The anvil, ancient tool of current validity
Although its name evokes memories or historical knowledge, this tool, as in ancient times, continues to be part of the working instruments of various disciplines today.
The anvil is best known for being a blacksmith tool, but it is also used for jewelry, goldsmithing and is even used, with a special design, by shoemakers in shoe repairs.
This tool is made of stone or metal, and is used as a support to forge metals.
Most of these instruments are made of wrought iron, since this material transfers the energy of the blow more efficiently. Other metals are too brittle to withstand constant heavy hitting.
What are the functions of the anvil?
The anvil has a solid block design, this block has a flat and tempered surface that is the center of its structure and the user’s work table. On this surface there are two holes, one circular and the other square, the latter known as “pritchel”, both are used to insert the stem or handle of auxiliary tools. The pritchel hole is also used to pierce the hot metal and to insert pins that will be bent.
The anvil has two ends located on the sides of the work table. One of these ends has a conical shape and the other more similar to a pyramid, they are popularly known as anvil horns.
The conical end is used to bend hot metal into circular shapes and figures, it is called a round horn. The pyramidal end is used to bend the material, obtaining angles or corners and is known as a sharp edge horn.
In its lower part the anvil, has a section known as an upsetting block. It consists of a cube that is used to hit long and circular pieces, which you want to create a head at one of its ends.
For the stability of the anvil, it must be installed or placed on a sufficiently strong base or support so that the work can be carried out without any setbacks. Generally the anvil supports They are made of wood and are called traps.
types of anvils
In terms of its shape or design, there are two general types of anvil:
double horn anvil, these anvils are the ones that have, as we have already described, a round horn and one with a sharp edge.
Square anvil: They are those that have a single horn and at the other end have a rectangular or square finish. In this type of anvil the horn they have is the round one.
As for the weight of the tool, there are a wide variety of types. The anvils They can have a weight of 2 to 200 kilograms. The difference is mainly due to the activity for which the tool is used. For the smithy the anvils vary between 50 and 200 kilograms. For jewelry and goldsmithing, the weight of the anvil can be between 2 and 25 kilograms.
Use of the anvil in various areas
Blacksmithing, the main discipline or work area for which the award is recognized use of the anvil is for blacksmithing. From the elaboration of horseshoes to implements for decoration, they are part of the work that this discipline encompasses. In this area, the anvil has a number of complementary or auxiliary tools that allow handling and working with metals. The wrought it is the activity for which the instrument is used, some of the tasks of the forging are drawing, cutting or upsetting.
Among some of the tools that work in conjunction with the anvil, we have:
+ The hammer, used to hit metal directly on the anvil or to hit the metal with another tool.
+ The tas in the form of carving or chopping board, used to cut pieces that have already been forged.
+ The cone-shaped tap and the small anvil-shaped tap are used for finer forging work.
Goldsmithing, in this task the anvil is much smaller and lighter than the one used in blacksmithing, but it basically fulfills the same function. In this case, the craftsman molds the pieces that will make up your final product. The tools used by the goldsmith as a complement to the anvil are much smaller. Usually the goldsmith’s anvil it only has a hole on its surface.
Jewelry, this beautiful discipline also requires an anvil for the elaboration of its highly valued products. The anvil in this case is basically used to forge and shape components from pieces of precious metal, hitting them with the small hand hammer on the instrument, both hot and cold. The anvil horns They are also used in this branch, to shape the jewelry that is created.
Shoe repair, although less known, there is also the anvil for shoemakers. Of a different design and weight, this anvil is used to support the shoe while it is being repaired using a hammer and other tools.
With the evolution of society and its tasks or work activities, needs inherent to this evolution also arise. An example of this is the screw anvil. This tool is a combination of vise and anvil, ideal for turners and of course blacksmiths. Its manufacture is in forged steel for adequate resistance and it has a light weight that makes it very transportable. Another model or anvil option, which can be the perfect solution for many professionals.
This ancient tool, due to its usefulness, continues to be one of the working instruments of today. With a variety of models and designs, to meet the needs of the labor market, the anvil continues to be part of the professional world.
In the video below, in addition to an interesting story about the trade, you can see the work of a blacksmith on the Yunque: