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Darrell @ warehamforge.ca

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About Darrell @ warehamforge.ca

  • Birthday 11/03/1955

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    Wareham - Central Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    iron smelting
    Viking Age material culture
    N. European Pattern Welding
    Design based Artistic Forgings

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  1. I have been waiting a bit (very busy here) to stick my nose in. A couple of general comments, not so much on the actual techique that Lee has suggested, but on artifact tool sets. The Mastermyr find is highly unusual. - It represents what certainly appears to be a *more or less* complete set of both woodworking, and to this discussion, metalworking tools. - The range of metalworking tools is quite wide - ranging from light fine (jewelery?) tools to heavier forging / sledge hammers (hammers run from 400 - 3370 gms) - It includes a good number of 'bits and pieces', so scrap / partially c
  2. Lee does lurk here, but on a more irregular basis. Allan has given some good basic suggestions. You can't go far wrong with input from Jesus. The short shaft furnace, with a high air volume, is a basic set up many of us have refined over the last years. see some descriptions: http://iron.wlu.edu/ http://leesauder.com/smelting_research.php (those are Lee's collected materials) http://journal.exarc.net/issue-2012-1/ea/if-you-dont-get-any-iron-towards-effective-method-small-iron-smelting-furnaces (article on basic method I wrote - but slanted to living history sites) I personally
  3. A couple of things On Tuyere angles The Smeltfest Group (Primaries Sauder, Williams, McCarthy, Markewitz) undertook a specific series in 2005 to test just this aspect. A number of similar furnaces were constructed, varying the tuyere angle. That is obviously the short form. Refer back to one of Lee's (or one of my own) formal papers if you want all the details on what we *think* is going on inside the furnace. For practical purposes, an tuyere angle of between 15 - 25 downwards angle has proven most effective with these short shaft furnaces. At core this is the balance b
  4. Bryan (and everyone else) since I was implicated... My team here has made some input pressure readings. Honestly using fairly cobbled together instruments. This primarily to counter criticisms (largely from theoretical academic commentators) that all the current work is not 'scientifically rigorous' enough. (But like Lee says 'If you don't get any iron - whatever you have done *has* to be wrong'.) The first thing we tried (cheap and only a relative measure) was a simple U tube with water in it attached to the tuyere side. This gave us some rough ideas - at least between individual
  5. hmm I must start by staying I run coal here as my primary, although I do have a good number of propane forges of various builds and sizes. I think the best you can do is get some rough estimate at best. The individual burners make more difference for fuel consumpton and top temperature as anything else. Heat loss from the containment is a function of surface (square) while your interior space is volume (cube). This suggests the effect of heat lost is reduced for larger forges? Just as important might be the time to temperature of the metal itself. Penetration into the centre is
  6. Historic (European) furnaces are found made of many materials: slabs of stone large stones used like bricks smaller stones as filler in poor quality clay pure clay grass sod stacked like a volcano hole dug into the ground along a natural bank Modern Iron Smelters have used: plain clay brick chimey liner tile various combinations of refactory materials / heavy steel pipe The construction of the furnace needs to: endure high temperature for the course of the smelt hold in the reactive gasses There are two general principles you can base the furnace on - a *thin* wall - th
  7. Jared: Nice little photo essay on your experiment. I especially like the spark test images. Charcoal size is in fact critical. Aim for 'walnut to pea' size. (The standard is breaking through a 1" grid, then sieve out the small fines via a 1/4" grid). I would say that the irregular carbon content over a single metal 'puck' is pretty much normal as well. (This goes with full bloomery iron furnaces as well.) A few numbers might help assess just what you got: - Furnace interior diameter and height - Depth below tuyere - Tuyere angle - Metal input - Metal output Its hard to s
  8. Boy - did this get warped fast! My original commentary on the 'living body' thing was an attempt to ** dismiss ** the concept, with the purely practical reasons why. As 'fake-lore' goes, it has amazing staying power. (The topic had come up in another, quite unrelated, newsgroup I participate.) I will point out however, the technical truth that a 5% salt solution might be effective (sometimes). And pose a question, as this thread is concerned with history: How do you produce a consistent salt solution - in ancient times? 1) Not every location has access to mineral salt. (cons
  9. Friends: I thought this might be of some interest to the regular readers (excerpt from a posting to my own blog) : In his blog post, Prof. Föl discusses a number of historic receipts for quenching solutions. He provides the original texts, translations, plus interpretations of the (often hidden) meanings for the individual components. Not too curiously, carefully manipulated urine figures prominently in many of the historic 'secrets'. In my own return communication to him, I had mentioned my belief that the original source for the 'quenched in a living slave' concept
  10. That first suggestion is information by Lee Sauder. Lee is more or less responsible (along with is smelt partner Skip Williams) for starting the 'early iron' movement here in North America. You will also find some technique guides plus extensive documentation on my own web site : http://www.warehamforge.ca/ironsmelting I would also recommend you look at the tutorials available from Jesus Hernandez at : http://jhbladesmith.com/ All three of us are active on this forum Although somewhat dated now, there is some basic information available on the original Early Iron web site :
  11. Tim Your frame of reference is 900 - 1000 AD, and I believe the physical location is in the Dublin region? You should take a look at the extensive archaeology from the Woods Quay excavations in Dublin. Admittedly primarily Norse rather than Irish - but given the interactions between the two groups, the close match in time and place, it would be hard to find better references. Most of the hard archaeology I have seen indicates the use of ground mounted forges. The only illustration we have from Scandinavia from the same time shows a table mounted fire however. I've put up a numb
  12. Justin: you also said : "First run, tuyere the diameter of a pencil, 45deg about 3 inches above floor" The Smeltfest team initially ran Aristotle furnaces for over a week - something like 5 -6 different builds, over 35 individual firings. As with the full sized iron smelting furnaces, the 'magic number' for the tuyere down angle is * 22.5 *. You can get good results from 15 to 25 down - but you should stay in that range. Your 45 degrees is so steep that you would be placing the air blast right on top of the developing metal 'puck' - and slag is all you would likely be your resu
  13. Justin: First - there are a couple of guides to the Aristotle method, done up individually by those of us involved in the original 'Smeltfest' research group that worked up Skip Williams' concept furnace. My guide is posted at : http://www.warehamforge.ca/ironsmelting/Aristotle-HO.pdf On my blog at : http://warehamforgeblog.blogspot.ca/2012/03/demonstrating-aristotle-furnace.html One description you left out - How high was your furnace? You say you followed Skips original description. Did you use the shredded horse manure with clay (possible sand) mix? Normally what should ha
  14. " I am not recommending this process to anyone ..it is dirty and a lot of work..and may only work with some ores. " I wanted to pipe in here. I've maybe worked with more ore types than most others reading here, primarily because there is no naturally occurring iron ore in my local region - due to geography. Cerainly, * any * natural ore will vary considerably in potential iron content, oxide type, silica combination, dynamic impurities, structural form. One of the source 'ores' I had access to for a while was processed hematite asi fine particle blasting grit. I have worked with thi
  15. Scott et All One of the problems is of definitions - and just who sets the terms of reference. If you define 'Iron Age' as 'marking the use of iron as material' - then the true Iron Age runs from at least about 1000 BC in Northern Europe. One of the other definition problems is that mainland Europeans / British / Scandinavians all see the frame work of their own past marked by different events. So much of what us English speakers have access to is from Britain. The line between 'before the Celts' and after this invasion is fuzzy at best, and does appear to also mark the transition
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