buying antique anvils, it's important to keep in mind what your intentions are with the said anvil. If it's simply for aesthetic reasons, such as a focal piece in your workshop, than the usability of the anvil is not important. If you do plan on using the anvil, as a working anvil, then it's important to check the integrity of the anvil. Check for obvious repair work, that may not stand up to constant use.
Antique Blacksmith Hammers
If any tool is symbolic of the ancient art of blacksmithing, it has to be the hammer. Used to shape hot metal into a variety of useful and imaginative shapes, it's hard to believe, that these implements would have survived over the years from all the beatings they've inflicted. But a perusal of some antique tool collections, will reveal quite a few vintage and antique blacksmith sledge, ball peen, maul, pick, and punch hammers of good condition.
Antique Blacksmith Tongs
Looking for antique tongs, is really not much different, than any of the other blacksmith tools, or for any antique tools in general. Tools in good condition are usable as everyday tools, whereas those that aren't simply become collector items. Suitable for display or decoration.
Blacksmith Tool History
What is interesting is trying to collect blacksmith tools from a certain period, region, or individual blacksmith. Or any combination of all the above. If you research the history of blacksmithing, you'll find that most blacksmiths had a mark they placed on their work. Once you know the different marks, it makes identifying the tools of a person, period, or region much simpler.
Any tips, tricks, suggestions, or comments about the art of blacksmithing, and the tools involved will be greatly appreciated. Resources and other sites you've found to be helpful are welcome as well. Just leave your comments in the box below.