Island Workshop Day 3

Built wall racks for steel stock and cleared some of the floor space. Moved the stump and anvil into place and leveled the earth floor.

Day 3 of the secret island workshop set up.

Storage Racks

I built a couple of racks for shorter lengths of steel stock using short blocks of wood sawed off the planks I plan to use for shelves. For the longer stock, I used some 5″ spikes that came from my grandfather’s tractor shop to make angled supports at every stud. With these very narrow racks, I got more than half of the steel off the floor without losing much working space along the wall.

The Anvil Stump

When I found the beautifully weathered and worn 150+ year-old stump washed up after a storm, I was fortunate enough to have help from a passer-by to roll it up the beach and into the truck. Ryland, a local stone worker was the perfect man for the job. Unloading and moving the 3.5′ diameter stump into place was a solo project, however, and took some thinking and physics to solve.

Once I had enough space cleared, I used some heavy planks and a length of chain to flip the stump up for rolling to the shop. A 4′ crowbar made from an axle served well to slide the stump across the earth floor for positioning. Some of the bottom was uneven and had to be dug into the floor a few inches.

The Anvil

Raising the anvil onto the stump was a bit more daunting and had some potentially sketchy moments. It was tack welded to the base of a shopping cart so was easy to move around the floor with the crowbar. Once it was in position in front of the stump and the tack welds were cracked off with a cold chisel, I used a length of heavy angle iron over the small anvil and stump to lever the heel of the anvil high enough to insert a block. I repeated the process for the horn and heel alternately until each end was high enough to sit on a plank laid across the stump. I raised the planks level with all my weight and blocked them up with axle stands, then slid the anvil along the planks one side at a time until it was over the stump and dropped it into position.

The nice thing about an anvil’s shape is you rarely have to lift all of it at once; the foot placement means 1/3 of the weight helps you lift the other 2/3 at any given time. I was really stoked that I got it into place on my own and now I am less “afraid” of its weight.

I estimate the stump and anvil to have a combined weight of around 800 lbs.