During the eight months of digging the well, the preparations for casting the cannon were also carried out at a high speed. A foreigner who came to Luanshigang would be amazed at the sight before him. At a distance of six hundred yards from the well, round this center stood twelve hundred reverberatory furnaces, each six feet wide, and half a Torvalds apart from each other.The thousand, two hundred reverberatory furnaces are linked together and are two miles long.All the stoves were built in the same mold, with a tall chimney in the shape of a square, and it was a spectacle to look at.Maston, Secretary of the Cannon Club, thought the building layout could not have been better.To him, there is nothing more beautiful than this. Even if Greece is counted, it is the same. "Besides, there has never been such a thing as Greece," he said. We recall that the third meeting of the Executive Committee had already decided to use cast iron, especially gray iron, for the Colombian cannon.Indeed, this kind of metal has better toughness and ductility, and is also softer, easy to grind, suitable for sanding, and after carbon treatment, the texture is good, and it can be cast into strong-resistant machinery such as cannons, cylinders, and hydraulic presses. . However, cast iron is only melted once, and it is difficult to achieve a pure level. It must be melted a second time to remove the last slag before it can be refined. Therefore, before being transported to Tampa, the iron ore is first processed in the blast furnace of Gozprene, so that it is contacted with carbon and silicon at high temperature, and after carbonization, it becomes cast iron. After this treatment, the cast iron was sent to Luanshigang.But this is 136 million pounds of cast iron. If it is transported by rail, the freight will be huge, and the freight will exceed twice the price of the material.It seems that it is more cost-effective to charter a ship in New York to ship iron ingots, and at least sixty-eight ships of one thousand tons are needed.On May 3, a veritable convoy left the waterways of New York, sailed on the Atlantic Channel, went south along the American coast, crossed the Bahama Strait, rounded the Cape of Florida, and sailed into Espiritu Bay on the 10th of the same month. , anchored in the port of Dhapa, without any damage on the way. After the cargo was unloaded from the ship, it was loaded on the train bound for Luanshigang. It was not until the middle of January of the following year that all the huge pile of materials were transported to the destination. It is not difficult to imagine that to melt 60,000 tons of cast iron at the same time, 1,200 iron melting furnaces are not too many. Each iron melting furnace can hold about 114,000 pounds of metal. They were built in the pattern of iron furnaces, and they were shaped like ladders, with oval vaults.The hearth and the chimney are at one end of the molten iron furnace, so the temperature is equally high everywhere in the furnace. Therefore, the furnace was built with refractory bricks, and there was only one grid for burning fire and a "shelf" for placing iron ingots. From there a thousand and two hundred streams of molten metal flow simultaneously into the well in the center of the furnace. The day after the work of digging the well and laying the walls of the well was completed, Barbicane directed the workers to build the sand molds.In the center of the well a cylinder nine feet thick and nine hundred feet long was to be erected, just to fill the space left for the inner cavity of the Columbia gun, made of clay and fine sand mixed with hay and straw.The space between the sand mold and the well wall will be filled with molten metal to form a six-foot-thick barrel. In order to maintain balance, the sand mold must be wrapped in iron sheets and supported at intervals by beams wedged into the well wall.After the cannon barrel was cast, the iron beams were also fused with the iron juice, so they were invisible, so there was no hindrance. The work was completed on the 8th of July, and it was decided to cast the cannon the next day. "This Cannon-Fiest should be well celebrated," said Maston to his friend Barbicane. No problem," answered Barbicane, "but it's not a public holiday. "Why! Won't you open the gates and welcome everyone?" "I was about to be on guard against this, Maston. Casting Colombian guns is, if not dangerous, at least a nerve-wracking business, and I'd rather it be done behind closed doors. When the cannonballs are fired, if everybody wants to , you can celebrate, but not earlier." The chairman's words are justified. Some unexpected dangers may occur during the casting of cannons. Visitors will come in droves, and those who get in the way make it impossible for people to dodge.Freedom of movement must be preserved.No one was allowed to enter the fence, therefore, except a delegation from the Gun Club. In this delegation we could see Bielsby, Tom, Hunter in good spirits. Colonel Bloomsbury, Staff Al Feston, General Morgan, and all who took the Columbia guns as their business.Maston became their guide; he did not let them pass by even a small thing, he led them to the warehouse, the construction site, and the machinery, and forced them to see twelve hundred pieces one by one. An iron furnace.When they got to the 1,200th stove, they couldn't stand it any longer. The casting time was twelve o'clock, and on the first day each furnace was filled with 114,000 pounds of iron ingots, crossed together so that hot air could pass freely through the interstices.Since morning, twelve hundred chimneys have shot billowing flames into the sky, and the earth has trembled slightly.How much coal needs to be burned to melt as much metal.Thus; 68,000 tons of coal spewed out black smoke in front of the sun. After a while, the place in the middle of the furnace became unbearably hot, and the iron melting furnace roared like rumbling thunder; the powerful blower kept blowing, fully supplying oxygen to the incandescent fire. To do this job well, it must be done quickly.At the sound of the cannon, each furnace should have the iron juice flow out completely. When the preparations were made, the foremen and workmen waited for the appointed hour, restless and slightly agitated.There was no one in the fence anymore, and each foreman was at his post next to the solution tank. Barbicane and his companions stood on a nearby rise and watched. Before them stood a cannon, which was fired at the signal of the engineer. A few minutes before noon, the iron juice had begun to flow out drop by drop; the susceptor was slowly filling, and the cast iron was completely melted, and they let it stay for a while in the susceptor, so that the impurities in the iron juice were easily isolated. . It's twelve o'clock.Suddenly there was a cannon, and a flame rose into the sky.Twelve hundred solution tanks opened at the same time, and twelve hundred fire snakes unfolded their white-hot links and crawled towards the well in the center.They plunged into a well nine hundred feet deep and made a terrible sound.It is truly an exciting spectacle.The iron wave threw billowing smoke into the sky. Under the power of the iron wave, all the moisture in the sand mold evaporated at the same time, turning into invisible steam, which rushed up from the gaps in the stone wall.At this time, the earth trembled... The artificial cloud rolled and flew up to the zenith, until it reached a height of 500 Torvalds. A savage wandering on the other side of the horizon might believe that a new volcano is forming beneath Florida.However, this is neither a volcano, a typhoon, a violent storm, nor a struggle of natural forces, nor is it a terrible phenomenon that occurs in nature!None: all of these, fiery red steam, towering flames comparable to volcanoes, earth-shattering tremors like earthquakes, and roars no less than violent storms, are all created by human beings. The waterfall of iron juice pours into the abyss they dug with their own hands!