Questions tagged [metalworking]

This tag should be used for questions about working specific metals in fictional worlds, e.g., questions about the processes and tools needed if the availability of certain metals was different from than on our Earth or metalworking in unusual conditions or environments.

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Viability of solar furnace/smelter in pre-industrial society

I am trying to figure out how plausible it would be for people without electricity or steam power technology to use the sun to smelt and forge iron and steel. The people developing this solar furnace ...
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3 votes
2 answers
113 views

How would dwarves build a combined underground kiln, forge and bakery oven

These dwarves are making steel tools and weapons, bricks, plates and other ceramics, as well as (and most importantly for this world) bread all underground crucially from the same structure. Any ...
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-1 votes
4 answers
170 views

What metal or alloy can be used to replace steel?

I am working with a story that takes place where humans are fighting against fey. However I realized that the Fey (who are famously weak to iron) would never use iron in any form to equip their (non-...
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3 votes
3 answers
125 views

Can you carburize iron or tungsten using biomass?

I'm trying to devise a plot point where a great sorcerer (who's also a bit of a renaissance man, alchemist, inventor, politician, etc.) who slays a dragon and use its corpse to carburize iron ore ...
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8 votes
7 answers
389 views

Magnesium Sword as Non-Magical Flaming Swords

So I understand a lot of world builders and aspiring fiction writers have often tried to be creative with weapons and get shutdown for various reasons of impracticality or inferiority to steel. I'm ...
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2 votes
2 answers
208 views

If these famous fantasy metals are real-life alloys, what would they be made of?

There's a whole list of mythological and fantasy metals, but for the sake of a scenario where iron has never been used to make weapons, armor, prison bars or even construction, let's focus on just ...
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3 votes
0 answers
43 views

Properties of Common Metals as Bulk Metallic Glass (Amorphous Metal) [closed]

Per Wikipedia: An amorphous metal (also known as metallic glass or glassy metal) is a solid metallic material, usually an alloy, with disordered atomic-scale structure. Most metals are crystalline in ...
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  • 553
5 votes
1 answer
228 views

With modern knowledge, what would be the most effective way to smelt iron with bronze age technology?

Basically, assuming you have all of modern human knowledge about smelting iron/steel, and the technology level you have is approximately bronze age, what would be the most effective approach to turn ...
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12 votes
8 answers
2k views

How does a robot distinguish different metals and materials for self repair?

This plot point has been bothering me for ages: how do robots distinguish between metals? Many robots in fiction just pick up parts of machinery for self-repair or to make more robots. They don't seem ...
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  • 8,617
2 votes
3 answers
135 views

Plausibility of this submerged smelter design?

This design involves a regular smelter, housed in a large water-proof shell that completely covers it. The lower part of the shell would be exposed to the surrounding water. The shell would be filled ...
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7 votes
6 answers
4k views

An Anvil made of never melting ice

Lets assume that the ice anvil is as resistant to physical blows much like a normal anvil and its never melting(will not explode as well). It will always maintain its negative temperature enough to ...
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  • 2,460
-4 votes
1 answer
143 views

What would my alloy (Marbelar) be made from?

Now, I have a fictional alloy called marbelar in my world, having a similar appearance to brass, featuring a reddish-gold appearance. It also has the highest stopping power out of any material in my ...
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15 votes
10 answers
2k views

Metal or alloy for special sword

A unique sword is to be forged for the hero, a human-dragon hybrid. Forged in the dragonfire of his draconic father... I don't actually think it would be much different than a sword from a regular ...
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  • 1,596
3 votes
3 answers
430 views

How could metalworking be practiced by someone with no knowledge or tools?

I have a story set in a world where the knowledge of metalworking was lost, although some artifacts survived as precious treasures; people know what they do, but not how they were made. I want a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
170 views

Causing Nuclear Reactions With A Sword

Okay, so the ultimate villain of my story is a million-year-plus-old malevolent extraterrestrial believed (and for good reason) to be the most powerful being in the universe. He has incredible ...
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10 votes
3 answers
778 views

The limitations of Bronze firearms

I had an idea for a world where tin and copper are both easily accesible and usually found close to each other enough that it is a non-factor. Bronze is pretty much the main alloy for use in anything, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
195 views

Is it possible for a medieval-style SCA/LARP armor to shatter? If so then how?

