Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective #1: Anvil stand

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-18-2016 10:07 PM 2715 reads 3 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective series Part 2: Forging a iron age knife - first wood working tool made »

Anvil stand
workspace for blacksmithing

After taking a blacksmithing class I realized there were no way back for me, I needed to have this possibility in my workshop, the ability to make, repurpose, restore tools for woodworking on my own, to forge the blade, then give it a handle or a body and finally make shaves with it, is for me the feeling of a full circle. Ohhh yes and then it is just another chance to learn new, to open new paths and get a wider perspective, so yes the child in me are fully alive and still endlessly curious.
This will not be a blacksmithing blog series, but blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective, a how I get started and the tricks I learn to make a woodworker able to forge his own tools and finish them up.

The small gas forge on top of my stove.
My first thought was to build a soup can forge since I have a MAPP gas burner, but after finding a fair priced gas forge from DEVILS FORGE, I decided to go the easy way and not spend my time on building a forge and
figuring out how to construct a burner and the dangers that could come with it… Coal was not possible since my shop is in a domestic building in the center of Copenhagen.
(I also choose the gas burner because I can also use it for a Raku kiln that’s on my to do list).

So while waiting for the forge to arrive I visited my once again generous friend Flemming who said I could borrow this anvil and tong he had in the house and not used.
(It is a better quality and I like it better than my small cast iron anvil).

Being a city woodworker I have little acces to lumber, so I decided to do reversed woodworking.
Bought a bunch of roof batterns, since they are dead cheap and easy to get.
Now waiting for a click on mount for a gas bottle to arrive…

So a stand for a tapered anvil…

Ohhh yes and I also managed to get two gas bottles at a fair prize (half the retail price), I can only use the small size since it is a workshop that are three steps under the terrain… Hmmmm that’s what the law say and so I better follow it, also it holds enough gas for at least a full days forging, so that should be more than enough for my use.

So back to reversed woodworking…
Making roof batterns into a solid wood block.
Kind of stupid, kind of foolish but…
So I cut them up in pieces that fit the height I want on the anvil.
It should be that your knuckles touch the surface when your arm hang loose.

That’s it!
Kind of.

At this point I realized it would be more easy to make the tapered hole for the anvil before putting the stand together.
So I made a drawing of the anvil, then folded it on the middle and could transfer the angle to the wood.

Then sawing from both sides.

Cleaning up a little and thinking of an old friend.

Like this we have half the hole.
Two more and we are there.

Get it?

Easy to make and a perfect fit.


Glue and screw.

Layer on layer and a block of wood are a reality.

Now metal band around to secure it and hold the beating that will come later.

I used the construction type, it is again cheap and easy to get.

And easy to mount.

Anvil stand.
Nice and simple.

I think it fits in here, kind of like home from the beginning.

Now some leather details…
Cutting a few strips.

Mounting it on the sides.
Just loose loops, different sizes.

Like this the tools will be where they are needed.

Like this.

That’s it; anvil on stand, I’m pleased with the result.
Flemming passed the shop today and were so pleased with it that he gave me the tong and anvil as a gift.
I am a lucky man.
Think Flemming will enjoy some blacksmithing here also. ;-)
Now I just wait for that gas click on thing to arrive…

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools, after all this is why I take a detour out the black road now.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

27 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1691 posts in 480 days

#1 posted 04-18-2016 10:20 PM

Oh. You have your forge already. I read the other one first. Good on ya Buddy.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16763 posts in 2522 days

#2 posted 04-18-2016 10:58 PM

Very nice tutorial on the making of the anvil stand. That is a neat way to make the pocket right on!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lew's profile


11261 posts in 3172 days

#3 posted 04-18-2016 11:21 PM

That stand was much easier to create than trying to cut a tapered hole into a tree stump.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2214 days

#4 posted 04-19-2016 12:31 AM

Very nice, very human scale, very fitting, ........ very, very Mads!

I like it a lot Mads. Just be careful and don’t burn down the cutest little shop in Denmark.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View CFrye's profile


8548 posts in 1256 days

#5 posted 04-19-2016 04:20 AM

You created a custom stump, with unique accoutrements. Yes, very Mads! Thanks for sharing your adventures and smiles.

-- God bless, Candy

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

916 posts in 1729 days

#6 posted 04-19-2016 08:26 AM

Nice solution. I hope you don’t forget a fire extinguisher, just in case!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2506 days

#7 posted 04-19-2016 01:20 PM

Now even in use. ;-)
I made the stand a little higher, this feels better when swinging the hammer.

The last parts for the forge arrived today, so it’s on fire now and I am with a smile.
A hot smile.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View English's profile


512 posts in 894 days

#8 posted 04-19-2016 07:12 PM

Very Interesting anvil. Don’t think I have ever seen one like that. That stand should sure hold it. Good job.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 869 days

#9 posted 04-19-2016 07:26 PM

The inside corners of the wood will split & it will go round with use … sorry. You should have just made a rectangular hole, that tapered hole will focus the force on splitting the sides. Your ‘anvil’ looks like a hardy hole tool for a real anvil. Hope it works, but don’t get you hopes up. Nice shop tho.


-- Madmark -

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2283 days

#10 posted 04-19-2016 07:50 PM

That’s a great anvil stand, Mads. It has a lot of character and I like the way that you built it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1130 days

#11 posted 04-19-2016 08:27 PM

Is that an anvil for working metal plates? (gørtler/blikkenslager?)
I am starting to expect a steady stream of true MAFE style tools flowing from your shop in the near future!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2506 days

#12 posted 04-19-2016 09:30 PM


Perhaps this can be some inspiration for the origin of the shape…
The early Viking anvils looked like this, so I think I will call it my Viking anvil.
(Truth is I have no idea, it was a gift from a friend and I love it). ;-)

kærlighedsbamsen, I looked online and found this type used both by smede, gørtler and blikkenslager, so I think we can’t put a trade on it, I will use for all that’s possible. Don’t expect too much, I have so many unfinished project now that I will find little time for forging and I have no production plans, just joy and fulfilling a old dream.
helluvawreck, I also like the soul of that anvil, it have a history in it I think. Thanks.
MadMark, I think it’s too big for being a hardy hole tool, but I don’t know, as you can see in the photos above there are a long history here in Europe on these anvils, so I hink there can be many answers to the origin. Not sure I understand your point about the hole, if I made a square hole the splitting force would be even bigger as I see it since it have no base… But I did think of this force and that was why I put the metal band around the stand. Time will tell, I do think it will hold up with the little use I am planning for. My hopes are high, I hope for a happy life full of surprises, smiles, worst case is I spend seven usd on wood I can use in the stove. (Anyway hanks for your concerns).
English, yes that’s what I think also, elegant, thank you.
Jim Rowe, laughs, no I am Mr. carful so I did buy one of those also, you can see it on the picture in the comments.
CFrye, you always make ME smile, thanks.
shipwright, I did give it a few thoughts… wood, fire, wood fire, firewood… But I will put metal sheets on the floor and be careful so do not worry, the tools should be safe. ;-) I like your way to say it; human scale, I feel the same, it fits a calm man.
lew, Yes I think I was lucky at the end…
Jim Jakosh, thanks Jim, I am lazy so that helps finding the easy way… laughs.
Mark Wilson, yeps and even on fire now!
Thank you all for your lovely words.
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2506 days

#13 posted 04-19-2016 09:50 PM

An early stake anvil.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1130 days

#14 posted 04-20-2016 04:57 PM

Viking anvil sounds cool!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View madts's profile


1661 posts in 1756 days

#15 posted 04-20-2016 05:12 PM

I like that Bamse.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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