Double horn blacksmith Anvils

German double horn blacksmith anvils for sale

We have a large selection of north German and south German double horn blacksmith anvils for sale.  Just scroll down to see what we have – lightest anvils at the top and heaviest at the bottom. Hover over the anvil photos  for prices.  Just click the photo for high resolutions photos and full details of the anvil.  To discuss your wants and needs: Call  Josh and we will try to find the perfect anvil for your use and budget. :  804 861 2788  or email us

Hand Forging the German double horn blacksmith anvils – a Herculean Task!

Forge welding  the wrought iron anvil body from 6 parts, 2 at a time

Before 1956 teams of blacksmiths sledge hammered anvils together and into shape by hand.  First the men loaded the anvil’s massive central block and another anvil part into the fire.  While these parts took heat they had time to organize their tools and their thoughts. During this quiet time anvil blacksmiths, like soldiers, would prepare themselves for the all out exertion and frenzy to come.

anvils for sale forge welding German double horn blacksmith anvils

When the heat was just right several men swung the anvil’s massive iron central block from the fire and onto the floor plate. At the same time other men pulled one of the anvil parts from the fire. Naturally these heavy parts were dazzling hot but still had to be moved quickly into position. Then the men began intense team hammering, swinging long handled sledge hammers from many angles with perfectly directed blows.  While forging each anvil the team repeated this process five times for both horns, both feet and the upset block.

anvils for sale - Forge welding the top plate on German double horn blacksmith anvils

The top plate of tool steel

When the heat was perfect the men pulled the glowing steel anvil top plate and the massive blazing hot anvil body from the fire and into position. Then the blacksmiths hammered in teams welding the top plate from tip to tip on the anvil. Because hot steel cools and shrinks quickly the men kept hammering to counteract shrinkage and relieve stress. For this most difficult forge weld six to eight men hammered continuously for up to 20 minutes. Indeed Refflighaus describes hand forging anvils as an art form. In fact many generations of of German anvil makers truly revered their work. As a result they lovingly passed their products and this attitude down to us.

anvils for sale - German double horn blacksmith anvils - 920 lb anvil in use

Working with classic German double horn blacksmith anvils

Special features and distinct advantages of the German double horn anvil

Central Block construction

As a result of the forging process described above a major portion of the top surface is directly over the central block. Therefor any hammer blow delivered to this area has maximum efficiency. For this reason alone German anvils outperform English and American hands down! As we shall see this is just the beginning of story.

Forging on the upset block and south German horn transition

In this video the Josh Greenwood forges an upset on one end of a square bar, using the upset block. Next he forges a point and a neck on a round bar with a rounding hammer. During this sequence the hot bar is manipulated over the special curves of the south German horn transition. In this manner the bottom of the hot bar is being shaped at the same the top is struck with the hammer. In the end the neck transition for the coming leaf is smooth and fluid.

The flat horn

At first glance we see the tapered flat horn extending the table surface of the anvil. For one thing this increases available forging edges.  In addition we often need a narrow anvil surface to complete a forging operation. In this case you just pick the width you need on the flat tapered anvil horn and that’s it. Almost all German double horn anvils are designed for right handed blacksmiths. Typically the smith stands to the left of the flat anvil horn and can look over the anvil to see the upset block. Often the right side of the right leg is actually touching the tapered flat anvil horn so that the smith doesn’t have to lean over to forge a hot bar on the far edge of the anvil over the upset block. This little ergonomic feature of the flat anvil horn gets more important on larger blacksmith anvils like the one above where the anvil face can be 7 or 8 inches wide.

The upset block

Of course the upset block is characteristic of German double horn blacksmith anvils. Typically blacksmiths hammer the ends of bars shorter and thicker on the anvil upset block. In particular good blacksmiths do this first before scarfing an end for forge welding. When not put to this use the upset block supports the middle of the anvil where most work is done.

Hardy hole location and rock solid construction

Because the hardy hole is adjacent to the central block at the massive base of the round anvil horn it is rock solid. In fact, hardy tools, especially cutters are super dangerous on London pattern anvils where it is possible to forget  that the cutter is there and come down on it with your hand wielding the hammer. Since on the German anvil the hardy is on the far end of the anvil you can safely leave it in place if necessary.  As a rule I make my hardy as short as possible and always remove it from the anvil for safety.anvils for sale southern horn transition on south German double horn blacksmith anvils

Southern horn transition

For some of my blacksmith work the southern transition is so handy it’s almost indispensable.  In particular the blend of convex and concave surface shape is precious. On the one hand it moves the metal from underneath like the curve of the anvil horn.  At the same time it locates and holds the work in place like a heavily worn anvil saddle. As I work I unconsciously move the hot steel from here to there on the anvil horn transition surface to get exactly what I want happening underneath.

The anvil side shelf – a premium option on some German double horn anvils

In the first place the anvil side shelf is not essential on a double horn anvil for most blacksmithing operations. However the anvil side shelf extends the anvil’s top plate width – twice as wide. This could be handy for drop tongs forge welding and for truing up large forgings. Also it is a square heal just like the the heal on London pattern anvils. Of course such an anvil has more forging edges available and also two internal corners for squaring things up. Over time a blacksmith can invent a hundred forging tricks for this premium anvil option.

In conclusion

Every blow you take on the main surface of double horn blacksmith anvils will be as or more efficient for moving metal than anything you can do on a London pattern anvil of similar weight. Experienced blacksmiths know this immediately from the first hammer blow they take, even on a piece of wood. The rigidity out on the hardened steel anvil horns is simply a dream. The combination of superb engineering and unique features on German double horn anvils make them the most versatile and effective forging tools on the planet.

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