Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

- - - - - folio image: 050v - - - - -

Hot—worked steel and files

The steel that blacksmiths and other iron workers commonly use is not refined like that from Germany or Biscay, which is hardened in a molten iron bath, but among the iron in bars which is transported by flatboat from the forges of Foix and elsewhere, some is harder, whiter and more refined than the rest, as it comes from the mine. And the workers choose it and use it like the other steel. And because it consists of common iron, they call it strong iron. But it is not of such good quality as purified steel like that from Germany and Biscaye, which is sold in small beads. Some hot—work their steel, giving it a heating and then dipping it into a large quantity of water, then forging it. And fine steel, which is brittle, does break and crumble, whereas iron can be pulled out. Thus they separate the finest steel, which with another heating they make into a mass. The Germans make their files from strong iron.