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Answered 2010-10-10 01:48:24

Some blacksmiths might actually have dug their own ore, but they probably got most of their metals from miners, refiners, or metals traders. They did a lot of recycling in the Middle Ages also.

Blacksmiths worked primarily with iron. The ore originated as lumps of bog iron (deposited of iron oxides found in swamps and produced by biochemical or chemical activity) and as haematite ores. The Japanese process of collecting black iron oxides from sand was not practiced.

The ore was turned into metal by heating and hammering the ore to drive out the impurities leaving the iron behind. As a consequence the iron had a low carbon content. Iron was worked from these "blooms" into the finished items.

iron was a valuable commodity. A man might own only a few kilograms of iron - enough for a few knives, tools or a bit of armour. As consequence iron was recycled and reused as many times as possible.

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