Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel from … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

This week, we continue our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week, we looked at how a blacksmith reshapes our iron from a spongy mass called a bloom first into a more workable shape and then finally into some final useful object like a tool. … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part III: Hammer-time

This week, we continue our four-part (I, II, III, IV) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week we took our ore and smelted it into a rough, spongy mass of iron called a bloom; this week we're going to go through the processes to reshape that bloom first into a consolidated billet, then … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part III: Hammer-time

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part II, Trees for Blooms

This week we continue our four-part (I, II, III, IV) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week we prospected our iron ore and extracted it from the ground and did some initial mechanical processing (washing, sorting, crushing). This week, we're going to make our way from just rocks to an actual mass of … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part II, Trees for Blooms