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Steel Smelting Requirements
There are a lot of Runescape guides that describe quick and easy ways to train your Smithing skill, but a lot of these methods will actually cause you to lose money. In fact, some of them can be outrageously expensive if you're having to buy materials to train with from the Grand Exchange. For instance, at the time of this writing, steel bars are listed for a market price of 767 gp on the GE. So, wouldn't you rather be selling them than buying them?
Each steel bar requires one iron ore and two pieces of coal. The only absolute requirement that you need to smelt steel is a Smithing level of 30 or higher. However, since we're interested in maximizing our profit here, it's better to mine the iron and coal ourselves rather than buy or trade it. To do this, you'll also need a Mining level of at least 30 (15 for iron, 30 for coal). These early levels go by fast, however, so it shouldn't take much training to get them. As a bonus, since you'll be mining your own materials, you'll be able to train Mining and Smithing both, while taking advantage of the nice price that people will pay for steel bars.
Although not necessary, it may be a good idea to invest in a few things that can help your mining abilities. In particular, if you have Varrock Armour, make sure you're wearing it while both mining and smelting.
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Getting to Work
The most straightforward way to prepare for smelting steel bars is to go out and mine the iron and coal, stockpile it in your bank vault until you've built up a large inventory, and then find a furnace that's close to a bank. If you choose this method, the Coal Trucks near Seers' Village are a great place to mine for coal – see this list for other great coal mining locations in Runescape.
Iron can be found in a number of locations throughout Runescape, including the Al-Kharid and Dorgeshuun mines. The Al-Kharid mine might be a better choice since there is a furnace in Al-Kharid that is very close to the bank.
If you have Varrock armor, the Edgeville furnace is another good choice when it comes time to actually smelt the steel bars. As an extra bonus, this location is just a skip away from the Grand Exchange so you can head in that direction when you're ready to put the bars up for sale.
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Bonus for Magic Users
If you have a Magic level of 43 or higher, you can actually forego taking the materials to a furnace by using the Superheat spell to smelt the iron and coal into steel bars. One big advantage of choosing this method is that it will give you experience for both Magic and Smithing each time you smelt a bar.
The disadvantage of this method is that each cast uses 1 nature rune and 4 fire runes. You can get around the fire rune requirement by wielding a firestaff of some sort when casting the spell. However, you'll still have to come up with the nature runes, which run in the neighborhood of 200-250 gp each on the Grand Exchange. That still leaves room for a nice profit from selling the steel bars, though, if you want the added benefit of being able to train Magic and not have to run back and forth from the bank to a furnace.