Day 486: Hot rails

Day 486:

I poured the molten iron into the frame and there was a lot of exploding and I don’t have a frame anymore.

Apparently ceramics shouldn’t be made with high speed and wet clay.

Back to the drawing board.

Day 485: waiting for my clay to settle.

Day 485: While the clay settles in its mould, I’m going out and chopping down small trees to make sticks, since the whole reason I came back to home base in the first place was that I was out of axe handles.

But I’m also looking at the sticks and thinking I’m going to need a whole lot of these to make the cross rails for the rails. If I don’t anchor them evenly the rails won’t align at their junctions and then the cart or whatever I put on them will jump off the tracks.

I say this having built neither the cart nor its wheels. But I figure if I can’t make consistent rails it really doesn’t matter what else I haven’t made yet.

So, much tree chopping. Which ironically would go faster if I had a diamond axe. Which I’d have if I was down in the mine looking for ore like I said I would be. Which I need to make good tools to go capture sheep to make warm clothes to climb a mountain. Which I need to do to get the heck out of here.

I’m so tired, y’all.

Day 484: ugh clay

Day 484:

Remember all that clay I was harvesting from the river? The good news is it packs really well. The bad news is it’s really really wet, even now, weeks later. (Probably doesn’t help that I’ve been storing it in a wooden barrel.)

I’m trying to figure out how to pack the frame I built with clay to make the rails without getting it filled with air bubbles, and all I can come up with is soaking it some more and then shaking it.

This is going to take days.

Day 483: Pouring rails

Day 483:

So melting the iron, once I got a strong enough forge built out of rock, was not really a problem. Takes a lot of wood, throws a lot of probably-caustic fumes, smells horrible, glad it’s not in my cavern, but workable.

The sandy clay not so much. The sand and clay both kind of.. well,  not melted, but the clay made sort of a ceramic and the sand didn’t melt, it just sort of… stuck… to stuff, so my iron rails are more like iron-filled-with-air-bubbles-and-impurities.

I think I’m going to need to build a frame and fill it with either clay or sand to make these rails.

I also think clay will be easier to work with.

Day 482: pouring rails

Day 482:

I’ve very precisely dug two trenches in the front yard that are exactly the dimensions that I want to use for my rails. (They are also not-coincidentally the size of the planks I’ve been making doors out of. Because I’ve gotten pretty consistent with the door work and this way if something happens to my trenches I can remake them with my plank templates.)

I’m building a forge out there so I don’t have to try to walk from the current forge’s location outside and down a hill carrying molten iron. Also, if I build it closely enough I can just tilt the forge’s bucket and pour, and that would be somewhat  safer. Somewhat. Just a little.

The forge is actually the part taking the longest, since the soil here is sandy clay and thus actually was relatively easy to mould. But the forge I really don’t want to screw up. I don’t want to risk an explosion with the volume and temperatures I’m talking about.