Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham Alabama



Sloss Furnaces located in Birmingham Alabama is a National Historic Landmark.It was in operation from 1882-1970 making it the longest continually running blast furnace in Birmingham’s history, and once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world.
This video is about my visit to Sloss. I was amazed and intrigued with every step there. It’s an absolute industrial art paradise to see, photograph, and film. It was great to learn about the processes and materials used here to create and pour iron. You should definitely come and see this place for yourself!

For more info on Sloss, visit the official website.

For more info on the metal art and metal casting classes visit their website.

You can also follow me on Instagram where I share pictures of my work and explorations daily.

If your interested in further explorations of the south including the beaches and state parks, please visit my other channel.

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we made it to sloths check it out man this place is awesome and totally cool we got the train behind us over there and I don't know what's up with the railroad crossing but it's on I don't see any trains coming this is just coming in the gate here so they got it open we'll head that way up that way here in a minute very cool all right we're ready to go inside I got to pay a entry fee actually there's a fee if you come here to film or photograph there's a fee you got to pay so I got to go in there that's what the guy was telling me when he come by seeing him with filming and you know it was let me know you got to pay a fee which is fine I don't mind this is a totally cool place man not even inside yet and there's so much coolness here to check out so this is looking down to the furnace and we have to go in there so let's make our way all right we finally got entrance into this and one thing that I found out whenever you're here to film any kind of video you have to have prior approval by Miss Karen here at the Museum and I didn't know that so I had to try to get in touch with her through email and then the lady inside called and she gave me the permission to film there is a fee that you have to pay but she was very kind and let me proceed with this so very excited that I get to actually take a video check out behind me over here we're just starting out here at the museum entrance do you see what's across the way right there I see a big old lathe and looks like maybe a forge I'm not sure so I have no idea where I'm going I got a map but we're gonna go and figure it out I believe there's only two other people here besides me right now there's the old lathe old sucker – man step pulley this is where they they have classes up in here I believe they're having them this weekend they do art classes and metal working classes forging blacksmithing and stuff like that I think I'll be able to get up in there and check it out though so the nice security guy helped me out told me where to go to check some things out go down to the tunnel and the steam house and just all that stuff and then we talked to a mr. Marshall up in here he actually uses this you know this is soil still sort of a modern they use that for classes and business work but he gave me permission to go and see that area too but we'll have to go back down through the end to access that so we'll go check that area out here in a little while so all these guys here are the boilers there's 12 of them on this side and there's four more over there they have 16 boilers total and they were they could they said that could be heated with coal or waste fuel I'm checking out all these big pipes right here that's coming down to the boilers I'm assuming that's where the the heats and the flame is going to go in there I'm not really sure I'm kind of making assumptions as to how they're heating the boilers they're very cool to see though we're gonna work our way to the tunnel first and we'll come back over here and check this out some electric motors in here so big boys too okay that's probably going down into the tunnel all right we'll come out and go back that way there oh well how cool is this this still smells like it just has that industrial smell down here yeah this place is awesome I've been standing here for like ten minutes trying to get some cool pictures of this year and this is really neat so looking down the tunnel I don't know if we can go the whole way I know the security guys said the part of its got water in it let me just show you that was moving a little bit right there you know I actually think the rain is helping to make this even more dramatic filming experience today with all of the water dripping and the water sounds so I believe this is one of the spots that they claim is to be haunted I guess we can make it down here maybe this is what he was talking about the water I brought my work boots today [Applause] all right just making out our way out of the tunnel here I didn't have any ghostly encounters that looks like one of the I don't know that's an ore cart I'm not sure what exactly that is but that's what goes inside this is a gearbox right here very old gearbox for reduction that's your input there and that'll be your output there's another one right there very cool pile and Patterson phone's ringing hyaline Patterson incorporated Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA there's like parts of the conveyor [Applause] yeah those are heavy Wow this is the number to Casting shed looks like a place where they can like hold concerts now Tintin Morgan crane Morgan engineering company check out this guy power shovel we're standing at blast furnace number one here at Sloss and there's a placard here that explains