Dark Ages Recreation Company (DARC) - Experiments in the creation of iron using Viking-Era Norse techniques. Lots of great data on individual smelts. More general "this is what works" info is harder to find, but very educational to read about the smelts!
Agricola, G. De Re Metallica, translated by H. C. Hoover and L. H. Hoover, Dover Publications, New York, originally published 1556, Dover edition 1950. [One of the earliest written descriptions of iron mining and smelting.]
Biringuccio, V. Pirotechnia, translated C. S. Smith and M. T. Gnudi, Dover Publications, New York, originally published 1540, Dover edition 1990. [One of the earliest written descriptions of iron mining and smelting.]
Tylecote, R. F. The Prehistory of Metallurgy in the British Isles, The Institute of Metals, London, 1986. [Good information on pre-industrial smelters in England, and general information about how smelters function.]
Wertime, T. A. and Muhly, J. D (Eds.) The Coming of the Age of Iron, Yale University
Press, New Haven and London, 1980. [A number of essays about the transition
from the bronze age to the iron age. Not much good as a "how-to" but
great historical and background information.]
YouTube videos on smelting:
Iron Smelting in Africa - 1:44:44, shows most of the steps from beginning to end. A little different from European smelting, but basically similar.
Smelting, and forging a poor bloom - 8:53, good sequence of bloom consolidation, I need to study this
Medieval Smelting in Holland - 22:46, another good one showing steps from beginning to end, in garb!
Iron Smelters of the World - FaceBook group
The tuyere we used was a 1" cylindrical kiln support tube made of high temperature ceramic. Purchased from (Pottery Supply House). I got three and with shipping the cost came to about $10 each (spring 2015).
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