by Jeff Young 

The question, “Exactly how do I support an anvil in the shop?”, is one that every new  blacksmith asks. If he is smart, he’ll ask as many people as he can find.  The odds are, you’ll get as many different answers as smiths that you ask!

  Some smiths prefer fabricated metal stands, others have made boxes and filled them with sand, yet others, bury a post or beam in the ground. All of these methods will hold up even the heaviest anvils. All of these methods have advantages, but with the “good” sometimes comes some “bad”.  What remains, is a personal preference. Take a look around the shops you visit, and see what might work for you.

  Well, I’ve tried the whole tree stump thing, and it works! I have had several solid stumps, and still have some. But I’ve had some problems, either finding a suitable stump  or I spent a great deal of time preparing the stump only to find out that I didn’t quite cut the log square. The result is a wobbly stump. If you CAN cut a straight line, you might find out that your floor isn’t quite level, so back comes the wobble. What I came up with is a multi-piece stump. My work space is usually  outside, so I wanted a stump that would resist rot. I also wanted something with square sides, and a stump that I could cut square. I also wanted to get away from staples to hold down the anvil. The photos below show what I came up with.

 

Before you start, determine what size base you need and how tall the stand needs to be.  In my case I used 4 - 6” X 6” timbers along with 2 - 1” thick planks to make up the 12” needed for my anvil.  The planks are sandwiched between the 6” X 6”  and bolted together with the threaded rod.  The holes are drilled and countersunk so that everything is flush. I offset the bolt holes so it could be bolted from both sides.  The greatest part of this style stump is that you can have your local home center  cut the timbers for you.  A chain is wrapped around the base of the anvil and attached to eye bolts which are welded shut to add  strength. To tighten the anvil, simply tighten up the eye bolts on either side.   Your anvil will be quieter if it is held fast on the stump.  If you have a dirt floor, you can extend the length of the timbers and dig them into the floor to steady the anvil.

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