If you give a mouse a cookie…

That’s how I’m feeling right now.  That’s the title of a great childrens book  and it’s about a boy who gives a mouse a cookie who then wants a glass of milk, then a straw for the milk etc etc. It’s a story we read to our boys over and over as they were growing up and Heather and I always enjoyed it as much as they did.

It seems to be a good point of reference for the things I’ve been doing lately.

Matt originally wanted us to make a charcoal fired foundry – done. But before that was even finished he found plans on the intertubes for a propane fired nozzle to run the foundry and we built that. Then it was, wouldn’t a forge be cool – now done. But now if you have a forge you need an anvil and since anvils are pretty expensive and hard to find around here it looked like making one out of railroad track was the best option for our hobby use. Enter Norm who just happened to have a chunk of track lying out at their place at Sproat Lake (of course) which brings us to today and farther along on our Give a Mouse a Cookie saga. Next on the saga will of course be forging some blacksmithing tools because I’m pretty sure the story is not over yet.

So today’s installment in the Give a Mouse a Cookie project was to cut off a chunk of the track for an anvil. I’m actually going to cut 2 pieces off the track and give one to my neighbor Dave across the street. He’s wanting to do some forging as well. The piece of track I got was about 6 feet long and I figured on making the anvils each about 18 inches long, so there’s plenty.

Ready to cut

I marked off 18 inches and got to work. I started with my 4 1/2 inch angle grinder and worked through the track. When I was almost through both sides I grabbed my plasma cutter and did some finish cuts then gave it a good whack with my sledge and job done!

Number 1 cut off

Once #1 was done I started on #2 which went a little faster. Next will be to grind it flat and look at maybe putting a horn on it. We’ll see.

Ready for next steps

I’ve done enough sweating for now though. Time to sit in the sun out on the patio with a nice cold G&T.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. I have wanted to make a railway anvil for a while now after seeing someone use one on Youtube. Unfortunately I’m not sure where to get the track from! There is a railway station with some excess rail just down the road but I’m not sure whether they would give it away or not.
    Also what kind of discs did you use in your angle grinder? Most of my metal cutting is done with thin 1mm discs but I have a feeling they might not be mad enough for such a job!


    1. bobdobqb says:

      Never hurts to ask I say. I know around here you can find pieces of rail occasionally at the metal scrap yard but you really do have to keep your eyes open. I think Norm’s son and a friend pulled this one out of the bush years ago. I just used 1.2 mm Makita discs and they worked well. I blew through 4 I think. I was concerned about my cheap little Ryobi grinder but it did survive.


      1. Thanks for the info, I may have to pay the station a visit and ask some questions! It is a vintage station no longer connected to the main line so they may be open to letting me have a small section. Also, 1.2mm discs don’t sound too bad, I have a few ones sitting around for stainless which seem to last quite long when cutting mild so hopefully these should do the trick.


      2. bobdobqb says:

        Well enjoy! Look forward to seeing your finished product.


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