Primitive Technology: smelting iron in a brick furnace

John Plant of Primitive Technology is back making magic with naturally-occurring iron bacteria. In this video, we see him go through the entire process, from collecting and processing the iron bacteria, to creating the charcoal he'll need, building the bricks and furnace, and finally, smelting the iron.

The yield of iron prills he gets is not as high as previous smelts (due to seasonal changes in the bacteria), so he tries experimenting with different furnace designs to see if it makes a difference in the yield. After three smelts and a lot of labor, he was only manages to make about 45 g of iron.

But hey, no one said that entering the Iron Age was a ever easy.

Thumbnail: Screen grab, Primitive Technology, John Plant