Saturday, March 31, 2012

Some Days You Just Want to Hit Something

It's true, we all have our days when we need to hit something.  And when the need arises, it's best to be prepared to do it in a constructive fashion.  Hence, a small anvil is a good thing to have in a woodworking shop.  When Lee Valley introduced this new little 7 pound bugger, I couldn't resist.  I've always wanted an anvil, but they aren't very practical things to have laying around the living room.  A little one for the woodworking shop was the perfect answer.

Here it is on my benchtop.  It's a wee thing, and the body is made in China and the pins in Canada.  The body is made to Lee Valley specs, by a manufacturer that they chose.  They didn't just pick up a lot cheap for resale through their retail outlets.  Anvil snobs are likely turning up their noses, labeling this the dreaded ASO, or "Anvil Shaped Object".  I admit they are likely correct.  But for 35 bucks, and an iron-clad warranty from Lee Valley, do I really care?  It will likely meet all my needs, except for straightening large saw blades.  It's a little small for that.

The body is hollow, as shown below.

I made a little mobile base from two 6" x 12" x 3/4" MDF glued together.  The anvil is bolted down to this base with 1/4" x 2" x 20 pitch bolts, heads are countersunk on the bottom.  Star lock washers were used in the countersunk holes to keep the bolt heads from turning when the nuts are tightened.  Then I drilled two holes on either end of the base plate, spaced such that they would fit over any pair of dog holes on my bench.  A couple of 5/16" x 18 pitch cam clamps with 6" bolts make it really easy to attach this to the benchtop.  Fastened to the bench over a leg, it is surprisingly sturdy and will take quite a beating without budging a smidgen.  

I also shellacked the MDF and drilled a hole front and back to stick the pins in, so they don't get lost.

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