What should I do?

I had a good friend of mine make an anvil for me out of an old section of rail. It has a decent horn, a nice flat area and its ready to be mounted. I love the look of it but can’t use it right now. Starting to get some surface rust. What do I need to do for long term storage? Do I need to worry about it temper?

Also, I would love to show you guys some pictures. How do I load them for viewing?

I figured it out, I think?

Hi Woogie,

Whatcha asking here? What to do with what exactly?

Looks like a great railroad anvil you got there :slight_smile:

I need to know 1) about long term storage as in how should I do it to prevent serious rust and 2) do I need to worry about its temper if I am only planning on making small blades and crafts.


If it were me, this is how I would handle those two questions:

  1. Rust. Don’t worry about it. Rust is a patina, it won’t do any serious damage unless it gets too much moisture for too long and starts really deteriorating… Likely not to happen unless you bury it in the ground or something and not touch it for years and years. Both of my anvils get rust on them from time to time, just from moisture and humid days where the dew point is really high - so do all my tools in that type of condition. Don’t fret about it, if it gets really bad you can just take a knotted brush wheel to the anvil to clean it up, but generally rust is not a worry.

  2. I wouldn’t worry about the heat treat and temper, looks like a railroad anvil that had a top plate welded on it? Do you know what type of steel that top plate is? The railroad will be tough enough and you won’t be harming that any time soon. The top plate, I’d say as long as it’s some sort of tough tool steel, you’re fine there too.

That is a great anvil for what you need it for :slight_smile: Also, if you ever wanted to throw a hardie hole on there, a lot of people have done it with railroad anvils before. If you’ve got some welding experience it can be pretty easily done.

The only problem one may have is the mass of the anvil isn’t quite there, if I were you I’d get a nice stump to put that on, attach it real well to the stump maybe with some big nails or something, that’ll help add to the mass.

Grant, thanks for the help. I was able to get the anvil mounted last night to a big pine stump. The rust is still a concern for me because I am not working in a shed or anything. My forge will be completely exposed to the elements. I am thinking of getting a cheap moving dolly and just using that to move it into the shed. If you still think it is not much of concern, then I may reconsider. I have seen how the Florida air can wreak havoc on metal and that is what has me worried. I am slowly working to piece meal my tools together and hope to start working on my first project come the end of October. I would like to start sooner but with the new baby and work kicking off hard I can’t.

Ah - A moving dolly would be great. I know a lot of smiths that “pack out, pack in” their set up in and out of the garage/shed. I would definitely do that as opposed to leaving the items just out in the elements, but putting them away they will still get rust after some time without use. Just need to make sure that the rust doesn’t get TOO bad, and if it does, then you can just take a cup brush or wire wheel to it and take it away.

Congrats on the new baby :slight_smile: Plenty of time to get into the trade, the slower you take it the better certain things will sink in, I’m sure.

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