10 how to find iron ore in your backyard Ideas

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elt Iron: The 6 Steps to Iron Smelting | The Crucible

The Basics of Smelting Iron at The Crucible 

By Kristin Arzt

Smelting is the process of extracting base metals from ore by heating it to produce the chemical reactions needed to remove the other elements present. This article will walk through how The Crucible produced their own iron through the smelting of iron ore. First, let’s start with understanding the basics.

What is iron ore?

Iron ores are rocks and minerals rich in iron oxide that can produce metallic iron when smelted. Due to the nature of the iron oxide present in iron ore, they can range in color from dark grey to a deep red. The iron in such ores is commonly found in the form of magnetite, hematite, goethite, limonite, and siderite. 

What tools and materials are needed for smelting iron?

Iron smelting should always be done in a safe, supervised setting by professionals. Here are the primary tools and materials needed for smelting iron:

  1. Iron ore
  2. Furnace
  3. Charcoal (as a reducing agent)
  4. Hammer
  5. Anvil stone
  6. Scoops and ladles
  7. Bloom tongs
  8. Pokers
  9. Leather welders gloves
  10. Water bucket
  11. Bellows

How The Crucible smelted iron in 6 steps:

The following example shows the primary steps in smelting iron from scratch. We started by collecting the ore and building the furnace ourselves to demonstrate how easy of a process iron smelting is. 

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This is how iron has been smelted by blacksmiths for hundreds of years:

1. Gather iron ore

Iron ore can be bought or gathered, but for the sake of demonstration, we gathered the ore ourselves. The best time to collect iron ore is in the winter because the ocean is more active. Active waves separate the black, magnetic sand from lighter silica sand. This magnetic sand is an iron ore called magnetite, which when combined with carbon, creates iron. As you might imagine, iron ore is heavy, so collecting it locally and with a group of people makes it easier.

smelt iron

2. Build the furnace

The furnace, also called a bloomery, is used to heat up the iron ore along with a chemical reducing agent (charcoal). A traditional bloomery doesn’t generate enough heat to fully melt the ore. Instead, the ore melts to a spongy mass that will need to be further refined through hammering in step 6.

Our Blacksmithing Department built our own bloomery furnace using 350 pounds of clay, decorating it with an oceanic inspiration to reflect the source of the iron ore. “Most people who build the smelters put a little magic into them by doing sculptural work. The decorations are traditionally believed to add good luck or a spiritual component to the iron smelt,” Jeff told us. Celeste, who is also a ceramicist, explained that they used a method similar to building a coil pot to build the furnace, first forming large coils, and slipping and scoring each coil to bring it all together.

bloomery furnace

Making the furnace base

Crafting the furnace chimney

3. Prep the reducing agent

In order to extract iron out of iron ore, a reducing agent is needed along with heat. Charcoal happens to be a great and cheap reducing agent, so we used it for this demonstration. 

Before the charcoal can be used, it must be broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This ends up being one of the more labor-intensive jobs in the smelting process. 

“The smelt itself draws people in, even if they are stuck with the job of bashing several hundred pounds of charcoal and get filthy at the end of the day,” Jeff Pringle told us. Our team used mesquite and oak charcoals, the most commonly available type of charcoal in the United States. 

Once broken into smaller pieces, the charcoal and iron ore (sand) are mixed together in a 1:1 ratio.

4. Charge the furnace

Before adding the iron ore and charcoal mixture, the furnace must be charged. Charging a furnace simply means heating it up to temperatures high enough for smelting to occur. 

Once the furnace is up to temperature, Crucible blacksmiths added the sand and charcoal mixture. Ben Lockwood-Johnston, one of our first-year Fuego Youth Leaders in the Blacksmithing Department, was there to help charge the furnace. “I have always been interested in using fire,” Ben, age fifteen, explained of his interest in Blacksmithing. “The Crucible has helped me hone my skills and apply them to make more complicated things.”

charging the furnace

Adding the ore and coal mixture

Adding more of the sand and coal mixture

5. Heating the iron ore and charcoal

Inside of the furnace, carbon from incomplete combustion of charcoal reduces the iron oxides into metallic iron. The temperature and ratio of charcoal must be carefully controlled to keep the iron from absorbing too much carbon. At the bottom of the furnace, the charcoal, which is mostly carbon, sucks oxygen from the air to create a hot furnace. The base of the furnace becomes fuel-rich and the carbon, hungry for oxygen, begins to pull oxygen from the iron ore. Particles of iron fall to the bottom of the furnace and combine with molten slag, also called a “bloom.”

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Once the bloom is extracted, it is set aside for further refinement to remove impurities. 

Extracting the molten slag_1

Extracting the molten slag_2

6. Finishing touches

Crucible blacksmiths Adrian and Chris reheated the bloom in the forge and beat it with a hammer to drive out molten slag and purify the iron. Our team was left with twenty-five pounds of low carbon iron. A low carbon content makes the iron easier to work with, and will make for a beautiful material to forge a collaborative community sculpture!

