To forge a knife you'll need six things:
1. Something to pound on (anvil)
There's a belief that technology sprang from the top of an anvil. That the things used to make the things used to make machines were anvil forged. It's a nice thought.
We'll start with the anvil because it's body/base will be made of concrete and needs about four weeks to cure properly, during which time we can be doing other things. Concrete density is in the range of 110 pounds per cubic foot.
Take the distance from the floor to the top of your knee while comfortably seated and wearing work shoes, then subtract 2 inches. This will be the height of the anvil. We'll be forging sitting down. That right, seated!
In theory, an anvil face needn't be any larger than the hammer face. For most knife blades, an anvil face of three or four inches square is plenty.
Tube Form Anvil
1 sack Quickcrete 80# ACE Hardware
1. Cut the form tube to the anvil height minus 3/4". One 80 pound sack of Quickcrete will fill a tube 22" tall. If taller, have some gravel or stone filler on hand.
2. Mix concrete with fiberglass reinforcement and fill the tube.
3. Wait 20 days, then strip away the form tube.
4 Clean the bench block with acetone, chamfer the edges and affix to the top of the concrete column with silicon chalk.
A steel bench block is hard (about HRC 56) and smooth. Use this anvil for finish work.
Five gallon plastic bucket ACE
Subtract the height of the rollers and the chunk of steel from the Forging Height. Fill the bucket to that depth with fiberglass reinforced concrete. Let set about a day and then turn the bucket over and drill the holes for the wheels. Just drill right through the plastic bucket bottom. Let the concrete cure, strip off the bucket, install the wheels, affix the chunk of steel on top with the silicon and you've got a heavy, mobile anvil. This the workhorse anvil.
Modified Stake Anvil
4" steel pipe two inches shorter than the Forging Height
Now you can fashion a multitude of interchangeable special anvil shapes out of the heads of 3/4" bolts. Use a nut as the main bearing surface. This anvil is for special shapes and projects.
Anvil collection with chair for seated forging