Inside: Find out what is a striking anvil and why should a striking anvil be used as you are learning to forge. Promote working together as you learn this craft.
What is a Striking Anvil?
You may come across in your research, whether online or at local blacksmith groups, the idea of a striking anvil. Well what is it? I think the name insinuates that you are going to be striking on this anvil, but isn’t that what all anvils are made for? I believe so, but what makes the striking anvil different? The striking anvils that I have seen in use were with a second striker. A striker can use a sledge hammer and therefore is able to apply more force to the work. Because of this second person using the sledge hammer, the striking anvil was developed to make his effort more effective. Check out the video as we are preparing some stock for an upcoming project.
This effectiveness is increased when the anvil is lowered a bit. This allows room for the use of bottom tools held in the hardie hole, and handled top tools held by the smith. The smith can then more accurately and effectively guide each blow of the striker, to move the metal most efficiently into its desired position. Now you could achieve this effectiveness by lowering any anvil that you have. So maybe the striking anvil was developed to create a station for multiple person work, while keeping the main anvil at regular height for single person work.
My personal striking anvil, I made from a large rectangular section of fork lift tang. I drilled a 15/16″ hole centered in one end and drifted that to a 1″ square hole.
Why use a Striking Anvil?
I think when it comes to blacksmithing there always seems to be another tool that looks like it would be helpful to have in your shop. The use of a sledge hammer is for when you are working larger stock material. Some shops may have a power hammer or forging press, that would help in forging larger material, but when starting out, you may not have made those investment purchases yet. A striking anvil setup allows you to learn how to forge bigger material while also building comradorie with whoever has volunteered their time to strike for you and learn from you. Since I am always for learning, I think learning using some of these more traditional methods helps me appreciate the investment into future tools that I may need.
To find out about more tools needed as a blacksmith check out this other article Essential Blacksmith Tools for Beginners.
For tips in the correct posture to swing a sledge hammer, check out this article by Rochelle Connery.