Welcome to the Kellogg & Sons Blacksmith Shop

Our traditional Blacksmith shop located in Northern New York. We do custom Blacksmithing work focused upon traditional 18th and 19th century hardware and tools.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blacksmithing Stake Anvils

These are Stake Anvils, also called T-Stakes, Bicks, or Bickerns.  They are useful for forging hollow forms, welding chain links, and other thinks needing a slimmer horn or more clearance than a traditional anvil offers.

This big Bickern is forged of wrought iron with no steel face.  It is 24 inches tall and 32 inches long.  It weighs around 180lbs.  It is one of the bigger and older stake anvils that I have seen.

It has a fluted column, shield shaped boss on the top, and both square and round horns.  It was probably made between 1700 and 1800 in Europe.  I found it in the Adirondack region of NY.

A smaller Bick Iron is used in the shop.  It is also old, and is make of wrought iron with a laid steel face.  It is much smaller, and was found in the Northern edge of the Catskill Mountains in NY State.  Why did both of my Bicks come from Mountain towns?  Both areas had English immigration and migration from Colonial Massachusetts.  That meant that settlers in both places had belongings that came to North American in the period before 1800, regardless of when they moved to NY.  Mountain folks tend to not throw things out.  It is nice that both of these anvils survived to the present day.

This style of Stake Anvil became less common after 1800-1830 as anvil horns became larger.  This small Bick was also likely made before that time period.  I use them lightly, as now they are recognized and collected as a rare tool.  Perhaps they will both survive another 200-300 years.

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