Tilt Hammer Crucible Steel Tilt Hammer
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The Steel Making Trail


(2) The Crucible Furnaces

This building contains the furnaces for making crucible steel. The Pot Shop and Charge Room are in this building, on the left.

Furnace Shop

FURNACES The furnaces are set in the main floor up the steps. A cellar underneath the furnaces allows the ash to be removed.

The cellar and the tall chimney act together to create a strong draught of air through the furnaces. This gives the very high temperature needed to melt the steel.

There are five melting holes in the Furnace Shop. Each melting hole has room for two crucible pots standing side by side.

When a melt is to be carried out, a coal fire is lit on the firebars at the bottom of the furnace. The pots are placed on fireclay stands (cheeses) on this fire. Coke is then piled around the pots.

When the pot has heated up, the charge is loaded from a charge tray. The crucible and its charge is then heated up until the charge has all melted. This takes about four hours.

When the steel is ready, the crucible is lifted out of the furnace using long handled tongs which grip it round the rim. It takes two people to lift the heavy crucible out of the furnace. Another pair of tongs is used to hold the crucible around the middle so that the steel can be poured out.
The molten steel is poured into ingot moulds made out of cast iron. Each mould is made in two halves which are clamped together.

After the cast steel has cooled and solidified, the clamp is removed.The steel bar can then be knocked out of the mould. The cast bars are then taken for forging.

Next Stop on the tour : (3) The Tilt Forge
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Page last updated on 20th April 2003
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