Alec Steele – Blacksmith and YouTuber
An opportunity presented itself to spend a day at Alec's workshop whilst he worked, an opportunity I wouldn't pass up. You can read my thoughts on the Alec Steele YouTube channel in my blog post here.
After a two hour drive I arrived, the smell of hot steel and a forge greeted me along with a very smiley Alec. True to his online persona, Alec is the same in the flesh as he is in his YouTube videos, only when in-person his mood is infectious! Not once was there a dull moment with Alec clearly enjoying his work, cheering, singing and constantly moving about the workshop at supersonic speed.
It is easy to think that Alec concentrates on the forging and nothing else, however this couldn't be further from the truth. Every video is recorded, edited and uploaded by the man himself, every day, all the while still finding time for a quick chat. Never without smiles Alec and his good friend Sam are some of those few people who are a true pleasure to be around.
Fuelled by Jaffa Cakes, Alec worked on a project to create a Japanese Wood Slick for a fellow YouTuber, and project collaborator, The Samurai Carpenter.
Heating, hammering, cutting, grinding, stacking, welding. Alec repeated this process numerous times in order to get the required number of layers to make the pattern in the Damascus Steel not only visible, but also striking when the project is complete. I followed throughout the day and watched as a billet was formed, drawn out, cut and reformed multiple times, and then finally shaped.