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Thanksgiving weekend iron smelt.


Mark Green
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Today, some friends and I had an open smelt.

Here was the fun. https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/ThanksgivingBloom#

 

Mark

Pic114.JPG

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Today, some friends and I had an open smelt.

Here was the fun. https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/ThanksgivingBloom#

 

Mark

 

Well done Mark...nice result. Did the forged copper work for you..I was a little surprised to see the air intake so buried ...I asume if the air supply fails ( rare ) the tuyere if copper would have to be pulled quickly from the furnace.

 

Jan

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Your right on there Jan. I have just made my first copper tuyere this past week, and was saving it for the next stack.

I knew the Droopy eyed Dragon was on it's last burn. So, I just went with the iron tuyere that was in it already.

It worked ok. But melted very fast, moving the bloom towards the back wall of the stack, and burning up the wall. I likely could have made a bit bigger bloom, but next time I will have the copper tuyere. I have now made two, and plan to smelt some out of copper this winter.

They work well. I can't wait to try a bloom with one, so I can keep that bloom in the center, where it should be.

 

I also tried my hand at crucible steel yesterday. It was a bit of a flop, but I think I know the reasons why.

It was mostly a test for my new forge/furnace. I need a way to read the heat inside my forge, as well as a 60 lb propane tank for starters.

Here are a few pics. If anyone has any other ideas, I will gladly listen.

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Wootz#

 

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Your right on there Jan. I have just made my first copper tuyere this past week, and was saving it for the next stack.

I knew the Droopy eyed Dragon was on it's last burn. So, I just went with the iron tuyere that was in it already.

It worked ok. But melted very fast, moving the bloom towards the back wall of the stack, and burning up the wall. I likely could have made a bit bigger bloom, but next time I will have the copper tuyere. I have now made two, and plan to smelt some out of copper this winter.

They work well. I can't wait to try a bloom with one, so I can keep that bloom in the center, where it should be.

 

I also tried my hand at crucible steel yesterday. It was a bit of a flop, but I think I know the reasons why.

It was mostly a test for my new forge/furnace. I need a way to read the heat inside my forge, as well as a 60 lb propane tank for starters.

Here are a few pics. If anyone has any other ideas, I will gladly listen.

 

Mark

 

Copper sounds like a good idea and I will eventually try it ( this Spring) . I am able to keep the steel pipe from burning ( the very tip does melt) by slipping on a refractory sleeve made from ramming mix.

It is hard to tell what may be the problem with the wootz test but I would build a designated furnace. Take that 6" piece of white PVC and surround it with a refractory or just buy a 6" clay chimney flue ( 12" high , 6" inside diameter....I have never melted one yet) . Good luck on the wootz ( be prepared for a rough ride) just a few more weeks and I will be at it again myself. I have just gathered some pine for charcoal making...and am not sure what I am getting into ( cowboy charcoal is looking pretty good right now).

 

Jan

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Thanks for sharing your smelt photos. Attending one of these events is on my "to do" list.

Troy Allen Christianson is NOT a "Licensed Bladesmith" so you may treat his posts with the contempt they deserve.

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Yes Lee, The Brown ore from Chatham Co. Yeah!

Can't wait to play with it some.

I will send up a piece for you to do your twist test on.

Mark :)

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Yes Lee, The Brown ore from Chatham Co. Yeah!

Can't wait to play with it some.

I will send up a piece for you to do your twist test on.

Mark :)

 

Nice healthy lookin' bloom there Mark!

 

Sure,I'll do that, but if you want to test it yourself, here's the way I do it, so we can compare results. (I know you've seen this, but I'll describe the whole deal for so everyone knows what we're talking about)

Hot Twist: I forge a piece of the bloom to 5/8" square bar- straight from the bloom, no folding. Just looking at how crisp and uncracked the edges are tell me a lot at this point. I take a nice buttery yellow heat, clamp it in the vise, quickly measure 3", and twist it until it fails. For the lower P content, I usually get 3 to 4 revolutions before it starts to tear. For the higher P stuff, it usually goes 4 to 5 revs before it begins to tear, and sometimes it'll really keep spinning before it totally cuts loose.

Cold Twist: This is the one that's most informative about the P content. I take some of the 5/8" bar that wasn't twisted, and then forge it to 5/16" square, and let it air cool. Clamp in vise, mark off 1 1/2", and twist til failure. The lower P stuff will twist 1 to 1 1/2 revs, and tear rather than snap. The higher P stuff will only twist 1/4 to 1 revs, and snap rather than tear, and show the big crystalline grains.

 

I think I remember posting pictures of those cold fractures here somewhere on this forum, but damned if I remember where.

 

A few busy weeks ahead, but I'm jonesing to try that magnetite as soon as I can play!

 

Lee

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Gang,

 

Well, even with the cool weather, I got the tatara stack built for next weeks burn.

I have over 150lbs of double cleaned magnetite crushed and ready to go, and plenty of charcoal. BURN ON!

 

Here are some pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Tatara#

 

Wish me luck.

