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SunsetSpecter

A Blacksmith's rant, on metal working in TFC

31 posts in this topic

First and foremost I would like to say that -by far- and a wide margin tfc has the best metalworking and age progression I've come across in, well, any game I've played, so when I say rant, this is more me nitpicking about aspects or lacking features or steps.

Secondly my qualifications, if that really even matters. I have been working as a blacksmith for just over 5 years now, more specifically a 'Whitesmith' which is the finisher/polisher/edger that deals with making a blade, well, a blade. That said it's a small shop, and me and the Smith are personal friends. I claim not to be a 'master' at anything, nor does he, and anyone that does should be looked at with suspicion, however I personally know a lot about a lot in regards to metalworking and finishing, from which I offer these suggestions.

I am going to do my best to keep these in some semblance of order, so I'm formatting this by the age/metal.

Tin, Zinc, Bismuth

-----------------------

Right, this get's right into the heart of my gripes off the bat, while the basic idea of, make a plan on paper and hammer out the metal to its shape works for those metals that can, for one, actually be worked with a hammer, the softer 'lower tier metals, can not. The reason being is that, for starters, these metals are soft, relatively speaking and have a nasty tendency to air harden. What is 'air harden(ing)' you might ask? Well it's just what it sounds like, after heated, the metal hardens when it is exposed to air, and is almost impossible to shape with a hammer because it will crack as the metal is overworked. These metals are traditionally cast into their shape, and then finished off with a grinding wheel/stone and edge hardened with a hammer, or heat and quenching, depending on the metal...

Right so off the hilt, we have three issues I see; 1) the lack of molds/casting early metals into tool-heads 2) proper water quenching, 3) lack of a finishing device, be it sharpening stone or stone grinding wheel.

1) Well you already have making clay molds into ceramic molds for ingots so you're partially on the route there, Be it making clay molds into tool-head shapes rather than ingot shapes, or ditching that idea for one that I favor better and would maybe work easier, sand casting.

Could be something as simple as taking 7 plank blocks in a U filling the center 2 open blocks with sand to make a casting table, or something more along the lines of the bloomery where the player has to build a structure/pit and fill it with actual sand, but you could re use it, and the sand, what really matters is making the impression, or the 'master copy' of the tool you're going to make. Without introducing more items to the game, that could be done in a GUI similar to knapping and clay, to make an un-fired clay master of, for this example, an ax head. Then you fire said master in a campfire to ceramic or a 'finished master' ax head. The rest would work like the tool plan in the anvil, put 'finished master ax head' in one of the slots, then a liquid ingot in a mold in the other, you get once unfinished ax head.

2) While quenching these low tier metals really isn't the hardening technique you'd use, I'll skip that for now, and move on to retaining a game-play mechanic that is there already, the stone anvil. You can't really make tin, zinc, bismuth 'hard' [again relatively speaking] however you can put an working edge on them if you use a process called 'Hammer Hardening' which is, just as the name suggests, you hit it with a hammer, and you smash the crystalline structure of the metal tighter, giving it a stronger edge. So you would take your 'unfinished ax head' over to your stone anvil with stone hammer, and 'Harden' the edge, retaining the early need for an anvil and proper hammer control.

3) Sharpening, this issue spans the gambit of metal tiers as I have never, ever, once seen a sword come off from under the smith's hammer with a sharpened edge on it, nor would you -want- that as the metal would be so stressed at the edge due to being worked at such a thin thickness that you'd likely crack it and ruin it instantly. Thus I would suggest a sharpening mechanic. There was another thread here which went into weapons not having durability but being infinite and have a sharpness meter, and I, for one, am in full support of that. The actual mechanics of sharpening could be as simple as finding a specific kind of stone and creating a 'wetstone' [which mind you does -not- use water like the name suggests, rather oil, mostly natural oil or not even any oil at all depending on grit] all the way up to making a grinding wheel similarly to the quern. As for what naturally occurring rock should be used for the low tech wetstone, I honestly don't know. All my stones I use are either, one, synthetic or two, come from the Arkansas quartz mines, and since I'm fairly sure Quartzite rock isn't the same thing, then my best guess is void.

Copper

-----------

I got nothing, this is, indeed, an intermediate step between low level metal to bronze, copper is a very soft metal, I am not even sure making an anvil out of it would actually work, but, I'm not sure, so I'm letting it be. Would be nice for decorations though, pretty color.

