Sunday, 2 October 2011
Making steel - episode one!
This week we have been further involved in Jean Paul's project to make steel from iron ore. I had another trip up to the area of disused mines in the mountains earlier in the week with Jean Paul and two other students from his course. The lads found an impressive cave which was a real treasure trove of iron ore, so they filled a couple of wheelbarrows which they then transported back down to the cars to share out equally later!! The ore then needs to be broken up, cooked and powdered. The next stage is to cook it in a furnace and to add a certain amount of charcoal to give it strength and turn it into steel. This method apparently gives a much better quality product than any steel produced by modern methods.
Jean Paul has been building his furnace in our barn this week. It is made entirely from earth and has to be made to certain dimensions to ensure that it is effective. It is currently drying - ready for the fire to be lit next week. More to follow.....
Some more photos can be seen here