 

Mark

Pic183.JPG

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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... I also tried my hand at crucible steel yesterday. It was a bit of a flop, but I think I know the reasons why.

It was mostly a test for my new forge/furnace. I need a way to read the heat inside my forge, as well as a 60 lb propane tank for starters.

Here are a few pics. If anyone has any other ideas, I will gladly listen... Mark

Hi Mark,

the main prob is with the furnace,

the opening to the front lets too much energy pass out of it that you would need for melting the steel. The flame/flare needs to go around the crucible (take care that it goes tangentially around the crucible)and so it seems better to have a furnace designed for that (I can not use my smelter for the forging process, because it gets too hot!), so the idea of Jan will get you better results

stick to it,

you will love it ^_^

 

best regards

Jokke

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Hi Jokke,

 

Yes, I have plans to make a furnace, just for crucible steel. This was just a test of my new welding forge mostly.

I had the doors closed pretty tight with fire brick. And yes, my 1 in. t-rex burner comes in a a perfect angle to swirl

around inside the furnace that is shaped like a crucible. (great job on that placement Jesus! And that cone seems to work like a dream.)

The couple of times I peeked, I couldn't even see that crucible, everything was the same color.

It was more likely my starting material, and the fact that I had no way of reading the temp. Plus running out of gas 45 min. before I wanted to end.

I will endeavor to persevere.

thanks, Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Hi Mark,

pls be careful not to look into the "kiln" without eye-protection, I prefer the dark ones for welding, it can hurt the eyes as much as looking into the sun, remember there are up to 1680°C around the crucible and that means a lot of ultrared heat

good that you have help with the furnace

I needed two starts to get to a nearly perfect swirl!

 

place some pics when you are done

 

best regards

Jokke

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Thanks for the heads up Jokke, Yes, I use the welding flip ups too.

I learned that looking down the tuyere, on the stack smelter.

I was trying to use my dark glasses, but that just wasn't getting the job done.

Plus the welding glasses allow you to see what is going on in there much better.

 

I will take some pics of the new forge.

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Hi Mark

 

the heat you look for is a brilliant white heat, that'll be right around the melt temp of iron... it would be like looking at arc welding, so bright that you cannot stare at it with the naked eye

- myself i use a dark shade of burner glasses ... the cast iron will melt very fast and at a much lower temp than the iron (this is no big deal ) ...its the melt temp of iron that is the big hurdle ! ...

 

also.. i find propane will freeze, so i give my tanks a warm water bath... (not boiling hot ) but rather warm like a 30 celcius day ... my vessel of choice is two plastic garbage cans ...they'll hold the tank upright when they are low of propane and want to bob up and down in the water !

- a good way to watch the tank condition is to watch the in tank pressure

 

60 lbs is enough to melt... i use approx 30lbs of propane per 6lbs ingot (actually its a little better on gas than that, but 30lbs is the max you should need for that melt )

 

Jan give very good advice about having a furnace specific for melting... it makes a difference !

 

 

G

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Hi Gang,

 

Well, even with the cool weather, I got the tatara stack built for next weeks burn.

I have over 150lbs of double cleaned magnetite crushed and ready to go, and plenty of charcoal. BURN ON!

 

Here are some pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Tatara#

 

Wish me luck.

 

Mark

 

Mark,

Is there a taper on that copper tube? When going to copper I envision a severe taper and another air pipe blowing into he tapered section having excess air ( which will come back out of the tapered section and help keep it cool.

 

Jan

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Hi Guys,

All great advice.

 

Jan----- Yes the copper tubes do have a fair taper.

 

I have been making a number of clay/crucible material ceramic tuyeres, and I also have some nice long kiln shelf tubes that look like they may work very well. Plus I have ceramic coated some of my 1 in iron pipe.

I'm trying to decide what I will go with this weekends big smelt. It is likely, that the nice thick walled ceramic tubes may be best. As I know they are designed to take that heat.

The copper tuyeres are nice, but I was only able to get 3/4 in or so on those. The cast-able tuyeres I made, once covered with kiln wash and fired, are much less fragile then they were.

So, I guess I will go with whatever I can set up well with the new multi port design. I wish now, I had made 4 ports, as the nice ceramic tubes look very good. I may use 2 of those, just to give a good test.

I'll take lots of pics.

Mark

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Hi Gang,

New pics added of the tatara smelt today.

The story here: https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Tatara#

 

Mark

Pic212.JPG

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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Hi Gang,

New pics added of the tatara smelt today.

The story here: https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Tatara#

 

Mark

 

 

Mark,

Nice work, lots of work. Now we know why this is not a popular sport..... . Thank you for sharing the process with us.

Jan

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Hi Gang,

 

OK, I have some spark pics up. In all. it didn't turn out as bad as I first thought. About 13lbs of bloom from right at 58lbs of ore. The spark test show a very mixed bag, I guess usual for something like this. It will be a beter test, once they are compacted some.

Mark

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/106800196895572422821/Tatara#

Pic228.JPG

Mark Green

 

I have a way? Is that better then a plan?

(cptn. Mal)

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