Bronze, Bismuth Bronze

------------------------------

Right, again, these are metals [as are most of the others listed in this tier] that require to be cast into shape, then hammer hardened and sharpened, save one other step, quenching. Not like the quench option in the hammering GUI, but a physical plunge into water. I'm not for a moment suggesting that you have to take your still hot unfinished cast bronze sword blade and run outside screaming into the night to the nearest pond, [okay you could, but what you do on your own time is your own thing] but there would be something satisfying about physically tossing your hot blade into a water block [be that a physical block, or a place-able full water bucket, my personal favorite idea] and then being able to hammer harden its edges and then sharpen it into a creeper killing machine, thing... I hate creepers, you'll come to learn this. The idea of rapidly cooling hot metal would be great for other aspect, like cooling your freshly made bronze alloy ingots just cracked from their molds so you can stack them on top of each other or place them in the forthcoming ingot piles [also fantastic].

While not vital really, the quenching mechanic, it does happen a lot in metal working in lieu of proper heat treating, which involves keeping metal at specific temperatures as it slowly cools down over the course of hours/days depending. But in interest of -not- making it game breakingly hard, simply water quenching your hot unsharpened tools before you take them to the stones would at least mimic that step. Maybe specific quenching temps based on metal type for proper sharpening to occur. I don't know many of the lower tier metals, but Bronze should be quenched when just above cherry red to properly hammer harden it.

Steel

--------

Right, this is where the current way of doing things makes sense, making plans, and hammering ingots into shape, aside from the heat treating/hardening/sharpening gripes already covered, I have nothing, save my gripe of no uses for high carbon steel. Technically speaking, if one were to take one ingot of High carbon steel and one ingot of 'steel' and forge weld them, hammer them out into a blade through a folding process you get Damascus steel, which through carbon migration makes a higher carbon steel overall, but not blade shattering-ly so. Think of it as a sword in between steel and red/blue steel, that takes much more hammer work to produce, and much more flux. Not really needed, and you'd have all the Katana fanboys screaming at you how the Damascus steel sword should be able to cut through the heavens itself in one slice.

[personal side note, I hate every one of you Katana fan boys, modern 8670 tool steel will vastly outperform traditional folded steel in both Rockwell hardness and durability, don't believe me? edge to edge my Scottish basket hilt, then talk]

However on that note, the Japanese did develop a way to get iron from sand, as they didn't really have mines in the traditional sense, which might offer a way to get early game iron, if one is willing to burn enough fuel to melt iron out of 'heavy sand'.

The forge itself

-------------------

More specifically the fuel. Our non gas forge which we use on site [yes, I do work re-enactments and Renascence fairs, so I do know much about old world forges] do not, ever, burn coal, or straight charcoal. We use a mixture of charcoal and coke, which is essentially coal that is burnt once before [much like a charcoal pit] in a coke oven to burn out the impurities. While coke isn't really needed for low heat work, it is essential for high heat forge work, such as forge welding steel, in a ratio of about 50-50 coke charcoal. Since I see the forge mechanic uses only one fuel unit per cycle you might consider adding a craft-able coke fuel item, which can be obtained by combining raw coke and charcoal in a crafting window. Raw coke requires another item like a bloomery to produce.

[if you can't tell already, I'm a fan of the place able items, or player built structures that function.]

I'm sure I have more, but I'm losing focus and rambling at this point, so I'm just going to post this as is, and amend/add to it if needed.

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Oh, bloody craft-able tongs to hold this blistering hot metal that you are working on, how the hell did I forget that!

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First and foremost I would like to say that -by far- and a wide margin tfc has the best metalworking and age progression I've come across in, well, any game I've played, so when I say rant, this is more me nitpicking about aspects or lacking features or steps.

Secondly my qualifications, if that really even matters. I have been working as a blacksmith for just over 5 years now, more specifically a 'Whitesmith' which is the finisher/polisher/edger that deals with making a blade, well, a blade. That said it's a small shop, and me and the Smith are personal friends. I claim not to be a 'master' at anything, nor does he, and anyone that does should be looked at with suspicion, however I personally know a lot about a lot in regards to metalworking and finishing, from which I offer these suggestions.

I am going to do my best to keep these in some semblance of order, so I'm formatting this by the age/metal.

