How To Bring an Old Anvil Back to Life in 6 Simple Steps
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Got an old anvil lying around in need of some TLC? Or have you found the perfect one at a scrapyard?
Then why not restore it back to, nay better than, its original condition. Follow this simple guide to find out how to do it yourself.
Like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and gear to get you started.
Tools and equipment needed
- An old anvil (rope for dragging optional)
- Metal brush attachments for power tools
- Welding gear and safety equipment
- Rust removal solvent
- Masking tape
- Metallic spray paints
- Various nuts and bolts
- Wooden log
- Scrap metal bars and rods
Step 1: Remove any rust/tarnish from the anvil
Unless already done, find and take your old, tired, anvil home. These things tend to weigh a lot so be careful when handling them on your own.
With that complete, the first phase of the restoration is to remove any dust or tarnish from the metal. The most efficient way to do this is to use an angle grinder with a polishing head.
Run over all exposed surfaces until as much rust has been removed as possible.
Step 2: Clean up the edges
The next step is to take your angle grinder again, replace the head, and begin to work on the sharp edges of the anvil. You'll want to make them as clean as possible.
For more badly damaged parts, you can also consider using a welding torch to reshape any edges of the anvil.
Trim down any excess welds using your angle grinder once again.
Step 3: Remove the more stubborn rust using chemicals
With that complete, the next stage is to take some methylated spirits, and an old rag, and work it into the more stubborn rusty areas.
Once complete, use masking tape to cover the clean edges of the anvil prior to moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Spray paint the lower parts of the anvil
Next, take your spray paint of choice, and spray the non-taped sections of the anvil. In this case, the restorer has chosen blue, but you can paint however you wish.
Do this in a well-ventilated space, ideally outside. Otherwise, wear appropriate respiratory protective equipment.
With that, the anvil restore is basically finished. You can stop here if you want, but if you want to also complete a wooden stand for it, please read on.
Step 5: Make the wooden base
Next, grab a piece of log and cut it down to the length required. This will be the height you want the anvil to stand at.
If it has bark, remove it to reveal the plain wood underneath. Level off the base and the top as needed.
With that complete, you can begin to make the metal ring for the top. Take a length of steel bar, and bend to the required circumference of the wooden log.
Fit the top of the log, and secure it into place using a bolt, as shown. Tighten as far as it will allow.
Next, drill four holes into the top of the log to enable the anvil to be affixed to it using clamps. Once complete, fashion four clamps or using existing ones, to securely bolt the anvil into place.
If the anvil comes with bolt holes already, you can skip this step and directly bolt the anvil into place.
Step 6: Add a hammer holder
Next, using either readymade handles, or ones you have made yourself, weld or secure these to the wooden base too. These will be used to hold any tools, like hammers, you might want to add to the anvil base.
Next, unless already completed, remove the masking tape from the top of the anvil.
With that, your DIY restored anvil, with a custom base, is now complete. Now you can start hammering things to your heart's content.
Well done you!
Before you leave, if we've piqued your interest in restoration, why not have a go at restoring an old Zippo lighter too?