I was writing a story where a character wearing armor constructed for SCA / LARP has his armor repeatedly heated (e.g. walk through house on fire) and cooled (e.g. liquid nitrogen spray, a barrel of ...
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0 votes
3 answers
210 views

outside of cold working method, is there other methods to forge metal that constantly below sub zero temperature?

inspired by this question How devastating is a weapon that can internally and rapidly cool down a section of a human body?, i wonder what kind of blacksmith method to forging or smithing a sword or ...
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2 votes
2 answers
254 views

Metal set of teeth and fingernails at a medieval time

I was wondering if it possible to have a set of teeth made of metal (i didn't chose any metal in particular, it could be silver, gold, what ever), and if so, does it have to remove every tooth and ...
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8 votes
3 answers
913 views

Methods for melting metals in space

I was wondering what the best ways for turning minerals mined in the asteroid belt into useable materials would be, so far I came up with three methods, utilizing nuclear, electromagnets, and finally ...
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  • 157
12 votes
10 answers
6k views

Methods of permanently joining a metal mask to a face

There exists an extremist religious order whose tenets espouse the rejection of vanity and self-interest - to achieve nothing less than the complete erasure of the sense of self, instead devoting ...
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21 votes
21 answers
5k views

How would a species be unable to produce steel?

The antagonist of my story trades steel with a non-human, and non-humanoid, race, in return for a magical substance. They place great value in steel as they cannot manufacture it themselves. That is, ...
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  • 14.7k
12 votes
2 answers
445 views

Metallurgy in the Carboniferous- Just how much hotter are fires?

The present day atmosphere is roughly 21% oxygen. Historically high-levels might have been as much as 35%, over 66% higher. This made the carboniferous a period of giant bugs and constant devastating ...
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10 votes
4 answers
814 views

Unworkable metal

In my world there is a metal commonly associated with enhanced magical properties. However as a balancing system I don't want this metal to be combined or forged in any way. The technology level is ...
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3 votes
3 answers
318 views

What would be the best metal deposit a colony of dwarves to sit upon? (except iron)

The setting for this question is a classic one, a large group of dwarves go out to settle a far away land, but this land almost completely lacks usable iron resources. Yet our brave dwarves have setup ...
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  • 1,566
4 votes
3 answers
137 views

Do I Have to Radically Change Plate to House Gems?

In a world there is a king and that king has knights. These knights make use of magic amulets to protect them from supernatural threats: witch spells, manticore venom, werewolf curses, et cetera ad ...
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11 votes
1 answer
389 views

How long can you keep using the same metal?

In a medieval-ish world (Or any other pre-20th century earth), how long could you keep using the same metal? As in, you have very little territory, and what metal was available, has been mined from ...
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  • 1,048
16 votes
20 answers
8k views

Reasons a fictitious metal is really hard to refine?

For my story there exists a fictitious element with special properties. In its pure form is most closely resembles metal (for its physical properties) This material is quite abundant in salt and ...
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  • 3,802
5 votes
2 answers
187 views

Is there a good non-reactive metal alloy for gun making?

So, due to reasons magical, civilization has aversion towards metals which are above antimony in reactivity series. Yet, that doesn't stop them from developing gunpowder and wooden cannons. But while ...
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19 votes
6 answers
5k views

How effective and viable would bronze full plate be?

In my fantasy setting in development,tin is significantly more common than in our world, leading to bronze armour and weapons being much cheaper. Due to metallurgy not being as advanced, iron is still ...
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  • 1,870
9 votes
7 answers
3k views

Lead Amalgam as a Material for a Sword

Edit: To clarify, the Title is simply the title, the actual question is stated below. It is a fantasy world where Magic has been fading away for a millennium and a half. Lead naturally disrupts magic,...
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  • 151
15 votes
4 answers
4k views

Cemented carbide swords - worth it?

Nowadays heavy duty drilling and machining is often done with cutting tools fashioned from cemented carbides, which consist of a hard phase like Tungsten Carbide embedded in a "soft" metal like Cobalt....
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  • 906
4 votes
5 answers
590 views

Would molten tin solidify and coat an organic horn?

Tieflings are routinely captured and imprisoned. Those that are compliant enough are sent out and used to hunt other tieflings, but not before having their horns dipped in molten tin as a way of ...
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  • 203
8 votes
4 answers
900 views

Using Molten Metal as Mortar--Would it Work Today?

