|This article is about an older version of DF.|
The metal industry can be quite profitable, as pursuit of high-quality weapons and armour for your military or statues and furniture for hallways and rooms can provide many lesser-grade items to trade or melt down and recycle.
You can adjust the preferences in the Stone Status Screen to free ores for uses other than smelting. This can be a quick way around producing high-value furniture from native gold (or similar high-value ores) by using a mason rather than refining the ore and producing furniture using your metalsmith.
Melting the weapons and armor of invaders is a very lucrative source of metal bars while your mining and smelting operations are being established.
To melt a captured items they must be individually designated for melting. A "Melt object" job must be issued at a smelter. When both these actions have been taken a dwarf with assigned to the furnace operator labor will collect the item and melt it at a smelter.
Producing metal from ore, and turning the metal into finished products, requires a large amount of heat. This can come in two forms:
Conventional vs Magma powered
Conventional (non-magma) smelters and forges require fuel to run them. Magma versions require only an open floor to magma below them.
Producing steel will require refined coal (also known out of game as fuel) even at a magma smelter, either in the form of coke or charcoal. Pig iron is made by smelting 1 iron with 1 refined coal and 1 flux, and steel is made by smelting 1 iron bar with 1 pig iron, 1 more refined coal and 1 more flux, producing a final product of 2 steel bars. In the end, each steel produced requires 1 iron ore, 1 flux, and 1 refined coal, regardless of where it is processed. (See Fuel and Smelting.)
For continuous operation of smelters, stockpiles of ore, as well as flux and refined coal if producing iron or steel, should be located nearby the smelter. Refined coal will be placed in a bar stockpile which has coal ermitted.
Captured items can be placed in a stockpile reserved for metal weapons &/or armor that is "unusable". Designating every item for melting can be done easily if this stockpile is set to not no bins.
Because smelters can be slower than forges, especially when producing steel bars and/or items that consume several bars at a time, providing several smelters (and smelter operators) per working forge is recommended.
Metal products have advantages over similar items created from other materials.
Firstly they are intrinsically high value.
Finally, in the arms race, metal weapons and armor are superior to other materials in dealing out or protection from injury.
The high value of metal furniture can assist in appeasing the requirements of nobility, providing happy thoughts as dwarves use a well, pass communal or private cages or statues, or in creating high-rent rooms once you have established an economy. This can also create high value trade goods.
Required worker / tasks
- Miner / mining, producing ore, flux and coke.
- Peasant / for the large volume of raw materials used, it is generally inefficient to use skilled labor for hauling. Due to the heavy weight of many ores and bars, improve Strength attributes are desirable over untrained haulers.
- Wood burner / Produce charcoal (a fuel)
- Furnace operator / Produce bars from raw ingredients, produce coke (a fuel)
- Armorsmith / Produce metal armor from bars
- Metalsmith / Produce metal blocks or furniture (including anvils, bins, buckets, and cages) from bars
- Weaponsmith / Produce metal weapons, crossbows, bolts, and trap weapons from bars