Quad State 08 - Smelting Demonstration
Norse Short Shaft with Williamsburg Rock Ore

September 27, 2008

Demonstration Assistant - Ken Cook

Chamber size at Tuyere : 25 cm
Total furnace Height : 65 cm (collar added for +20)
Shaft Height above Tuyere : 45 cm
Height of Tuyere above base : 20 cm
Tuyere angle : 22.5 down
Tuyere size : standard 2.5 cm ID ceramic tube
Total Time : 7 Hours +
Total Fuel : 67 kg
Total Ore : 35 kg
Total Bloom : 9.5 kg Total Yield : 27 %

Ken Cook, adding ore about 2/3 the way through the smelt sequence.

From this angle it may look like we are working in isolation! In fact there were always at least 25 people watching. It was standing room only when we pulled the bloom.

A front (public's view) image of the smelter.

The many small flames are from cracks in the walls due to admittedly sloppy construction. I knew this furnace only had to endure a single firing.

An overall (side ) view, showing the set up of the tuyere and air system

The charcoal prep and ore crushing area can be seen to the rear of the image. This is down the line of the demonstration area, with the observers located just to the right on low bleachers.

A dramatic image of the furnace self tapping.

Through the smelt sequence, the smelter ran 'incontinent', draining off excess slag when ever its level got too high. There was no need to intentionally tap, and the first slag seen was the ideal 'happy slag'.

Using the Thumper to compact the bloom in place.

At this point the exact size of the bloom is still uncertain. The extraction used the classic top method: scoop out last of burning charcoal / thump to compress and lossen bloom / pry loose with bloom hook / grab with bloom tongs.

Image by Jock Dempsey

Primary Consolodation, with Ken and I using sledges.

A short video overview of extraction through cutting

If the YouTube clip does not load - go direct to 'Iron Smelting Demonstration - the Wareham Forge'

Jock Demsey of ANVILFIRE did up a great commentary on the demonstration :
SOFA 2008 - Making Wrought Iron

For the Experimental Field Data - continue
For the (modified) Econo Norse Technique Handout - continue

Text and photography : as attributed - or © 2008, Darrell Markewitz