SweGGate Facts Glossary Swedish (Bruk & smed)

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"Bruk" encyclopedia

This page is only for words connected to the "bruk" culture (iron production and manufacturing)
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Industries Machines & tools Procedures
Products People Miscellaneous


Word T Explanation
The industries    
bruk A Industrial plant in general, most commonly in the iron industry =järnbruk. Can there be a foundry, iron manufacturing, large smithy or commonly combinations. The word often refers to the entire area including not only the production plant but also the residence buildings, the shop (brukshandel) and the surrounding farms belonging to the company where much of the food for the workers was produced.
A bruk was a small, almost self-sustaining community.
brukskultur A the culture connected to the bruk
hytta A (n) Foundry, iron smelting plant. Has at least one masugn and usually also krossverk and rostugn.
manufakturverk A (n) manufacturing plant using iron and/or steel as raw material. Product examples are, nails, horseshoes, ploughs, spades, skillets etc.
styckebruk A (n) Gun (= cannon) factory / foundry. From old word stycke = cannon. Famous one: Åkers Styckebruk. cf Styckjunkare

specific plants

rostugn A (n) Oven for roasting ore in preparation for crushing. The procedure reduces the content of water, carbon dioxide, sulphur etc.
krossverk A (n) Plant for crushing ore into smaller chunks to prepare for smelting.
masugn A (n) Blast-furnace where iron ore, charcoal and chalk is filled from the top, smelted inside and the smelted iron flows out at the bottom into large rectangular casts producing tackjärn.
härd A (n) Any oven where ore, intermediate products or iron / steel is smelted for refining purposes.
räckhärd O The oven where iron was heated before being worked by a räckhammare.
hammarsmedja O (n) Smithy using heavy hammer(s).
spiksmedja O (n) Smithy producing nails.
knippmedja O (n) Smithy producing knippjärn.


labbi, smekuja A (n) Small house or room where the smiths had their meals and rested. Smiths usually stayed at the workplace all week.
smegårn, smedgården A (n) Common name for the house on a bruk were the smiths lived. This was their home as opposed to the labbi.
Machines & tools    
hammare A (n) hammer, the tool, both a handheld one and the industrial size.
spikhammare O (n) Hammer for manufacturing nails. (then you use a common hammare (hammer) to drive them in).
knipphammare O Small (relatively speaking), fast stjärthammare for producing knippjärn. Term also used for a plant mainly using this machinery.
smälthammare O Very large hammer used in the 2nd step in the lancashire method.
mumblingshammare O = modernized version of a smälthammare.
stångjärnshammare O General term for a mechanical hammer for production of stångjärn (iron bars).
räckhammare O General term for a mechanical hammer used for production of stångjärn. räckning = production method for stångjärn.
stjärthammare O = svanshammare
svanshammare O = a type of fallhammare where the shaft is fixed and the tail end is depressed to lift the head
fallhammare A heavy industrial hammer using the force of its weight when falling down. It is lifted up mechanically in any of several mechanical ways - lifting the head OR depressing the tail end (fallhammare)
städ A (n) Anvil
stamp(verk) O (n) stamping (pounding) mill / machinery. For cloth = fullery.
stamp O 1  (n) stamp or pound (used for stamping / pounding material.
  (n) die, e.g. when stamping coins.
förskinn A Apron made of hide, often used by smiths
rostning A (n) roasting, i.e. heating the ore to be able to crush it. (v) rosta
bokning A (n) crushing the ore after rostning.
anrikning A (n) concentration = process to get rid of as much as possible of the rock that has low or no contents of iron. (v) anrika
färskning A A refining process used to reduce the contents of unwanted substances that reduce the malleability if the iron, mainly coal and silica. Two major groups of methods:
1 välljärnsmetoder: lancashiresmide, vallonsmide, franche-comté and puddling
 (välla = (v) to heat iron until it turns white.)
2 götjärnsmetoder = smältfärskning: bessemer-, martin-, degel- and elekrostål-metod.
A Method for färskning (refining) of iron ore. Introduced from England before mid-1800. In step one the molten material was "stirred" manually in the oven using long iron bars = spett. In the second step the still red hot material was worked on by large hammers, smälthammare or mumblingshammare beating the slag out = hopslagning. After flattening the large "chunk" of iron it was cut up into smaller pieces for further manufacturing of stångjärn (iron bars)
vallonsmide A The older method for färskning (refining) of iron, introduced in Sweden by immigrant valloner (walloons) from 1640 on.
Franche-Comté-smide A Method for färskning (refining) of iron ore to produce malleable iron. Originally a French method. Introduced in Sweden in the 1850's
puddling A Method for färskning (refining) of iron ore.
bessemer-metod A Method for färskning (refining) of iron to produce steel. In a pear-shaped oven air is forced through the molten iron "blowing out" unwanted substances (oxidation). Used in Sweden 1858at Edskens bruk, Gästrikland until 1960's.
Martin-metod A Method for färskning (refining) of iron to produce steel. Invented in 1865 and used until 1981. It uses scrap iron for oxidation and is heated by oil or gas burners.
färsksmide A Type of method for färskning (refining) of iron ore to produce malleable iron.
räckning A production method for stångjärn.
gjutjärn A (n) Cast iron (the material). gjuta (v) = cast, found. The primary product from iron ore. It has a high coal content (ca 4 %) making it brittle and cannot be forged. The molten iron was poured into casts - hence the name.
tackjärn A (n) Pig iron = iron blocks - the product from a masugn. It has a lower coal content and is used as raw material in the smithies
järntacka A (n) One piece of pig iron
osmundjärn O A piece of forgeable iron (low coal content) weighing 350 grams. Produced until the 17th century when it was replaced by the larger pieces stångjärn. In 1604 the export of osmundjärn was banned in favour of the more profitable stångjärn.
stångjärn A (n) Iron bar, usually about 3 metres long, weighing 30-40 kilos, used as raw material for smithies. The common form of raw iron material for smithies from the 17th century.
stångstål A (n) Steel bars (as raw material for smithies).
knipjärn, knippjärn A (n) Iron or steel bars, relatively thin, used as raw material, e.g. for tool manufacturing. They were shipped and sold in bundles (= knippe, plur: knippen)
rostfritt stål A stainless steel, steel with >= 12% chromium and <= 1.2 % carbon. May also contain small amounts of other metals improving quality such as nickel and molybdenium
spik A (n) Nail
The people    
bokare A "crusher", person crushing the ore with a sledgehammer or operating a heavy (water-powered) hammer. cf (v) boka
stampare O Stamper, works in the stamp(verk). Title also used in cloth factories.
masmästare A Blast-furnace / Foundry master, approved by the guild.
gjutare A Founder, moulder. gjuta (v) = cast, found
gelbgjutare O Person who founds brass objects.

