The Smeltery is a multi-block construct requiring you to have at least 84 Seared Bricks, or 19 Seared Brick blocks, a Smeltery Controller, and either a seared Tank, Seared Window, or Seared Glass for a single-tiered Smeltery.
As of the 1.7.0 versions, the Smeltery can be any rectangular shape up to 7 blocks per side(no corners).
BuildingBegin construction by placing a 3x3 base of Seared Bricks. Typical Smeltery construction has the base laid into the ground rather than on top of the ground. Add walls one layer above the Smeltery base in a 5x5 perimeter. The corners are not necessary for the functioning of the smeltery and may be left out. Any blocks placed in these corners will not count as a component of the Smeltery. (Ex. drains will not function)
To complete the Smeltery, replace one of the wall blocks with a Seared Tank, and optionally, a Smeltery Controller. The Smeltery Controller can be placed outside of the "frame" of the smeltery, but only against the center block of any layer of the walls. The Smeltery Controller should begin glowing, indicating successful Smeltery construction. Right-clicking the Smeltery Controller will allow you to access the Smeltery GUI. If you have constructed your Smeltery properly, you should see a set of processing slots on the left of the GUI.
You can continue to add layers to your Smeltery walls. Every layer that you add will give you an additional 9 processing slots (9 slots for each 3x3 space inside the smeltery). The smeltery walls can be constructed out of any variety of Seared Brick, Seared Glass, or Seared Windows. The Seared Glass and Seared Windows allow you to see the contents of your Smeltery without having to open the Smeltery GUI. They also function as low storage tanks, holding up to 4 buckets of liquid.
You will also need to add Smeltery Drains and Faucets to your Smeltery. When you place a Smeltery Drain, it does not matter which side the hole faces. If your Smeltery is a 5x5 with no corners, you cannot place the drain in the empty corners; it must be placed in one of the walls. You can place the drains at any level up and down the Smeltery; however, keep in mind that they will require a Casting Basin or Casting Table placed directly underneath the faucet to work. These faucets will also pour into Buildcraft-compatible tanks and pipes. Liquid metal can also be sucked out by a wooden pipe from Buildcraft or fluiducts (formerly known as liquiducts) from Thermal Expansion.
How to use
To use the Smeltery, you must first add some lava to the Seared Tank, Seared Window, or Seared Glass (right-clicking with a bucket of lava next to it, etc.). This will heat up the interior of the Smeltery to allow for metals processing. Once your Smeltery has some lava powering it, right-click on the Smeltery Controller to bring up its GUI.
The left side of the GUI are your processing slots, with 9 slots added for every layer of empty space inside your smeltery.
The middle of the GUI is the storage tank where the liquid metals are stored. This allows you to see how much liquid metal is inside the Smeltery, what kinds of metal, and in what order they will be drained (starting from the bottom). In 1.6+ versions of TiC, you can change the order by clicking on the desired liquid.(unsupported in 1.5 versions)
The bar along the right side of the GUI is how much lava the Smeltery currently has left. Having less lava means the ores heat up slower. No lava prevents any smelting from occurring.
You can place ores for smelting in the processing slots. Over time, the ores will heat up. A heat indicator next to each ore shows its temperature. When the temperature reaches the top, that ore will melt and its liquid metal will be added to the storage tank.
To use the liquid metal, you must drain the liquid into a Casting Basin or a Casting Table. Place a Seared Faucet onto the small hole on a Smeltery Drain, and place a Casting Basin or Casting Table underneath the drain. To activate the Faucet, right-click on it. A Casting Basin will allow you to create blocks. Metal blocks require 9 ingots, but other smeltable materials, like Obsidian or Glass and Sand, require the same amount of material that was placed into the smeltery. The Casting Table will allow you to create casts out of Aluminum Brass or Gold to create other metal items using the casts you have previously made.
The Smeltery, along with other fluid storage blocks in TiC, will output a comparator signal based on fullness.
Storing your liquid metals
If you want to keep your metals aside for later, or if you have less than 1 ingot in the Smeltery and would like to save it, place a tank below the Seared Faucet, or hook up a Buildcraft-compatible pipe to the Smeltery drain, and you can pull your molten metals out into a tank for later use.
(However, if you have half an ingot of certain metals, you may find it simpler to just cast a tool rod of that material and then smelt it down later.)
To get your metals back into the tank, you must pipe the liquid back into the smeltery. The only methods available with just Tinker's Construct are detailed below:
Satherian Method: Place a Casting Channel on the Smeltery Drain, then the tank you want to drain out of will be placed one block up and one block over. The faucet is then placed on the tank and above the channel. [Note: using this only allows for one ingot to be transfered at a time]
ThermX Method: Remove one of the top ring blocks of the Smeltery, and replace it with a drain facing up. The tank is then placed one block away and the faucet on the tank, over the drain.
Stretch5678's elongated Satherian Method: This only works with tall smelteries. Put a tank below a drain near the top of the Smeltery, then put a spout on that above another tank. Then put a spout on that tank above another, and reconnect to the Smeltery. By repeating this, you can have multiple metals stored in a chain of tanks. However, retrieval of the one at the top can be annoying.
Using these, it's possible to create a temporary storage buffer.
A method gained by also using Thermal Expansion is by using Fluiducts. Fluids drained from the Smeltery are extracted from the bottom layers. Fluids inserted are added to the top. You can use this feature to cycle small amounts of liquids from the bottom to the top of the Smeltery by draining into a Fluiduct (long enough to contain all of that particular liquid) then reversing the Fluiduct to add it back on top of the other liquids or by pointing the other end of the Fluiduct pipe into another drain, or the same drain if on a corner. Repeat this process until the liquid you need is at the bottom. (If you use a Fluiduct and some sort of tank instead of a single long Fluiduct, you may end up cycling two liquids instead of one—one in the tank and one in the Fluiduct.)
Be careful disassembling the Smeltery if you have molten metals in it. Removing the Smeltery Controller will delete all of the liquid stored inside of it.
It is possible to have multiple metals within the Smeltery at once, but make sure they are not alloy metals, unless you mean to mix them.