once you are at the resource field and have your disk equipped, you are ready to start the tedious process of filling up your disk with the raw ore.
the first step in the process is selecting the resource node you want to harvest from:
most fields of resources will have more than one choice of resources, especially once you get past tier 2 level resources. for instance, the resources you can find in the summit field are, in addition to iron nodes - nickel (combined with iron to make steel), gold, amber azulyte, citrine, jasper, rose quartz, and amethyst.
of course you need the right tools to do work in horizons. if you try to harvest, say, elm with a mining pick, you will get a message stating you can't harvest with the currently equipped tool. this is the usual way you discover you haven't stopped at the vault to change tools for the job at hand....
once you are ready, you start swinging away at the node in question, until it runs out or until you have filled up your inventory:
your game chat window will show you how much you get with each swing (in the above pic, its the lower right chat window). you will also get bonus material - sometimes it will be what you are harvesting, but it can also be resources of the same tier or of the next tier (for instance, while hitting the iron, i can get nickel, silver, or even gold. if i was hitting the nic nodes, i would be getting cobalt ore as a bonus). since i am making the iron ore go to my disk, you can see the ore filling up the disk by following the blue bar to the left of the disk screen (you can't see the numbers at the bottom of the visual within the cargo disk window - its very small - but the count will also be visible).
so this is the boring part. you hack and slash your way across the field until you fill your inventory with ore. since you prolly have a full disk and are overburdened, it will be a long slow run to a processing area:
for metal, you process ore into bars and then into finished resources like iron construction joints at a metal workstation (abbreviated to mws by me). game workstations can be partial or complete. a partial ws will have only the most basic capability (for metal, this is smelting - there will be a smelter machine only to make raw ore into bars), a complete ws will have the capabiliity to make all available products (a smelter for making bars and an anvil for making the finished product). this is a biped mws:
on the left, you can see the anvil and on the right is the smelter. draggys have a different set of workstations and usually can't use ped machines and vice versa. draggys have forges instead of anvils and their own smelters, etc. i will do a series on draggy crafting at a later date - crafting quests are a good way to show that. draggys also have their own construction skewl, known as lairshaping, as they can't really use ped plots and have their own lairs to buy and build.
once you get to the ws, its time to make some iron bars. i try to make a point of keeping the formulas of whatever i am currently making on my hotkeys, but you can always access forms, spells, and techniques from your knowledge page. however you access the form for making iron bars, you call up your 'make bars' formula and select iron:
you have to be within range of the machine you want to use and have the right tool selected. the game will let you know when you are within range of the appropriate machine, but will not automatically equip the right tool. you can hotkey the tool or you can choose to have the game equip the best tool in your inventory for the job. most peeps do not carry around every tool they have, so its easy enough to arrange to only have the optimal tools in your inventory:
your form will tell you how much raw ore you need to make a bar. this will vary according to skill level, of course. for example, i need 2 pieces of iron ore to make one iron bar. this is the best you can get (on single need resources, that is. to make steel, for instance, i would need 2 pieces of nic ore and one piece of iron ore to make one steel bar). starting out on a new tier, you will usually only be able to harvest 1 piece of ore at a time and will need 5 pieces of ore to make one bar. hence, 'the grind'.........
you can also make as many units as you want. you would use the 'batches' slider bar to make a number of finished bars or you can use the upward arrow button to make the max amount you can:
once you have everything selected, you are are ready to make your iron bars. clik the create button and voila!!:
since you now have an empty disk and an inventory full of iron bars, at this point you transfer the bars to the disk and detach. much more tedium ensues as you run back and forth between the resource field and the mws making bars. once you have a full load of bars, you can begin to make the finished product - in this case, iron joints, but that is for next time......