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Mark Green

La Farga Catalana

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OK captions are up.

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Awesome stuff! Wish I could have been there. Thanks for documenting the process so well!

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I'm hoping there is some good vid. out there to come. Anyone??

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Those are good pictures! Unfortunately those of us not on FB can't use your link. :(

 

Shoot, sorry! I'll upload the lot to my blog. And Mark, I haven't had a chance to get through all the bits of video I took (not sure if they're any good), but I'll see what I can do with them. I think Chris will have better luck :)

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Alright, here we go. Here's a link to most of the pictures in the above link. Some words too, but everyone here knows more than I do :lol:

 

John

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Great Job John!

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Right now, I plan to run this furnace again on the weekend of the 30-31 May.
If the weather is good, and I can get ready for it, with everything else I have going on.

Watch my FB page, and I will post here as I get more set on the date.


Mark


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Sorry, Mark, I've been so busy getting ready for my smelt this weekend, I just haven't looked at your video I shot, yet. I will get to it soon... I'm pretty sure I have a good story captured there.

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Thanks Mark! I think I'll be around that weekend, might have to make another trip up! Chris, I look forward to seeing what you got!

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Ok, Burn is on for next Sat. 30th. Sunday, is the back up day.
Then the following weekend.

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Hi Gang,

Well, another successful Catalan style smelt.
Daniel, and I ran 130 lbs. limonite, 150lb. charcoal, 35 gal. of water through the Cat. furnace, and made some monster bloom....s
19.5 lb. solid bloom, and another 20+lbs. of slaggy bloom.

Here is the vid or the birth and some stump compaction. It was a very hot day, and the heat from this bloom mass was wicked!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYDHFhDlSx0

 

I will post a Picasa story later.

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Well, I did some better spark tests on the solid main bloom.

 

This must be a product of the 15 min burn times.

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Ah what a great smelt! By far the biggest heat mass I have ever worked around when that bloom came out. Ultra successful, and the fire management was fun.

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So, you got a 19lb high carbon steel bloom. Dayyum! :ph34r: How does the fluffy stuff spark?

 

I bet if you were more aggressive with the bloom while it was in the furnace you could have gotten better consolidation in situ while keeping the tuyere clear, and maybe been able to do a top extraction like the originals. I'm pretty sure that called for a LOT of ungentle prodding of the nascent bloom in the furnace, given that they went straight from the furnace to the trip hammer for consolidation. Cool (I mean HOT!) stuff! B)

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Curiosity was peaked when we started comparing the two smelts with the Catalan.

 

We ran the load of ore down the chute for a third time, and it seems as if that could have contributed to the separate blooms.

 

I wonder this because imagining a couple guys hoisting a several hundred pound bloom just feels unlikely. I could be wrong, but seriously consider the logistics. Now if the reason why they added the ore the way they did later was to split the outcome to make it more manageable in the long run, all the while accomplishing this in a single smelt with simple control of this outcome would be genius. As Mark states, that last ore dump has a specific name.

 

I haven't read the book, but Mark also mentioned problems arising when a single bloom became too large.

 

Perhaps the first catalan run being only a 15% return could have resulted from the lack of separation in the furnace? He said your slag was extremely iron rich. I lifted that bucket myself. At least 60 or more pounds of slag/iron.

 

Of course you guys ran it a lot hotter the first time as well, so there is always that...

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Mark, Daniel,

 

Phenomenal ! Thanks for taking up this project and posting it.

 

Daniel,

"We ran the load of ore down the chute for a third time", I am having a hard time visualizing this, are you running ore or slag? I asume the "chute" to be the arched brick side of the furnace....correct?

Jan

Edited by Jan Ysselstein

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We only did 2 chunky ore loads. The first one was about 3/4 of the total.
It all went in on the first loading of charges. The second one went in at the beginning of the 3rd hr.

 

Jesus is pretty sure that this second loading of chunk ore was just a mistake in translation.

"Percy's mis-translated the phrase "dona la mena" as "give or add more ore". The phrase actually means "push the ore."
So, as our 2nd load may have added to the two piece thing, I'm not sure it helped anything, besides slowing us down even more.
It would take some special tools, to extract the bloom from my smelter. I would have needed some kind of hooked bars, and much tougher pry bars.
Plus the heat!!!!! I have no idea, how they extracted a 150+lb bloom, without modern heat shielding equip.

They would take it direct to the hammers, then load the furnace again with new charges, and return the bloom into the furnace for reheating for about half the smelt.
It was early mass production of iron.
Running the Catalan is fun, but a lot of work for 2 people, and it would be near impossible to run alone.





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Sorry, second load 3rd hour. A lot went on, my memory is fuzzy, lol

 

But yea the ramp.

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Alan..................... I feel that I could have "helped" the bloom compact more while in the fire. I did play with that some. But, I feel that skill likely took many, many smelts to learn, and get good at.
After 2 smelts, and having removed the wall, and had a good look at the bloom placement, I feel I could have "man handled" the bloom around a bit more and made it better.
The main bloom was right on top, under the tuyere. If I had squished down the top some, and wedged 'much' harder around the edges during burn down, I may have been able to consolidate the whole bloom. Maybe??

 

I feel. after a half dozen smelts, you could likely get the hang of that. And then, maybe, be able to birth it out the top. (with the right tools)

 

 

I'm thinking about doing one magnetite smelt with the Catalan before I turn it over to Jesus. he may do some more experiments.
Just the prep work for one of these is a week of hard work. So, I will decide over the next few days if I want to run one more. I'm not sure how much of my nice magnetite I want to risk on this. It takes 'weeks' of work to prep that ore for smelting. I have about 250lbs. ready to go just now.
I know I can make 50-60 lbs. of nice magnetite bloom steel in the round stack with that amount. In the Catalan, I could get lucky, or not. Not having run the magnetite, as it is now through the Cat. Just not sure right now.
I guess it will all depend on how well that big high C bloom plays. If it is dreamy, then I will likely run a slow magnetite smelt soon. If not, likely not. :)

I will go back to the nice relaxing round stack.

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I think you are absolutely right that this Catalan forge stuff involves a steep learning curve and serious effort to get right. Plus that bit about it being a truly industrial-scale process. But still, it's a worthwhile experiment!

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Oh, I'm with you there Alan. I sure wouldn't be spending all this time, and money, on it otherwise.

 

 

Worthwhile, and fun!!!!!!

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He really did throw some elbow grease in the bloom manipulating in the furnace.

 

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