So I just got back from watching an episode of the Science Channel program Unearthed, a show focusing on archaeological discoveries. In the episode in question, the subject was on the Lighthouse of ...
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  • 14.4k
3 votes
4 answers
377 views

Helping the Roman Empire with chemistry and metallurgy [closed]

You are a modern chemist and metallurgist and unexpectedly get sent back in time to the era of Caesar Octavius Augustus. After spending a couple years learning ancient Latin, what changes or ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
187 views

Need help in manufacturing my fictional metal to different shapes [closed]

I'm trying to make a fictional metal, with the following characteristics: It doesn't have a melting point and heat won't affect the hardness or shape. It can absorb extreme heat but bad at cooling ...
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  • 8,809
4 votes
2 answers
815 views

How long would it take a single person to mine and refine ore necessary to smith with?

So the backstory is I am DM-ing a 5e D&D game for my players; I have just given them a forge that makes magical items if it uses a certain ore from inside the mine it is in. They have 1 dwarf who ...
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9 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are some of the expected properties of metallic glasses and some steps to create them? (Explain Like I'm 10)

I'm currently bouncing around ideas for a sci-fi / cyberpunk world and one of the major technologies in this universe is the manufacture and usage of metallic glass. I don't want to handwave too ...
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24 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to forge a multi-part weapon? [closed]

So, I'm trying to forge a magic sword. Naturally, this requires magic metal. Luckily, I have access to just such a thing: Spectral metal. Spectral metals are ordinary metals which have been infused ...
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  • 5,559
57 votes
4 answers
6k views

What technology would Dwarves need to forge titanium?

The Dwarves pride themselves as great craftsman, smiths, and tinkerers. Dwarven craftsmen have access to not only the metals of man, but also metals only the forges of dwarves can refine. One of these ...
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13 votes
4 answers
2k views

With today's technology, could iron be smelted at La Rinconada?

La Rinconada, Peru is notable because it has an effective oxygen concentration of only 11%, leading to the need for special techniques just to keep a fire going, and preventing the use of combustion-...
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  • 11k
3 votes
2 answers
360 views

Making iron tools from blood [closed]

So, I read a while ago several threads about making iron objects/blades from blood. In my conworld there are giant predators that would, according to my calculations, have enough blood so that 12 of ...
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  • 1,984
5 votes
2 answers
535 views

Can you forge iron from oxide dust?

I've been looking over the internet and on here to find some kind of evidence for this, but nothing conclusive, so I was hoping for people with a better understanding of smelting, chemistry and ...
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  • 1,984
4 votes
1 answer
184 views

Can Roman-age tech break up harder metals?

This question is a follow up to my last one about silver So silver and presumably all metals of lower and equal hardness can be broken down with muscle and stone tools, by forming droplets, using ...
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15 votes
6 answers
5k views

What tool would a Roman-age civilization have for the breaking of silver and other metals into dust?

Assume a guy who has a lump of silver, and needs to get it into really small pieces. Ideally down to dust level, if possible. The technology level of the society around him is comparable to late-roman ...
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18 votes
9 answers
5k views

Use Mercury as quenching liquid for swords?

There is a really nice question about quenching swords in dragon blood: Quenching swords in dragon blood; why? That made me curious about a more realistic example: Mercury Could this substance be ...
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  • 906
3 votes
2 answers
229 views

Thermite for metallurgy?

As we all know, a majority of the Martian soil is composed of ferric oxide ($Fe_2O_3$), which is also coincidentally the formula for hematite, one of the most common ores of iron. I think (personally)...
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7 votes
4 answers
943 views

How difficult would it be to use scrap metal from a car to make armour or an effective short sword without using fire?

Tools available would be wire, bricks, hammers, a hack saw, a pair of compound snips, and flex glue. As well as the intact body of the car itself. Assume you find the tools inside or easily within ...
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  • 1,870
5 votes
2 answers
471 views

What would the atomic structure of 'perfect' steel be like?

There are a number of structures in iron that are simply impossible to achieve on earth - for example, the Widmanstätten pattern of large, interlocking iron crystals that can only be found in ...
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  • 14.8k
4 votes
2 answers
166 views

Vibrations weakening spaceship

I have a scenario where a spaceship has been badly damaged and now the normal vibrations of the power supply are becoming amplified through the damaged hull, and threatening to tear the ship apart. ...
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