Making steel from ore and charcoal

Hey all,
saw a documentary on swords on discovery, they showed a swordsmith who makes
his own metal from ore and charcoal. Does any one know of any good
references/sites that detail this process??
Regards
Reply to
DR
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Do a google search for wootz.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Leon Kapp's book on Japanese swordmaking is worth a read. "The Craft of the Japanese Sword"
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Reply to
Andy Dingley
I attended the Iron Casting conference at Johnson Atelier last year and a team of Japanese folks were making steel using the tatara method. This is a direct process that yields forgeable iron and steel in one step. What they were demonstrating was a scaled down version of a much larger furnace operation that had been used in Japan for like 1000 years for producing sword quality steel (Tame Hagane). Anyway, I think there is a picture of the miniature furnace on one of theses sites. If i remember correctly it requires about 100 lbs of charcoal, 80 lbs of high quality ore (magnetite in this case) and yields about 15-20 lbs of metal in a process cycle lasting about 10 hours. It is possible and practical for a small team to accomplish but it takes a LOT of knowledge, careful preparation, and absolute attention to what is going on. There is Proff. at Southern Illinois U. Edwardsville that has been to Japan, worked with these guys and has done it on campus. Good luck, hope you know what you are getting into.
Glen G.
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Reply to
Glen
I attended the Iron Casting conference at Johnson Atelier last year and a team of Japanese folks were making steel using the tatara method. This is a direct process that yields forgeable iron and steel in one step. What they were demonstrating was a scaled down version of a much larger furnace operation that had been used in Japan for like 1000 years for producing sword quality steel (Tame Hagane). Anyway, I think there is a picture of the miniature furnace on one of theses sites. If i remember correctly it requires about 100 lbs of charcoal, 80 lbs of high quality ore (magnetite in this case) and yields about 15-20 lbs of metal in a process cycle lasting about 10 hours. It is possible and practical for a small team to accomplish but it takes a LOT of knowledge, careful preparation, and absolute attention to what is going on. There is Proff. at Southern Illinois U. Edwardsville that has been to Japan, worked with these guys and has done it on campus. Good luck, hope you know what you are getting into.
Glen G.
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Reply to
Glen

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