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Smelting is the act of refining raw ore(s) into useful bars of pure metal(s) or alloys. Smelting is similar but distinct from melting, which reclaims existing metal objects back into (fractional) bars. Metal bars produced at a smelter are usable in a wide variety of goods, from weapons to goblets to furniture to buildings.
Smelting also refines bituminous coal into coke, a fuel which is equivalent to charcoal. Fuel is required to operate a smelter, metalsmith's forge, kiln, or glass furnace.
Smelting requires the ore (or coal) to be processed, a smelter, fuel (not required for magma smelters) , and a dwarf with the furnace operator labor enabled. Training in the skill is not required - since bars have no quality the only difference is the time the job takes.
Since smelting coke requires fuel in a conventional (non-magma) smelter, one wood log must be burned in a wood furnace to create one charcoal to start the process.
- Bituminous coal smelts into 2 coke
- Wood burns into 1 charcoal
Flux is a stone that is used in the production of pig iron and steel. Limestone is the only type of stone that can be used as flux.
Certain metals can be smelted together to create a new metal called an alloy. Unlike in later versions, alloys must be made using ores, so smelting all of your ores into bars is a bad idea. The only exception to this rule is pig iron, which is made using iron bars instead of hematite ore, though take note that you still need hematite to combine with pig iron in order to make steel.
- cassiterite + malachite -> 2 bronze
- sphalerite + malachite -> 2 brass
- galena + native gold -> 2 electrum (once the dungeon master has arrived)
- iron (bar) + flux + coal -> 1 pig iron
- pig iron (bar) + hematite (ore) + flux + coal -> 2 steel