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Freya W. Ward

Aristotle Furnace?

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Hello Folks. In the next few weeks, month at the most, I'll be going at my first attempt at a decent sized aristotle furnace. What I'll be remelting is mainly some 1018 and maybe a length or two of rebar.


I've spent the last few nights studying what others have done, but I'm still iffy on a few key parts, so that's the point of this thread. I've got a few questions on what people think are the most vital factors in a succesful melt.


How deep, and wide should my furnace be.

Angle of the tuyere.

And what, if anything should be used as flux.


I'm hoping to achieve a nice mass of high carbon steel, not sure how much starting material will be used as of yet.


This first attempt I'll try to make it out of a clay mixture harvested from the ground around my house, which is mostly red clay.


I greatly appreciate any helpful advice anyone is willing to give! There will definately be video of the melt and hopefully of some bloom refinement.

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not sure where you are hoping for a 'nice mass'


The Aristotle Furnace design is small - which is part of the point of that specific system. The standard design the Early Iron team developed was built around using a standard 2 litre pop bottle (or 10 cm diameter ABS waste line pipe).

Typically the best results are found when using roughly 750 gms ( 1 1/2 lbs) of input metal. Your expected yield should be something like 600 gms (bit over a pound). That gives you a cake maybe about 8 cm diameter, about 5 - 6 cm thick. A nice size for later hand forging in a normal coal forge.


Hopefully the file I've tried to attach here comes through.

This is a handout I prepared for last year's demo on the Aristotle furnace I did for the Ontario Artist Blacksmiths.





PS - I will be demonstrating the build and use of the Aristotle at CanIRON 9 in Trois Rivieres Quebec over the weekend of July 1. Lee Sauder will also be there, mounting a full iron smelt.

see http://www.caniron.ca



Aristotle H_O.pdf

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lee sauder has a great article on his site as well http://www.leesauder.com/smelting_research.php scroll down and click Aristotle's Steel link hope this helps




oops!! didn't see all the links in the bibliography of your handout you attached Darrell! should have read the whole thing to start with... nevermind the redundant info..


Edited by Bill Sullivan

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You should try to come by for a smelt one time at my place. I do at least one a month.

PM me, and I will get your #, and let you know when I'm running one. I also do hearth melting a lot. That is very much like the Aristotle process, only with much better results.

Here is our Face Book smelters group. https://www.facebook.com/mark.green.1654?ref=name#!/groups/361798240526981/?fref=ts


I post about a week ahead or more when I'm going to do a smelt. There is noting like seeing it done in person, and being able to ask questions as the process is going on to learn any of this. Sometimes our pictures and vids, from the experienced smelters make it look very easy. But, it isn't, espcially to learn on your own. (I know)

I'm in Greensboro, right in the center of NC.
Right now I plan to run a full smelt on the 8TH of June.


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