The Blacksmith’s anvil is a heavy iron or steel block upon which metal is forged or hammered.
The blacksmith′s anvil is made from steel or forged iron and may vary in weight from 2kg up to 500kg. It is fixed to a wooden block, normally elm as this doesn’t split so easily.
Throat – This gives clearance under the bick so that round items such as horseshoes can be worked.
Bick – Also known as the horn, or beak. This is the cone shaped projection on which round or bent shapes are worked.
Table – The table is made of non-tempered iron and so is softer than the anvil’s face which is tempered.
Face – The hardened flat top surface of the anvil. This is the work surface where most of the hammering is done. The anvil face should be harder than the hammers used on it so that the odd blow to the surface does not mark it.
Heel – Most heels are as wide as the face and square on the end, some are tapered, depending on the use of the anvil. In the heel is a square hole known as the hardy hole.
Hardy – This name is also given to the tools that fit into the Hardy Hole. These tools are used to cut, swage, fuller, flatten, or shape bar stock.
Pritchel Hole – This is used for punching holes through material with a pritchel or punch e.g. holes in horseshoes for the nails.
The blacksmith’s anvil is a great addition to the general engineering workshop even if you’re not a blacksmith. It will give you a solid platform to hammer objects into shape.