Iron Pour prep

sandmould17

This is a teaser photo of preparations for the iron pour that Steve and I ran at the weekend. It is the inside of a sand mould for an iron beaker vessel. I have put a piece of copper alloy from my beach combing into the mould to see what happens.

sandmould17a

I now know what happened, but you will have to wait….

The pour was a great success thanks to George Beasley, Steve, Eden and the rest of the team at SSW. Thanks also to Charles Clark for the mould boxes.

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Copper smelt 3

coppersmelt2

The second ‘hole in the ground’ smelt produced copper in pellets, it was probably just a smidge too cool, but pellets will be super handy for casting.

We did a third smelt, but I don’t have photos as yet. It produced more consolidated copper at about the same ratio of ore to metal.

Aristotle furnace workshop

I’ve just spent the weekend at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden making and firing an Aristotle furnace.

aristo

The furnace is a very ancient way (Aristotle writes about it) to produce iron blooms.

On the first day we made the furnace from an equal mix of horse poo, sand and clay and dried it with a gentle wood fire.

aristodry

On the second day I ran three firings – one with mild steel, one with farm scrap and one with a mild steel and scrap mix.

aristofire

bloom3bloom2

The final firing broke the furnace, so I need to source some horse poo.

It was amazing to be able to smelt steel with handmade equipment, charcoal and air (from a leaf blower).

The workshop was a follow on from Turf to Tools a project recreating ancient tool-making techniques.