Puddling Iron

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Looking for someone with knowledge about puddling iron to make iron keel
bolts for yacht repair or to make iron dumps (short shafts) that we can
machine into bolts .
Ian Kentish in Bendigo Oz.

A fine beer can be judged by one sip , but it's better to be sure

Re: Puddling Iron
      "puddling" iron was a process once used to refine pig iron into
malleable wrought iron. Basically you burned out the excess carbon,
creating a spongy mass of nearly carbon free iron and slag.  This
"spongeball" was then forged or squeezed to consolidate a rough bar and
drive out excess slag. It required a rather sophisticated furnace and a
great deal of know how.  It would not be a weekend project!  It would be
a lot easier to use a direct method of reducing an iron ore to wrought
iron. However this would not be a simple project either. Lots of raw
materials to procure, and proper furnace to build.  Expect a LOT of
time, sweat, and useless slag until you learn the ropes.
Unless you have a burning desire to learn these processes it would make
more sense to hunt for old wrought iron around scrap yards and farm
sales.  Better yet, just use stainless steel eh?  Just where is Bendigo
Oz ?
                    Glen Gardner  Pittsburgh, PA

ian .at.bendigo wrote:

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Re: Puddling Iron
 >Better yet, just use stainless steel eh?

Wrought iron will hold up much better below the waterline. Stainless is OK,
but very hard to tell if corroded or near the end of it's useful life. It
gets very porous when old and will can shear easily, even if it's still
bright and shiny - the holes are too small to see.
I have seen iron (not steel) drifts pulled out of boats over 100 years old.
They pull out nice and shiny and look like they were put in last week.

Re: Puddling Iron

A short stack can EASILY be a weekend project.  we've DONE it.  The
hardest part was locating raw materials.  Now that we know where to
get those we could smelt in a day.

Check out http://www.oakandacorn.com/celticclans/projects.html (bottom
of the page)

Also, here's some photos of the metalworking symposium in Cooperstown,
NY.  They do one every year, and the goal is to make smelting basic
and easy enough (through the sharing of info) that anyone who has the
were-with-all to build a forge can successfully smelt.


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Gobae - The Smith

Re: Puddling Iron
What,..you didnt mine your own ore too,Gobae?Lol! Thats pretty
impressive.Ive got to try that smelting some day.

People do not know,because people do not do.

Re: Puddling Iron
Hehe, well actually...... The magnetite source we used is from a
series of abandoned ore mines near Port Henry, NY.  So one afternoon
we took the 2 hour drive north and armed with helmets, lights, rope,
buckets, and copies of maps from 1912 we located the old mines and dug
our own ore.

Fortunately, we lucked out on a couple of counts.  First, we located
plenty of ore 'waste' near the mine entrance we didn't actually have
to enter the mine.  Second, we were only 100 yards away from our
truck.  Ore gets heavy real quick.  One 5gal bucket full is roughly

Gobae - The Smith

On Tue, 11 Oct 2005 11:14:52 -0500, Hamma snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Hamma Head)

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Re: Puddling Iron
Thats pretty cool.You know,..i remember reading somwhere hat a once
major source for true "bog iron",even way back to colonial times, was
the swamps in the new jeresy.Thats kinda in your neck of the woods.I
would suppose that if they havent drained off all the swamps
there,..then bog iron would still be being made?

People do not know,because people do not do.

Re: Puddling Iron

 I've built and fired a bloomery with success on the first run; it
required a lot of research, sweat, interpolation, and luck.

   I posted this a year or so ago. However, the photos are no longer
online. I'm a volunteer at Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia, a
past iron producing region.

   We have run the bloomery several times since, with mixed results.
Mainly because I insist upon experimentation. Tuyere height, air flow,
"limestone, or not" , charcoal size, ETC.
 One of these days I'll post a "Thesis" on How to Smelt Iron, From Ore.
For now, the only pic online is here:


    Click on Photo gallery, then "Scenes at Red Top".

  And yes, a puddling reverb would be a hoot to try to replicate
  I welcome questions or comments


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