Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer Solstice Iron Smelt : RESULTS

As in past years, there was a late spring / early summer iron smelt at Wareham. The date for this June 23 - 'the Saturday closest to Summer Solstice'.
The objective of this experiment was further investigation of the 'Slag Pit' style furnace - tentatively described as 'Celtic Iron Age'.

Refer back to an earlier posting for the build / experiment outline.

Near the end of the main sequence - Neil Peterson probing to determine bloom size.
Hammering on the bloom in place, using the 'Thumper'. (a)
Top Extraction of the hot bloom. (a)
ORE : 28.2 kg
DD 2B = 22.68 kg red iron oxide + 2.5 kg whole wheat flour + 2.75 kg forge scale
  / water to mix, then dried (typically about 10% remains)
CHARCOAL : roughly 62 kg
  Mix of Maple (2/3) and Oak (1/3)
AIR : via electric blower = estimated 900 LpM, increased to 1000 LpM at 4 hours
TIME : about 2 hours from start pre-heat to fill / touching off volitiles
  about 5 1/2 hours for the main sequence (to start burn down)

Initial charges : Iron rich slag (2 @ 1 kg) + Gromp fragments (2 x 1 kg)

Burn Rate : Average of 12 minutes (very consistent)
  First 7 ore additions at 1 kg each
  Next 3 additions at 1.5 kg each
  Last 7 additions at 2 kg each
  Final addition at 2.7 kg (remainder on hand)

Final Bloom, shown upside down, tuyere side to right. (b)

BLOOM : 6.1 kg
YIELD : 22 %
QUALITY : not cut at this point, but hammer feel suggests quite dense.

TEAM : Neil Peterson / Gus Gissing / Margaret Gissing /  Ben Van Eis

Next : Excavation of the slag block...

Image Credits :
a) Kelly Probyn-Smith
b) 'Gus' Gissing

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

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