Sandblasting An Anvil: A New Look

sand blast an old anvil

Sandblasting is a popular method for refinishing an old anvil. The process involves using a grinder with a fine flap disc to smooth out the metal surface of the anvil. Some people choose to paint the sides of the anvil after sandblasting to improve its appearance. Additionally, sand can be used in anvil stands to reduce noise and vibration. The sand absorbs shockwaves and can be adjusted to change the height of the anvil, making it a convenient and effective option for anvil stands.

Characteristics Values
Purpose To refinish an anvil
Tools Sandblaster, grinder with a fine flap disc, wire brush
Anvil Type Arm and Hammer 80lb anvil
Paint Flat black paint
Sand Play sand


The best stands for anvils

When it comes to the best stands for anvils, there are a variety of options available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the top stand options for anvils:

Industrial Machinery Blacksmith Anvil Vise Base Stand

This stand is designed for use with a blacksmith anvil and features adjustable legs and a built-in tool holder. It is made of durable materials and has a sturdy construction to withstand heavy loads. The adjustable legs allow users to customize the height and ensure a stable base for the anvil.

WEN Bench Grinder Stand, 32-Inch with Water Pot

The WEN Bench Grinder Stand is a versatile option that can accommodate various power tools, including bench grinders, planers, and sanders. It features a 32-inch central shaft, providing ample space for mounting different tools. The stand also includes a water pot, which is useful for cooling down tools or quenching metal during the forging process.

VEVOR Cast Steel Anvil with Single Horn

This stand is designed for use with a single horn anvil and offers a stable base for secure mounting. It is made of cast steel, ensuring high hardness and ruggedness. The stand features a large countertop and a stable base, providing ample space for working and ensuring stability during heavy blows.

SIMOND STORE Blacksmith Forge Kit Stand

The SIMOND STORE offers a versatile stand that is compatible with single burner, double burner, and three-burner forge kits. It provides a sturdy base for your anvil and other blacksmithing tools. The stand is made of durable materials and is designed to withstand the demands of forging and blacksmithing.

Custom Sand-Filled Stand

For a more customizable option, creating a sand-filled stand is an innovative solution. This involves constructing a stand with a container filled with sand, which helps to absorb shockwaves and reduce noise. This type of stand can be adjusted to different heights and provides a stable base for the anvil. Additionally, the sand filling makes it easy to adjust the height of the anvil to accommodate different users.

These stand options offer a range of features, from adjustability to durability, ensuring that you can find the best stand for your anvil and forging needs. Each stand is designed to provide stability, shock absorption, and, in some cases, additional features like tool holders or quenching pots.

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How to adjust an anvil stand

To adjust an anvil stand, you can follow these steps:

First, determine the desired height of the anvil stand. The traditional working height of a blacksmithing anvil places the top striking surface at the height of your knuckles when standing next to it. To find this height, hold your hammer flat against the anvil face with your arm slightly bent and measure the distance from the floor. Subtract the height of your anvil to find the required height for your stand.

Next, gather the necessary materials and tools. For a basic stand, you will need wood, such as recycled lumber or hardwood deck supports, as well as screws, bolts, washers, and other fasteners. You may also want to use metal reinforcements, such as steel angle iron or flat bar, for added strength and stability.

Now, cut the wood to size according to your measurements. If using recycled lumber, ensure the pieces are straight and free of nails. Sand or plane the pieces to create flat surfaces, and pay attention to getting the top and bottom of the stand as flat as possible to prevent rocking.

After cutting and sanding, assemble the wood pieces. You can use a combination of glue and bolts to join the sections. Consider adding metal reinforcements at this stage, especially if you plan to add wheels or other features.

Finally, attach the anvil to the stand. You can use steel straps, chains, or custom mounting brackets to secure the anvil. Place the anvil in the desired position and mark the holes for fasteners. Drill and tap the holes, then bolt the anvil in place.

You can further customise your anvil stand by adding features such as retractable wheels, hammer loops, or decorative elements. Remember to take the necessary safety precautions when working with power tools and metalworking equipment.

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Anvil restoration

Inspect the Anvil

Before beginning the restoration process, it is important to inspect the anvil thoroughly. Check for any cracks, extra large divots, or stress cracks. These issues could compromise the safety and integrity of the anvil, and may require replacement rather than restoration. Small chinks and pits are normal and to be expected on a used anvil.

Choose a Suitable Anvil Stand

A proper foundation is crucial for an anvil to perform at its best. There are various options for anvil stands, each with its own advantages:

  • Tripod: Usually made of steel with welded legs filled with lead shot or sand.
  • Sturdy table: Can be made of welded steel or thick hardwood.
  • Box or barrel filled with sand: The anvil rests on a steel or wooden base, which is adjustable to change height.
  • Laminated wood: Stacked or vertical layers of wood provide a stable base.
  • Large timber post: A large square post is dropped into a hole in the ground and trimmed to the desired height.
  • Welded steel 3-sided box: Provides solid support while allowing the user to stand closer to the anvil.

Clean and Refinish the Anvil

To remove rust and restore the anvil's appearance, consider using a wire brush, flap disc, or grinder to clean the surface. Be careful not to remove too much material, especially from the top surface, as it may not be very thick. For a more natural finish, products like Permatex Rust Treatment can be applied to convert and darken the rust. Several coats may be needed to achieve the desired result.

