Is it wrong to modify a tool?
Say I have a hammer whose face needs dressing and polishing. Can I do that? What if I want to cut some divots into it to make it a texturing hammer? Is that acceptable? How about if I take my hand crank blower and paint it and add a motor? Am I ruining history? Now on to the big one. Lets say I have a big anvil. 300 lbs at least. I am doing production work, making my living at it. Is it mutilation to make a few clean cuts towards the Hardy Hole, in order to produce my product much faster?
This is in response to a thread on www.iforgeiron.com which detailed how a farrier had cut into a Kohlswa Cast Steel Anvil and made it into a universal stall jack/anvil/swedge block combination. It worked for him, but some people have been claiming that it is mutilation and he should not have done it, shame on him included.
I respectfully disagree, thank you. I think that if you own a tool, and need to use it in a particular way, then do it. That is how progress is made. You make an object, and you make a better object. Sometime you find a new way to modify a tool to make it the best possible.
However, is modifying an anvil different?
I say no. Use tools until they die. Then make or buy new ones. THAT is how professionals make money. I will not cry over hoarded anvils or 'mutilated' anvils, but will only cry at anvils that are disintegrating by the force of nature in someone's garden. I would like to buy those anvils from people. I would put them to use making beautiful garden ironwork for them, if they wanted.
But, that's that!
I do lots of things. Just pay me. I will make you whatever you want.