• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Anvil Prices - What's Happened?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Jelly

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2012
Messages
1,363
Reaction score
322
Location
Sheffield
Was chatting idly to a friend of mine who is looking at making his own perfect pattern screwdrivers, and he mentioned how much the prices of anvils on the ised market had gone up, whilst we were discussing how easy (or not) it would be to hand forge the screwdriver blanks.

So I had a look on eBay... For anything under about 1.5CWt, it would be cheaper to buy a new cast steel anvil from Vaughan's in Birmingham, than to buy used, even though many examples are properly wallered out with multiple defects.

I presume that the resurgence of blacksmithing as a hobby, has driven some of it... but there's a lot of anvils going for serious money which are so tatty as to not even have much ornamental value!
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,569
Reaction score
328
Location
Warrington
FIF and the fact people keep banging on about how good old tools are vs new. it's a massive chunk of forged steel that you wail on with a massive chunk of steel thats hard, they get worn out.

still, as I don't even have an anvil anymore I can't talk. :(
 

Jelly

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2012
Messages
1,363
Reaction score
322
Location
Sheffield
I was blissfully unaware of the existence of FIF, and having now lost 10-15 minutes on YouTube since @HDC83's post, don't feel like I've missed out too much...

It's cool and all, but it's no mastercrafts, and I don't get the fascination with swords, weapons and bladesmithing, there's so many more interesting (and difficult) things you can make by forging.


The fact people keep banging on about how good old tools are vs new. it's a massive chunk of forged steel that you wail on with a massive chunk of steel thats hard, they get worn out.
I suppose there's an argument that the old ductile iron, and ductile iron with steel face anvils are somewhat quieter in use (in a relative sense).

But... if the face is knackered then that will do you limited good as the neighbours will be complaining about the noise from all the loud swearing you'd be doing instead.
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,569
Reaction score
328
Location
Warrington
can't say as I've ever watched it to be honest and don't intend to either, just more rubbish and hype to avoid.

why swords? because you can't slice a bottle of water or a stick of wood with a coat hook and a slow motion capture of someone hanging a coat up isn't going to put bums on seats. :)

In case you can't tell, I'm in complete agreement with you.

finding an old ductile iron anvil that hasn't be sat outside or hasn't been used and abused for the past 50 years isn't going to be easy and to be honest, the noise reduction isn't going to be enough for your neighbour to be happy you chose it over a modern steal anvil. clink clink, heres to a forge pizza for tea. :)
 

KingAether

Eternal noob
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
58
Location
Dorset.
I found the FB marketplace the best place if you're looking for one, i put a wanted add up and had dozens come to me thenjust had to pick the right one. Managed to get a barely used 140kg shop anvil for £120 about a year ago.
Collectors are also a problem, there are at least a few people in the UK with hundreds+ sat in a barn collecting dust
 

Sandyn

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
695
Reaction score
496
Location
Scotland
I think the prices of all used machinery and tools have risen recently. I like where old machinery and anvils, which are rusted, worn and pretty useless suddenly become 'vintage' as if it's a desirable feature!
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
17,704
Reaction score
672
Location
Derbyshire
Are they being bought by preppers? There'll be a lot of useful scrap iron about as the apocalypse develops.
 

Sandyn

Established Member
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
695
Reaction score
496
Location
Scotland
Are they being bought by preppers? There'll be a lot of useful scrap iron about as the apocalypse develops
No, I don't think so. I think that people are realising the quality and great value of old things compared to much of what's being produced today and over the last few years.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,427
Reaction score
940
Location
Matching Green
Any thing for the home hobby has rocketed.
I used to buy the odd set of dumbells, pair of 10KG £15.
Now they are £90.
I bought a little vintage pedal car, couple of years ago. paid £650 but it was mint. Now a ropey old one fetches £900 +
 

TFrench

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2015
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
148
Location
Leics
Handtoolrescue on YouTube is making his own perfect pattern screwdrivers, he's ended up having to CNC them from billet and harden then because he can't find anywhere willing to forge small batches. Another chap I know is having new anvils cast in A2 tool steel - the first one came out of the mould the other day.
Anvils are definitely having their moment - bit like shapers in the machine tool world. Couple of years ago you could get them for scrap, now a big one can be £3000.
 

KingAether

Eternal noob
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
150
Reaction score
58
Location
Dorset.
Wadkin, startrite, fobco etc all have gone up 500%+ in the last 5 years too looking at older posts and the prices people where paying
 

Jelly

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2012
Messages
1,363
Reaction score
322
Location
Sheffield
Handtoolrescue on YouTube is making his own perfect pattern screwdrivers, he's ended up having to CNC them from billet and harden then because he can't find anywhere willing to forge small batches.
That fits with the conversation I was having, it seemed like the only sensible way to forge them by hand was with lots of skill, lots of time and several custom dies...

They wouldn't be especially hard to make as a closed die forging in a massive press, but you'd need serious demand (or a tool and die making hobby) to justify that.


Anvils are definitely having their moment - bit like shapers in the machine tool world.
I don't really get the shaper thing, people coo over them like they're amazing, but getting beyond the very visual appeal of the big chips for a YouTuber, on a practical level everything they're genuinely useful for, a Slotter (like a nice Butler Toolroom model) is a far better choice.
 

Torx

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2020
Messages
100
Reaction score
30
Location
Cheshire
I figured it’s the same as the ‘artisan made’ fine furniture found on FB marketplace from scaffold planks. Someone sells a decent anvil for a fair price and then anyone who digs one up from then end of their garden has licence to sell it for the same. Price of a good one goes up, resulting in a never ending spiral into silly money. Luckily I paid a good price for mine, it was free.
 

TFrench

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2015
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
148
Location
Leics
I don't really get the shaper thing, people coo over them like they're amazing, but getting beyond the very visual appeal of the big chips for a YouTuber, on a practical level everything they're genuinely useful for, a Slotter (like a nice Butler Toolroom model) is a far better choice.
For me, I'd like to have mine up and running for doing larger cast pieces. If you're restoring something, or making something to "fit in" with an old machine it gives that parallel tool pattern you can't get in a mill. Realisitically it keeps slipping down the restoration queue because I don't actually have space for it! I've got a slotting head for my FP1 so hopefully got that covered without needing to buy a butler!
 

Keith 66

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2013
Messages
463
Reaction score
52
Location
Benfleet Essex
People are trying it on with secondhand machinery but is it selling? I sold a fine Union graduate fully tooled on here last year & it was a struggle to get shot of it for £850 & i took an offer on that iirc!
A friend who is a scrap & general dealer reckons the buttocks has dropped out of the market & nobody is buying anything.
I just scrapped a good rebuilt vacuum former because i simply couldnt give the poxy thing away.
Anvils are more likely to be used as garden ornaments. I have one really nice brooks one & will be picking another anvil up from mother in laws in the near future, this one is a big 4 1/2cwt one, ancient & whats more it came out of our village forge where it was in use for centuries, its beaten half to death but it doesnt matter to me we will use it anyway & it will be nice to hear it ring a few hundred yards from where it came from.
 

--Tom--

Established Member
Joined
16 Oct 2016
Messages
409
Reaction score
139
Location
Cardiff
I’m glad I got my two reasonably. There has been a big resurgence, plus the US doesn’t have the same heritage we do so they get shipped over by the container load due to higher prices other side of pond. Sad in a way we’re losing them
 
Top