Lee Sauder Skip Williams


For several years, we have explored many aspects of the process of bloomery smelting in a shaft furnace. In contrast to most attempted reconstructions of bloomery smelting, our work has focused on the process itself, rather than its archaeological signatures. This paper describes a typical smelt of the most efficient regimen we have yet discovered. We will pay particular attention to methods that differ from those of most experimenters, especially with regard to blowing rate, slag management, and the recycling of furnace products. A bloomsmithing experiment is also described, and yields, resources, and labour requirements are quantified. We then offer a few observations where our experience differs from what we have read in the literature. Finally, we suggest that these methods, when applied to archaeological reconstructions of ancient bloomeries, may provide some missing answers for the archaeometallurgical community.


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How to Cite
A practical treatise on the smelting and smithing of bloomery iron. (2022). Historical Metallurgy, 36(2), 122-131. https://hmsjournal.org/index.php/home/article/view/268