For the student's block anvils, they have the options of taking them as-cut and doing any cleaning up themselves, having me grind the faces clean, and/or having me weld on some angle iron with holes drilled in it that allows the anvils to be screwed down to a wooden base. This greatly increases the anvil's effectiveness.
One student so far has taken the anvil as-cut, and one has had me grind the face clean and weld on angle iron. Here's the process of grinding.
The surface of the steel is rather rough, and those irregularities show up on any steel forged on it. I started with a regular hard wheel to knock down the scale. This is actually harder than steel and can be very tough stuff. After getting it somewhat down to where the grinding wheel can contact the steel, I switched to a 40 grit sandpaper flapwheel.
After a while (taking breaks to let the hands recover and the grinder cool down), eventually I got to a clean, but wavy surface. The 40 grit flapwheel was almost completely worn out by this point. I knocked down the worst of the waves with the 40 grit, moving quickly so that the high points were knocked down without the disk really digging down into the metal. Finally, I switched to an 80 grit flexible abrasive wheel and smoothed it to an even surface. Not machine precision, but more than satisfactory for the job at hand. I rounded the sharp corners slightly, then added the angle iron to anchor it.
The grinding lines show up a bit exaggeratedly in the last picture. Running your hand across the surface shows it to be pretty smooth. This one is more nicely finished than the block anvils I prepared for my student forging stations, and those have worked out quite well.
Prices for the anvils as-cut are $80. Grinding the face adds $20, and angle iron adds $10.