Tin, Zinc, Bismuth

-----------------------

Right, this get's right into the heart of my gripes off the bat, while the basic idea of, make a plan on paper and hammer out the metal to its shape works for those metals that can, for one, actually be worked with a hammer, the softer 'lower tier metals, can not. The reason being is that, for starters, these metals are soft, relatively speaking and have a nasty tendency to air harden. What is 'air harden(ing)' you might ask? Well it's just what it sounds like, after heated, the metal hardens when it is exposed to air, and is almost impossible to shape with a hammer because it will crack as the metal is overworked. These metals are traditionally cast into their shape, and then finished off with a grinding wheel/stone and edge hardened with a hammer, or heat and quenching, depending on the metal...

Right so off the hilt, we have three issues I see; 1) the lack of molds/casting early metals into tool-heads 2) proper water quenching, 3) lack of a finishing device, be it sharpening stone or stone grinding wheel.

1) Well you already have making clay molds into ceramic molds for ingots so you're partially on the route there, Be it making clay molds into tool-head shapes rather than ingot shapes, or ditching that idea for one that I favor better and would maybe work easier, sand casting.

Could be something as simple as taking 7 plank blocks in a U filling the center 2 open blocks with sand to make a casting table, or something more along the lines of the bloomery where the player has to build a structure/pit and fill it with actual sand, but you could re use it, and the sand, what really matters is making the impression, or the 'master copy' of the tool you're going to make. Without introducing more items to the game, that could be done in a GUI similar to knapping and clay, to make an un-fired clay master of, for this example, an ax head. Then you fire said master in a campfire to ceramic or a 'finished master' ax head. The rest would work like the tool plan in the anvil, put 'finished master ax head' in one of the slots, then a liquid ingot in a mold in the other, you get once unfinished ax head.

2) While quenching these low tier metals really isn't the hardening technique you'd use, I'll skip that for now, and move on to retaining a game-play mechanic that is there already, the stone anvil. You can't really make tin, zinc, bismuth 'hard' [again relatively speaking] however you can put an working edge on them if you use a process called 'Hammer Hardening' which is, just as the name suggests, you hit it with a hammer, and you smash the crystalline structure of the metal tighter, giving it a stronger edge. So you would take your 'unfinished ax head' over to your stone anvil with stone hammer, and 'Harden' the edge, retaining the early need for an anvil and proper hammer control.

3) Sharpening, this issue spans the gambit of metal tiers as I have never, ever, once seen a sword come off from under the smith's hammer with a sharpened edge on it, nor would you -want- that as the metal would be so stressed at the edge due to being worked at such a thin thickness that you'd likely crack it and ruin it instantly. Thus I would suggest a sharpening mechanic. There was another thread here which went into weapons not having durability but being infinite and have a sharpness meter, and I, for one, am in full support of that. The actual mechanics of sharpening could be as simple as finding a specific kind of stone and creating a 'wetstone' [which mind you does -not- use water like the name suggests, rather oil, mostly natural oil or not even any oil at all depending on grit] all the way up to making a grinding wheel similarly to the quern. As for what naturally occurring rock should be used for the low tech wetstone, I honestly don't know. All my stones I use are either, one, synthetic or two, come from the Arkansas quartz mines, and since I'm fairly sure Quartzite rock isn't the same thing, then my best guess is void.

Copper

-----------

I got nothing, this is, indeed, an intermediate step between low level metal to bronze, copper is a very soft metal, I am not even sure making an anvil out of it would actually work, but, I'm not sure, so I'm letting it be. Would be nice for decorations though, pretty color.

Bronze, Bismuth Bronze

------------------------------

Right, again, these are metals [as are most of the others listed in this tier] that require to be cast into shape, then hammer hardened and sharpened, save one other step, quenching. Not like the quench option in the hammering GUI, but a physical plunge into water. I'm not for a moment suggesting that you have to take your still hot unfinished cast bronze sword blade and run outside screaming into the night to the nearest pond, [okay you could, but what you do on your own time is your own thing] but there would be something satisfying about physically tossing your hot blade into a water block [be that a physical block, or a place-able full water bucket, my personal favorite idea] and then being able to hammer harden its edges and then sharpen it into a creeper killing machine, thing... I hate creepers, you'll come to learn this. The idea of rapidly cooling hot metal would be great for other aspect, like cooling your freshly made bronze alloy ingots just cracked from their molds so you can stack them on top of each other or place them in the forthcoming ingot piles [also fantastic].

