Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Cool video of African blacksmiths making charcoal, mining ore, then smelting and smithing it.

Recommended Posts

Watching that should silence all of those who can't find the right style anvil and hammer.  I'll bet none of the guys in the video have access to this website and all the info contained here.  So no more excuses get out here and forge something.


Those folk don't need the internet, they had to listen to their father and grandfather or go hungry for lack of a craft. Most anybody can understand a simple binary solution problem.


Do I think watching this will stop modern folk from wanting the PERFECT tools to do the job? NOPE, not till they figure out the tools don't do the job and that only comes from giving it a try.


Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really like this film.

 Great view of people who actually remember a process that a lot of us are trying to create from our own distant cultural past.

 Great to see it before the info is lost. 

 I also love the way everybody is gathering round, mucking in and giving it some.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neat video, thanks for posting.


Question: Would that have been iron at the end of that process, or would it be more accurate to call it "steel"? Would enough carbon from the charcoal have dissolved in the iron to make it steel?


My uninformed hunch was always that "iron" would be unworkable with a hammer and anvil, yet it seemed to work fine.


Would the material created in the video possibly be what would be called "wrought iron"?


I'm curious what the properties of the metal used to make the hoe would be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little more info. Pure iron is softer than good bronze. It is easily forge-able. the Zulu weapons were pure iron if my IIRC. It has to be work hardened. To get anything decent it has to be worked to a point between annealed and the fatigue point to get much use out of it. It is very soft and easily forged. Like wrought iron. Although I don't think it's as temperature sensitive as wrought. I would assume if they have pure iron then their bloomery doesn't reach a high enough temperature to allow the iron to absorb carbon. This would also imply silicates aren't getting trapped in the iron. Which I would think would be a attribute of the ore. The beginning of my post contained some facts. After that mostly speculation. I'm waiting on Frosty or Mr powers to comment. In the video they work the metal at a temperature that leads me to believe it's not wrought. So it's probably steel. Wrought would split at some of the temperatures they were working at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...