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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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5 votes
2 answers
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Could a planet have metalloids but very few metals?

Could advanced technology be created by an intelligent species on a planet where there are very few true metals and only large amounts of metalloids? I envision a planet sparse in accessible metals, ...
Zip Zap's user avatar
  • 125
6 votes
9 answers
2k views

Industrial Geothermal smelting power

A town in a mountain valley has access to geothermal energy due to the volcanic activity of the mountain range, somewhat like Yellowstone. This has already given them access to hot springs that they ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,971
5 votes
2 answers
757 views

How long would it take unused railroad rails to corrode below usability?

These are unused rails, left over from a collapse of civilization on another world. Assumptions: the ties are impervious. In this regard, their science is greater than ours. the rails run through a ...
Robert Rapplean's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Not-so-precious metals: tools with only precious metals are available

Imagine a world where only precious metals are available. They are as common and plentiful as iron or aluminum are in our world. Any metal that is not precious does not exist outside of biological ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,349
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

What would a Medieval-Tech "super-metal" look like?

Edit: I am not looking for a specifically scientifically supportable answer. Rather, I am curious as to what characteristics of weapon metal lead to making them harder, and better at penetrating/...
LoganP98's user avatar
  • 1,270
3 votes
2 answers
201 views

Would a set of iron, silver, and gold-titanium knives be functional?

In my current WIP series, I've got a group of Hunters that would need weaponry against supernatural species -- specifically witches, vampires, and werewolves -- and I want to go with the classic no ...
Cameron Sage's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
156 views

Types of available ores and metallurgy on a "newly" terraformed planet?

I am developing a story set on an exoplanet that was colonized by spacefaring humans but has long since lost all contact with the homeworld due to some unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
3 votes
3 answers
687 views

Can you obtain a pure metal from an ore if you can manipulate said metal at a molecular level?

My knowledge in chemistry and physics are extraordinally limited, so I apologize in advance if my question sounds like gibberish, i'll try to edit better as I get answers. Let's say that you have ...
MrXanadu's user avatar
12 votes
13 answers
8k views

If you had an infinite amount of any element, which would be the best metal to make bullets?

Lead is pretty much the go-to metal when it comes to making bullets. That is because lead is cheap, dense, soft, and has a low melting point. But of course, bullets can be made out of other metals. ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
9 votes
9 answers
5k views

Would Tungsten be a useful material for medieval armor and weapons?

Tungsten is a very dense and robust metal that has the highest melting point and boiling point of any metal. This makes it very resilient in certain situations but also makes it hard to craft stuff ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I get a high-quality blue-colored alloy?

I'm working on a setting in which exists this cabbal of forgers that can work metal with the power of their mind in secret rituals that no man outside their circle can even imagine. They are known for ...
MrXanadu's user avatar
9 votes
15 answers
7k views

Is it possible to make a concealable firearm that is undetectable to metal detectors? [closed]

In Die Hard 2, there is an infamous scene where the protagonist talks about the fictional Glock 7 that was used against him. Apparently, it was a porcelain gun made in Austria Germany that didn't ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
1 vote
3 answers
410 views

If people in medieval times had access to osmium, would it be used? [closed]

Let's say that in 1,200 AD, aliens secretly come to Earth and drop off tons of Osmium in various places.The aliens then leave and humans discover this new metal. By the late medieval era, forges ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What fuels can be used in a bloomery?

Bit of a niche question here, but I’ve been mulling this over in my head for a while now. I’ve only ever seen or heard of people using lump charcoal to smelt iron in a bloomery furnace. What if, for ...
Horik's user avatar
  • 1,123
-5 votes
4 answers
380 views

If people in Iron Age times had access to uranium, would it be used over iron?

Let's say that in 1,200 BC, aliens secretly come to Earth and turn all of the uranium oxides into pure uranium.The aliens then leave and humans discover this new metal. Uranium has a lower melting ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

If people in medieval times had access to titanium, would it be used over steel?

Let's say that in 1,100 AD, aliens secretly come to Earth and turn all of the titanium oxides into pure titanium.The aliens then leave and humans discover this new metal. By the late medieval era, ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
4 votes
3 answers
470 views

Could bone armour ever match the protective qualities of steel in this setting?

Setting: Urban Fantasy/ Think present daytime, but with RPG elements. Summary: My MC needs to make armour for his army. He can do so using his crafting skill. The skill would allow him to make any ...
OsiriumWrites's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
1k views

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 ...
Pink Sweetener's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
310 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 ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers
403 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-...
Chase's user avatar
  • 109
3 votes
3 answers
150 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 ...
Fantasy Science's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
722 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 ...
Fantasy Science's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
632 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 ...
JohnWDailey's user avatar
  • 14.5k
3 votes
0 answers
72 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 ...
Lawton's user avatar
  • 588
7 votes
1 answer
334 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 ...
Radvylf Programs's user avatar
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 ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
2 votes
3 answers
145 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 ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.2k
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 ...
mico villena's user avatar
  • 2,498
-3 votes
1 answer
173 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 ...
The Sophomore's user avatar
15 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
JANXOL's user avatar
  • 1,967
3 votes
3 answers
456 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 ...
TheSpidermonkey's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
242 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 ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
10 votes
3 answers
2k 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, ...
TheShadowOfZama's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
295 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 ...
Reverend Speed's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
319 views

Outside of cold working method, are there other methods to forge metal that's constantly below 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 could be used for forging or ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
2 votes
2 answers
596 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 ...
Steve Massicard's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Daikael's user avatar
  • 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 ...
Vigilant's user avatar
  • 1,659
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, ...
SealBoi's user avatar
  • 14.9k
12 votes
2 answers
496 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 ...
Doug Morgan's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
852 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 ...
Plutian's user avatar
  • 6,913
3 votes
3 answers
423 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 ...
TobyB's user avatar
  • 1,586
4 votes
3 answers
162 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 ...
Friendlysociopath's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
482 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 ...
MartinArrJay's user avatar
  • 1,058
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 ...
Hyfnae's user avatar
  • 3,822
7 votes
4 answers
358 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 ...
Failus Maximus's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
Obelisk's user avatar
  • 1,940
9 votes
7 answers
4k 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,...
Adlez's user avatar
  • 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....
And's user avatar
  • 926
4 votes
5 answers
665 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 ...
SquidsEye's user avatar
  • 203