The Forge


SmedjanPig iron was transported to forges, because now it was time for forging! There were forges all over Bergslagen – both large and small. A forge could also be called a smithy, and the different names would tell you what was made there. A black or lock smith would make smaller things like tools, a nail smith made nails, and in the hammer forge, bar iron was made.


The hammer forges had hearths with glowing charcoal. A bellows blew air onto the coals so that they got really hot, and a water wheel got the hammer and bellows moving. Therefore, the large forges were always placed next to running water, like a rapid or a stream. But before forging could start, you had to do something with the pig iron: Refine it! Most of the carbon had to be removed from the iron, and this was done by making it red hot and striking it over and over again. This way, the carbon was burnt off and the iron became malleable.