In this video a sacrificial furnace with a blower is constructed and iron ore(which looks like dirt) is layered with coal to produce steel. It skips refining it into iron. Awesome.
Where would you find ore, and how would you distinguish it from regular dirt? I know it's not really a relevant skill in modern survival, it's just something I want to know how to do in case I get sucked into a time vortex and wind up in the bronze age or something. Lies, it's curiosity.
When I Google this all I find are minecraft tutorials.
And if you were sent back in time, what are the options for feeding oxygen to the fire? Just blow pipes?
>what are the options for feeding oxygen to the fire? Just blow pipes?
I'm not sure how I could construct a decent valve from natural materials.
I'm not very creative I guess.
a piece of leather covering the hole from the inside of the bellows
Oh, right. Sometimes I forget how fucking stupid I am. I forgot to namefag so at least my glistening reputation hasn't been tarnished.
That's pretty awesome!
It looks so much like clumps of regular dirt.
How could you beat and refine the bloom without first having metal tools?
How could you make an iron tool without first having an iron tool?
Oh and this kind of smeltery is called a bloomery :)
Or historically, copper or bronze tools.
And >>6823 shows how to make steel, not iron. You melt a bunch of iron with a bunch of carbon, you get steel. Which is a good thing. You mix oxygen with steel and it takes carbon out, so you want to place the ore roughly in the middle of the furnace, away from the air being constantly blown in.
So have any of you ever tried looking for iron at the bottom of a river or anything like that? I want to try it, but I don't know if there is any significant/useable amount in WNY. Plus it's easier for me to go to a garage sale and buy a bunch of files for a few bucks. I usually take back all of the deposit returnables I have in my house and that pays for the files I have now that I want to use for knives, but theres just something about making it from scratch that intrigues me.
Wouldn't most the steel coat the outside of the bloom and the inside would have less carbon content? I guess it would get homogenous after further processing. I've heard that excess carbon will burn out of it if you get it hot enough. I haven't learned about how to get out other impurities like other metals but I think they come out with the slag.
Yea, making it from scratch is interesting. There is so much history in metal works.
Here's copper :)
Primitive Crucible Forge
Good to watch the whole show, but the forging process starts around 17:35.
Wow, awesome! It's incredible that he got a steel ingot that was so pure even by today's standards out of that. I wonder what the iron content was of the raw iron he put in the crucible pot. It looks a little more pure than the middle of an iron bloom from earlier furnaces.
What was the difference in the metal he used for the inlay to come out after the acid etch?
That was an incredible display of craftsmanship.
Thanks so much for posting that! <3
Hey, what is that exactly 47 minutes in? When he draws the blade from the quenching bucket, it catches fire.
He quenched it in water, right?
Water doesn't burn, does it?
Many swordsmiths quench their blades in oil.
I just googled that and I'm feeling stupid now.
Thanks again, bat.
>What was the difference in the metal he used for the inlay to come out after the acid etch
It has a higher carbon content than the parent material, the higher the carbon content, the darker it gets when etched with an acid. Google "etching pattern welded steel", same concept.
I found that the type of oil doesn't matter that much. It's main usefulness is controlling the cooling of the metal. For many tool steels if you used water it would form micro-cracks.
I hate copper working. It's such a fucking bitch, bronze too. It doesn't have the plastic stage and it loves to fucking crack
I always thought it was to introduce more carbon in the steel or something of that nature.
So, it's for better temperature control? Neat.
To make steel, iron is placed in a clay container or something similar and filled with something like powdered bone, charcoal, or any other high carbon item
It's then heated for days on end so that the iron slowly case hardens. After that it's folded over on itself and welded together to spread the carbon more evenly though the metal.
It's why steel was so incredibly expensive for most of history and only used for cutting edges for the most part. I have a few books on the subject somewhere.
For those of you who are just looking to make a backyard forge and are not as concerned about making an authentic iron age inawoods monster of a project its actually quite simple. The concepts never change. As long as the basic principles remain a forge can be made with any budget (even none). Sometimes the easiest (no welding or cutting, or grinding) forges are the cheapest. However your forge is your soul in smithing, and the more time and effort you put into it the more it may reflect and help you do your work. All that is required is that you have a semi contained space for heat and an efficient method to feed it.
The cheapest/simplest way (how I make em) is by mapping out an area on the ground where you want your coals to lay. Remember to make this portion in mind with how your going to feed it. Too big for your feeding method and your coals are never going to get hot. Too small and the forge might run too hot and the feeding system could launch embers everywhere.
Now dig this area out a bit, down to dirt and enough so you have a flat surface of ground. You can dig deeper and lay bricks down for the floor of the furnace (makes it easier to forge after a good rain if there's not mud at the bottom).
Now simply make walls of bricks for your mapped out floor. REMEMBER to leave a hole, maybe a space between bricks or even just a missing one, at the BOTTOM of one wall - this is where your feeding method will go. Also remember to take into consideration the heighth of the walls when building them so they wont be too small to hold the coals and to large to nicely place things in the forge. You may run the bricks by themselves or place clay, mud, concrete, or some other form of mortar between them.
For feeding the fire oxygen you're going to need a pipe. Try not to use lead (duh) or galvanized pipe. For those of you who are less savvy, heating up galvanized steel releases zinc fumes which any welder can tell you sucks. It can cause the dreaded Galvie Flu, which causes every muscle, joint, and piece of flesh in your body to experience violent unresting pain as well as flu like symptoms, in LARGE doses it can cause convulsions and bad juju. Since you're going to be forging steel Id figure Id share that a bit in depth. Anywho, Take your pipe and place it either so that the opening of one end is in the middle of the floor or drill holes along the length of it equal to the size of the floor and stick it all the way to the back of the forge. The multiple holes will mean the whole floor is being supplied oxygen rather than just the center. The rest of the pipe should be sticking through the hole at the bottom of one of the walls we made earlier. Therefor, half the pipe in the forge, half out.
