July 6th, 2005

Smelting Prep

I spent a couple of hours last night rebuilding the smelter for this Saturday's iron smelting. The "new and improved" model has some changes from last model. You can read the details from the last smelting at http://www.livejournal.com/users/blackanvil/12730.html

The new bits are:
* Conventional refractory in the bottom chamber (last time's homebrewed version didn't hold up very well)
* Bottom chamber now has a lining of satanite, and will get an additional coating of a metallurgical surface coating that is supposed to help keep the slag from sticking.
* instead of one black iron pipe for a tuyere, I'm using two ceramic nozzles blowing in opposition. I hope this will assist in keeping the bloom centered in the smelter, and maybe keep the slag from sticking to the walls.
* Feeding the ceramic nozzles is a pipe assemblage that starts with a blower feeding a 1" pipe, which goes to a T with 2 3/4" pipes coming off it, which in turn go to the nozzles -- but with an extra T on the final joint, so I can now look into the burn area and clear blockages and suchlike. I'll block the open end with a piece of wood for easy removal during the burn.
* I've added another level, making this a 4-bucket smelter
* I've lowered the tuyeres down a few inches, this should help keep the burn zone away from the weak areas between the chambers, where we had burn-through issues last time.

I'll be removing the cardboard tube from the new bottom chamber on Friday, then doing a gentle burnout to drive off excess moisture before the full firing on Saturday. Should be fun.