Question about Minig/blacksmithing

Hi, im doing an extensive project on metal working (blacksmithing) during the medieval and early industrial ages. mainly im trying to
focus on how metal working was done - such as what equipment they used, what metals were common, and what materials they burned to heat up metals, etc.
Here is my list that im working on:
Tin Nickle Cobalt Copper Lead Bronze (Tin and Copper) Silver Gold Early Steels (Iron worked on at higher tempratures)
Here is what I do know (from searching around, it may be inacurate):
Rough Melting Points: 200C - 330C - Lead, Tin. 400C - 1070C - Bronze, Brass, Copper, Silver, Gold. 1100C - 1600C - Iron, Steel, Nickel, Cobalt.
- Silver and Lead are mostly come from Galena. - Gold is naturally occuring in nuggets. - Copper comes from natural occuring copper. - Coal comes from natural coal deposits or sea-coal - Coke is a by product of coal. - Iron comes from Hematite - Charcoal is 'cooked' wood that can burn hotter then actual wood.
Here are my problems:
- Im not exactly sure how Tin, Cobalt, and Nickle appear in nature (what ore you need to mine/smelt) - I dont know the average temprature points of burning wood, charcoal, coal, and coke using a kiln (and with or without a bellows and hearth) - What did the act of smelting involve (other then turning up the heat) - What other equipment was necessary to work with metal (other then a kiln, bellows and anvil). - Did any of these materials have traditional names (eg. sulfur brimstone, quicksilver = mercury) - Were there any other materials used in smelting (such as limestone?)
Any info on the above will greatly help me.
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Mastadex wrote:

Iron from stone 101; a lecture and lab course spanning five thousand years of metallurgy. Expect to get dirty, burned, and sweaty.
This (THUNK) is ore. It is freed from the ore face by building a fire to heat the face then dashing cold water on the hot rock to make it spall away. Load it on the mule and go to the smelter. This task is usually done by forced labor, as mining is dangerous and no one really wants to do it.
At the smelter, the ore is broken up into managable chunks and loaded into the furnace along with lots of charcoal and seashells. The furnace is topped off with clay to form a chimney and the fire is lit under the bloom mass to ignite the charcoal. Add air from the bellows and pump until the fire stops coming out the chimney. This will indicate the consumption of the charcoal. Open the furnace and lever out the yellow-hot mass of semi-congealed ore and slag. Pound with Big Hammers to consolidate the mass and drive out the liquid slag. Iron. Pound to shape, paint to match.
This is how they did it up to the 1100s, when improvments in furnace design allowed the iron to actually liquify and be drawn out as a gravity pour.
Class dismissed.
Charly
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ok i got the basic process of how to blacksmith.
can you also recommend any sites that would have info on blacksmithing in the middle ages?
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For history you want: De RE Metallica by Georgius Agricola Translated by Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover
FROM THE PUBLISHER The famous Hoover translation of greatest treatise on technological chemisty, engineering, geology, mining of early modern times (1556). All 289 original woodcuts. One of the most important scientific classics of all time, this 1556 work on mining was the first based on field research and observation and the methods of modern science. 289 authentic Renaissance woodcuts. This will help you understand what metals were mined, how they were mined, and how they processed them into workable metal Rob

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On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 14:33:08 GMT, Charly the Bastard

Can't help but saying..this really 'oughta be posted on a leather S&M newsgroup! LOL! ;-) ( neat stuff though, really! Thx!)
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Bart wrote:

It's all in how you write it up. It can be funny, or it can be 'an evening with an insurance salesman'. People tend to remember the funny stuff better. This process is reduction smelting, and it worked just fine for four thousand years. It still works today, and you'd be surprized at the price you can get for the end product. Yeah, it's hot and dirty and dangerous; moving large masses of yellow-hot anything is dangerous, but it's a manageable risk. I know a guy that runs a bloom every summer at the Pennsic War as a demo. He's been known to post here occasionally.
Charly
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First, Mastadex, how old are you? :)
Cool questions. :)

Nickel
Cobalt? Did you mean Mercury?

Hardly ever, even in the "old days" ore was smelted to extract the copper.

Well yeah but, it's a "made on purpose" product of coal.

And a few other minerals whose names don't count for much in the scheme of things. Like to know magnetite from hematite needs careful testing or more realistically to tell what precentage of each is in your ore.

Hey, you got one. ;)

Tin is rather rare actually but any that's found is easy to get out of its ore ("cassiterite" is SnO2 the book sez;).
Nickel wasn't recognized as a metal onto itself, it was just part of the copper they smelted or came already alloyed in the iron meteorites.

Ok, you have a list written out and so that's a good start, now go to the library and first thing, talk to the librarian about your list. :)
The internet is "brocure level information"... not "book level information", ok? :)
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Metallurgy Theory and Practice by Dell K. Allen It's old, plentiful (because it's really good;) and so cheap, do yourself a favor and buy one. ;)
Alvin in AZ
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Actually, Nickle and Cobalt were not ever recognized during the medieval period. Both are frequently found in conjunction with copper ores, and both form minerals that LOOK like copper minerals, but WON'T smelt! The local copper miners attributed tois to the actions of the local earth deamons - the Kobolds (Germany) and the Nickles (Sweden)! (Guess where our names come from :>} )
JK
Mastadex wrote:

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Thats awesome, i really didnt know cobalt and nickle were not used back then. Anyway, i actually live quite a distance away from the library, thats why i want to get most of the simpler questions out of the way before i dive into mining and blacksmithing books.
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The History of Cobalt dates to ancient times. Its earliest use was solely as a coloring agent which imparted the brilliant blue hue to early ceramics and glass. The Chinese developed the art of cobalt coloring to a high degree during the Ming Dynasty. In Europe the Venetian artisans of eh 15th century were using various cobalt compounds to color their renowned glassware. Chief minerals of cobalt are in four major categories : arsenides sulfides sulfarsenides and Oxidized minerals.
As a metal - it seems that Weidenhammer in 1520 at Schneebergf Saxony was the first to set up a mill; The mill made blue color, known as safflor or saffre. This was crude cobalt oxide made by crushing and roasting the ore.
[ ore ? : Canada, Cuba, Morocco, Northern Rhodesia and the Republic of the Congo ] I suspect Morocco made an early mint! In 1864, a large deposit in New Calendonia...
The Rich silver-cobalt ores of Ontario were found in 1903 and surplanted others as the source. That is after silver was found the mine was ignored until then!
Nickel - leads us to New Calendonia once again. The Canadian mines and the N.C. mine amount to 90 percent of the world source of Nickel. Mined from Pentlandite, a sulfide material and typically up to 14 different materials are processed for Nickel. Garnierite is the only exploited U.S. mine source.
Martin
Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH, NRA Life NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
John O. Kopf wrote:

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