Last Thursday, Forging Excalibur premiered on Discovery Channel, where Adam Savage and Bladesmithing instructor Jeff Pringle forge King Arthur’s famous sword from a meteorite in The Crucible’s smithy. What problems do you face when forging a meteorite into Excalibur? Not many, according to Jeff Pringle, who has forged countless swords from meteorite material.
“The main problem with forging meteorites is that they have a high nickel content and they are fractured from rattling around in the asteroid belt for millions of years,” Jeff explains. “So you have to deal with the fractures and the metal doesn’t want to come together because of the nickel.”
But nothing came up in the forging of Excalibur that this bladesmith hadn’t faced before. For Jeff, what made this sword stand out was the history it represented.
“This was a chance to make one of my favorite swords ever,” Jeff says. “This particular type of sword is pivotal in the evolution of the sword in Europe and it was just a joy to create it.”
A work in progress, the sword Excalibur next to the drawings Crucible blacksmiths are working off of.
For Adam Savage, the forging of Excalibur was an opportunity to play with one of the most powerful tools a blacksmith has–the power hammer.
“While I have done some rudimentary blacksmithing in my time, blacksmith Jeff Pringle initiated me in the use of the power hammer,” Adam Savage explained in Inside the Episode: Forging Excalibur. “It was really beautiful to watch Jeff Pringle utilize it and see how when a master is operating it it looks so simple.”
Jeff Pringle was featured heavily in the final cut of the episode, but he was the first to mention the efforts of Blacksmithing instructor Celeste Flores, who didn’t make the final cut. Celeste did most of the work on the pommel and the guard of the blade. “The project could not have happened without her,” Jeff emphasized.
The pommel and guard of the blade.
Celeste Flores of Clay and Steel has assisted Jeff Pringle on a wide variety of projects for the last five years, and enjoyed the chance to finally experiment with forging meteorites – something she had never done before.
“Working on meteorite was a really unique experience,” Celeste says. “It is a really expensive and exotic material, and it was really neat to have that opportunity, especially while working with Adam’s team.”
Dive into the full episode where Crucible blacksmiths and Adam Savage forge Excalibur on Discovery.com. The episode is free to watch for everyone Thursday, July 11, and available now if you have a cable subscription.