You know you want one, but you don't have one, or maybe one isn't enough? A real steel anvil is expensive. A real steel anvil weighs 250lb. Most of the expense is in the shipping for a new one and even used local ones demand around $1/lb. Sure you can buy a cheap cast iron one that was made in china. Problem is these are made from cast iron can be kind of soft or kind of brittle. That means you hammer dents into it as you use it or even worse you can small break chunks of sharp cast iron off it as you hammer it that can fly a good distance or you could break a big 5lb chunk off it with sharp edges and have it fall on your foot. So my solution was to get a section for rail road track from the scrap yard because its made of steel and cheap, at 15 cents per pound. Then make it more anvil shaped. Also I don't need a 250+lb anvil. First I carved out circular sections of the anvil to make it lighter with my miller spectrum 625 plasma cutter because I do move mine around. Second I noticed that the rail road track is very soft. I will need to cap it with something a little harder. The first step there is adding metal to it build up a pad to hammer on with 3/16 inch 7024 electrode. 7024 electrode isn't ideal for impact resistance so I am going to top it with 7018 and cap it with hard facing rod. Then use a needle descaler to remove every bit of slag between layers of weld. I am going to have the local machine shop mill down this pad so its nice and flat I asked them if they can mill through high impact hard facing electrode and it shouldn't be a problem. A lot of hard facing rods recommend putting down a layer of 7018 before hardfacing electrode unless the steel is above a certain hardness. I have a feeling soft railroad track steel isn't that hard. I can use my 230 amp AC and DC stick welding machine for this. You could weld a piece of mild steel, A36 structural steel or AR500 to the anvil but it could potentially break off. For light duty stuff welding on a top plate would be fine, but not for me. I have not welded on it for a while, I left it in the back yard and it got rained on for a few months.