how it works I'm gonna attempt to read that to you very quickly to explain how this works what we've already seen here the boilers the steam pipes how they're fueled the tunnel that we've gone through so they've got a really nice diagram so it looks as though train rail cars come in with the or don't sim down into this tunnel here where the ore carts are and then we seen the the chute and so the ore is brought all the way to the very top of the furnace dumped in and then right here is where the magic happens so in a blast furnace the combination of iron ore plus some flux coke and hot air produce molten iron – – waste products molten slag and blast furnace gas the molten products collected in the bottom of the furnace and were drained off periodically the gas left the furnace through the top and was routed to the stoves and boilers where it was used as fuel this furnace known as furnace number one is one of the two that operated at Sloss the original furnaces were built between 1881 and 1883 but were replaced in the late 1920s by the ones you see today the long open sided build and attached to the furnace is the cast yet that's where we're staying in it was here that the molten iron was originally casted to bars called pigs that's why they call it pig iron here so it looks like that's where the that's where it was drained off and then this channel here all around there to the to the carts there on the rails that side is where the iron ore was drained off there and then this chute here is where they drained the slag so it must have went off into that area right there and this tells you in addition to making iron the furnace produced a molten waste called slag workers drained off the slag periodically through the sensor knotch the cinder notch the hole in the base of the furnace after proceeding the slag was sold for use in rail building and in the manufacture of concrete and mineral wool very cool you you pop blasts toes I want to try to make my way hopefully into that building behind it there that's where the I believe the Ingersoll Rand turbines are there we go blowing engine building they have it separated and elevated so that you can see it believe these are very old built in the very early very early 20th century and Gasol ran a while check that out this is awesome I wanted to correct myself and what I said this these ingersoll-rand turbo blowers are from 1949 and 1951 that's the years that they were installed in here here's the second of the two they got its own overhead crane in here there was another one in the other room there too I need to go back and show that there's the other overhead crane seven and a half ton box crane I had watched a video on YouTube one of the tour directors I suppose was telling a story about two men that died underneath here that got hit with steam after they had replaced the valve and then they welded a plate over a crack and they they put the wrong type of valve in there in it I believe it it blew out so they went down and they welded a plate over it they turned a steam back on in it and it came out and it boiled the two guys they're standing next to it another guy got hit but he lived but that was just two of the stories that I had heard about that happened in this place here how cool is this place man this is nothing but industrial art inside here but just next to the blower here this is where you got your fly wheels and there's another video here that they taken about a guy that got wrapped up into that fly wheel before they put that fence cage around it he was leaning over there next to that post and and all of a sudden he got caught up in that thing and was going around and around and that just kind of chopped him up instantly gone this is the oldest building on the site built in the early 1900s and these are the original steam engines inside here and those big fly wheels are 20 foot in diameter and they moved at 30 revolutions per minute this is what the Industrial Revolution was all about right here now that's a proper Avon sized wrench right there they even flame cut it with a torch so it looks to be about four inch thick I'm gonna put my hands on it so you can see four four scale here look at that it's a big boy you got to have a crane just to use that thing this side over here has got a bunch of water pumps [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] let's see what else we can find we're leaving the steam engines now get the power house I still got the powerhouse the old way there I believe this is an old wood lathe that's the make there I can't make out what that says but I think it's a wood lathe you guys can correct me if I'm wrong I bet you Mark Linc West would know some machinery up here looks like a planer and a table saw overhead crane this little table saw there's a casting right here I'll take a picture of it so we can make out what that is very old this one I can't find a make I'll see if I can squeeze it around to the front and see what that is so I get the camera in here I can't really fit in here there you go guys are probably liking that see what else we got in here what is this is that a grinder like where they where they balanced it it looks like a grinder that is cool I get some pictures of these maybe that was a drum sander anybody knows exactly feel free to leave comments so that we can all learn from it I think these are like all casting you know molds for for castings there the old gauges there's another old machine right here I'm not exactly sure what this is looks like another planer of some sort if I had to guess there's a mic right there J a Fay and Egan company Cincinnati Ohio USA I believe that J a PHA is also the name that's on that lay down there so I think that's woodworking I wish I had a shot like look just like