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Upon watching all the videos from PrimitiveTechnology on Youtube, I've decided I would try something similar. I know how to make clay and use this to make an oven. I also know how to make charcoal. Looking at the temperature I could achieve with charcoal, I realized it can melt certain metals. That said, finding metal ores in nature is probably no easy task. That's why I came here, I've searched online for every possible way to find iron, and the "easiest" (most likely) way is by finding bog iron. Now, suppose I can't find any iron, is there a material (except rock) that I could use to make tools (better than rock)?

I'm trying to find a way to make better tools to see how someone in nature could make this without any starting tools (mainly pick).

Also, I live in Canada (QC), if this can help.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting: ted.com/talks/… $\endgroup$
    – Jan Doggen
    Apr 8 '16 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @JanDoggen Yes very interesting! But I don't have/want access to an existing mine or ask someone else to do it for me :P $\endgroup$ Apr 8 '16 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ BTW I find several results with this search $\endgroup$
    – Jan Doggen
    Apr 8 '16 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah these links can be useful, but I was hoping for someone to tell me something like: There's a good source of iron in this or that, which is not a lot but can be enough to make small tools (I'm not looking for large quantities...) $\endgroup$ Apr 8 '16 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Search iron mine in google maps, there are a several dozen in canada. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jan 10 '19 at 4:05
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I think the answer to your question is hidden in the question itself, let me explain...

Because technology and every innovation is the convergence of thinking of many people over the years, the fact that we use metals to build tools prove that metal is the good choice.

For your question, i suppose you want recreate some "primitive technology" (i know the amazing channel that you are talking about), so the obvious choice is find metal oxides because sulphides need a very complex metallurgy and in some expect dangerous to your health.

If your question is related to survival aspects.. If I found myself as a survival of some kind of apocalypse.. I will collect steel and other metals to ruins instead of mining, no doubt.

back to your question Ivory and bones are a good material to build some categories of tools.

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Get a book on extractive metallurgy. One thing strikes me is that "primitives'" were pretty sophisticated. Also their technology was developed over generations by many people. I think starting with copper as ancients did would be a good idea. Iron is much more common but steel requires about 2900 °F (1600 °C). Cast iron, only about 2200 °F (1200 °C), but you can only make brittle castings. To get from cast iron to steel requires a history of extractive metallurgy, time and work. Although the ore is very rare, tin/pewter would be much easier to handle . And if you have copper, then you have bronze. As for the scarcity of tin, keep in mind people from around the Mediterranean came to Cornwall for tin for thousands of years. Maybe just get some scrap steel , heat it up and play blacksmith; see if you can figure out how to heat-treat it. When reading this, I see I was not clear; Steel making is three difficult, laborious steps ; 1- make pig iron, 2- make it into steel, 3- heat-treat the steel to useful properties. The third step is not as difficult as the other two . For copper, you smelt it and you have copper ready to make into a useful shape.

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