Author Archives: Rob Ellis


A Fascinating Wander Through Steel’s History

By Rob Ellis | 4th July, 2017

We all know that the history of steel is interwoven with the history of the modern world, but it really goes so much deeper than that. Steel has been around for a great number of years and is just the latest stage of a long history of metallurgy – so we decided to take all of the interesting little tit-bits about steel that make us smile and put them into a blog! Firstly, steel could be a lot older than most people think. Although Yorkshire is often thought of as the beginnings of steel around Sheffield a few hundred years... [read more]

Mr Butcher, the… Master Cutler?

By Rob Ellis | 6th June, 2017

Yorkshire has always had a huge number of names that are intrinsically linked with the pioneering spirit and world-class metalwork. It’s hard to imagine how much history there is in this small area; places like Sheffield were literally world famous for cutlery, machinery and tool steels and it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that Sheffield was to cutlery and tool steel what Silicon Valley in California is to tech innovation today. Oddly, it’s actually the United States that prompted much of the demand and success for Sheffield steel, with a huge requirement of everything from domestic... [read more]

Rust Does Not Give Steel an ‘Antique Feel’…

By Rob Ellis | 9th May, 2017

It’s the fear that lurks in the back of the mind for every classic car enthusiast… rust. Rust is one of those things that makes people of normally sound mind panic and invest incredible amounts of time and money stopping it from even appearing. The problem with rust is, you need to understand it in order to fight it effectively. Rust is just the common name of iron oxide. As iron makes up the biggest part of steel, oxidation can be a problem for large number of steel grades, too. Iron is so reactive with water it’s rarely found pure... [read more]

A Discovery That Was A Happy Accident!

By Rob Ellis | 25th April, 2017

There are many names throughout the history of metallurgy whose fame was earned through years of rigorous scientific experimentation or endless refinement of metalworking processes. Names like Brearley and Bessemer made their contributions to industry after years of hard work, but some discoveries are made through what can only be described as serendipity. One such name is Thomas Boulsover, a Sheffield cutler born in 1705. Having completed his apprenticeship, he was employed as a cutler in the town when a customer brought him a knife in need of repair. The knife was good quality but it had a highly decorative... [read more]

Gold, Gold and More Gold!

By Rob Ellis | 11th April, 2017

The world of modern metallurgy is a beautifully precise endeavour, one more recognisable as laboratories and a focus on chemical profiles rather than the blacksmith’s forge of years ago. Those blacksmiths were highly skilled in taking, shaping and purifying raw materials, they weren’t necessarily considered ‘metallurgists’ – that title was preserved for those with less practical but more valuable materials! One such name, which was famous and well respected in his day was William Humfrey, who was born around 1500. We don’t know much at all about his early life, thanks to the methods of record keeping around the time,... [read more]