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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bead Making Update

The bead experiments have finally been updated. The main page is now here. There are links for the four burns we did this year in June, July long weekend, July, Labour Day, in addition to the first experiment.

There are also pages for the archaeology, and some answers to some of our questions. The pages about glass beads, and stone beads have moved into the bead section. New pages have been added with summaries of beads and a brand new page which tries to classify beads for you - reporting which Callmer class a bead belongs to, or what similar classes exist.

Research and planning are on-going for next year's experiments.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exploring the Viking Age in Demark

Right now I am preparing for an upcoming lecture for the Peterborough SCA group. This is to be held at Trail College on Wednesday November 26 at 8 PM.

The topic is an overview of my recent research trip to Denmark. I will be showing some of the artifact images I collected, and talking about the museums I visited.

So, I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone. As it turns out, the birds were a sparrow ( the lecture) and an emu (a new AV publication). I am sorting all my 400 plus images, adding commentaries from my notes and formating the whole pile into a reference I hope to have ready to sell in time for Yule. The contents will work via a large set of interlocked 'web pages' that will access through an standard web browser. As most of the images are the large format from my camera (mostly 5 MGP) the total content will have to go on to a DVD disk. This will also allow just the images to be viewed on a standard table top player and TV combination.

As a teaser, this is a short piece of one of the displays I saw at the Roskide Museum. The images here are just the thumbnails - you will have to wait for the publication to see the larger versions!

Because of formating problems, please look over at Hammered Out Bits ...

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Monday, November 10, 2008

DARC Fall Smelt - Draft Report

A fast overview report - duplicate from 'Hammered Out Bits'

On Saturday November 8, a small band gathered for the normal Fall DARC smelt. This was number four in the main sequence of our Icelandic / Hals series.
Building on the work from the October (Thanksgiving) smelt, this experiment focused primarily on the use of the bellows plate and blow hole combination. Ken Cook served as Smelt Master, with Neil Peterson assisting. (And Darrell constantly sticking his nose in to keep things on track.)
About 3 1/2 hours into the main sequence, the smelter starts to self tap. You can see the arrangment for the air system, handing from supports.

Total Fuel : 48 kg
Total Time : 5 hours (plus 2:40 preheat)
Total Ore : 23 kg (mixed poor Virginia Rock / Hematite grit
Total Bloom : 4.25 kg
Total Yield : 18 %

Average Burn Cycle : 12 minutes per standard 2 kg bucket

The bloom was less consolidated on extration than what is seen from a smelter with an insert tuyere - more of a 'lumpy' texture. It also was positioned a bit futher back from the air inlet than expected, and had a marked crescent shape.

As with the Thanksgiving smelt (which also used the plate / hole) there was a choke point at roughly 2 1/2 hours into the ore charging / about 7 kg. The developing slag bowl threatened to drown the air intake. On this attempt we were better able to control this, and the smelter would settle down once the slag evolved from the early green silica type to the later black iron rich type.



      Updated: 4 Dec, 2007
Text © Dark Ages Recreation Company, 2007
Photographs © Individual artists
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