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Copper Pipe for Tuyere Needed


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Hello all. Reading much of this forum and watching all the videos I could find - I have gotten the bug.

 

My first load of local (NY) Magnetite ore has been secured, and I am working of sourcing some Clay and Charcoal (following Lee Sauder's bloomery smelting basics). Now I am looking for a suitable blower and TUYERE.

 

Using Copper as a highly conductive tuyere (so conductive that the tip doesn't burn off when experiencing welding temperatures) was GENIUS and provides a good idea on how the ancients probably did it as well.

 

 

I am looking for copper to make such a Tuyere. I would be willing to pay - I know they it is an expensive metal.

 

Message me or PM me if you can help.

 

THANKS!

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Hi George,

Here is where I got my last one. It is 20 smelts in, and doing well.

 

http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pid=18345&step=4&showunits=inches&id=1288&top_cat=0

 

One of these days I plan to sand-cast a good number of formable cone shaped. Using Lee's pattern.

Don't know for sure when. I need some new big crucibles, and a way to pore them.

 

If you just planning a few a year, a pipe like this above will last you a very long time.

With the 10% off it's like 170$ plus, for a 2ft piece.

 

You can always use a 1 or 1.5 iron pipe the first few times. They work ok, but will melt. Or The EU guys seem to like the clay tuyeres. Just make a few from your EPK clay mixed with a little charcoal fines, and perlite? In my experience, they will melt as well, but it's easy, and won't add any copper or iron to your bloom.

 

 

I just use the cheapest Home depot/ Lowe's, blower 29$ Or bellows ;)

Edited by Mark Green
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(On Copper tuyeres)

Here is where I got my last one. It is 20 smelts in, and doing well.

 

http://www.onlinemet...=1288&top_cat=0

 

You can always use a 1 or 1.5 iron pipe the first few times. They work ok, but will melt. Or The EU guys seem to like the clay tuyeres. Just make a few from your EPK clay mixed with a little charcoal fines, and perlite? In my experience, they will melt as well, but it's easy, and won't add any copper or iron to your bloom.

 

 

A couple of comments on this:

 

Copper :

 

If copper tuyeres were used by the ancients is *not known*. (Note that I would be very happy to submit to better knowledge if anyone can supply some!) There are no existing artifact copper tuyeres. I have had a couple of researchers mention that they have seen small drops of copper encased in bloomery slag - which to my mind is certainly suggestive. Balance that against the fact that those of us using copper tuyeres rarely see any kind of erosion effects. At Lee Sauder's, he showed me some distinctive slag rings. These were small shells of slag that had formed over the end of the copper tuyere in his smelts. I have only used my own forged copper tuyere a couple of times - but have found the same distinctive rings.

 

rings-inner.jpg

(Inner surface shown, rings inverted over how they would have appeared in place in the furnace.)

When I posted some images of these slag rings on ARCHMETALS, it turned out a number of archaeologists have recovered something similar looking at their excavated iron smelting sites.

If you are interested, I did post up a longer commentary about this on my blog : http://warehamforgeblog.blogspot.ca/2012/04/slag-tuyere-rings.html

 

2) Mark tells us that this copper pipe works effectively. Lee's pattern uses forged copper flat bar, which gives you two significant differences:

a) a tapered shape to the tuyere, which effectively accellerates the air blast, so increasing penetration into the furnace.

B) thicker copper at the interior end (both of us have closer to 3/8 thick on the furnace end)

Copper is wonderful stuff to forge. Even at current high scrap copper prices, I think for a hours work you can really reduce that $175 price on the specialty pipe!

 

3) Using Schedule 40 steel pipe.

There is a good chance I have worked more with that stuff than most anyone else. (It was our standard here for maybe the first 15 smelts.)

As Mark says, the problem is that the pipe simply melts / burns off during a smelt. This results in the 'hot spot' moving directly against the furnace wall. This in turn causes considerable erosion of the furnace wall itself. Typically the lost is about 3 cm (1 inch plus). If your furnace wall is thick enough, this does not pose a problem on an individual smelt. I certainly have had complete burn through of the furnace wall!

You can reduce this by forming a protective cone of a mix of clay, sand and charcoal fines around the exposed pipe tip inside the furnace.

The advantage is that the pipe is cheap and available easily.

 

4) Using Ceramics

First thing to note : The general concept for most of the European experimenters is quite different than those working in the USA. For the Europeans, Early Iron is about replication of ancient / historic *processes*. The focus in the USA is typically on *product*. For that reason, most European iron smelting furnaces use equipment that fits an archaeological prototype. Clay tuyeres are found in many cultures, times and locations.

