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142 Finishing touches

27th April 1574

After all the commotion caused by the appearance of the Governor, before even the sun had the chance to peek at how this land looked now after my dedicated workers finished the blast furnace, Jan already boarded the same ship that carried him here and departed to the Sandomir, claiming that there was no point for him to stay here.

While I could understand his reasons, it still made me a bit sad seeing how he left so soon. Even if it would help just a bit, having him behind my back here could work wonders in terms of both the workers and the villagers' morale!

Speaking of the villagers, after they finished all the construction work for their own housing, I instantly put them to work, asking them to move all the ore from the foothold of the mine to the specially designated flat and empty space below the blast furnace.

Even though I knew that in reality, this kind of smelting wasn't even close to what I should do given all the tools and knowledge that I had on hand, for now, just like I promised to the Governor, I wanted to focus on making the final model of the steam horse mark two!

Yet it wasn't as simple as I thought it would be. Even if ignoring the fact that two of the models that I thought to be perfect, ended up simply deforming because of how fast I took them out of the mould, unable to hold my excitement, even when the third one finally came out it still turned out to be unusable due to some small mistakes I made while forming the shape of the form for it.

That's why, despite the entire day passing without me making any progress, I was sitting down in my tent, carefully moving small portions of the wet clay around the form in front of me, trying to make sure that every single part would end up perfect.

With no tools to create round shapes, I had to compromise and just go for the general curve, basing it on the round shape of the cylinder plates that came out in the right size during their second casting already.

Yet while thinking about all the resources that I seemingly wasted on the failed products, someone else might accusee me of wasting the resources that could be put to use elsewhere, but thanks to how the blast furnace worked, resmelting the failed metal products was as simple as just dropping them along with the ore and waiting for the furnace to do the rest of the work!

But after all the time I spent on remoulding the shape of the form and fixing all the problems that might arise, I finally left this clay structure on the side… and took the spare bucket with clay to make another one, as close to its brother as I could make it!

With how the round shape of the insides of both chambers required to be achieved, rather than just making a round ball and letting the molten iron cover it all before being allowed to cool down, I had to form both the inner and outer parts of the form, to let all the walls be as equal in thickness as possible!

Yet thanks to how used I was to this task after all the previous failures, finishing the other part of the form wasn't that hard and took me only two hours or so!

But after all of this hard work, I could finally pick one of the forms up and carry it to the blast furnace, before going all the way back and repeating the process with the other one. While I was capable of creating them in a fairly short amount of time, it still wasn't something that I was willing to just destroy by not acting carefully around it!

"Sir, did you finish the forms?"

With how I kind of overreacted when the last three attempts ended up failing, most of the workers already knew that I was working on something new. Considering the kind approach I took to all those working under me, while I knew it was against the social standard of the age, I didn't mind when even the simple workers started to address me more directly.

"Yeah, will the new batch of iron flow anytime soon?"

As the blast furnace burned through layers of fuel and ore stacked on top of each other, there were times when one had to wait up to even a fifteen minutes of the new batch of liquid metal to start flowing out. Even though this process wasn't super precise but more of a guessed timing, even if I were to be forced into standing here idle for an hour, I was set on watching my first ever pressure steam horse come into being!

"I guess, it's been ten minutes since the last flow, so in another five minutes next batch should come."

Even though my own projects took up quite a lot of iron, with how the pile of ore behind the furnace only continued to grow as more and more of its pieces were halted from the foothold of the mountain to the stockpiling area, I didn't need to worry about running out of iron for my projects for at least a few more days, despite how most of the pig iron that managed to flow out of the furnace so far, was already used in all sorts of other moulds!

After all, while my steam engine would allow me to push this place to a new level in terms of development, there was still a need to produce various parts from blades, through pipes all the way to simple tools.

"Sir, it started coming out!"

With a group of workers wearing thick gloves made out of several layers of cloth covered in the expensive animal skin, carefully moving the forms to the thick, leading pipe that spread the trickling, liquid metal evenly between all of the forms, I could see how at first only a few drops of iron fallen to the forms only to be replaced with a constant stream filing all the holes and the gaps.

Yet even when all the forms finally filled up, forcing the workers to pull on the chains, forcing the liquid metal to stay in a small bowl right in front of the furnace's mouth so that it wouldn't spill all around while they moved the pipe to the next row of forms, I still remained idle.

After all, I wasn't willing to repeat the same mistake I did with the previous two forms. Using the spare time I had on hand, I confirmed that all of the inner parts were already prepared for me to put them inside the very first steam engine.

"Sir, it should be done by now."

While the workers at the furnace only had about two days worth of experience in their job, with how constant their task was, most of them learned how to judge the results just by glancing over it.

"Great!"

Seeing that the iron was still flowing down the half-pipe to the forms near the last part of the rows with forms, I hurriedly smashed the clay brick with a nearby small hammer, cleaning the half of the steam engine from the rubble and dust with just a few swipes of my hand.

Disregarding my position as the noble, I carefully placed all the parts in their respective places, making sure that everything fitted its location perfectly, before grabbing a strange form that I prepared long ago.

With all the parts of the steam engine in place, I cleaned the other half from the dust as well and closed the entire thing with my hands alone. Only then did I add the next form that fits perfectly around the engine, covering all the length of the ugly scar that indicated that it still consisted of two separate parts.

Strapping it all together with a set of ropes, seeing how the flow of molten iron was slowly thinning, I even called some of the workers to help me out with my tasks, before ordering the operators of the pipe to raise it once again, and fill the last form of mine.

With no welding tools and no way to add a small layer of iron on top of the steam horse's casing edge, I had no other way than to apply a thick layer of iron all around the split where those two halves connected!

Following my order without even a second of hesitation, the workers raised the pipe, forcing the remaining iron to once again pile up in the small bowl, before lowering it above the single opening in my current form.

As the hot metal poured inside, no one was allowed to stay near this new invention of mine, due to the hazardous nature of the process. Only when the last drop of iron finally fell down to the form and managed to spill out, did the workers pulled on the chains once again, and locked them on a special hold.

After all, if they were to fill some of the forms only partially, the resulting product would very well be melted down, as I wouldn't accept any fragile tools on objects in my lands of industrialisation!

But rather than worrying over what the workers were supposed to do with the remaining metal, I waited for long enough to let the metal cool down and solidify, before smashing the form into pieces.

And with that, mark two steam horse was finally done!

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