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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6
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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
3k 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
358 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 ...
5
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2answers
242 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 ...
2
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4answers
300 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 ...
-4
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2answers
162 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
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2answers
226 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 ...
51
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4answers
5k 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
216 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 ...
4
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1answer
251 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
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1answer
147 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
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9answers
4k 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
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2answers
165 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
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4answers
476 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
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2answers
270 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
151 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
387 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 ...
20
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6answers
4k 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
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7answers
3k 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 ...
15
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15answers
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
5k 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
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2answers
223 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
592 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
180 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 ...
11
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6answers
3k 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 ...
5
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7answers
2k views

The feasibility of arctic metal workers

Given a semi-nomadic culture of arctic "hunter gatherers" with trade routes to the South, would it be impossible for them to develop metallurgy? The setup I had in mind was that they trade ivory and/...
13
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3answers
1k views

How would fantasy dwarves produce steel?

I'm designing a computer game in a fantasy setting with dwarves who need to produce steel. This is a very traditional Tolkein-esque fantasy world at a relatively "middle ages" level of technology (no ...
6
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4answers
1k views

What Limitations or Modifications Would Medieval Armor or Weapons Have if Modern Quality Steel Were Used?

SETTING The setting is a fantasy world with magic, mystical creatures, knights and heroes, kingdoms, etc; a rather typical fantasy world (ie. Middle Earth, or Shannara Chronicles). In it, swords, ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What alloy could replace brass in most applications?

In my world, zinc is useful as an anti-magic material. This ability manifested shortly after the discovery of magic, and now zinc will erode and decay when exposed to magic, dissipating into ...
4
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3answers
308 views

Zinc is a precious metal. What alloys are no longer practical?

In my world, the price of zinc has recently risen to be double the price of gold for reasons that are outside of the scope of this question. This question works under the assumption that the world is ...