Our standard here at Wareham has been using pre-made ceramic kiln supports, designed for porcelain pottery. These are rated to 1150 C, and have proven to stand up very well to the slightly higher temperatures in iron smelting furnaces. There is only slight melting, typically I get two or three uses out of a single tube. These are purchased from a local pottery supply store. Each is 12 inches long, and 2 cm ID (something about 3/4 inch). They cost me all of $6 each (!!)

 

air-system.jpg

Typical set up. Part of the white ceramic tube is seen. The pipe fitting slides over the end of the tube, and is secured with aluminum tape.

 

Darrell

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Hello chaps, just to chip in...

 

ive only ever been an observer at a smelt but regarding dragoncutlery's comment about a water cooled tuyere,

 

they can be easily made out of mild steel too. the idea is that the steel is continually quenched by the water which is well above boiling point, it is safe to use mild steel because any rust that may form inside the tuyer, potentially weakening it, is converted to stable, non corroding iron oxide which i think is Fe3. Black oxide.

 

the tuyere on my forge is fabriacted mild steel and works well.

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While the water cooled tuyeres may work just fine. There is a potential serious hazard, involved.

 

I think I recall some members having some bad experience with that.

 

I have used the Kiln tube as well. It worked fine, but did melt. But, I was running a very hot Magnetite smelt, with multi tuyeres.

 

If your lucky enough to be near a big scrap yard, and can score some nice thick copper. Making a tuyere is the way to go. I have two clay covered steel tuyeres That I just haven't had the chance to try. I may try those in the new year.

 

As you can see, there are lots of choices.

 

 

Mark

Edited by Mark Green
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Hey, where did you secure your NY magnetite from. I'm from the Rochester area and didn't have much luck finding any local ore. I ended up just buying a bunch of spanish red iron oxide from an online pottery supplier.

 

Jon,

Put the phrase "magnetite deposits in new york state" into a search engine...... find a local Geologist (probably at a local college Geology Department) and have a chat....when you leave home be sure to bring a magnet.

 

Jan

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the replies.

1. I got my magnetite ore in Rockland County NY. If you know where to look there is magnetite in some state forests just laying about.

2. I am very interested in doing 1-3 smelts using the most economical means possible before I dump serious money into copper pipe.

Q. What are the pros and cons of using steel/iron pipe as opposed to this kiln tubing?

3. My magnetite ... shown below - Is there any roasting that I should do before smelting? It is very magnetic throughout. Also, will it have enough 'natural flux' to form a bloom properly? Tough question...

 

Thanks!

-G

5.JPG

1.JPG

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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the replies.

1. I got my magnetite ore in Rockland County NY. If you know where to look there is magnetite in some state forests just laying about.

2. I am very interested in doing 1-3 smelts using the most economical means possible before I dump serious money into copper pipe.

Q. What are the pros and cons of using steel/iron pipe as opposed to this kiln tubing?

3. My magnetite ... shown below - Is there any roasting that I should do before smelting? It is very magnetic throughout. Also, will it have enough 'natural flux' to form a bloom properly? Tough question...

 

Thanks!

-G

 

George,

I have never tried the ceramic kiln shelf supports but would not hesitate to use one,,,be sure to have a (cold) rod of the right size ready to frequently clear the air passage into your furnace.

I suggest you finely crush a small sample to a fine powder and play a propane plumbers torch onto a small amount of it contained in a metal cup...get it really hot.....check for a sulfur smell. I am sitting on a few buckets of ore which contains pyrite it really stinks when heated in an oxidizing flame.

Magnetite is not the easiest ore to work with unless you crush it to a very fine powder, ( or convert it to ( at least partially) Fe3o2 with an oxidizing roast) ...as the ore is being reduced it forms a layer of reduced ore (iron) which inhibits the transport of reducing gasses and the CO2 produced. The other option is to build a furnace with a long residence time, the ore would still have to be in small grit sized pieces.

Though I do not normally add flux , most of the furnace experience here (on this site) is with a flux.

I know that even in the best of circumstances some of the material making it to the bottom of my furnace is going to be only partially reduced...I could flux and drain it off as slag but I choose not to do that.

I would do a little searching on the history of that area, you may be able to pull an ore composition estimate from what has already been published. Maybe you and Jon should find the same Geologist.

Good luck

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein
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