OABA May Meeting                                May 14, 2005

 

Experiment Notes - ECONONORSE Smelter

 

Leader :      Darrell Markewitz

Assisting:   Neil Peterson / John Burton

Recorder :   Neil Peterson / Vandy Simpson

Charcoal Monkeys: Gus Gissing / Ken Cook / Sam Falizone

 

TIME                     EVENT                                   MEASUREMENT                            

Relative   Elapsed                                                  Relative           Absolute         Total

                                                                               Fuel                             Ore

      

-00              00        start preheat with wood splits          

-35              35        addition rough charcoal, gentle air blast         

-45              45        fill with rough charcoal

 

12:00          00        timer reset - smelt begins

12:10          10        first measured charcoal           1          4 lbs*  4 lbs

12:20          10        charcoal                                   2                      8 lbs

12:40          20        charcoal                                   3                      12 lbs

12:51          11        seed charge                                                                              1          .75 lbs             .75 lbs

                               charcoal                                   4                      16 lbs

1:06            15        seed charge                                                                              2          .75 lbs             1.5 lbs

1:09            18        charcoal                                   5                      20 lbs 

1:32            23        charcoal                                   6                      24 lbs

                   26        seed charge                                                                              3          .75 lbs             2.25 lbs

 

1:40                        addition of second hand crank blower

1:45                        tuyere replaced with copper

 

***

 

2:02            30        charcoal                                   7                      28 lbs

                               seed charge                                                                              4          .75 lbs             3 lbs

2:12            10        charcoal                                   8                      32 lbs

2:17            15        seed charge                                                                              5          .75 lbs             3.75 lbs

2:29            17        charcoal                                   9                      36 lbs 

                   12        seed charge                                                                              6          .75 lbs             4.5 lbs

2:44            15        charcoal                                   10                    40 lbs 

                   15        seed charge                                                                              7          .75 lbs             5.25 lbs

2:49            5          charcoal                                   11                    44 lbs 

                   5          seed charge                                                                              8          .75 lbs             6 lbs

2:53            4          charcoal                                   12                    48 lbs

                   4          full charge                                                                                9          1.5 lbs             7.5 lbs

3:00            7          charcoal                                   13                    52 lbs 

3:10            17        half charge                                                                               10        .75 lbs             8.25 lbs

3:12            12        charcoal                                   14                    56 lbs

                   2          full charge                                                                                11        1.5 lb               9.75 lbs

 

***

 

3:23            11        charcoal                                   15                    60 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                12        1.5 lb               11.25 lbs

3:31            12        charcoal                                   16                    64 lbs 

                               full charge                                                                                13        1.5 lbs             12.75 lbs

3:38            7          charcoal                                   17                    68 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                14        3 lbs                15.75 lbs

3:50            12        charcoal                                   18                    72 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                15        3 lbs                18.75 lbs

3.58            8          charcoal                                   19                    76 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                16        3 lbs                21.75 lbs

4:11            13        charcoal                                   20                    80 lbs

                               full charge                                                        17        2.25 lbs                       24 lbs

 

4:21                        first tapping attempt

 

4:23            12        charcoal                                   21                    84 lbs 

                               half charge                                                                               18        .75 lbs             24.75 lbs

4:26            3          charcoal                                   22                    88 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                19        3.75 lbs           28.5 lbs

4:36            10        charcoal                                   23                    92 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                20        2.25 lbs           30.75 lbs

 

                   second tapping attempt

 

4:44            12        charcoal                                   24                    96 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                21        2.25 lbs           33 lbs

4:52            12        charcoal                                   25                    100 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                22        2.25 lbs           35.25 lbs

5:02            10        charcoal                                   26                    104 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                23        3 lbs                38.25 lbs

5:15            13        charcoal                                   27                    108 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                24        2.25 lbs           40.5 lbs

5:22            7          charcoal                                   28                    112 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                25        3 lbs                43.5 lbs

5:32            10        charcoal                                   29                    116 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                26        3.75 lbs           47.25 lbs

5:43            11        charcoal                                   30                    120 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                27        3 lbs                50.25 lbs

5:54            11        charcoal                                   31                    124 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                28        3 lbs                53.25 lbs

6:08            12        charcoal                                   32                    128 lbs

                               full charge                                                                                29        3.75                 47 lbs

6:29                        tap slag and recycle                                                                             3 lbs ī

 

                   (one charcoal addition may be missing here)

 

6:34            26        charcoal                                   31                    132 lbs

6:43            11        charcoal                                   32                    136 lbs

6:52            11        charcoal                                   33                    140 lbs

6:59            7          charcoal                                   34                    144 lbs

7:06            7          charcoal                                   35                    148 lbs

 

7:13                        start to dismantle smelter

7:26                        bloom removed

 

 

NOTES:

 

       All ore charges are based on a ‘standard scoop’ - taconite weight of .75 lbs

*     All charcoal charges are based on a ‘standard pail’ - weight of 4 lbs

ī     This is estimated weight only, not added into charge total

 

***             Marks areas were records are suspect

 

YIELD:      21 lbs (estimated)

                   This represents 45 % yield from roasted ore weight

 

       Bloom was significantly ‘trough’ shaped - this a result from changes in the tuyere angle during the smelt. Weight estimate is for the main bloom only, and does not include smaller (walnut sized) fragments. Roughly one third of the mass was cut off while still hot from the smelt. The remaining section weighs 14 lbs.

 

       Considerable trouble was experienced during the early part of the sequence with air delivery. Although checked before storage, the main blower did not work at first attempt. A smaller (less volume) vacuum blower was initially employed. Concern developed that it was not producing enough air volume, so a second hand cranked blower was added in conjunction. The main blower was checked and re-installed to the smelter about hour three.

 

       The use of a packing mixture of roughly 50 / 50 beach sand and rough saw dust proved a mixed blessing. First, gaps in the brick structure were not sealed with clay. During firing, the sawdust element burned, and the heated sand ran like a fluid through the cracks. Continual addition of replacement packing proved necessary.

 

       As it turned out, the pure taconite ore lacked the silica content to provide for the required slag. Normally this would have been a major problem, as the firebrick adds little silica (through melting). In this smelt, the sand from the packing actually added the required silica content to create plentiful slag - required to control the carbon content of the bloom.

 

One third of the bloom was given to Lloyd Johnson. He latter consolidated and finished the mass into a workable bar. He reports that the material created was ‘nice soft workable iron’.

 

2021 Note : This report was recovered from a much older software version. For this reason the formatting is less than ideal.