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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Migration Era Styled Smelt         Reply with quote

Hi everybody.

This is for anyone interested in early weapons manufacturing techniques.

I thought I'd share our most recent, most successful smelt run yet.

Here's the furnace, which is roughly based on a saxon style outlined by Tylecote in "The Coming Age of Iron" You can see some of my forge buddies in the background.


Here is a shot of me opening the slag tapping arch


I don't have any shots of the bloom, which we estimated to be 40 lbs, but what do you do after you pull it out? Have a cookout!


We did some consolidating today, and it's sticking together pretty good! Happy

Here's a shot of me with the bloom and a striker, photo by Tony of YSForge


Here is a really cool shot taken by Glen Moulton.
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is really pretty amazing, Jesse! Thanks for posting it. When we talked, you described what you guys did - seeing it really puts it all into a more concrete idea for me.

Wish I could comment more - wrapping things up before my flight. I know there will be some more amazing Jesse Frank pieces in the future... can't wait to see what you pull off with this stuff.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Aaron.

This is a whole lot of fun. A whole lot of work, but a whole lot of fun Happy
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is fascinating Jesse.

I've seen drawings of this type of smelting set-up, but I've never seen it in actual use.

Thanks for posting this!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am surprised to see such a comparatively small oven produce 40 pounds of product. I always visualized a setup at least four or five times that size. Have you had any tests done on your output to determine its qualities?
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm glad you like it!


The cool thing about the furnace is that we stopped only because we ran out of ore. We definitely didn't reach the capacity of the furnace Cool

I have done some tests. Showed little to no carbon content with a spark test. Polished and etched a section, which showed bands with more carbon, which will homogenize during consolidation.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wonderful stuff Jesse... Big Grin

Thanks for posting.

ks

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Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
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Our souls to one of
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jesse Frank wrote:
Thanks Aaron.

This is a whole lot of fun. A whole lot of work, but a whole lot of fun Happy


Wish I could have been there... even if it were just to watch the magic.

Just might have to nab a piece of that bloom when you're finished with it... Wink

-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for posting this stuff. I hope to see more. I hope not to sound ungrateful, but rather just hungry for more: if you're willing, I'd love to read a narrative outlining some basic info on the smelting process. Very cool stuff.
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, basically what you're trying to do is separate the iron from the oxygen and whatever else is is present in the ore, which is usually silica. To do that, you need to coax the oxygen out somehow. That's where the charcoal comes in. When the charcoal burns, it gives off carbon monoxide. Since the oxygen would rather hang out with the carbon than with the iron, once it reaches a certain temperature, it can dump the iron for the carbon, creating carbon dioxide. That leaves the iron and the silica (slag) to go their separate ways and do their thing.

I'll explain the working of the furnace in the next post.
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This type of furnace is referred to as a shaft furnace, for obvious reasons. What happens, is that it is preheated, and then filled with charcoal. Once that is alight, air is injected at a fairly high volume and velocity to allow the fuel to burn hotter, and create more carbon rich gasses. These gasses then rise through the shaft, expelling all excess oxygen, allowing for a completely reducing environment. As the ore travels down the shaft, the chemical reaction take place, allowing the oxygen to leave with the carbon as a gas, and the iron and slag to make its way to the hearth, where the slag covers the iron, protecting it both from further oxidation at tuyer level, and from excess carbon absorption. This allows the iron to weld to itself into an agglomeration, which is the bloom.

Next will be the actual operation of the furnace.
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M. Taylor




Location: Chesterland, Ohio
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

jesse, this is great stuff! Thanks for sharing. How much ore did you put into the furnace to get the 40 lbs. of bloom?
"Only people not able to grow tall from their own efforts and achievements seek to subdue their fellow man."
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
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Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jun, 2005 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roughly 60 lbs. There was probably 10 lbs or so that weren't attached.

So here is how the smelt goes.

First, start the preheat. That takes about 45 minute to an hour.

Fill furnace with charcoal, add blast.

Once furnace level drop enough, add 10 lbs charcoal/10 lbs ore.

Tap slag periodically.

Repeat until you either run out of fuel, ore, or the furnace reaches capacity.

Remove and consolidate bloom.

That's it! Easy, huh?Wink
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2005 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I consolidated some of it yesterday, got three pieces up to 32 layers. This stuff works really nicely. For the most part, I can draw out a 3/8" x 3/4 bar long enough to fold in one heat by hand. Like butter B)

Carburized some of it this morning, welded it up and started to draw it out, and boy did it ever stiffen up! A good three or four times stiffer under the hammer. I think I'll wait to draw this one out 'till I either have my press built or a striker handy Wink
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jesse Frank wrote:
I think I'll wait to draw this one out 'till I either have my press built or a striker handy Wink


If I was closer, I'd gladly lend you an arm!

It's going to be neat to see what you turn this in to over time.

Thanks a ton for putting this thread out, and putting enough detail to the process that we can get a handle on it without burying us in chemistry.

-Aaron Schnatterly
_______________

Fortior Qui Se Vincit
(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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