Steel which has been sheared. When the bars have been converted into steel, they are sheared into short pieces, and forged again from a pile built up with layers crossed, so as to produce a web-like texture in the metal by the crossing of the fibres. Great toughness results from this mode of manipulation, and the steel thus produced is used for shears and other instruments where a hard sharp edge is required.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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