Blacksmithing, as you probably already know, is something that fascinates me. There are endless topics of discussion that surround the craft of working iron and one of those is how to properly set-up equipment to work iron with ease. The height of your anvil is important for a number of reasons, but there are two main reasons having the proper anvil height is essential to a blacksmith.
To learn all about the basics and see my Essentials of Blacksmithing video click this link.
Longevity – Your Joints
The wrong anvil height causes unnecessary stress on your joints and over time creates common overuse injuries in the wrists, elbows, shoulders and back. To avoid these issues, be sure to set your anvil at the proper working height. You don’t have to be a physically strong person to be a good blacksmith. However, trying to push through pain is something that won’t do you any favors. Get it right the first time and avoid joint problems.
Craftsmanship – Work Quality
The fewer hammer strikes to complete a job the better. Having the correct anvil height allows you great “touch” on the metal and allows you to work it efficiently without taking unnecessary time and additional hammer strikes to complete the work.
Anvil height and set-up explained
Luckily setting your anvil to the correct height is pretty simple and is personalized for everyone. Here’s how you go about it:
- Stand with your feet normal width apart, hands at your side and make a fist with your hammering hand (dominant hand).
- The knuckles of your fist are at the height you should place the anvil face (top of the anvil) – this is proper anvil height.
- Place your anvil on a solid, very sturdy block or stand – it should not move at all when working iron
- The horn typically faces left as you work iron, but most blacksmiths work iron from both sides. It’s really what feels best for you.
There! That was simple enough and following these simple instructions will keep you working iron for many years and doing it in a very efficient manner.
Until next time! Cheers!
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