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This event was a demonstration, put on in part by the owner of a local steel-fab shop called Metal Magic
They hosted an expert from Houston, Texas, who had made the trip up,
with stops for other demos along the way, including one in Denver,
as I recall. This fellow, Pat, a second-generation iron guy, has a
foundry in Houston and was very knowledgeable about his craft.
Most of the hardware shown was fabricated at Metal Magic, including the entire cupola (the "melting pot") and the ladles.
The rest of the participants are, as I understand it, an "artisan
collective" sort of group from up in the Palmer-Wasilla area (north of
They all seemed to know what they were doing, everyone knew when to do, when to help and when to stay out of the way
This was the initial firing of the cupola. The chamber was charged with coke, and broken scrap iron, lit off- I'm not sure how,
it was already going when I got there- and then blown with a large squirrelcage fan. The wide band you see is an air chamber,
with each of the caps being where the air can blow into the charge. There's two tap holes, one shown here,
and basically, once liquid iron starts to drip out, that charge is ready for tapping.
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