How to Build an Early Smelting Furnace

How to Build an Early Smelting Furnace

The man who understood and controlled the means and materials to make iron in early times may well have been a chief. Such was the strength, skill, and understanding that it took to deliver iron from ore. Ore deposits can be found in a number of natural sources such as hematite, goethite, or laterite. Traditionally, a good early source of early material was found as bog ore, a naturally occurring deposit (typically goethite in nature) found in bogs and swamps . Once the ore is gathered, a proper furnace needs to be constructed. Early furnaces were simple affairs sometimes consisting of of simple built up layers of clay mixed with straw and frit.

In this video, brought to us by Thijs van de Manakker (, we can see construction of a simple bloomery furnace and a rather straightforward method of roasting iron ore prior to smelting.

Click once to view the video.


Cedric July 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Corrected. Thanks!

Sean Valdrow September 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Excellent video.

One question: where do you get the ore?

Thijs van de Manakker December 3, 2011 at 7:05 am

the ore used at the Eversham furnaces was dug out in Stiphout near Helmond in the Netherlands.
Analyses of it you’ll find in the Lejre rapport:
Ned. versie:

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