Keep reading…

2020-12-03T12:06:24-08:00

Extra Information About how to find iron ore in your backyard That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

How to Smelt Iron: The 6 Steps to Iron Smelting | The Crucible

How to Smelt Iron: The 6 Steps to Iron Smelting | The Crucible

  • Author: thecrucible.org

  • Rating: 3⭐ (308259 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Our community came together to smelt twenty-five pounds of iron. Every aspect of the smelt was a team effort, from collecting magnetite sand from a local beach, to building the…

  • Matching Result: How The Crucible smelted iron in 6 steps: · 1. Gather iron ore. Iron ore can be bought or gathered, but for the sake of demonstration, we …

  • Intro: How to Smelt Iron: The 6 Steps to Iron Smelting | The Crucible The Basics of Smelting Iron at The Crucible  By Kristin Arzt Smelting is the process of extracting base metals from ore by heating it to produce the chemical reactions needed to remove the other elements present. This…
  • Source: https://www.thecrucible.org/how-to-smelt-iron/

How To Find Iron Ore In Real Life – Micro B Life

How To Find Iron Ore In Real Life - Micro B Life

  • Author: microblife.in

  • Rating: 3⭐ (308259 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: In general iron ore will be found in higher spots and near rocky hills and caves. While traversing through Highlands areas keep your eyes open for large blackened rocks ones that are much darker than the typical stones and boulders you pass by.Jul 20…

  • Matching Result: Iron ore is put down in layers and runs in “veins ” much like gold. Test the mined rock ore. Using a small rare earth magnet test each portion of the rock for …

  • Intro: How To Find Iron Ore In Real Life – Micro B Life In general iron ore will be found in higher spots and near rocky hills and caves. While traversing through Highlands areas keep your eyes open for large blackened rocks ones that are much darker than the typical stones…
  • Source: https://www.microblife.in/how-to-find-iron-ore-in-real-life/

Frequently Asked Questions About how to find iron ore in your backyard

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how to find iron ore in your backyard, then this section may help you solve it.

How can iron ore be located the simplest way?

Stop wasting your time digging down from the surface, as this will only yield a small chance of success. Investigate all blocks surrounding any iron you find. Caves are the best place to find iron ores, as they typically appear in veins at a time.

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Where can you find iron ore?

The majority of large hematite iron ore deposits are sourced from altered banded iron formations and sporadically igneous accumulations. Direct-shipping iron ore (DSO) deposits, which are typically composed of hematite, are currently exploited on all continents except Antarctica.

A magnet can you find iron with?

Most iron ores are ferromagnetic, which means they are attracted to magnets and can turn into magnets themselves when placed in a magnetic field. While they are occasionally found at the surface, many are located underground, making them more difficult to find.

How does underground raw iron appear?

These rocks and minerals range in color from rusty red, deep purple, a striking yellow, and dark grey, and are known as iron ores, from which metallic iron can be extracted.

Can you find some raw iron blocks at random?

Rarely are blocks of raw iron to be found below Y=0 within vast ore veins.

Where in the earth is iron to be found?

Poor soil aeration, or reduced oxygen level, is caused by flooding or compaction. The majority of the iron in soil is found in silicate minerals, iron oxides, and hydroxides, forms that are not readily available for plant use.

Do rocks contain iron?

In the sense that mudrocks, sandstones, and carbonates typically have an iron content of several percent, nearly all sedimentary rocks are iron-bearing.

Where can I find iron to mine?

Iron ore becomes increasingly more likely to spawn between Y=-24 and Y=56 as you approach Y=16. As a result, for many biomes, iron has the highest odds of spawning at Y=16. Mountains, however, throw us a curveball. There’s a decent chance of getting iron between levels 72 and -64, but there are additional factors now.

Is iron found in sand?

Although many beach sands have been investigated as potential sources of iron, only a small number have been found to be of commercial value. New Zealand’s ironsand deposits are among the largest in the world and are rich in the mineral titanomagnetite.

How can you tell if a rock contains iron?

Magnetic: For “stony” meteorites, a magnet may not stick, but if you hang the magnet by a string, it will be attracted. This is because most meteorites contain metallic iron.

Which rocks have iron ore in them?

Banded iron formations (BIFs) are sedimentary rocks with alternating layers of iron-rich minerals and a fine-grained silica rock called chert. Many of the banded iron formations that are being mined today were formed millions of years ago.

How does unprocessed iron ore appear?

Iron is the element that gives many of our rocks their red color, as well as the dark red sands of the Australian deserts. These ores range in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red.

What kind of rock draws iron?

Lodestones are pieces of the mineral magnetite that have been naturally magnetized; these magnets can draw iron.

How do you know if a rock is made of iron?

Magnetism: If your magnet sticks to your mineral, you almost certainly have some type of iron mineral, most likely magnetite or hematite (see photos below).

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