Monday, November 21, 2022

Lower & Longer - Repeated (Iron Smelt #92)

October 29, 2022

The usual Samhain iron smelt was a repeat of the June experiment, again using lower air volumes inside a standard 'Norse Short Shaft' bloomery iron furnace. This all in an attempt to investigate the effects of the levels of air delivery possible from our proposed Viking Age smelting sized bellows. 

In the past, a number of experiments have used variations on the type of twin chamber bellows known from (admittedly limited) historic illustrations. One feature of this type is that it will deliver a pulsing air blast, with variations in both volume and delivered pressure over individual strokes occurring roughly one per second (and between operators). 

For this smelt, air was delivered via the standard electric blower, at a volume determined by measurements made during # 90 (October 2021) - approximately 500 litres per minute. The same furnace as was used in June, with some minor repairs, used the same ore type (DD1), following the same sequence of additions. 

Furnace set up for #92 - at start of wood splint pre-heat

The reason it was decided to repeat the June experiment was that the results of that test were not was expected, with yield at 28 %

The full report : Lower & Longer - Repeated (Iron Smelt #92)

Friday, November 11, 2022

the Flag (10 Lines)

from blogTO / Tanya Mok / Posted on May 09, 2020 (no specific image credit given)

Don’t wrap yourself in the flag…
Claiming that you are only exercising your ‘Freedom’, against a government you simply do not like.
You live in a Democracy, there was an Election, and your choice of candidate clearly lost, if you even bothered to vote at all.
Citizenship carries Responsibility, and the elected Government represents the Majority of the population, and acts for the best interests of ALL it’s People combined.

Don’t wrap yourself in our flag…
When you cheerfully plug any passage down local streets, park on sidewalks and memorials, while blaring horns in residential neighbourhoods all through the night.
Your perceived ‘Right’ to ‘peaceful protest’ does not extend to blocking the ability of local people, who have committed no offense beyond their choice of home location, to get to work, to school, to the food store, or the simple ability to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
A Nation is a Community, and this Community is defined in large part by it’s Tolerance and Respect, it’s adherence to the Rule of Law, all of which somehow you don’t think applies to yourself?

Don’t wrap yourself in my flag…
When your associates bring along military assault rifles and body armour to your ‘peaceful protest’, publishing in advance their intention to murder the police.
You must certainly expect to be judged by the company you keep, exactly the same way you bundle up everyone else who does not agree with your (uninformed) ’Opinions’, and subject others to abuse.
You cry ‘Personal Freedom’ as you willfully engage in extreme behaviour, then cry and moan ‘Oppression’ when our police and government utilizes legal measures to contain your self absorbed outbursts when they impact destructively on the rest of us?

That flag stands for many things…
The Land. The People. A shared view of Custom and Culture.
And importantly, those who stood up for those same Rights, that same Country, placing their mortal bodies between you and those who would eradicate your ability to walk those same streets.
To even complain at all.

“We shall not forget: Remembrance Day events” / CityTV - Breakfast Television (no references given)

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Sahmain Iron Smelt (2022)

 In conversation with Neil - there will be NO Thanksgiving weekend smelt at Wareham.

Sahmain Iron Smelt

Saturday October 29

Wareham Forge

- This is an experimental (not teaching) event, a repeat of the June experiment to confirm unexpected results (with better instrumentation)

- The directions :
- COVID measures remain in force (vaccinations required, bring masks) This is however an outdoor event, so generally distancing is easy to maintain:

As I have mentioned (to the extended recipient list here), observers are welcome.
People outside the core DARC membership should reply via e-mail to confirm their intention to participate.

 - Generally the firing process starts about 9 AM, with main sequence start roughly 10 - 10:30.
- Extraction expected about 6:30 - 7:30  PM. (if this smelt follows pattern of June)
 - For this smelt, I need to remain in control of the extraction process.
-  There is always simple task and 'dirty work' that needs to be undertaken.
- Those who know me are (well) aware that you can hardly shut me up, so new people are certain to get at least an overview of the smelting process.

Those hoping to directly participate are advised to wear 'work clothes', which need to be all natural (cotton jeans and sweat shirts suggested). Safety glasses will be on hand (and required in the working area).

Neil and I have discussed air and implications:

- The air volume applied in June was based on measurements from the October 2021 smelt, when the current model 'smelter bellows' was used = 500 LpM.

Blower and bellows air / instrumentation : 10/21

- The June smelt used a 25 cm ID furnace, a bit smaller than our standard (at typically 28)

Furnace build from June 2022

- This combination gives a air / diameter ratio of (roughly) 1 L/cm2 (slightly less than the 'magic' 1.2 - 1.5).

The burn rate was considerably longer than our typical (average about 8 min/kg) at 12 minutes per kg

This all leads me to guess (?? after all this time ??) that there is a significant difference created by the 'pulsing' delivery produced by the twin chamber bellows unit.  In the works right now is a mechanical gadget that will vary the air from the blower to better mimic the bellows production. Right now we have decided NOT to attempt to use this equipment with the upcoming smelt (likely the spring 2023).

Repaired Furnace (tuyere goes to right)

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Visting the Wareham Forge

Don't just show up here 

Without previously contacting me to arrange a suitable day and time.

(I'm adding this as a blog post, mainly so I can refer people to instructions as to what to do when they have already got clearance to come here. This is also my home!)

This is what you will see as you approach the Wareham Forge (located at the centre of the Wareham crossroads) :

Approach from the West (looking to East)

Approach from the East (looking to West)

The building is placed on the NW corner of the Wareham crossroads. Entry is on the South side of the property.

Standing on Centre Line, looking North towards the building entrance

As is detailed on the direction instructions (you would have been provided when you contacted me), there is a 'portable' tarp cover over the considerable slope down into the shop entrance. (On a bad snow year, this completely fills over under snow!)

Parking is nose inwards, to the right (east) side - the space is more obvious in the 'to west' view above. 

Shop door is open - more than normal clutter due to construction and winter prep.

Come down inside the tunnel, approach the wooden shop entrance door. 

At the shop door, listen and look. If I am working in the shop, I will be visible on the main workshop area just ahead. If I am in the forge, it is inside, just to the right hand side. Call out if you hear but don't see me.

If you do not see or hear.

The residence is the rear third of the building. The door bell is located on the SIDE of the wooden framing, to the RIGHT hand, about CHEST HIGH. There is a white sign that says 'House Doorbell' marking it. 

Press the doorbell. WAIT. (It takes time for me to come down from the second floor, find some shoes and get out to the shop entrance.)

No response?

Did you contact me and arrange an appointment?

If so, there is a chance I am out in the yard :

via Bing
via Google

The property is one acre, bounded on two sides by roads, the rear by a small creek. The images above are dated, the Bing version (mid day)likely from at least a two decades back, the Google version (morning) from at least ten years ago (note the difference in tree cover!)

Diagram of the yard - about 2000

There is a small pond to the rear of the property, and a number of small outbuildings. Of importance is the iron smelting area to the west side of the pond. As with any rural property, there is considerable ongoing gardening and maintenance taking place. 

If you had arranged a time, and I'm not in the several workshop spaces, or answering the residence doorbell, odds are very good I am back in the rear yard. 

Access is down the east side of the main building, then between the rear corner and the end of the long shed (Tin Shop, not shown on that diagram, extending the line of the garage.)


The Wareham Forge is a WORKING space - at my HOME

It is not a gift shop

It is not open for casual 'see the blacksmith work' visits.

It is NOT 'disabled accessible' in any way what so ever.


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

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