A similar suggestion I have made In the past: adding a extended way to make tools, by adding axe heads, pickaxe heads, etc, in the anvil.
As a Matter or fact, in the older versions of the game, tool heads were added, and red took it out as most of you already know!
Another alternative realistic way to make tools/other metal items In the new version is by adding workbenchs that Blacksmiths would use in real life for tools and other metal objects:
•Adding wrought iron Ingot for tools in early game.
•Adding Cast iron Ingot for modern tools/items.
There would be additional crafting stations to craft these types of Irons:
•Cast Furnace for melting ores to make modern tools, etc, with Cast Iron.
A Regular furnace(Wrought Furnace) could be used to melt ores for making early-game iron tools with Wrought iron.)
Note: The regular furnace could look similar to the Modern furnace, but of course, produce wrought iron and other metals.
•Cooling station to cool molten metal Parts
Once you melt the ore to ingots, you’ll need to take the ingots to the Anvil to craft tool heads, etc, then you will need to take the hot metal tool heads, etc to the cooling station to cool them with water. Then you will have the tools heads, etc to craft tools with! Forgot to mention a UI for Selecting the tools you will want to craft!
Additional notes: say it takes 2 wrought iron ingots to craft a wrought sword blade-you will need to take two wrought iron ingots from the wrought furnace, and go over to the anvil. Once you right click the anvil, a UI will pop up and you can select wrought sword blade. A animation of the player will then be hitting the ingots with a hammer, and as the player hits the ingots, they will slowly transition Into a blade!! The player will then use the cooling station to cool the hot blade for crafting!
There also can be other player animations with the different crafting benches!
Glass Blowing could also be something that red could add as well!
Some additional metals/ores that could be added include:
Tin could be used to make bronze(see below), and can also be used to craft other modern building components!
Nickel can be used in various types of building components. Nickel can also be used to make batteries for flashlights and components in other modern tools!
Bronze could be used to make bronze tools, armor, and other building components such as Bronze bars/plates for various tools/items!
Steel can be used to make modern tools/various other modern things such as Steel building Blocks and other building elements(in sawbench or PNB plugin!)
A friend of mine has agreed to work on making concepts of items like the Furnaces, Wrought and cast iron ingots, cooling station, etc to attach to this post!
Here is a photo a friend found. This is similar to what these benches would look like: