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My wife uses a small, cheap, cast iron anvil for hammering our wire jewelry. After a while, being unhardened, the anvil surface ends up horribly dinged. Yes, I’ve begged her to use a steel bench block, but she claims this is what works for her and I’m not going to argue. I haven’t found a quality anvil in this form factor.

So it was off to my beater of a Boyar-Schultz 612 surface grinder. I bought it for $250 at an auction, and as you can see, most of the precision has leaked out of it. For simple surfacing jobs it works well. I ground the surface of the magnetic chuck in place so it’s parallel to the travel of the x-axis slide.

I placed the anvil on the magnetic chuck and blocked it in with a magnetic parallel at each end. The first pass of .001″ shows that the edges are lower than the center.

I took about eight .001″ deep passes and finished with a .0005″ pass, traversing until the wheel “sparked out,” which means that it was no longer throwing sparks off and had fully ground the surface. For the finish pass I moved over about 1/4″ wheel width at a time. The surface doesn’t look very smooth, partly because of chatter (the spindle is worn), but the actual flatness and surface finish is pretty darn good and much better than I could get by freehand grinding on my belt grinder. I hit it afterwards on a bear-tex wheel to do some final smoothing.

The down feed divisions are .001″ between the long lines, .0005″ per half line, and the vernier scale on the left further divides it to .0001″. Surface grinders, even worn old ones, are pretty handy in the shop.


5 Responses to Hands-On: Resurfacing A Tiny Anvil

  1. David Bryan says:

    Nick, my hat’s off to you. I hope Mama loves her shiny new anvil, and you get some real attaboys for this, and they don’t get canceled out anytime soon. I think this is way better than when I bought Kristine a pink pickaxe.

  2. Dave P. says:

    You might want to calm down on the feeds, man. That chatter’d probably be a lot better if you were knocking off at most 5 10ths per pass and sparking out around 1 or 2. Your wheel might a bit hard, too.

    But your setup looks safe, and that counts for a hell of a lot. Throwing parts off the grinder is no fun.

  3. Nick Carter says:

    I agree I’m a bit aggressive with the grinder, in this case there was a time constraint as well as my general hamfistedness. The spindle & z-axis is pretty worn as well, so if it can bounce it will.
    Next time I regrind it I’ll see if a couple of .0001 passes look better though.

  4. shopmonger says:

    dave, that is soooooo true. Another way for rough and hard stones is to use some machine oil or to use some marvel mystery oil during grinding to make it a tad smoother……


  5. KoKo the Talking Ape says:

    I have never seen one of those before. How do you keep the grinding wheel trued?

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