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I Forge Iron

Notes from archeo-smelter camp (pic heavy)

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Hi All,

As some of you might know I just got back from a so called archeo smelter camp. It was organised 9. times by a young Hungarian scientist/blacksmith whose rresearch field is material analysis and metallurgy of medieval findings in the Eastern-European region. The camp takes place near the village of Somogyfajsz, a very little village where archeologists have found remains of preindustrial smelting worksites. These small sites were used for decades in the 1200s and had very nice production of bloomery iron for which the ore was available at the creeks nearby as bog iron ore.

The goal of the camp was to see and recreate how the bog iron ore was smelted into bloomery iron in the 1200s. All processes were done by hand from chopping wood for charcoal to hammering the sponge iron into useful bricks. 

In this topic I'd like to document how things went while we were there.


First day on the way to the camp site we made a little short cut to the big steelworking company. We took a factory visit there and looked how industrial ways work in the smelting.

In this comment I can only load up the pics from the blast furnace. Later I continue the story :)

The 1000 cubic meters capacity furnace:


Sizes can be seen better when you check out the locomotive in the middle.


Everything is covered with fine graphite dust. Don't hold your breathe though... ;) 


The tapping of the pig-iron begins when the oxygen lance reaches the inner side of the tapping hole. It was filled after the last tapping but now ithas to be opened again. This bore shaped opening is only 2" wide but man that stuff is coming out of it real hard.


The molten metal and slag starts to flow heavily


And the show begins:



Slag swims out through the pipe on the right:


The molten iron goes down to the big crucible wagons:



To be continued...

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Somehow I felt you'll like this :) Glad to hear btw.

The next station was the hot rolling department. It's entrance gives nice nostalgic feelings from the communist times:


Inside there are three "through-going" furnaces, they put the 12 ton billet in from one side and its coming out nice and hot on the other side. Here it comes:



There are a row of rolling mills that roll the 6-8m long billet into 100m long ~3mm thick plate. This happens in two steps, first step:595ef4aeafd9a_201707dfmelegheng5.thumb.jpg.f71df2422722c1eb287ba5d672cc4e6b.jpg595ef7f0367aa_201707dfmelegheng11.thumb.jpg.31890443e52346ec987d5a902507c96e.jpg595ef4b6a949d_201707dfmelegheng7.thumb.jpg.0c05db6207fa9e43c49624c1630261ee.jpg

In the second step the 15-20mm thick plate gets milled into the final parameters. This step wasn't very well seen by us. Main thing is the coiled plate goes in and then this comes out:595ef4bd3e1ab_201707dfmelegheng9.thumb.jpg.a1d840593d8f0023e80c848fbe68ba5c.jpg

Finally the end product gets reeled up (can't find any photos but I have a video) and then takes its place in the pile. Was funny to see that big trailer trucks can take one reel at one time cause these  babies still weigh around 12tons.


I captured a couple picts for you guys, thinking there might be likers of big machinery. The small milling roll, this does the actual work. It's backed from the upside by another roller twice that size. I can't tell its size but maybe you can see it better knowng that the floor plate on the bottom where the cables are is half inch thick plate.:


I don't kow the function of these parts, maybe they are only stored here. These are 3+ meters tall gears:


These were my pictures from this part. I'm getting the pictures taken by others if I can find something fun I'll load it up. Also trying to figure out how to link a video here. There are a couple of fun ones :)







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