Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Smelting Area!

Over the last weekend, a crew of people from DARC came up to the shop at Wareham and worked creating a special purpose area for our iron smelting.
The work crew consisted of Neil, Dave, Kevin, Ken, Selena, Karen and Vandy.

A few images of the results are posted up :

The new smelter area is wonderful. Rail ties were installed at the natural edge of the high water line on the pond. The small slope that defines the pond area was cut back and revetted. The area between these two lines was leveled. An overhead cover of sheet steel supported by four posts was constructed. Some finishing work like installing steps to the work area was completed. The flattened area under the roof is roughly 10 x 10 feet. You can see our next smelter inside the metal forms, which will give an idea of scale.
The intent is to build a pit style forge in the centre at upper ground level for re-heating blooms for consolidation and cutting to hand forgeable pieces. The use of the loose concrete blocks will allow us to install a second smelter on the left hand as desired latter on.
I set the distance on the side poles at 8 feet. This will allow me to block in the sides come winter with a couple of pieces of wafer board. With addition of a tarp on the pond side in theory this should break the wind and hold enough heat from the smelter to allow us to work later into the winter if we are inspired to.

Kevin led the group in constructing the shell for the smelter. This is set into the earth bank. Once the clay has firmed up and the forms removed, the gap between the cob cylinder was be packed with the usual mix of ash and sand. Other than that, only setting the tuyere and cutting the tap arch remains to be done. This is intended to be a re-usable smelter, something we tested last year. This smelter is a bit taller than last years series, combining what was learned from Jormungund at Smeltfest 06 earlier in the year.
- shows the construction. The paper clinging to the surface serves as a release from the sheet metal form used.

Our next smelt is planned for June 10. Kevin and Dave are the smelt masters. I will trouble shoot as needed, but mainly want to shoot some video and better still photos of the process.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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