In the smithy

smed A Smith, if unspecified usually a blacksmith (ironsmith).
lancashiresmed A Blacksmith using the Lancashire method for färskning
hammarsmed A Blacksmith working at a large hammer.
räcksmed O Smith working at a räckhammare.
knippsmed A Blacksmith producing knippjärn. Abbr of knippjärnsmed or knipphammarsmed.
klensmed A Smith working with smaller objects.
spiksmed A Nail smith.
guldsmed A Goldsmith
silversmed A Silversmith
kopparslagare A Copper smith (literally "copper beater")
släggare A Assistant to a smith. Uses a sledge-hammer (=slägga).

Education levels

smedmästare A Master (black)smith, tested and approved by the guild.
mästersven A Master smith's assistant. (sven = helper)
smeddräng A Smith's helper, lower in rank than the mästersven.
smedgesäll A Journeyman in the smith trade, tested and approved by the guild.
smedlärling A Apprentice to the (black)smith trade.
bergslag O (n) Originally an association of men, later companies in the mining and iron industries in a given area. e.g. Filipstads bergslag, Nora bergslag. The association needed a government license which also set the production level and gave the right to mining. Later used as geographical name for the area.
berg = rock, lag = team
hamar, hammar A (n) (from old Nordic lang.) precipice, cliff. Used in many place names but here the industrial hammer could also be the original meaning.
hammarsmedsordning O (n) Gov't regulations regarding education, qualifications, wages for hammarsmeder. Implemented in 1637, abolished in 1859.
hammarskatt O Gov't tax on iron production at a hammarsmedja. From 1695 the tax was 1% of the product value, in 1803-46 2%, then again 1%
centner O Old weight measure = 100 skålpund = 42.5 kg.
skeppund O When used about stångjärn (iron bars) the absolute weight was different in different places:
1 at production = bergsvikt = 149.6 kg
2 at city sale = uppstadssvikt = 142.8 kg
3 at export = stapelstadssvikt = 136 kg
see also general def.
stig O [plur stigar] an old measure for charcoal. Also kohlstig. (kohl = coal). Originally = 24 tunnor (barrels) - usually called storstig (= large stig) but later only = 12 tunnor.
There were special horse-drawn carts built to the measure of one stig or one storstig.
storstig O see stig.
läst O related to last = cargo, a cart-full. Used for a specific volume of charcoal = a fully loaded standard cart = one storstig

note i brackets like this [p:staat] is pronunciation for English speakers.
In the "T' = Time column: O = Old times, M = Moderns language, A = All times
Explanation by F Haeffner unless otherwise stated. Mail me your contribution or request.

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Last updated by F Hae 2005-10-27 02:47 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2001-4