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This article is about an older version of DF.
For built horizontal and vertical bars, see Bars.


A bar is a sub-type of building material (interchangeable with a block for that purpose), and is the base individual unit of metal, charcoal, coke, potash, ash, pearlash, and soap. All metals are created as bars at a smelter, whether processed from ores, alloyed with other metals, or melted down from existing metal items.

With the exception of non-fire-safe materials, all bars are as durable as others - a wall made from bars of ash, charcoal or soap will last as long one made from bars of steel.

Bars are not an end-product, but are used for various other tasks:

Bar of... Used for...
ash making lye or potash
or coke
powering standard forges, smelters, kilns, and glass furnaces,
and making pig iron and steel
metal smithing
pearlash making clear or crystal glass
potash fertilizing farm plots or making pearlash
soap health care

All types of bars can also be used to build workshops, roads, bridges, and other constructions, as well as built as horizontal or vertical bars. (Be aware that some purposes suggest the use of fire-safe materials.) However, different bars require different labors to use in such construction projects - smithing for metal bars and masonry for all others (including bars of soap).

"Bars" of adamantine metal are referred to as "wafers", but when used as building material they function the same as any other bars.

Bar unit weirdness[edit]

Each bar is made of 150 dimensionless units. The primary purpose of this is so that bars of soap can be used multiple times before being used up. However, this will sometimes cause baffling error messages like "Dwarf cancels make steel bar: needs 150 iron bars". Bug:63 This also seems to cause a bug where only one bar of metal is needed to make anything, even though some things should require two or three bars to make. Bug:130

See also[edit]