While not vital really, the quenching mechanic, it does happen a lot in metal working in lieu of proper heat treating, which involves keeping metal at specific temperatures as it slowly cools down over the course of hours/days depending. But in interest of -not- making it game breakingly hard, simply water quenching your hot unsharpened tools before you take them to the stones would at least mimic that step. Maybe specific quenching temps based on metal type for proper sharpening to occur. I don't know many of the lower tier metals, but Bronze should be quenched when just above cherry red to properly hammer harden it.

Steel

--------

Right, this is where the current way of doing things makes sense, making plans, and hammering ingots into shape, aside from the heat treating/hardening/sharpening gripes already covered, I have nothing, save my gripe of no uses for high carbon steel. Technically speaking, if one were to take one ingot of High carbon steel and one ingot of 'steel' and forge weld them, hammer them out into a blade through a folding process you get Damascus steel, which through carbon migration makes a higher carbon steel overall, but not blade shattering-ly so. Think of it as a sword in between steel and red/blue steel, that takes much more hammer work to produce, and much more flux. Not really needed, and you'd have all the Katana fanboys screaming at you how the Damascus steel sword should be able to cut through the heavens itself in one slice.

[personal side note, I hate every one of you Katana fan boys, modern 8670 tool steel will vastly outperform traditional folded steel in both Rockwell hardness and durability, don't believe me? edge to edge my Scottish basket hilt, then talk]

However on that note, the Japanese did develop a way to get iron from sand, as they didn't really have mines in the traditional sense, which might offer a way to get early game iron, if one is willing to burn enough fuel to melt iron out of 'heavy sand'.

The forge itself

-------------------

More specifically the fuel. Our non gas forge which we use on site [yes, I do work re-enactments and Renascence fairs, so I do know much about old world forges] do not, ever, burn coal, or straight charcoal. We use a mixture of charcoal and coke, which is essentially coal that is burnt once before [much like a charcoal pit] in a coke oven to burn out the impurities. While coke isn't really needed for low heat work, it is essential for high heat forge work, such as forge welding steel, in a ratio of about 50-50 coke charcoal. Since I see the forge mechanic uses only one fuel unit per cycle you might consider adding a craft-able coke fuel item, which can be obtained by combining raw coke and charcoal in a crafting window. Raw coke requires another item like a bloomery to produce.

[if you can't tell already, I'm a fan of the place able items, or player built structures that function.]

I'm sure I have more, but I'm losing focus and rambling at this point, so I'm just going to post this as is, and amend/add to it if needed.

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE ON THESE FORUMS?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU.

because

a) you don't get offended with my grammar and bad humor and

B) you seem to be obsessed with multiblocks/placeable interactables (like me)

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS THREAD.

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WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE ON THESE FORUMS?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU.

because

a) you don't get offended with my grammar and bad humor and

B) you seem to be obsessed with multiblocks/placeable interactables (like me)

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS THREAD.

Same with me.

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Same with me.

Hi.

Are you new?

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WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE ON THESE FORUMS?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU.

because

a) you don't get offended with my grammar and bad humor and

B) you seem to be obsessed with multiblocks/placeable interactables (like me)

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS THREAD.

You should marry and have kids.

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Instead of toolhead plans, there should be claymolds as SunsetSpecter proposed. They would be crafted copying current toolhead shape, but with clay, then, you may put it in the lower slot at the firepit/forge, and a full ingot on top, so the molten metal fills it. Then, you may recover the toolhead by simply putting the mold in your crafting menu.

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Holy Great Wall of Posts Batman. You can see that shit from outer space :o

It's great to get insight on such things as this. (A lot of this you wouldn't come across on your own on the internet). Blacksmithing is a big job and a big part of TFC. I don't think we have the time to overhaul it though =P

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Well there are some simple implementations you can make without a massive overhaul, more that forge temps shouldn't be able to weld steel unless you're burning coke fuel, then make the coke oven to produce said coke.

I am still a massive fan of sand casting toolheads for lower tier metals, which could be as simple as some master copy, or, plan, which the liquid ingot is poured into, then hammered for the final step after heating.

I do understand that the bulk would require a retool, but the easy is just adding another set of 'plan' items and a new block to work them in, and changing the anvil work from hammering out a plan, to hammering out the tool edge.

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Well there are some simple implementations you can make without a massive overhaul, more that forge temps shouldn't be able to weld steel unless you're burning coke fuel, then make the coke oven to produce said coke.

