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Thread: Interesting video on tool steel.

  1. #1
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    Default Interesting video on tool steel.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Interesting video on tool steel.

    I use mostly Sorby cast steel bevel edged chisels. Beside the thin piece of tool steel making it quicker to resharpen compared to a solid piece, they took the effort back then to really bevel the edges which reduced the weight, which then reduced the weight needed in the handle and the handle's were sized exactly and with shaping like the boxwood London Best types which work better, and don't roll in your hand or on the table. It means these chisels are supremely light and well balanced at the ferrule and feel very refined. It's as much to do with that. I have Narex's and other modern chisels and they're perfectly fine, but lack the refinement achieved back then. You can tell just by picking it up. Thing is in the UK, theres so many 'old tools' lying around, they're pretty easy to buy still.

    I was reading about Sheffield steel...with the greater demand they had to go to Spain then Sweden for the best ore with least impurities. Not ore from British mines. We didn't have enough of the best stuff. The Swedish mine is still there and working. In the USA Disston (actually Brit) used Sheffield steel before they started casting it themselves.

    The guy who invented the Bessemer process had to finance it all himself the end and it put the established small scale casting system (and workers!) out of business as the steel was then so much cheaper (just a fraction). There was a great video of that back in the day being done in Cumbria making railway steels. The casting process seems to have lingered on for top end tools. The plane blade in my Norris is solid tool steel and takes alot of time to resharpen. I think Bailey/ Stanley/ Record probably has it right with a thin blade with a strip of tool steel at the working edge only - effective and quick to resharpen. All the Sorby chisels and from anyone else of that period are laminated.

    Saws seemed to transition to adding Chrome for hardness and looks later about 1950 or so. Silver steel as they call it. I've got a Sorby saw with that. Disston and Spear and Jackson seemed to go the same way with there's. Still you buy a Disston for the handle. You tell the moment you pick a Philada era/5 rivet one up as well. A decent D8: that's the refined tool for the job. The building that made the best saws there ever was stand derelict when I looked on Google Earth.


    The Bessemer process that replaced widespread small scale (guys with crucibles) cast steel production...they don't make films like this anymore either!



    Bessemer wrote the first time he tried his process (blowing the air in)..

    “All went on quietly for about ten minutes; sparks such as are commonly seen when tapping a cupola, accompanied by hot gases, ascended through the opening on the top of the converter, just as I supposed would be the case. But soon after, a rapid change took place; in fact, the silicon had been quietly consumed, and the oxygen, next uniting with the carbon, sent up an ever-increasing stream of sparks and a voluminous white flame. Then followed a succession of mild explosions, throwing molten slags and splashes of metal high up into the air, the apparatus becoming a veritable volcano in a state of active eruption. No one could approach the converter to turn off the blast, and some low, flat, zinc-covered roofs, close at hand were in danger of being set on fire by the shower of red-hot matter falling on them. All this was a revelation to me, as I had in no way anticipated such violent results. However, in ten minutes more the eruption had ceased, the flame died down, and the process was complete. On tapping the converter into a shallow pan or ladle, and forming the metal into an ingot, it was found to be wholly decarburised malleable iron.”


    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-31-2021 at 04:47 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Interesting video on tool steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    I

    I was reading about Sheffield steel...with the greater demand they had to go to Spain then Sweden for the best ore with least impurities. Not ore from British mines. We didn't have enough of the best stuff. The Swedish mine is still there and working. In the USA Disston (actually Brit) used Sheffield steel before they started casting it themselves


    The iron mines around Dalton in Furness and Millom produced really pure Haematite iron. It was so pure that most of it was exported to Europe to improve their ores, and cheaper ore was imported to feed the Barrow iron works.

    https://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/object...nd-steelworks/
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