You used to have to make it from ore

This video is how iron was created, but the technology is similar
regardless of the final product. We call ourselves metalsmiths.

Iron smelting - the source of the materials we now use

Here is a video of a re-inactment of iron smelting as performed by
iron worker clans in sub Saharan Africa following traditional
methods originally laid down for 2000 years ago or more. Our
European, Asian, etc ancestral ironworkers used much the same
methods in ancient times.

This video takes the process step by laborious step from the wood
selected for charcoal burning, mining the ore, and flux, gathering
and making the materials to to build the furnace, smelting, and
forging a finished product. It looked to me like more than a ton of
materials had to be gathered in baskets and jars then transported on
foot over distances to the smelting site.

When you consider the weeks of labor by a dozen skilled men involved
in making 30 lb of iron and the forging of a single tool starting
from literally nothing we have to reconsider our negligent
acceptance of the tons of iron and steel per person that supports
our present state of existence…

Remember the video shows a mature technology in action. What steps
did our predecessors follow to develop this technology and how long
did it take them to go from finding a malleable lump in a fire pit
to the founding of a clan pursuing ironmaking?

View and be amazed

Lee (the saw guy)