this for a machine shop at home man it's so cool so the old overhead crane this is like brian box his channels BC blah co2 he installed this type of system in his barn shop that he's building so they got ropes attached to it here but that's gonna control the winch I believe that one controls the trolley you pull that when it controls the trolley there this one's going to be for the hook right there now I don't want mess of it because I don't want people touching anything but it's all manual system and that one on that side there if you pull that rope that will actually travel the crane down the beans there so I'm about to leave the power house and I think I've seen most of what there is to see I still want to go out there to the blast furnace number two under the casting number two and see if we can take a look at the machinery out there it's just raining it's kind of hard to get out there and fill them with it raining now but you can walk all through these areas in here this is going into casting shed number two and where they actually still use this for business and they have metal art classes here all kind of cool things go on in this place right here definitely wanted to get up here and see some of the equipment this is a says the lodge and Davis Machine Tool Company Cincinnati Ohio so I wonder if that's the same Lodge as an enlarged and Shipley very old lade right there definitely from the early 1900s look at the tea slots on the carriage here still got the tool in there they got a carbide tip raised on tool bit in there and the lantern holder wait cool man all right and then what is this I guess this is a maybe uh some type of power hammer maybe yeah man says awesome in there I could have stayed in there for a while look at this solid piece of iron right there man they've got a furnace there a dog in the Navy and this looks like where they meltdown the meltdown the metal pour it out Buffalo forge cool anvil there's two anvils in here here's another power hammer right here yeah man this the kind of stuff we like blacksmiths worldwide one of the work areas here's the grinder we've seen earlier from down below what kind is this Cincinnati the Cincinnati electrical tool company awesome appropriate appropriate timepiece for this shop here is this a read this one is that not to Morgan Milwaukee vice big boy bites right there Columbian vice there it's more of their work areas for the school cool toledo scale inside the shed there he's got a nice little pad here very cool hey you do man can you tell me what you guys do right here yeah this is our metal arts casting sheds okay we have artists in residence we also teach workshops to the public so with teach blacksmithing welding application casting Jill locksmithing down there our mold-making area oh nice so they'll teach you how to make castings here yeah and you'll actually make your own as a student yeah that's that's pretty cool is that a year-round thing going on almost it's not real Pleasant out here yeah it gets a little okay summer we're so there we can happily yeah winter when the wind I think I need to come out here and take this class this would be a great thing to take for me yeah no actually have one this weekend there once a must I've seen that long yeah so the casting is Friday Saturday Sunday first night kind of iron pattern-making we are sculptural products we do last less blacks being sculpted and waxed he is a resin bonded sound no-bake resin so it's a three-part system mix it in the Muller with comes out about depending on temperature 10 to 15 minutes to get packed and mold and I start to set up set up and carrying about an hour lacks patterns will then put that in the kiln raise the temperature to about relax okay I believe I seen it down there yeah yep cool we've got more cool is up here that we run that's our smallest people they're the 14 inch diameter this one this one we're doing small work small pieces our demonstration iron boars that's out about ladles per tap ok about 90 pounds you iron yeah this next one can the 300 pounds or so that one can do a thousand on that one can do 2,000 pound taps okay we're moving to our bull ladles when we're working with these those up on the crane and that's our big big casting yeah that's what you use the jib crane here for okay thanks for taking the time but yeah and no no experience necessary so you just come and learn how to do it all right it was a great place thanks for sharing the info yeah awesome tight yeah really is man I could I get to stay up in there for a while and just keep taking pictures and I've already been here for like three hours and I just feel like I'm walking away and I haven't seen it all yet yeah go we'll be back the girlfriend wants to come and see it okay yeah guys this is an awesome place Sloss furnace you definitely need to come and check this out don't worry about if you're passing through just make a time to come here to Birmingham and check this place out it's really cool so we're standing in front of the number two furnace right now and you know he was kind enough to let me kind of come through here and see where they do the metal art and the training classes but it's gonna be it for me I'm about to hit the road and head back into town I really hope you guys enjoyed the video I had a blast going through this place and and filming it I think the rain added for an even more dramatic effect which I thought was pretty cool and luckily there wasn't a lot of people here so I didn't have a lot of extra noise around which is which was great for the film part of it there anyway but this is a really cool site with a lot of history to it you know a part of the Industrial Revolution so come here and check it out sloths furnace Birmingham Alabama hope you guys enjoyed you you