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Where to get iron ore?
December 12, 2016
9:40 am
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Rashelle
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Hey y’all. As some of you know I recently went to the New England School of metalwork in Maine to attend an iron smelting class. The instructor was Lee Sauder of Virginia.

I’ve been looking for iron ore to do some blooms. What I’ve found has been purchase by the tons or on national park land. So my question is does anyone (and I know there has to be someone) know where/who I can purchase ore from and a location where I can gather ore legally?

My work has okayed and is supporting me in doing some blooms. I have a location to do it, the clay,sand,etc. to make the furnace. Most of the tools. I’m short a working blower, a charcoal sorting table (not really necessary but sure is convenient), I’ll be making the tuyere.

December 14, 2016
12:50 pm
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4elements
Granite Falls, WA
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I have a small amount of hematite, 5lbs or so, that a co-worker brought me. It came from the Denny Creek area of Snoqualmie pass in an area that is difficult to reach. I’ve been trying to find some ore myself and that’s the only prospect I have come up with. I hope to go there next summer 

December 14, 2016
3:09 pm
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Rashelle
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So far Lake Oswego (National park) so is a no-go. Dead rockhound gulch is an option but doesn’t sound feasible for carrying 70-80 or so lbs of ore out at a time. There was another spot in Portland but maps put it in a parking lot. I sort of doubt they’ll appreciate me digging up their lot, heeehee. There was an area about an hour or so drive away that looked like it may be good on a geological survey. Means driving out and knocking on landowners front doors though till I find someone to give permission to look on their land. Am sort of hesitant about that as I come across as gruff and not always that too friendly. Need a people person for that. Oh and to re-find those co-ordinates, grrrr computery stuff, lol.

December 21, 2016
11:54 am
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DaveTheGreat
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Ohhh, I have wanted to do this for years! Want some help with the build or smelt? 

January 4, 2017
7:27 am
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Steve McGrew
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There is plenty of iron ore available in the form of magnetic black sand (magnetite).  Get a good strong magnet, put it in a plastic bag, and pour dry sand on the outside of the bag.  The magnetite will stick to the magnet through the plastic.  Turn the bag inside out (capturing the magnetite) and remove the magnet.  Repeat until you have enough ore for your bloom.  I’ve seen layers of magnetite an inch thick in some beach sands.

January 4, 2017
8:43 pm
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Julien
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There’s a good patch of black sand at the tip of Kelly Point Park in Portland. Pretty nice looking clay there too.

February 26, 2017
2:31 pm
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4elements
Granite Falls, WA
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Hi all. This is Byron Johnson. I went to Deception Pass WA state park a couple of weeks ago and did an experiment. I took a magnetic tool tray and used it like a gold pan with some beach sand (not “black sand”) and got about 5/8 oz. of magnetite from 8 handfuls of sand. That seemed to me to be a useful  concentration. So even though state parks are off limits to placer mining, I have started to make a magnetic sluice which will have an aluminum channel and a bunch of magnets under the bottom. I plan to check various beaches, rivers and streams in my area to see if I can gather enough ore for a smelt. I would like to connect with any other members who want to pursue this, just look up my contact info in the directory.

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