I am still a massive fan of sand casting toolheads for lower tier metals, which could be as simple as some master copy, or, plan, which the liquid ingot is poured into, then hammered for the final step after heating.

I do understand that the bulk would require a retool, but the easy is just adding another set of 'plan' items and a new block to work them in, and changing the anvil work from hammering out a plan, to hammering out the tool edge.

That's a bit more work than we can afford to put into black smithing I think. I hope you'll be happy with all the other features we work on until we can get around to black smithing
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Oh no doubt I am sure I will be. I'm waiting on the next release of tfc1 and on hooks and pins for tfc2, You had me there with 'steam driven power hammers', because that is fantastic.

However when you -do- wish to tweak blacksmithing, please feel free to ask away, if I don't know the answer, I sure as heck know where to look and whom to ask.

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Wouldn't it make sense to put th clay everywhere except the tool shape?

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I don't know if I should post this in the TFC2 suggestions or not :/

And still a fan of sand casting over molds for each tool head. Reason being that if you were to make a clay/ceramic mold for an ax, you would then have to destroy that mold to get the ax head out. Thus as a player, you would need much more clay to do, well, anything. Where as if you were to make one ceramic positive 'master copy' in the shape of an ax head, then use sand in the sand casting tray to make the negative mold, and pouring the liquid metal into that, then you still have the ceramic master copy, in effect, replacing the paper plan which is the current system. Technically speaking sand casting is done with a wax master positive, that is lost in the process, but I'm not suggesting we add Bees, honey, hives, and wax to the game just to satisfy that detail... however it would be cool.

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I don't know if I should post this in the TFC2 suggestions or not :/

And still a fan of sand casting over molds for each tool head. Reason being that if you were to make a clay/ceramic mold for an ax, you would then have to destroy that mold to get the ax head out. Thus as a player, you would need much more clay to do, well, anything. Where as if you were to make one ceramic positive 'master copy' in the shape of an ax head, then use sand in the sand casting tray to make the negative mold, and pouring the liquid metal into that, then you still have the ceramic master copy, in effect, replacing the paper plan which is the current system. Technically speaking sand casting is done with a wax master positive, that is lost in the process, but I'm not suggesting we add Bees, honey, hives, and wax to the game just to satisfy that detail... however it would be cool.

...I am. We need the ability to make MEAD anyway. lol

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I get it now, thanks for clarifying that.

Also, adding bees in would, for the reason states above, make a certain TFC youtuber very happy.

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Hi. Are you new?

OceanFire

Freshly Spawned

  • Members
2 posts

No, he's been here fuckin longer than I have.

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OceanFire

Freshly Spawned

  • Members
2 posts

No, he's been here fuckin longer than I have.

Maybe he's been lurking. Something you know nothing about.
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Maybe he's been lurking. Something you know nothing about.

Darn lurkers. Always killing my probes D:
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Ok 3G needs to die in a hole D:... I wrote an amazing response twice and it died on me D:

I don't know if I should post this in the TFC2 suggestions or not :/

And still a fan of sand casting over molds for each tool head. Reason being that if you were to make a clay/ceramic mold for an ax, you would then have to destroy that mold to get the ax head out. Thus as a player, you would need much more clay to do, well, anything. Where as if you were to make one ceramic positive 'master copy' in the shape of an ax head, then use sand in the sand casting tray to make the negative mold, and pouring the liquid metal into that, then you still have the ceramic master copy, in effect, replacing the paper plan which is the current system. Technically speaking sand casting is done with a wax master positive, that is lost in the process, but I'm not suggesting we add Bees, honey, hives, and wax to the game just to satisfy that detail... however it would be cool.

How sand casting should work:

Well firstly we need a new block, some sort of mixing block, it could just be an option of the barrel but some hand driven cement mixer type of thing would be cool too. You fill this mixer with 1 bottle of water, 2 blocks of sand, and 1 clay ball. You mix until the cows come home or until the mix is well mixed.

Looks like so:

Posted Image

Now you need to make some stuff out of wood, first you make the desired shape of your tool and also make dowel like thing out of the sand to make the sand core for where the stick for the tool will go.

Posted Image

The core will need to be fired to make it hard so that you can insert it into the wooden axe head shape without everything flying apart.

Now comes the grind (bad jokes 'r' us), you will need to finely grind some sort of rock into a talcum powder style thing so that when you make your mould halves they don't stick together and so you don't look like a silly goose.