Protect and Maintain the Anvil

Once the anvil is restored, it is important to protect it from further deterioration. A simple waterproof cover can help keep the finish rust-free for years. Additionally, regular oiling can aid in rust prevention, especially in areas prone to rust, such as the joints. Silicone or rubberized caulk can also be applied to seal the joints and inhibit rust.

Tips for Buying Used Anvils

When shopping for a used anvil, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Material: Wrought iron or steel bodies are preferable. Avoid cast iron anvils.
  • Face: Look for a hard steel face.
  • Bounce and Ring: A good anvil should have a nice bounce when struck with a hammer, and produce a ringing sound when clamped down properly.
  • Size: For frequent and heavy blacksmith work, choose an anvil weighing at least 200 pounds. Smaller anvils will have a more piercing ring, while larger ones will produce a more subdued sound.
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Anvil safety

Safe Handling and Usage

It is crucial to handle anvils with care to prevent injuries. Always use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety goggles, gloves, ear protection, and sturdy footwear, when working with an anvil. Ensure that the anvil is securely placed on a stable stand or base to avoid tipping. Be mindful of your surroundings, and keep bystanders at a safe distance to prevent injuries from flying sparks or debris.

Refinishing and Maintenance

When refinishing an old anvil, consider using less invasive methods such as wire brushing or a light grinding with a fine flap disc to preserve the character of the piece. Avoid aggressive sandblasting, as it can remove the patina and affect the structural integrity of the anvil. Always be cautious when working with power tools to avoid accidental damage to the anvil or injury to yourself.

Rust Prevention and Treatment

Rust is a common issue with old anvils. Instead of painting the anvil, consider using rust treatment products like Permatex Rust Treatment, which darkens the surface while inhibiting further corrosion. Apply a waterproof cover to protect the anvil from the elements and prevent rust formation. Regularly oil the anvil to inhibit rust and improve its longevity.

Safe Storage and Transportation

When storing or transporting an anvil, ensure it is adequately secured to prevent accidental falls or injuries. Use a sturdy pallet or base to facilitate easy movement without compromising stability. Always be cautious when handling an anvil, as improper lifting techniques can lead to back or muscle strain.

Employee Safety and Training

For businesses utilizing anvils, it is essential to establish a comprehensive safety program that involves management, supervisors, and employees. Provide regular safety training and encourage a culture of safety awareness. Implement safety recognition programs to motivate employees to actively improve safety practices for themselves and their coworkers. Conduct pre-employment and periodic drug and alcohol screenings to ensure employees are fit for duty.

By following these guidelines and adopting a safety-first mindset, you can help ensure the safe use and maintenance of anvils, protecting yourself, your coworkers, and your equipment.


Anvil stands for beginners

Anvil stands are an important consideration for beginners. The stand you choose will depend on your budget, space, and personal preference. Here are some options to consider:

Tripod Stands

These stands are usually made of steel with welded legs filled with lead shot or sand. They offer stability and can be adjusted to your desired height. The filling also helps to dampen the sound of the anvil. However, they may not be as sturdy as other options and can be more challenging to move around.

Sturdy Table

A sturdy table made of welded steel or thick hardwood can be a good option if you have limited space. It provides a stable surface for your anvil and can often be adjusted for height. While it may not offer the same level of sound dampening as other options, it is a solid choice for a beginner.

Sand-Filled Box or Barrel

This is a classic option for anvil stands and is highly effective at reducing sound and vibration. The anvil rests on a steel or wooden base, which is placed on top of sand. You can adjust the height by adding or removing sand. This option is also relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. One thing to consider is that sand can be messy, so you may want to line the box or barrel with a plastic bag to contain the sand and make it easier to adjust the height.

Laminated Wood

Laminated wood stands are made by stacking or joining together pieces of wood to create a solid base for your anvil. This option can be more aesthetically pleasing than some of the other choices and is relatively inexpensive. However, it may not offer the same level of stability as metal stands.

Large Timber Post

This option involves digging a large hole and placing a square post in it before refilling the hole with dirt. The post is then trimmed to the desired height. This stand is extremely sturdy but not easily adjustable, and it can be time-consuming to set up.

When choosing an anvil stand, consider your budget, the amount of space you have, and how permanent you want the setup to be. For beginners, the sand-filled box or barrel option is a great choice as it is effective at reducing sound and vibration, easy to set up, and inexpensive. Whichever stand you choose, make sure it is stable and secure to ensure your safety while working.

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Frequently asked questions

A popular method is to use a box or barrel filled with sand. The anvil rests on a steel or wooden base, placed on top of the sand. The height can be adjusted by adding or removing sand.

Sand is naturally self-compacting and excellent at absorbing shockwaves. It also makes it easy to adjust the height of the anvil for different users.

Play sand or a sand and lead/bismuth shot mix are recommended.

Other options include a welded steel table, a laminated wood stand, or a large timber post.

One method is to sandblast the entire anvil and then use a grinder with a fine flap disc to smooth out the top surface. You can then paint the sides of the anvil.

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