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Lee Sauder  

Smelting Research

This is the place where I'll do my best to share what I've learned about bloomery smelting over the years. Below, you'll find two sections: one of things I've published elsewhere, and one of more informal reports of ongoing research. I'm envisioning this "Shop Reports" section as a bit like a blog, but much more occasional and more deeply considered. So check back every once in a while to see if I've got anything new here. They're all PDF's so you can easily print 'em out and take 'em to the shop (or the john).

I'm sharing my knowledge and ideas because I believe that's what folks should do with what they learn. But I finance this work by the sweat of my brow. So if you find this information useful, it would help me out if you hit the donate button below and give whatever amount you'd like. The research will happen without your support, but the writing might not! But if you're broke, don't feel guilty, just dig on in to the info. ...




Published Articles:

A Practical Treatise on the Smelting and Smithing of Bloomery Iron
This is the paper I wrote for Historical Metallurgy back in 2000, reporting our early work and challenging some of the prevailing notions about bloomery smelting.

Update on "The Practical Treatise"
An excerpt from a paper I expect to be published in the proceedinbgs of the 2010 conference. This summarizes some of the changes in my technique since the above paper.

The Basics of Bloomery Smelting
An introductory paper I wrote for The Anvil’s Ring back in 2000.

Practical Bloomery Smelting
A paper from 2001 for the Materials Research Society. Similar to the HMS paper, but a lot more concise.

Aristotle's Steel
Another paper forthcoming in the HMS 2010 Conference proceedings, describing an easy way to convert iron into steel.

A Journey Into Medieval Ironmaking
Written for the Anvil's Ring in 2010, reporting on my trip to England, and the work inspired by it.


Shop Reports:

Bloomery Construction
Step by step instructions for building a clay bloomery furnace.

Remelting Bloom Iron for Phosphorus Reduction
A quick report on an experiment with the Evenstad process.

Quickie Cementation
A quick and simple method to convert iron to steel in a charcoal forge.

Iron Dumplings
A simple fire assay method for testing ores.

A Different Method of Forging Sword "Fullers"
A different angle on an old forging problem from the Viking era.

A New (Old?) Way to Forge Square Corners (video)
Another different angle on an old problem... this time it's a right angle!

A Wrought Iron Tuyere Design for both Smelting and Forging"
A very robust and useful tuyere based on a mid 19th century artifact.

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