Day 32: Smelting
Feel really rotten
today, have a cold and a very sore throat and feel horrible. Beechams
and throat sweets keep me going.
Steve E (the Producer)
and Martin and Sophie (the Directors) have told us that this last programme
is really up to us what happens. We need to do something with the gold
we have produced so what should we do?
get together and discuss a little what we could do. We decide to try and
make a few things with the gold, but in the meantime we all agree to help
out making a furnace to smelt the gold into an ingot. We start on what
will be one of the best Rough Science team efforts.
Discussing such a
big project tends to bring up all sorts of stresses and strains, partly
because it is the end of a long shoot, partly because everyone thinks
slightly differently and also because we all know that time is ticking
by and that we can't sit around too long and talk, we need to get moving.
As a result I think I would say that perhaps we didn't talk/discuss
the science of the furnace enough as a group. However, what materialised
was a great team effort and a rather good furnace.
started by clearing the grass away from a patch of soil and laying down
some clay. On top of this we put a foundation of bricks and I started
to mix up some cement to bind them together. We started to build a brick-lined
chimney inside of which we were to cover in a clay layer as insulation.
This all came together well. Mike B made up some bellows so that air could
be blown into the furnace to raise the temp as much as possible. We had
to make sure there were holes in the brick structure to take the bellow
tubes. By the end of the day we had constructed a brick walled furnace
lined with clay with a tapered chimney. Hot coal/charcoal was placed into
the furnace overnight to try and dry it out a little.
My contribution was
not very dynamic today. I did mix up some cement and also helped Kate
lay the bricks out but that was about as much as I could do, I was feeling
so grotty. By the end of the day I was feeling horrible. I went straight
to bed and slept till the next day.