Although technically I am past the end date for the OAC Project Grant, one of the things I wanted to include was building a more production type furnace and running a test smelt.
As I had detailed in an earlier post, this furnace would include a number of features 'borrowed' from the furnaces that Lee Sauder has been using recently. (This a nice switch, as had focused primarily on clay construction earlier in my development.)
The main features of this new furnace are:
|Layout with dimensions||Before drying fire.|
The furnace is set on the upper level of the normal smelting area at Wareham. This does make it a bit tall for top extraction (top of the furnace is chest high on me). The advantage is that the bottom of the furnace is set about 18 inches off the ground, making it easier to work tapping or slag bowl modification.
|Furnace interior, showing tuyere tip|
Late yesterday afternoon and early evening I started preparing the smelting area. I started a gentle drying fire using small wood splits inside the furnace. That process continued for several hours. At the same time I sorted out the work area for today's smelt. As well I continued crushing the ore I had roasted over the last week. The ore does seem a bit 'sandy' to me, with a visible variation in iron concentration and form. At worst this may mean some extra slag tapping, but the new furnace layout should provide for this.
Its looking like I may be running this smelt today single handed. Although I have done this (once!) before, I'm expecting a hard day. Lets hope nothing goes seriously wrong with this new furnace.
This post duplicated from Hammered Out Bits