To finish your feeding system you can use anything that blows air. From an oldschool bellows to a hairdryer attached to the pipe through a hose. My favorite is a hand crank forge blower (theyre cool and sound/feel manly).
After that, touch up how you please and add any ingenuity and bit and pieces to make it your own work space. Its also always nice to add a lid to keep it dry and depris free when you not using it and remember to clean it when needed (I like to keep a small bit of ash in mine for a good base).
If anyone decides to build one I hope to see a build thread where people show em off!! :D
If you want it up off the ground, a brake drum scrounged from a local car scrapping yard works (from personal experience), and can be found in almost any size.
This is the propane forge I built last year. It's body is an old helium tank.
I used an angle grinder to cut the door and air access. Then I welded rebar legs and a hinge on it. The interior is kaowool with a layer of refractory cement. If you use wool, you need to secure it because aerosolized ceramic fibers = unhappy lungs. The valve is a BBQ smoker regulator; a regular grill valve has too low of a safety limiter for PSI. The air source is obviously a stolen air dryer; it needs a tube but the "testing" setup has become more permanent. It needs a layer of high temp engine block paint yet. I call it "The Pig".
There are plans for the burner out there, but honestly this guy doesn't charge much for labor to build them so I just went with this: http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/buy_burner.html
If I had to do it again, I'd have started with a coal burner. For one, this turned out more expensive than I had hoped because of the specialty parts and trial/error. Secondly, it doesn't function in the cold well (EG: below 40F) because the tank can't stay warm enough for the propane to flow. That said, the fuel is more readily available, it burns cleanly and gets very hot very fast. Also, I own a flexible burner now so I'm going to get into casting via David Gingery's plans.
If you have the cash and don't want to bother building it from parts, you can just buy a ferrier gas forge for ~$300. http://www.majesticforge.com/farrier_forges_products.html
Not from the river no, won't find that here. I have found several bits of iron ore walking railroad tracks though.
>And if you were sent back in time....
say to 12000 BP. How would you start iron/steel metalworking, given moderate help from the community you are in?
Say you find
all in close proximity.
-make lid by adding sand
-make pipes and furnace from clay
-make bellows from leather sacks
-use coal and wood for fuel
so after a day or two you are left with one fist sized lump of red hot iron in the middle of your furnace. You can't work it because you lack any of the iron tools like forceps, anvil or even a hammer.
Would one have to go the route over the intermediate stage and first make bronze tools or is it feasible to beat iron into rough but functional shape with stone age tools and then go from there?
Should be possible to do the initial work with rocks and sticks and thick leather, a few solid months of just pushing the process and you'll be good to go.
It would be interesting to see what you could come up with just by having knowledge of what is possible.
Assuming abundant access to resources and a relatively cooperative band/group/village, you could move along faster than you'd think.
Circa 700-400BC the Chinese already had invented blast furnaces. By iterating like >>7429 mentioned, you could have the requisite knives and stone axes to build one within a few months.
The key to metallurgy is that now we understand what is going on with processes like hardening, tempering and carbon content. I think you'd have relatively high quality steel tools heat treated to approximately the correct hardness within a year or two.
With that comes better tools for masonry and construction opening up doors to using water wheels and stone towers for the massive blast furnaces seen near the end of the medieval period. At the end of ten years of persistent development and access to modern information (magic hand-crank kindle or something) you'd likely be near the steam engine age.
i found pic related about 6" in the dirt of my back yard
It is iron, magnets stick to it and I can cut it with a saw.
my question is, is this a naturally occuring ore, or just a chunk of junk steel that's been rusting in the ground for 100 years?
since the main tools for working steel are a strong hammer and an anvil, you wouldn't need anything beyond some creativity with the ingots
make three, let two cool. Ones a hammer, the other an anvil, the third become a knife or what have you.
What you have there could be iron ore. Context will tell you a lot. Are there other rust-colored rocks in the area? Are there other rocks on your property of a similar color? It'd be unusual to find a single natural iron-heavy rock.
Cutting it in half will tell you a lot. When bisected, if it has a shiny, homogenous interior it's likely man-made. If there are striations or inclusions of other minerals it's probably natural.
If you're feeling ambitious, check out David Gingery foundry book.
my yard is filled with infill, so it could be a transplant form somewhere else.
I'll cut it in half later and see what's up.
Iron ore generally doesn't have 100% iron in it, mostly it's rock
If it has a plane (flat face) anywhere it could be chunk of melted iron
Be careful when you open it up, there's a chance it could be a meteorite with reptillian nanomachinery inside
If you let it touch you it will turn you into one of their remote control slaves
Cut a deep channel into it, then struck it with a hammer to brake off through the middle. Red and crumbly all the way through
All the crumbly bits stick to a magnate.
My crafting cock is soooooo hard right now. I've never had an interst in black smithing till now, but god do I want to make an ingot of crucible steel with this stuff.
Gona go dig up the yard this weekend.
Make an arrowhead to kill Sean Bean
You'll need a lot of the ore. Much of the ore is useless rock and possibly sulfer which makes the metal practically useless. If you have something pure like hematite of magnetite you'll still be left with a substantial amount of bloom.
Bloom is basically a bit chunk honeycombed iron and you have to work that into something manageable while it's still at welding temperature.
From some cursory reading this book might be of help to your endeavors
cheak out a book seris called foxfire its full of usefull info not shure if its still in print