SKILL LEVEL intermediate

Beginner Intermediate Advanced
While hammering at my anvil one afternoon I realized that I could see into an adjacent room, with my HP Sprout and Dremel Idea Maker, sitting on antique workbench. This got me thinking about time, as I was using my oldest, most basic tool while looking at my most modern tool. I am a big fan of balance in my studios where I rely on tools older than my grandparents, as well as computers, CNC, and now 3D printing. I have been working with my Idea Builder for a few months now, mostly finding free 3D models online and printing them out. Although I have printed many models I hadn’t taken the time to finish any of them, other than some sanding, nor had I done much modeling myself. I decided that I would use my Idea Builder to recreate my anvil, in a scale model.

by Dremel ®


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Supplies Needed For This Project


Dremel DigiLab 3D20

Model # 3D20-01


Cotton White PLA Filament DF01-01

Model # DF01-01


US40 Ultra-Saw™

Model # US40


9100 Fortiflex Heavy Duty Flex Shaft Tool

Model # 9100


  • 1

    Wood burning tool
  • 1

    Paints, stains, or colored waxes
  • 1

  • 1

    Wood for base
  • 1


Let's Get Started

To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.


Step 1

I started by taking a good look at my anvil and stump setup and decided what I wanted to accomplish with my model. I wanted to try and recreate the age and wear she has accumulated since the late 1800s when she was forged and put into service.


Step 2

As you can see, I use my anvil stump to store hammer and tongs, and a few hardy tools. My first try at design was the tongs, and a few poly lines and some extruding, I was printing them out, and fine tuning the design.


Step 3

I had found an anvil design online, but when I printed it, I realized that it had elements that my anvil did not have, and looked too good. I started with the found design and edited it until it more closely resembled my iron friend. I printed it off on the Idea Builder and set it with my growing pile of prints for this project.


Step 4

I wanted to include the horseshoes I used to hang my tongs and hammers. I started by creating the horse shoe model, and cloned it in the Dremel build program, I sized them and turned and overlapped them, to print a strip of horse shoes in a curve.


Step 5

I wanted to try a few techniques with the hammers. First I designed a few of them in Design 123d, and then I designed some as blocks with the oval hole for a handle. I printed these at 100% infill.


Step 6

Now that I had my parts all printed out, it was time to finish them. I used several techniques to smooth out the prints, including sanding, by hand and with a Forti-Flex mounted to a vise. I also found that a wood burner with a wide tip was very useful for smoothing and giving character to the pieces. I used the drum sanding attachment and the wood burner to shape the hammer blocks that I printed into replicas of my favorite rounding hammers.


Step 7

After I smoothed everything out, I carved out the rear corner of the top plate and added character to the sides and horn. Then it was onto carving wood handles for the hammers. I used Bubinga and Oak. I cut them to rough shape with the ultra-saw, and then with my rotary head mounted in a vise, I used the sanding drum to shape them.


Step 8

Now it was time for the finish work! I coated the metal objects with silver rub and buff, let it dry for a few minutes and rubbed the extra off. Then I applied black colored wax over the silver. After it dried, I used a buffing wheel on my Dremel to buff them out. I went back in with some different browns and oranges to simulate the patina of age. I pinned the tong halves together with a small piece of paper clip and a few drops of CA glue, so they can pivot. Thank you for following my journey. I hope you have been inspired to make a model of something that takes you back in time.

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