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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12
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8answers
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 ...
2
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3answers
126 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 ...
7
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6answers
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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
15
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10answers
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
421 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
445 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
0
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3answers
199 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 ...
8
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3answers
836 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 ...
12
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10answers
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 ...
21
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21answers
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, ...
12
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
10
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4answers
800 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 ...
3
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3answers
296 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
381 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 ...
16
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20answers
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
12
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6answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
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,...
14
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4answers
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....
4
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5answers
554 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 ...
8
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4answers
802 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 ...
3
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4answers
364 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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2answers
184 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
629 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 ...
9
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5answers
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 ...
24
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7answers
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 ...
54
votes
4answers
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 ...
13
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4answers
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-...
3
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2answers
319 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
447 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
173 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 ...
15
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6answers
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
214 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)...
6
votes
4answers
817 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
433 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 ...
4
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2answers
165 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. ...
10
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5answers
783 views

Reality Check: Discovery of Iron Bloomery without a preceding Bronze Age?

The setting that I am working on has a population of humans living in a place that does not have abundant copper or tin resources, so it is unlikely that they'd discover Bronze. However, bog iron is ...
17
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10answers
5k views

Electric power system connecting the Earth and the Moon

It’s year 2050 and within 10 years, all fossil fuels will be used up. All countries signed an agreement to approve an international construction, described as follows: A track will be built on the ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there any reason to use tungsten crucibles?

So, in my setting, there are dwarves that make good steel. Shocker, I know. To refine the ore, they rely on the bloomery process like everyone else, using anthracite (when they can get it), charcoal (...
22
votes
7answers
4k views

How would ant-sized humans be able to Blacksmith Metals Safely?

In this world I'm creating, humans are shrunk down to 2 centimeters tall, and have been teleported down to an earthlike dimension consisting only of insects, plants, fungi and other invertebrates. The ...
17
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16answers
5k views

Can there be a long-range railway system without industrialisation?

Consider a civilization with pre-industrial, possibly even pre-gunpowder technology, but the economic incentive to have continent-spanning railway tracks. Would it be possible for them to build those ...
29
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11answers
6k views

Post-apocalypse ammo

The world has ended and our valiant group of survivors is roaming around the ruins of the old world about sixty years after the apocalypse. Now, most people carry around black-powder muskets and ...
1
vote
2answers
378 views

Is it possible to make alloys/composite materials with Gold and glasses such as Obsidian [duplicate]

I'm limited to having either iron, tungsten, titanium, and gold be alloyed and/or made into a composite material with obsidian to make an obsidian-like material with a gold sheen that can be shaped ...
5
votes
4answers
834 views

What is the highest quality method to produce steel with late medieval technology?

Assuming we have the tools and materials of the late medieval period in Europe (~ 15th century) but are allowed to use modern knowledge of metallurgy, what method/process of steel production would ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

What kind of weapon would you need to level an entire city to glass? [closed]

Title says it all but let's be more specific: I'm planning a post-apoc world where our current civilization has been wiped out in a large scale war. The story takes place centuries after the ...
12
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6answers
5k views

What is the largest / longest practical bronze age sword possible?

Assuming bronze age technology and the use of bronze for the blade, what is the longest blade / total length of sword that is possible and practical to use? Bronze age Naue II swords were typically ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How would a sapient species with a copper allergy develop metallurgy?

The trope of a sapient species (most often elves) that is allergic to/poisoned by iron is a common one in fantasy works; however, there are quite a few ways to make serviceable cutting tools without ...