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Throwing molten iron for fun and profit
October 22, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

"To do this work all you need is strength. So long as you're not afraid to die, it's ok"
posted by Brandon Blatcher (35 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gorgeous.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2011


That looks like great fun. I want to throw molten iron!
posted by exogenous at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2011


Metafilter: And a hat.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:43 AM on October 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Break out the heat-impervious supersoakers!
posted by XMLicious at 7:45 AM on October 22, 2011


Can I assume there's some sort of principle in physics that outlines how and why this is actually relatively safe? Please?
posted by griphus at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2011


If the blobs of molten metal break up into tiny droplets, they will air-cool very quickly and be safe.

But if they don't...
posted by b1tr0t at 8:06 AM on October 22, 2011


I read every single one of those captions to see if one was sneakily different and now I feel cheated and betrayed.
posted by elizardbits at 8:11 AM on October 22, 2011 [18 favorites]


Here's a few more photos from the Big Picture's gallery of the Lantern Festival.

The act, called Dashuhua, was part of the 2011 Flux in Atlanta, USA. Supposedly it was started by blacksmiths too poor to afford fireworks, so they made their own in this manner.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is awesome!
posted by OmieWise at 8:16 AM on October 22, 2011


Dear AskMe: where does one get a furnace hot enough to melt iron; for example a few rusty old cast iron skillets and such?
posted by TedW at 8:42 AM on October 22, 2011


Wall of iron, balls of steel.
posted by monocultured at 8:49 AM on October 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


The second guy to ever do this came back and said..."I need a sheepskin coat".

The third guy guy to ever do this came back and said..."and a hat".
posted by Xoebe at 8:53 AM on October 22, 2011 [17 favorites]


After seeing this, I don't feel so bad about setting Mr. Johnson's roof on fire with bottle rockets when we were kids.
posted by TedW at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2011


I ... uh ... that's ... uh ... wow ... and a HAT?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2011


Dear AskMe: where does one get a furnace hot enough to melt iron; for example a few rusty old cast iron skillets and such?

If poor 15th century Chinese farmers can do it, it can't be too hard to build one in your back yard. Just make sure you follow proper safety procedures, e.g. wear proper protective clothing and a hat.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:16 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Backyard blast furnace.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:26 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear AskMe: where does one get a furnace hot enough to melt iron; for example a few rusty old cast iron skillets and such?
Previously.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:27 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Injuries are apparently uncommon

Unlike fireworks....
posted by Redhush at 9:34 AM on October 22, 2011


The second guy to ever do this came back and said..."I need a sheepskin coat".

The third guy guy to ever do this came back and said..."and a hat".


My father was a steelworker for several decades. He says that away from the most dangerous parts of the process, men would often be half–naked because it was so damn hot working with fresh metal. My father wore clogs, because he needed them to walk on the hot plate, but would otherwise minimize clothing. I doubt you could have induced him to wear a sheepskin coat until he found out the hard way.

I don't think he ever threw any at walls, however, so there's that.
posted by Jehan at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2011


He says that away from the most dangerous parts of the process, men would often be half–naked because it was so damn hot working with fresh metal.

...can I invoke rule 34? And a hat?
posted by PapaLobo at 9:57 AM on October 22, 2011


I read every single one of those captions to see if one was sneakily different and now I feel cheated and betrayed.

Well you failed. Top one's got a missing space where the rest do not.
posted by floam at 9:58 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
posted by floam at 9:59 AM on October 22, 2011


Injuries are apparently uncommon

That statement is meaningless without elaboration on what, specifically, constitutes an "injury," what is considered "common," and how much investigation was done by the person to whom this was "apparent."
posted by The World Famous at 10:02 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


> He says that away from the most dangerous parts of the process, men would often be half–naked because it was so damn hot working with fresh metal.

No offense, Jehan, but after reading your description I can't stop thinking of this.
posted by mosk at 10:34 AM on October 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Injuries are apparently uncommon

There's nothing common about get splashed across the face with molten iron, so this is no surprise...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:46 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Redhush: "Injuries are apparently uncommon

Unlike fireworks....
"

Yeah, that's good. Since losing holiday pay due to be splattered with molten iron SUCKS! Seriously. Ruined my Labor Day weekend, let me tell you...
posted by Samizdata at 10:56 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can they not be wearing any eye protection?

That's nuts.
posted by Skygazer at 10:59 AM on October 22, 2011


Adding the throwing of molten iron to my list of things to include in the greatest IMAX movie ever.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:04 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Afterwards does the concrete wall with all of the iron splatters become it's own piece of art?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:12 AM on October 22, 2011


DIY cupola furnace

Get busy!
posted by warbaby at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The family of a childhood friend owned a small foundry with a blast furnace. The working guys usually wore a small leather apron and not much else. Theoretically, the heat (2300 degrees?) generated a lot of sweat, and the spark pops would cool sufficiently on contact with the sweat to drop off harmlessly, as opposed to almost instantly igniting any clothing one might wear other than leather. I think I also remember that the showers of sparks were caused by the slag burning off, rather than the pure molten iron, so that must have lowered the temperature, say, three hundred degrees or so on contact.

I do know that a two inch thick sirloin on a steel plate peel inserted at the crucible pour lip would come out three seconds later at a perfect "Pittsburgh." Ah, good times...
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:07 PM on October 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I ... uh ... that's ... uh ... wow ... and a HAT?

Chinese hipsters get irony wrong.
posted by hal9k at 3:30 PM on October 22, 2011


I used to help pour iron with a crew of metal artists. It is indeed great fun to fling molten iron at a wall. As satisfying as the shower of sparks is the sound -- like a popcorn popper the size of a cement mixer, followed by the hiss and tinkle of cooling iron droplets hitting the ground.

And the smell! There's something really satisfying and primal about the smell of hot iron.

(I was hatless, but wearing a leather apron, safety goggles, and seriously thick elbow-length gloves. There were no sheepskins involved, AFAIK.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2011


I liked the part where a performer sprays molten iron against a concrete wall to celebrate the Lantern Festival in Nuanquan town of Yuxian County, Hebei province, February 16, 2011.
posted by kcds at 7:03 PM on October 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is going on my list of "Things To Do" right after Anvil Tossing
posted by ninazer0 at 8:18 PM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


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