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This article is about an older version of DF.

Smelting is the act of refining raw stone ore(s) into useful bars of pure metal(s) or alloys. Smelting is similar but distinct from melting, which reclaims existing metal objects back into (fractional) bars. Metal bars produced at a smelter are usable in a wide variety of goods, from weapons to goblets to furniture to buildings.

Smelting also refines bituminous coal or lignite into coke, a fuel which is equivalent to charcoal. Fuel is required to operate a smelter, metalsmith's forge, kiln, or glass furnace.

Smelting requires the ore (or coal) to be processed, a smelter, either fuel or (for magma smelters) magma at least 4/7 deep, and a dwarf with the furnace operator skill enabled. Training in the skill is not required - since bars have no quality the only difference is the time the labor takes.

Since smelting coke requires fuel in a conventional (non-magma) smelter, usually one wood is burned in a wood burner to create one charcoal to start the process. Alternatives are to bring one bar of charcoal or coke with the expedition at embark, trade for one from caravans, or go straight to magma smelters.

Smelting ore results[edit]

All ores smelted alone have a % chance of producing a certain kind of bar. The following table shows those chances.

Ore Iron Gold Silver Copper Nickel Zinc Platinum Tin Bismuth Lead Aluminum Adamantine
Hematite 100%
Limonite 100%
Magnetite 100%
Garnierite 100%
Native platinum 100%
Native gold 100%
Native silver 100%
Horn silver 100%
Galena 50% 100%
Tetrahedrite 20% 100%
Native copper 100%
Malachite 100%
Sphalerite 100%
Cassiterite 100%
Bismuthinite 100%
Aluminum 100%
Adamantine strands 100%

Note that smelting galena often produces only lead, which is mostly used in producing lay pewter. Additionally, smelting Adamantine strands results in wafers, which are needed in greater quantities than bars when creating items.

Coke smelting[edit]

Please note that wood is not actually smelted, it is burned in the wood furnace. It is not called coke when burned, it is called charcoal.

Since smelting coal requires using one unit of fuel, bituminous coal is effectively twice as efficient at producing coke as lignite. You'll need twice as many coke smelters to support your metals production if your source of coke is lignite.


Flux is a stone that is used in the production of pig iron and steel. 5 types of stone are classified as flux: Calcite, chalk, dolomite, limestone, and marble. All function the same way, so if a recipe requires flux, any will do.

(In real life, flux helps get the impurities out of the raw metal.)


Certain metals can be smelted together to create a new metal called an alloy. There are 2 sets of recipes for alloys. The first set use only ore while the second set use only bars. You cannot mix the two.

Recipes using ore[edit]

Please note that when copper or silver ore is needed, any type of ore that produces copper bars or silver bars may be used. This means that you can actually make billon bars out of just tetrahedrite.

Ingredient 1 Ingredient 2 Output
Copper ore Silver ore Billon bars[2]
Copper ore Sphalerite Brass bars[2]
Copper ore Cassiterite Bronze bars[2]
Native gold Silver ore Electrum bars[2]
Copper ore Cassiterite[3] Fine pewter bars[4]
Copper ore Cassiterite[2] Trifle pewter bars[3]

Recipes using bars[edit]

The following are all the recipes when smelting bars at the smelter.

Ingredient 1 Ingredient 2 Ingredient 3 Ingredient 4 Output
Copper bars Silver bars Billon bars
Copper bars [2] Tin bars Bismuth bars Bismuth bronze bars [4]
Copper bars [2] Silver bars Gold bars Black bronze bars [4]
Copper bars Zinc bars Brass bars [2]
Copper bars Tin bars Bronze bars [2]
Gold bars Silver bars Electrum bars [2]
Copper bars Tin bars [3] Fine pewter bars [4]
Copper bars Tin bars [2] Lead bars Lay pewter bars [4]
Copper bar Nickel bars [2] Zinc bars Nickel silver bars [4]
Iron bars Coal fuel1 Flux Pig iron bars
Copper bars Gold bars [3] Rose gold bars [4]
Iron bar Pig iron bars Coal fuel1 Flux Steel bars [2]
Copper bars [3] Silver bars Sterling silver bars [4]
Copper bars Tin bars [2] Trifle pewter bars [3]
1: The fuel used as a reagent for making pig iron and steel bars also counts as the fuel needed by a conventional (non-magma) smelter. It is still required at a magma smelter for the reaction.

Note: Every recipe that is not used in steel making (except electrum) requires some copper. If you want to have a variety of metals in your fortress, you will want to conserve this resource.

A spreadsheet listing these recipes can be found at the following link. Work is being done currently to allow a person to input how much ore and bars he has, and the sheet will tell him how many of what kinds of metals he can make. Both Excel and Open Office formats are included: [1]

See also