Anvils are durable in nature, but you need something to prevent them from sliding around. The force of a hammer is strong enough to move it a bit, especially if you’re dealing with a small anvil. You’ll be able to provide a stable foundation for your anvil if you get a solid base platform.
The most popular anvil base is made from the traditional tree stump. A tree stump can make a durable and heavy base for your anvil. But for me, one of the best commercial bases for an anvil is the Industrial Machinery Blacksmith Anvil Base Stand by VKRP Enterprises. You can also build one at home using metal, wood, or a tree stump. Whichever you choose, make sure that it’s tough enough to hold an anvil.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn:
- What to look for when buying an anvil base
- The pros and cons of metal and wood bases
- How you can make your own at home
Features of a High-Quality Anvil Base
Bases need to be as tough as the anvil that they’re supporting. If they’re lacking integrity, then you’ll notice right away. Your anvil will begin to tip over, or it simply won’t be the right height for your hammer swings.
Before you go out and buy the first base that you find, let’s examine the various benefits that you should get from having a top-tier anvil base below.
- The best anvil stand for your projects should have more than enough room. One of the reasons that people love the anvil stand from VKRP Enterprises so much is that it has plenty of space for other tools. You shouldn’t feel confined to one area, or you might risk pushing the anvil off and causing injuries.
- A base should be able to support the anvil for countless years to come. Some anvils are only between 10 to 50 pounds, while others are very heavy. If you’re getting a large anvil, you need a base that can stay there and withstand a beating just as long as the anvil.
- While it’s not vital to the functionality of an anvil, cosmetic upgrades are always welcome. The reason that so many people choose tree stumps as their anvil stand is that they’re tough and they look fantastic. The vintage appearance mirrors how blacksmiths used anvils for centuries.
- In many cases, a base should brace the anvil from moving. Even a slight movement when you hit the anvil with your hammer could throw off your whole project. Blacksmithing is all about calculated angles, so it’s essential that your anvil is viced by a base that doesn’t shake around.
- Last but definitely not least, a good base for you will elevate your anvil to the height that suits your personal preferences. Since the VKRP Stand sits at the perfect height for most people, you’ll have no problem using it to your advantage. It’s also adjustable to accommodate everyone.
The VKRP Enterprises Anvil Base (Amazon affiliate link) is undoubtedly the best choice on Amazon, but you might be curious about why so many people choose wooden bases.
If you want to build your own stand or learn the differences between metal and wood bases, then proceed to the next two sections.
Here is a cool video from Nate’s Forge. He is making a nice anvil stand.
Metal vs. Wood Bases for an Anvil
The two most common materials to make an anvil base are metal and wood. Steel is known for being one of the toughest metals on the planet, and nobody doubts the longevity of wooden bases, either.
Below, you’ll find all of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a metal or a wood one.
Pros of a Metal Base
- Metal lasts forever if you take proper care of it. It’s also nice because it won’t dent or chip when you’re striking it with a blacksmith’s hammer. Furthermore, all you need to do is add a little bit of cosmoline to keep rust and corrosion away for long periods of time.
- Metal doesn’t cause dust or debris to fly everywhere when it’s moved or struck. It also won’t catch fire if something goes awry. You can quickly adjust the base vices by unscrewing and repositioning the clamps without ruining the integrity of the base.
- Metal bases are cheap and easy to come by. Wooden tree stumps are a bit rarer, and they’re also harder to get into your home. With a metal base, you can use virtually anything that’s stable and solid.
Cons of a Metal Base
- While cosmoline does an excellent job, it’s still a burden to have to consistently treat your metal base to prevent rust and corrosion. You’ll end up causing a fire with sparks if you use most types of oil.
- Metal bases don’t look nearly as appealing to the eye for most traditional blacksmiths. They’re bulky, dull in color after only a few uses, and you’ll more than likely have to start welding them eventually.
Pros of a Wood Base
- Wooden ones are a timeless classic. They look fantastic and they mimick the stumps used by blacksmiths for hundreds of years. If you want to dive completely into the hobby, then tree stumps are the only way to go.
- Working with wood is much easier than working with metal. By using a few screws and a couple of extra blocks, you can make a wooden base at home. You don’t need welding equipment or special rust treatments, either.
- If you put a wooden base on a rug or mat, you can slide it around quickly from place to place. This process is much more difficult with metal bases since they’re often sharp enough to poke through the rug.
Cons of a Wood Base
- Fluctuating temperatures can cause wooden bases to warp. Over time, this process causes instability and wobbliness to develop. You’ll eventually have to replace the stump since it’s not fit to support an anvil.
- Wood can obviously catch fire, which means you have to be careful about flying sparks. By removing moss and other greenery from the stump, you’ll be able to prevent fires from occurring much easier.
How to Make the Best DIY Anvil Base
If you’re a blacksmith, then there’s a high chance that you love to do your own building at home. Fortunately, you can create a DIY anvil base from a wooden tree stump to support your hobbies.
Without further ado, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to making a good DIY anvil base:
- Start by getting a tree stump that’s completely leveled on the top and bottom. This process will prevent the stump from wobbling when you’re using it.
- Place your anvil on the center of the stump and ensure that it doesn’t move around. Put M10 washers (such as the ones from the Helifouner Kit) around the base of the anvil. They should have one end touching the anvil to pin it down and the other end touching the wooden stump. For a simple guide on washer sizes, check out these tables by Armstrong Metalcrafts. Mark a dot for each washer with a pencil.
- Drill a pilot hole through each marked spot. Replace the washers on the anvil at the angle mentioned above and drill 0.220” screws through each washer. They should be at least 2.5 to 3 inches long. There should also be about 8 to 16 washers in total, depending on the size of your anvil.
Getting a good stand for your anvil could either mean buying one online or creating your own DIY tree stump base at home.
Either way, you should make sure that it’s stable, well taken care of, and tough enough to deal with a few stray hammer strikes.
Anvil bases are equally as important as anvils. Consider getting a base that’s about 1.5 to 2 times as heavy as the anvil that it supports. Good luck!
Cheers, tools owners!