Smithing involves using tongs on a kiln or forge, an upgraded version of the later that uses bellows, to heat and transform items, often ores, into something more usable. Obtaining steel tools will allow you to cook more meat items, dig up wells for farm use, and also make useful items such as hand carts.
The smelting of metals provide the door for the acquisition of the most technological items in the game, such as Newcomen machines and even radios.
Crafting the Kiln and Forge
Gather 4 pieces of adobe and 2 long shafts. Place one piece where you want the kiln to be, and use a stone on it to make an Adobe Oven Base. Add the second piece of adobe to the base to make an Adobe Oven. Add the third piece of adobe to the oven to make an Adobe Kiln. Keep the fourth piece of adobe near the kiln as it can be used on a firing Adobe Kiln to make Charcoal.
To make tongs, use a piece of Flint on a long shaft. Tongs are also needed to make Bellows, which you add to the kiln to make it a Forge.
To make Bellows, you need to gather one Skewer, one clay, one Thread, and one rabbit (use a Snare on a rabbit hole). There are three parts to the bellows: tongs, empty water pouch, and clay nozzle. You add the water pouch to the tongs to make bellows without nozzle, then add the clay nozzle to that to get bellows.
Empty Water Pouch
- Skin the rabbit with a piece of flint to get Rabbit Fur and set it aside.
- Make a small fire and wait for it to die down to Hot Coals, and use the skewer to cook the skinned rabbit over it. Cooking the rabbit over a burning fire will result in burnt rabbit, which we cannot use.
- Eat the cooked rabbit to get Rabbit Bones. Set it on the ground, then pick it back up. On the ground is the Rabbit Bone
- Use flint on the rabbit bone to get a Bone Needle. Use the needle on the thread to get Needle and Thread
- Use flint on the rabbit fur to get Four Pieces of Rabbit Fur. Use the Needle and Thread on the four pieces of rabbit fur to get one Empty Water Pouch
- Use the skewer on a piece of clay to get a wet clay nozzle
- Use tongs to fire the wet clay nozzle in the kiln to get a Clay Nozzle.
Using the Kiln and Forge
To use the kiln, you put a piece of Kindling inside, then light it with a firebrand. The kiln will stay lit for 30 seconds, during which you can use your tongs on wet clay bowls, wet clay plates, wet clay nozzles, or wet clay crocks to bake them in the kiln. This process is instantaneous, so you can bake several items one after the other while the fire is going. You should make at least 3 bowls and 3 plates, 6 of each is better. You can always use more bowls and plates for smithing and cooking.
To make wet clay bowls, use a stone on a piece of clay. To make wet clay plates, use a stone on a wet clay bowl. Note that you cannot stack wet clay items together, they will instead combine into a different item. For example, stacking two wet clay bowls will make a wet clay crock, which is used for cooking.
To use the forge, you need to use a basket of charcoal instead of kindling as fuel. Either make charcoal using the kiln, then add the bellows later, or if you have a second kiln with charcoal, you can transfer the charcoal to the forge directly with the basket. For this reason, it is advisable to have a kiln and a forge near each other so you can make charcoal with the kiln while smithing with the forge.
Making Steel Tools
Iron ores have to be made into wrought iron before they can be made into steel ingots, which is what you need to make steel tools. For the whole process, you will need a stone, a short shaft, at least one clay bowl and clay plate (though 3-12 of each is recommended), and at least one flat rock (also recommended to have 3-6, depending on how fast you can work).
This process only applies to iron ore. To make wrought iron, use your tongs to pick up an iron ore, then use it on a firing forge to get a hot iron bloom. Place the hot iron bloom on a flat rock, put down your tongs, then use a stone on the hot iron bloom to make wrought iron. Having several flat stones means you can leave the wrought iron on the flat rock and put new hot blooms on other flat rocks to make the most out of the 30 seconds the forge will stay lit.
Another strategy which requires a bag is to have your ore, flat rock, tongs, forge and a free space in a cross or plus (+) shape, and a round stone in your bag. You use the tongs to pick up an iron ore, heat it in the forge, place it on the flat rock, put down the tongs so you can take out the round stone, hit the hot iron bloom to turn it into wrought iron, put the stone in your bag, then move the wrought iron by hand to the free space and repeat.
While you will use most of your wrought iron to make steel ingots, you can also use a smithing hammer on hot wrought iron on flat rock to make some items needed for a multipurpose newcomen engine, a fuel tank, or a sewing machine.
- Crude Piston
- Partial Sewing Machine
- Crude Cylinder
- Fuel Tank
To turn wrought iron into steel ingots, place one wrought iron and one piece of charcoal (in any order) into a clay bowl. Cover that with a plate, and you'll have an unforged steel crucible. Use your tongs to place an unforged steel crucible into a firing forge, and it will instantaneously become a hot forged steel crucible. Put it down on the ground. After 10 seconds it will become a forged steel crucible. You can then use your hands to take off the plate, then take out the steel ingot.
You can get copper and zinc ingots the same way, without having to make a wrought piece of metal. To get copper, add Malachite and charcoal to a bowl and seal with a plate. To get zinc, add calamine and charcoal and seal with a plate.
Limestone does not require charcoal or a plate. A bowl of limestone put through a firing forge will make quicklime. Quicklime is used in several things, including plaster (for adobe walls, wooden floors, and cisterns), and corn tortillas (for pork and bean tacos).
Making steel tools requires using tongs to heat a steel ingot in a firing forge, then placing it on a flat rock to be reshaped with a smithing hammer.
To make a smithing hammer, like wrought iron, use a stone on a hot steel ingot on flat rock to get a hot steel hammer head. When it's cooled down, combine it with a short shaft to make a smithing hammer.
To make the other tools, use a smithing hammer on the hot steel ingot on flat rock. The first time you hit the steel ingot, it will become a hot steel axe head. If you hit it again with the smithing hammer, it will become a hot steel hoe blade. Keep hitting the item while it's hot until you find the tool you want. The order each item appears in is:
- Steel Axe Head
- Steel Hoe Blade
- Steel Chisel
- Steel Adze Head
- Steel Froe Blade
- Steel File Blank
- Steel Blade Blank
- Steel Shovel Head
- Steel Mining Pick Head
With the exception of the chisel, you will need to add a long or short shaft, or do something else to make those tools usable. To get a working file, you need a cooked goose and a chisel. Blade blanks can be used in a firing newcomen drill to make a draw plate (used for looms), but most things you want it for (knives, shears, bow saw) will require you use a Steel File on it.
The tools will cycle back once you hit the Mining Pick Head (v20269), however that is something to be avoided as time is lost in the process. It is recommended to note which items you want to make and how many times you want to hit it with a hammer before starting to smith.
- The most important factor while firing multiple items is the arrangement of them before lighting the kiln, as you lose time retrieving them.
- Each time you light a kiln you should be able to fire at least 8 items, with 12 being a very good amount. Firing past 12 items is difficult, but still possible.
- You could also keep yourself from firing 1-2 items to cover the kiln with adobe to produce charcoal for smithing.
- These numbers also apply to smelt items that don't require extra steps.
- While making Wrought Iron, you can put 2-3 blooms in the flat rocks and hit them all in a single run, but this is a advance practice and you risk to let the blooms get cold and thus lose more time than you earn using this technique. Also you will want to hit them in the order they were placed, as the first placed will be the first to get cold.
- Using this technique you can turn 4-5 iron ores to Wrought Iron. Trying 6 pieces lies into the danger zone.
- You can also use hammers to turn blooms into Wrought Iron, but they lose durability while doing so.