Making Your Own Shear Steel is Entirely Possible

Making shear steel from wrought iron is something I’ve been experimenting with for the last year.  It’s a unique and fascinating process – and,  it is entirely possible to do yourself!   A few weekends ago, I taught a class that started with making shear steel, then using it to make a fire steel. In one day, we went over all the steps, from starting with wrought iron and the carburizing medium, to the carburizing itself, to forging out the blister steel into shear steel through forge welding.

What the class showed is that it is entirely possible to learn the process in one day. On the Saturday, the focus was on making shear steel and by the end of the afternoon all students had made a great little high-carbon billet of shear steel. Sunday revolved around making a fire steel from the billet of yesterday, and by late afternoon everyone had a finished piece.

I am in the midst of creating a guide on how to make shear steel from wrought iron (which I’ll make available online here at, and I’m excited to host a lot more classes revolving around the historical uses of shear steel in the new year. Check back in the coming weeks for news on both, and in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy these photos from the Saturday of the class.


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