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Since update 1.3.5, metal parts, including iron, have to be made with metal casts and the Smeltery. Casts are crafted by pouring Aluminum Brass/Gold on a tool part.
Tinkers' Construct (or TConstruct) is a mod that allows you to greatly customize your tools and weapons. Construct each component of your tool with different materials such as Wood, Iron, Gold, Paper, Cactus, Slime, and rare alloys. Melt down metals into Molten Ores in the Smeltery, and cast tool parts, ingots, and blocks of ore.
TConstruct relies heavily on in-game manuals to provide the player with basic information about using the Workbenches and Smeltery. When you start the game, you will have the first book, Materials and You, in your inventory. Once other conditions have been met, the other books will be given to you.
Tools and Weapons can be crafted by creating the individual components, then assembling them on a Tool Station. Tool parts can be created by using a Part Builder or by casting Molten Ore into Casts in the Smeltery. Different materials can provide different attributes, and bonus attributes may be applied if the tool is constructed with all of the same material. For example, a pickaxe can be created entirely out of Iron, and will gain the Reinforced attribute giving it more durability.
Tools and Weapons created in TConstruct can be repaired by either adding a Ball of Moss to have the item repair itself over time, or if you can't wait you can throw the item back on the Tool Station and use one of the materials of that item's construction to repair it instantly. There is no penalty for repair, other than losing the resource used to repair the item.
Raw Ores can be melted down and cast into ingots. This can double the amount of ingots you get from a single piece of Raw Ore, so it's a good idea to keep your Ore and smelting it rather than cooking it in a furnace. You can also pour directly into casts for different tool parts. In current versions of Tinkers' Construct, this is the only way to make tool parts with metals.
There are 4 basic workbenches in Tconstruct; the Stencil Table, Pattern Chest, Part Builder and Tool Station. Patterns are created in the Stencil Table, stored in the Pattern Chest, used in the Part Builder to create parts assembled in the Tool Station.
Patterns and Casts
Blank Patterns can be created by using a normal crafting grid, but Blank Casts must be poured from Molten Ore. Once you have a Blank piece, you can inscribed different patterns on them using the Stencil Table. Patterns are then used on the Part Builder to be combined with resources to build parts. Casts can be placed on the Casting Table to pour Molten Ore to build different parts.
Smeltery Multi-Block Structure
To build a Smeltery, you will need an assortment of blocks created from Seared Brick. Seared Brick is created by cooking Grout, which is crafted by combining Sand, Gravel, and Clay. See the Smeltery page for more information about which blocks are used and how to assemble them.
TConstruct adds Tin Ore (Tinkers' Construct), Aluminum Ore (Tinkers' Construct), and Copper Ore (Tinkers' Construct) to the Overworld. It adds Cobalt Ore and Ardite Ores to the Nether. In addition to the Overworld Ores, there are also several forms of Gravel Ores; Iron Gravel, Gold Gravel, Copper Gravel, Tin Gravel, Aluminum Gravel, and Cobalt Gravel. These can be mined with a Shovel instead of a Pickaxe. You may also run across different Oreberry bushes while exploring mines and caves. These bushes only grow and produce Oreberries in darkness, and the Oreberries harvested may be Smelted or Cooked for nuggets of ore.
Tconstruct adds Blue Slime and King Slime mobs to the world. These slimes do not split into multiple slimes when defeated, but shrink down to a smaller and smaller slime until completely killed. They drop Gelatinous Slime. The King Slime is a mini boss type encounter, similar to the Ender Dragon or Wither. He has a health bar and a cadre of minions protecting him, and drops a lot of experience and items when killed.