Blacksmith Work: Types of AnvilsAdmin
An anvil is one of the most important tools in a Boston blacksmith’s collection. It is a flat, uniquely-designed, heavy block of metal that provides blacksmith’s with a surface to work on their metal. The anvil also has some structural elements that help the blacksmith shape and form the metal according to their liking.
Anvils have undergone a considerable transformation over the centuries and different regions in the world developed different kinds of anvils. Here’s a look at the different types over time:
1. Colonial and early American anvils
These anvils had a cruder design but served their purpose well. Most were made from a heavy block of iron while some were made from wood. These early colonial and American anvils even included stakes that could be buried in the ground. This helped keep the anvil in place.
2. London anvils
London anvils were popular on both sides of the Atlantic and had a major influence on anvil designs that came in later. The anvils ranged from 100lbs. to 300lbs. in weight and were usually made from solid iron.
3. Continental type anvils
The continental type anvils include blocks made from manufacturers in Germany, Czech Republic, and other such regions. Some American blocks were also made of the same design and shape. Most of these anvils were made from forged steel, cast steel, or iron, and weighed anywhere between 250lbs to 450lbs, providing blacksmiths with a solid base for their work.
4. Farrier’s anvil
These anvils were specifically designed to make horseshoes, which is why they tend to have very precise horns. These were generally lighter in weight because they were used to create smaller objects.
5. Specialty anvil
These anvils were designed for special purposes instead of general ironwork. For example, the 1lb silversmith’s anvil is designed for silverwork and to create delicate pieces. Such anvils aren’t used in the blacksmithing industry often.
Common types of anvils available today include London shape, double pike, Coachsmiths, Farriers, Sawmakers, and bench anvil. Many of these are still used in the industry. Most Boston blacksmiths choose specialized anvils suitable for their own professional to ensure they can create custom designs and components.