Early Iron 3 -Overview

Peter's Valley Craft Center - Layton, New Jersy
October 7 - 9, 2006

Dick Sargent was the host and organizer for the third annual Early Iron Symposium. The setting was the wonderful Peter's Valley Craft Centre, tucked into the very top north west corner of rural New Jersy. A bit of a challenge to find, but well worth the effort. The weather was perfect, bright and sunny and not to warm. Alhough there were a few less particpants than eariler years, those who attended certainly felt this event was one of the best.

Early Iron 3 overlapped the annual 'Pig Iron Fest' providing a chance for both public demonstration and late Saturday night of roast Pork and beers.

As with past Early Iron events, Lee Sauder, Skip Williams, Mike McCarthy and Darrell Markewitz served as primary demonstrators and team leaders. Participants were broken up into three person teams. Each team then prepared ore and charcoal, and then constructed a Flue Tyle type test smelter. Sunday they finished and fired these smelters, and in most cases spent the evening consolodating the resulting blooms. Each team had a sucessful smelt, creating large blooms with variations in carbon content.

The individual teams have contributed their field notes from their smelts. These are included here for comparision. The results were quite consistant, showing that the hard work and enthusiam of the teams certainly paid off.

Team One


Team Two


'Boar Iron'





Three additional smelts were undertaken by the team leaders. On Saturday, Lee Sauder and Mike McCarthy demonstrated the Flue Tyle furnace to the participants and the general public. Darrell Markewtiz also did a demonstration smelt, but this was a test of both a smaller clay furnace design and use of some usual bog ore material. On Monday, after most of the participants had gone, Darrell and Dick Sargent re-fired Saturday's Flue Tyle to test out a variation on method suggested by Mike.

Details on these two smelts can be found on the Wareham Forge Iron Smelting documentation:

'Loki' Norse Short Shaft

Flue Tyle - test large ore charges

Text and Images © 2006 - 2007 Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge
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