DF2012:Melt item

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v0.34.11 · v0.31.25 · v0.28.181.40d · v0.23.130.23a
This article is about the current version of DF.

You can melt items at a smelter, using the furnace operator labor, to recover some of the metal they were made of. Decorations in a different metal are not recovered or considered; the metal recovered is the specific metal that basic item was listed as being made from. The % return is predictable and consistent for each item type, and ranges from 10%-150%, depending on the item. Higher skill levels in furnace operator speed up the process, but have no effect on the % return.

Items that yield more than 100% can be used to increase the amount of a metal you have available by producing those items and then melting them down again as many times as required. This is generally considered to be an exploit of an error in the game mechanics. However, using a dwarf with a high skill level to make the items will result in him throwing severe tantrums when you start melting all his ☼masterwork☼ items, so you will need to disable your legendary armorer/weaponsmith while using the exploit, and make sure the skill levels don't get too high on the dwarfs making the items, or you will have tantrum spirals, fist fights, and/or lots of useless junk valuable trade goods lying around.

Recovered metal is measured in 1/10th's, and 1/10ths of bars of each metal are saved at the smelter where the item was melted. Fractional bars are not "shared" between smelters, nor do they exist as usable objects as is. When 10/10ths of a type of metal are accumulated at the same smelter, 1 bar of that metal is produced. If the smelter is torn down or destroyed, all fractions are lost.

Example: If two items of the same metal worth .4 bars each are melted at the same smelter, that smelter has .8 bars worth waiting in it.
If a similar item of a different metal is then melted there, that smelter would have .8 bars of the first metal and .4 bars of the second.
If a similar item of the first metal is then melted at a different smelter, that smelter will have .4 of that metal, and have no connection to the fractions in the first smelter.
If (finally!), a 3rd, similar item of the first metal is melted at the first smelter, adding another 4/10ths, and giving a total of 12/10ths of that type of metal, 1 bar of that metal is produced, and 2/10th's are waiting (plus the 4/10 of the second metal, also waiting).

So, it makes sense to designate one smelter as "melting" smelter (or for one metal type), to guarantee that fractions will add up effectively.

Contents

[edit] Designating items to melt

You can designate metal items for melting from any interface that allows you to view the object's description screen, such as from the Stocks page or the Look interface.

To bring up an individual object description screen when the object is:

  • On the ground: Type k, scroll to the object, select it from the list, and type Enter.
  • In a workshop: Type t, highlight the workshop, select the object from the list, and type Enter.
  • Held by a dwarf: Type v, highlight the dwarf, type i to show his inventory, select the object from the list, and type Enter.
  • Inside another object: Display the container's object description screen, navigate to the specific object you wish to see, and type Enter.
  • In the stocks menu: Type z, hit right-direction a few times to select "stocks" and press return. Scroll to the type of object you wish to melt, type Tab to show individual items (You have to have an exact number or this won't work. See Bookkeeper for how to get this), scroll to the specific object, and type v to view.

To designate the item, simply type m to mark the object for melting. If the item is designated for melting and forbidden then the item will not be melted.

However, this only marks which items you want to be melted - you still have to place the job-order in a smelter...

[edit] Melting the items

Items designated to be melted will be left alone until you queue a "Melt a metal object" job o at a Smelter. Melting down an object requires the Furnace operator labor (and consumes a unit of fuel for a non-magma smelter).

The job gives the same experience to the furnace operator skill regardless of % yield of the item melted.

[edit] Yield

Testing is incomplete, but preliminary results show a yield of 0.3 bars times the object's material size for anything that has a material size, or 1 bar for most furniture (regardless of size).

Note that the Efficiency column is only accurate for ordinary metals - when using adamantine, the number of wafers required comes from the "Material size" column instead of "Bars to make", so if that number is larger, the efficiency will be reduced accordingly.

Item Material size Bars to make Bars returned Efficiency
Weapons (made by Weaponsmith)
Crossbow 3 1 0.9 90%
Mace 3 1 0.9 90%
Spear 3 1 0.9 90%
Short sword 3 1 0.9 90%
War hammer 3 1 0.9 90%
Battle axe 4 1 1.2 120%
Pick 4 1 1.2 120%
Ammo (stack of 25) (1) 1 0.3Verify 30%
Ammo (stack of 1) (1) 1/25 0.1Verify 250%
Siege Equipment (Weaponsmith)
Ballista arrow (4) 3 0.5Verify 17%
Ballista arrow head (4) 3 0.5Verify 17%
Trap Components (Weaponsmith)
Giant Axe Blade 5 1 1.5 150%
Enormous Corkscrew 5 1 1.5 150%
Spiked Ball 4 1 1.2 120%
Large Serrated Disc 4 1 1.2Verify 120%
Menacing Spike 5 1 1.5Verify 150%
Trap Components (Mechanic)
Mechanisms (3) 1 0.5 50%
Armor (Armorsmith)
Cap 1 1 0.3 30%
Helm 2 1 0.6 60%
Gauntlet 2 0.5 0.6 120%
Leggings 5 1 1.5 150%
Greaves 6 2 1.8 90%
Low boot 1 0.5 0.3 60%
High boot 2 0.5 0.6 120%
Buckler 2 1 0.6 60%
Shield 4 1 1.2 120%
Mail shirt 6 2 1.8 90%
Breastplate 9 3 2.7 90%
Tools (Metalcrafter)
Nest box 1 1 0.3 30%
Jug 1 1 0.3 30%
Pot 1 1 0.3 30%
Hive 1 1 0.3 30%
Minecart 6 2 1.8 90%
Wheelbarrow 6 2 1.8 90%
Furniture (Blacksmith)
Anvil (9) 3 1 33%
Armor stand (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Barrel (9) 3 1 33%
Bin (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Blocks (4) 1 0.5 50%
Bucket (3) 1 1 100%
Cabinet (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Cage (6) 3 1 33%
Chair (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Chest (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Coffin (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Crutch (3) 3 0.5 17%
Door (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Floodgate (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Grate (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Hatch cover (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Pipe section (9) 3 1 33%
Splint (2) 3 0.5 17%
Statue (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Table (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Traction bench (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Weapon rack (9) 3 1Verify 33%
Furniture (Metalcrafter)
Chain (4) 1 1 100%
Furniture (Trapper)
Animal trap (3) 1 1 100%
Other objects (Metalcrafter)
Amulet (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.1Verify 10% to 30%
Bracelet (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.1Verify 10% to 30%
Coins (stack of 500) (1) 1 1.1 110%
Coins (stack of 1) (1) 1/500 0.1 5000%
Crown (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.1Verify 10% to 30%
Earring (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.1Verify 10% to 30%
Flask (1/3) 1/3 0.2 60%
Figurine (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.2 20% to 60%
Goblet (1/3) 1/3 0.2 60%
Instrument (1) 1 1 100%
Toy (1) 1 0.2Verify 20%
Ring (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.1 10% to 30%
Scepter (1/3 to 1) 1/3 to 1 0.2Verify 20% to 60%

All melting yields for items not specified in the raws (weapons, armor, tools, etc.) are hardcoded.

Metal bars are able to be melted and remade into a bar at a smelter. (Melt 1 tin bar, return as 1 tin bar + experience.)

[edit] Bugs

  • A number of items produce more metal when melted than they cost to produce.Bug:6027
  • Designating items to be melted from the stocks screen can cause a crash.Bug:6431
  • Melting minecarts assigned to routes can cause a crash.Bug:6242
  • Metal chests cannot be melted; attempting to do so will leave the chest intact but cause the furnace operator to gain experience (and waste fuel at non-magma smelters). Bug:2493
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