Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hardening and Tempering our Anvil

Wow! We just got finished hardening an anvil that we've shaped over the past few months. The whole process was cool, but this was the icing on the cake. Here is the process in a nutshell:

1) Find a section of heavy gauge railroad track. (Ours was donated by Charles Nagel of Chanhassen).
2) Cut it to the desired length on a metal-cutting bandsaw. (Thanks Cazimir Sienkiewicz!)

3) Cut an appropriate profile with a cutting torch.

4) Mill the face (top) flat and mill a step into the face.
5) Grind the shape of the horn as desired. (Myles, Senior Apprentice, 15)

6) Drill and file a hardy hole through the face.
7) Drill a pritchel hole through the face. (Phong, Senior Apprentice, 18)

8) Complete any finish filing, and drill mounting holes in the base.
9) Fire up the forge; heat the anvil face and horn to red hot.
10) Test for magnetism; once the anvil loses its magnetism, it is hot enough.

11) Quench in a large vat of water.

12) Test hardness with a file.

13) Draw the temper using the forge; this gives us the hardness and working properties we need.

14) Mill the face flat (the heat usually deforms it).

14) Shield and anneal (soften) the horn with a torch.
15) Mount anvil on a stump.

16) Start blacksmithing.

-Phil Winger, Program Manager