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Iron Smelt - Wareham ON - October 11, 2009

Date:October 11, 2009

Location:Wareham ON

See also: Darrell Markewitz's ironsmelting site

Team: Ken Cook, Sam Falzone, Neil Peterson, Richard Schwitzer

Premise:

  1. 1000 years ago the norse visitors at L'anse aux meadows attempted a smelt. We plan to reproduce that smelt.
  2. This marked the second of four smelts in a sequence designed to test several variables currently outstanding in our knowledge of the smelt.
  3. The smelting area was laid out as suggested by the archaeology of L'Anse aux Meadows, more photos of the furnace hut, and a discussion of the vinland furnace.

Furnace Design

TypeBoxed Short Shaft, solid clay slabs, incontinent
Extractiontop
Diameter20 cm
Height68 cm
Volume21352 cm3
Tuyure Typeceramic tube
Tuyere height from base14 cm
Tuyere penetration into furnace5 cm
Tuyere angle22 deg
Base designnatural set base cm

Burn Details

Bellow Typeelectric blower plus mechanical box bellows system
Avg Air rate900 litres per minute
Total Charcoal Mass43 Kg
Avg Burn rate16 min per 2 Kg
Ore Typemixture of DD 1 / DD2 / Haematite
Total Mass of Ore20.7 Kg
Burn Duration4.75 Hours

Results

Mass of Bloom5.6 Kg
Bloom Typedense soft iron
Yield27%
Notesclassic planno-convex shaped bloom

Smelt_cd Reports of all of our iron smelting efforts along with more articles and information are available on the "Iron Smelting in the Viking Age" CD from the Wareham Forge.  Copies of the CD can be purchased here.

Discussion:




Conclusions:




Photos:


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Air SystemStarting buildAdding oreFurnace Self-tapping

Raw Data:



CLOCK ELAPSED EVENT AIR * CHARCOAL     ORE  
        UNIT COUNT TOTAL UNIT TOTAL
      mark bucket   kg kg kg
        (1.76 kg)        
                 
12:00   start wood splints pre-heat            
13:42 1:42 first rough charcoal added   1        
13:46   air system attached to tuyere            
13:49   air restarted            
13:50   full with rough charcoal   3 4 7.04    
13:52   switch to pump bellows only            
14:15   ignition only to + 25 cm            
14:17   addition of electric blower 4          
14:18   charcoal   1 5 8.80    
                 
12:00   main sequence start            
12:19 :19 charcoal   1 6 10.56    
12:33 :14 charcoal   1 7 12.32    
12:34   air increase 6          
12:35   air increase 8 1 5 8.80    
12:43 :10 charcoal   1 6 10.56    
13:55 :12 charcoal   1 7 12.32    
13:05   air increase 9          
13:06 :11 charcoal   1 8 14.08    
13:18 :12 ore added as 2 @ 1/2 kg   1 9 15.84 1 1
13:30 0:12     1 10 17.60 1 2
13:41 0:11     1 11 19.36 1 3
13:51 0:10     1 12 21.12 1 4
14:01 0:20     1 13 22.88 0.5 4.5
14:09 0:08     1 14 24.64 1.5 6
14:25 0:16     1 15 26.40 0.5 6.5
14:36 0:11     1 16 28.16 1 7.5
14:48 0:12     1 17 29.92 1 8.5
15:00 0:12 ore added as 3 @ 1/2 kg   1 18 31.68 1.5 10
15:13 0:13     1 19 33.44 1.5 11.5
15:27 0:14     1 20 35.20 1.5 13
15:36 0:09 ore added as 2 @ 1/2 kg   1 21 36.96 1 14
15:49 0:13 ore added as 4 @ 1/2 kg   1 22 38.72 2 16
16:00 0:11     1 23 40.48 2 18
16:12 0:12     1 24 42.24 2 20
16:14   last ore addition         0.5 20.5
    start burn down            
16:42   air decrease 6          
16:44   air decrease 4     0.00    
16:45   start extraction            
                 
  TOTAL charcoal 43 kg          
    ore 20.7 kg DD-1 6 kg      
    time (main) 4:45 DD-2 4.6 kg      
    bloom 5.6 kg Haematite 10.1 kg      
    yield (corrected for water) 27% total Fe 61%      
                 
  * AIR pump bellows volume 253 L/M          
    electric blower varies            
    total volumes shown only approx.            
Smelt_cd Reports of all of our iron smelting efforts along with more articles and information are available on the "Iron Smelting in the Viking Age" CD from the Wareham Forge.  Copies of the CD can be purchased here.
Text © Darrell Markewitz   Photographs © Darrell Markewitz   Copyright details
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