Thursday, March 11, 2010

SMELTFEST - What I'm missing

Just a fast note: I've had some family stuff come up, and will have to be back and forth to Peterborough for a bit chunk of the next while. If postings or personal communications seem spotty, its because I will often be out of internet contact.

Lee Sauder sent me these images of the test furnace he and his smelting partner Skip Williams have built for Smeltfest this year:

The first image shows the finished clay construction. Note the bundle of split wood used to create a form to apply the clay against. Skip and I used the same method for out test furnace 'Jormungand' during Smeltfest 2006.
The second image is during the inital 'bisque' firing, when the splints are burned out to dry the clay and partially sinter the inner surface to strengthen it.

This looks like a very elegant small furnace. The shaft is higher than normal, but we all have found that increasing the shaft height over the '40 cm above tuyere' minimum always greatly increases the efficiency of any furnace.

The planned series of experiments is to determine if a practical method can be found to limit the absorbtion of Phosphorus - when working with an ore that contains this impurity. The hope is that by slowing down the rate of the reduction slightly and extending the effects of the slag bath, less Phosphorus may be part of the finished bloom.

I'm really hating that I will be missing all this. The participants this year include the usuals (Shel Browder and Steve Mankowski from Colonial Williamsburg) and recent member Jesus Hernadez. Mike McCarthy, one of the founding members of Early Iron, is returning. My understanding is that swordmaker Jeff Pringle is also joining the group.

Oh - CRAP....

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

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