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Aether

Bloomery Furnace

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Hi everyone, 

I'm new here. So I want to smelt Iron. I know the principles, however I am having trouble with the furnace. I have red clay bricks, portland cement, powdered lime, sand, and fire clay (powdered.) Does anyone know what mixture to use to make mortar for use in my furnace? also any help with design would be very welcomed. 

 

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Can't help you the dozen or so years I was part of a bloomery team we used clay and straw and silt---going for a Y1k scandinavian  short stack bloomery:  3 shovelfuls of sandy silt, two head sized bundles of chopped straw and on shovelful of powdered clay mix with your hands with so little water that it's positively painful!

 

Now there are plans for a bloomery in "The Mastery and Uses of Fire in Antiquity" Rehder using modern materials and designs; appendix 4 "A furnace to reliable make a bloom of iron" 

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Ok seems I must make it out of clay, not brick. Also my next dilemma. I spoke with the professor of geology at a local university and he told me I won't find any rocks with more than 10% iron in my area. Would this be a waste to smelt?

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I want to back up a bit and ask what have you smelted before?  what was the iron content of that ore, and what yield did that give ?

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scale is a high grade iron ore and a smithy produces quite a bit of it.  Not knowing where you are I can't suggest whether magnetite sand might be found in streams.  You can also buy magnetite as a pollution control material (as I recall shipping was more expensive than the material---had a friend buy 400# of it) Bog iron is available in several countries especially Northern Europe and places on the eastern seaboard of the USA.  I don't advise pre processed taconite pellets as they are optimized for blast furnaces and are way too slaggy for a bloomery)

 

10% is a very low ore for a bloomery especially for someone with no experience; expect to make nothing but slag with it.

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Buy the video on Lee Sauders website. Its like $20 and coverea everything about furnace design, composition and so on and so forth.

Its really learned learned through some guidance and trial and error. Otherwise attend someone elses smelt and take some of the trial and error out. Which means saving charcoal.

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