Forge

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The anvil serves as a workbench to the blacksmith, where the metal to be forged is placed. Anvils may seem clunky and heavy, but they are a highly refined tool carefully shaped to suit a blacksmith's needs. Anvils are made of cast or wrought iron with a tool steel face welded on or of a single piece of cast or forged tool steel. Some anvils are made of only cast iron and have no tool steel face. These are not real anvils, and will not serve a blacksmith as such because they are too soft. A common term for a cast iron anvil is "ASO" or "Anvil Shaped Object". The purpose of a tool steel face on an anvil is to provide what some call "Rebound" as well as being hard and not denting easily from misplaced hammer blows. The term rebound means it projects some of the force of the blacksmith's hammer blows back into the metal thus moving more metal at once than if there were no rebound. A good anvil can project anywhere from 50 to 99% of the energy back into the workpiece. The flat top, called the "face" is highly polished and usually has two holes (but can have more or less depending on the design). The square hole is called the hardy hole, where the square shank of the hardy tool fits. There are many different kinds of hardy tools. The smaller hole is called the pritchel hole, used as a bolster when punching holes in hot metal, or to hold tools similar to how the hardy tool does, but for tools that require being able to turn a 360-degree angle such as a hold-down tool for when the blacksmith's tongs cannot hold a workpiece as securely as it needs to be. On the front of the anvil, there is sometimes a "horn" that is used for bending, drawing out steel, and many other tasks. Between the horn and the anvil face, there is often a small area called a "step" or a "cutting table" That is used for cutting hot or cold steel with chisels, and hot cut tools without harming the anvil's face. Marks on the face transfer into imperfections in the blacksmith's work.

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