February 1, 2010

Boy Scouts make Dutch ovens

UNI faculty and students taught young Scouts how to build a mold out of sand, melt blocks of cast iron and then pour it into the molds. From there, the kids used various equipment and power tools to prepare the ovens for use.

The idea was hatched by Jim O'Connor, UNI's vice president of marketing. O'Connor is also co-chairman of the 2010 jamboree committee for the Boy Scout's Winnebago Council - which oversees troops in a large area of Northeast Iowa.

The process itself is time consuming. Big hunks of iron are thrown into a conduction furnace and heated to temperatures of up to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit until molten. Meanwhile, molds are cast from a combination of sand and a binding agent, making it rock-hard.

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