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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been making do with fashioning sheet metal parts by hammering them over a 5" vice and bits of timber, but it's reached the point where I think I need something a bit better for battering things flat and making sharp folds.

So the price of anvils has shocked me a little. I thought they'd be things people would be trying to get rid of, but everything used seems to be £200+. Looking at new ones I can get something around 10kg, with a 10*20cm ish surface for around £50 (VEVOR Pro Horn Anvil 22LBS 10KG, Weight Steel Anvil Blacksmith 360mm Length Blacksmith Anvil, Portable Rugged Cast Iron Anvil Blacksmith Anvil Stable Workbench Blacksmith Forge Anvil Tool, Dark Gray : Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools). I also recall people saying length of railway track is useful too, but that seems to be £50 for 250mm so it's no cheaper.

Has anyone got any advice about whether that is too small to be useful? Is 10kg heavy enough? I don't know what I'd use the 'horn' part for, but you don't seem to be able to get anvils without that.

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Theres some old lengths of railway track in the old quarry just down the road from me. Not sure i could sneak a length out of there without crippling myself though.😁
A few anvils are usually available on facebook marketplace. This is just £35 near me. 8.5" long (about 215mm) old rail track from the look of it.
Probably a bit heavy to post.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I googled I did find that network rail sell off old track and sleepers, etc. Trouble is they only sell in multiples of 000 tonnes. It's tempting, but I don't know how quickly I could cut 1M kg of railway line into chunks with a 4.5" grinder and ebay it all. 🤣

Marketplace has 2 anvils within 40km of me, both >£500. The first one under £100 is the one you have pictured! Only a 10.5h round trip.
 

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This is what I use. Coke bottle for scale
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I honestly don't think I could be without it, it's in daily use.
I bought it off eBay. The delivery driver made me pick it up from his van as he couldn't lift it! Lol

I do have some railway track (from Severn Valley Steam Railway) but I can honestly say that I've never used it. You are welcome to it free of charge, but I'm not posting it!!!
I also have a collection of round offcuts I've got over the years from machine shops, usually in exchange for a bit of welding etc.
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Oh, big thanks to gojira. 👍

This thread got me thinking about heavy duty pieces of metal that you might be able to use. I remembered I've got a large Victorian garden roller that's dumped in a field awaiting collection. I was waiting until I had a van or estate to move it and get it sold. I've currently got an estate. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, big thanks to gojira. 👍
🤣 No worries. RSJ is a good shout. There's some local for around £25 for a 2.5m length, but that's too long and heavy to fit in my van. I'm sure some more will turn up in a suitable size.
 

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🤣 No worries. RSJ is a good shout. There's some local for around £25 for a 2.5m length, but that's too long and heavy to fit in my van. I'm sure some more will turn up in a suitable size.
If it's got the right profile for your needs, I'd be tempted to stick it in the van with the back open, lash it down (or get a fat mate to sit on it😁) and wrap a hi viz around the end.

To get the size you want, you need an offcut of a big RSJ. A small, uncut one, will have a smaller cross section, as it's used to span a smaller opening, supporting less weight.

Plus, if it's 2.5m, you can chop it up and create different, common angles you may need. Or weld it into a box section, for bending heavy gauge.
 

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10kg would be the absolute minimum I’d say. 25kg would be better.
As a comparison, a 1ft length of railway line will weigh about 20kg.

Mine is quite small, by industrial standards, at 1.5 CWT (168 lbs, a little bit over 76 kg), and as it’s barely worn it’s easily £500 worth.

Anvils have always been expensive, and generally valued by weight. My dad used to say “ten bob a pound” as in lb, and he’s been dead thirty five years. These days I doubt that you’ll find anything that’s not worn to buggery for much less than £2 a pound, and maybe nearer £3 or £4 i bought from a dealer. You’ll pay more again for one with a proper stand.
 

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Anvils are generally used for working hot bar after being heated in a forge e.g. blacksmithing.
If you are working sheet metal, you’d be better off with stakes, dollies, hammers, folders, shrinker/stretcher. :)
 

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If your looking at second hand look for a forged one they normally have a hole in either side if you pick one of them up there worth a few quid also drop a ball bearing on the flat if it rings you've got a gem!! 😉
 

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bit of track has served me well I looked at the anvil route and gave up due to expense
I'm not advocating going onto railway property but there's normally a few offcuts thrown on the embankments
Or look out for weekend line work and offer a few beers
 
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