Now comes the wooden stuff that will hold the sand in place for casting. Basically you need to make something like this, but probably simpler and out of wood:

Posted Image

This will hold the sand. You fill the drag tightly with sand up until the appropriate distance* and then add some more sand in excess but in a more loose way. You then place the tool head which you should cover with that talcum you made so that you can take it out again afterwards, into the sand filled drag up to the line by which you can split the tool head into identical and opposite halves, basically its mirror line but in 3d. You then make sure to pack the sand very tightly around and under the tool head and if it sinks too far in you add more sand. Now you have the bottom half of the mould, you take the cope and you place it on top of the drag, you then make sure everything is talced up so that you can take the mold halves apart.

You fill the cope with the sand and then you pack it down tightly. You then use some sort of implement to make a raiser, and a sprue.

You then carefully take the mould halves apart and cut a runner for the sprue and a nice pouring basin. After taking out the tool head, you are ready to pour the molten metal into the casting, make sure you put the casting back together, melt an ingot of metal and then pour, make sure that the metal comes up to and overflows the raiser(s) and that ample metal is left in the pouring basin.

I hope what I wrote was at least slightly correct, and even if it is too complicated for tfc at least some ideas could be implemented.

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Yup, that's sand casting when you have a small part which you can split the mold into two parts, however the larger, longer items, usually consume either a ceramic mold or a wax master. This video is actually well done and me and my smith made one for the hell of it. [it's what happens when someone says to us, hey, I have a few hundred pounds of brass scraps laying about, what them?]

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Yup, that's sand casting when you have a small part which you can split the mold into two parts, however the larger, longer items, usually consume either a ceramic mold or a wax master. This video is actually well done and me and my smith made one for the hell of it. [it's what happens when someone says to us, hey, I have a few hundred pounds of brass scraps laying about, what them?]

http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEWIuyeNp2k

Am I right in thinking that for the wax master you encase it in the mould material and then melt it out of the mould? That could be a cool idea too, add additional difficulty to making weapons. And also I've thought that the work bench should be replaced by a few separate blocks, one of which should be a carving table which requires a knife in a tool slot to work. I think that the addition of other tool blocks which have separate usage categories is very good because it has meant that I actually have a reason to build more than one building in TFC but I still think that there need to be more different blocks because having 3/4 buildings is still a bit too few for me. I would ideally want to make something that looks like a whole village with every building having some sort of tools that are completely unique from the rest of the houses and have no empty useless houses.

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I have always found my best houses/buildings are lived in, and the best one by far was my tfc house, -exactly- because you needed so much physical items and structures to make things. I have loathed the idea of a one block 'craft all' and am a firm advocate of more blocks/structures that actually serve a purpose in the world.

Smithing, takes a lot of tools, crafting the items for smithing, should take lots of tools and room. But that's true of every part of life, even more so in this 'era'.

I personally play this mod, -specifically- because it is not easy. It's complicated, just like the actual process of living off the land... If I wanted to play something simple where tools poof into reality and I can punch a tree down... I'd just play minecraft vanilla.

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Am I right in thinking that for the wax master you encase it in the mould material and then melt it out of the mould? That could be a cool idea too, add additional difficulty to making weapons. And also I've thought that the work bench should be replaced by a few separate blocks, one of which should be a carving table which requires a knife in a tool slot to work. I think that the addition of other tool blocks which have separate usage categories is very good because it has meant that I actually have a reason to build more than one building in TFC but I still think that there need to be more different blocks because having 3/4 buildings is still a bit too few for me. I would ideally want to make something that looks like a whole village with every building having some sort of tools that are completely unique from the rest of the houses and have no empty useless houses.

Yes, the wax master was carved and shaped from, well, wax or wood in some cases, but not often as that was more likely to crack the clay when firing it. The clay was then shaped around the wax [wood] master tightly to make a clay negative, then fired to make 'hard' [ceramic] in the process melting/burning the wax or wood from the inside. Now you have a hollow clay negative [like seen in the video I linked above] that the liquid bronze is poured into. Then the clay mold is cracked from the now cooled metal, and presto, creeper killing death.

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Making a mold, even if it isn't the real process for certain tools/ metals, seems less anachronistic than drawing the designs with squid at a writing table. The first time I saw that I thought, "What!?! I need writing to get out of the Stone Age?"

It wouldn't entirely make sense, but substituting a mold for the blueprint-thingy would move towards more plausibility.

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