Survival Guide 5 – Metal Working
The key to create a great village
Working metal is the key to your village development. Metals are resistant and easy-to-shape materials, which allow to make nearly every tool you want. Therefore it increases your potential of action on the island. Compared to the rudimentary tools you have to craft in Stormland first, metal tools not only last longer but also are significantly more efficient because of their efficient shape. There’s no comparison between an axe blade and a roughly polished stone!
But metal working is also a costly process, in terms of time, resources, and infrastructure. Let’s dig into how Stormland’s survivors can achieve this.
In-game metal working process
By refining malachite you obtain copper, and with cassiterite you get tin. Mixing both metals makes bronze, which is a good material for your first tools.
For copper to melt you need to reach atemperature of about 1080°C, which can be accomplished in an oven with thick walls of clay. Tin melts at only 230°C, which could be done in a simple campfire!
Note: In real life, metal ore is first heated to obtain nuggets, which in turn can be melted into ingots. In the game we choose to simplify the process by transforming ore directly into ingots.
Iron and steel would make even better tools but require a higher temperature that is hard to reach. We’ll cover that in another post about smelting.
As usual with top-tier, water-powered workshops, we break down the process into mechanical groups:
Driving part: A waterwheel receives a water flow on its paddles and transmits the power in a rotating movement to the main shaft.
Movement transformation: Here we modify the horizontal rotation in an alternative movement using a camshaft.
Operative part: An enormous wooden lever of approximately 4 meters is driven by the camshaft. At its head, a strong hammer goes up and… PUNG!
Team practical experiments
Alexandre made this model of the lever and cam shaft, and it works great! Except we cannot forge anything with it.
We’ve also been making small metal objects for years, to experiment but mostly for fun!
Drawings used in accord with Francesco CORNI and Ink Line Edizioni
Mulini in Italia (Francesco CORNI)
L’Encyclopédie (DIDEROT and D’ALEMBERT)
Forges de Pyrène (Ariège, France)
We noticed some details worth sharing:
- A trickle a water keeps the main shaft wet (right picture), so that the wood remains flexible and resistant to torsional strain. It also remains swollen and therefore well contained in its strappings.
- There’s a stone wheel on the main shaft. It’s called a flywheel and gives inertia to the mechanism because of its mass. It’s kept centered on the main shaft thanks to wedges.
- There are some strappings around the lever too (left picture) to avoid its burst.
- On the hammer can be installed different shapes or molds, allowing for different types of work.
During our visit we’ve seen two blacksmiths at work. On was crafting a shovel (left picture). It took him about an hour. The hammer was pounding at an impressive frequency: About three knocks per second! The other craftsman was making nails and could produce about 100 per hour!
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