A well-known area blacksmith is attempting to become a world record holder after having constructed what he believes to be the largest anvil in existence.
J. D. Napier, of Bledoe, received the support of the Harlan Fiscal Court during a meeting on Tuesday, when Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley read a proclamation of support for Napier’s efforts to achieve the record for biggest anvil.
The proclamation read by Mosley stated Napier has been a blacksmith for many years, and has expanded his work into making knives and garden hoes. He has been a part of the Festival of the Mountain Masters where he has demonstrated his blacksmithing abilities. The anvil is the culmination of a 15-year project of collecting materials to build the anvil.
“Several years ago, after we got hold of a big anvil or two we realized they worked better than the smaller ones,” Napier said. “You could do several pieces at one time and lay them on that anvil and not have them dropping to the ground.”
Napier said it took some time to find the proper kind of steel to use with the anvil.
“We kept looking for bigger and thicker steel,” Napier said. “In 2000, we came up with some steel 6 inches thick, that was good enough to do each piece.”
According to Napier, there is a practical use for such a large anvil.
“What we’re wanting to do is have several different blacksmiths here, two or three at a time,” Napier said. “That way we can all work with the anvil at the same time.”
According to anvilfire.com, welders Marcus Walters, Larry Shepherd, Mac Brock, Michael Middleton, Logan Lewis, Ryan Patterson, Anthony Brown and Fred Loving also worked on the anvil.
At 6,500 pounds, the anvil is the biggest anvil in existence, says Napier.
“Another guy by the name of Ray Davis did one that was 5,280 pounds,” Napier said.
Napier mentioned that an anvil has been a required tool for blacksmiths for ages.
He has submitted paperwork to Guinness Book of World Records to have his anvil recognized as the world’s largest.
Napier said he does sell his products, and can be contacted by phone at 606-558-3936 or 606-273-4189.
“I do a lot of garden hoes,” mentioned Napier. “We also do knives and swords, things of that nature.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-505-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde