Chuck, I reached out to you and Jessica via email this week in an attempt to find out what problems you were having with Crucible’s steel. I have not heard from either of you. It seems that you want to air this out publicly, which is fine with me. It will be good to clear up any misconceptions people may have about the quality and availability of our steel.
Since this thread blew up I’ve been contacted by several people. Multiple people are concerned about negative impact to the custom knife community. Others said the problem must be aired or fixes will not happen. I’ve been in this situation before with Bohler Uddeholm and the HIP can issue. I’ve decided to make the same choice I did with BU. BU solved their problem and we restocked their alloys. My intent in now publicly exposing the problem with Crucible steel is that it gets resolved.
The problems our customers reported are inclusions in the steel. I do not know if the inclusions affect the strength of the steel. They are clearly visible. The inclusions are not “surface imperfections”. They are inside the steel. The inclusions are found when grinding the primary bevels of the knife.
Years ago Crucible had a problem with inclusions in their steel. The problem was resolved and I did not read or hear about it for several years. Now the inclusions are back. I do not know what changed at Crucible to cause the inclusions. It appears there has been a material and/or process change.
In 2017, I called Crucible directly to tell them about the problem. I was sent to sales and could not get further. I told the salesman about the inclusions and he said he would pass it on. In Aug 2018 we also contacted Frank at NSM about the inclusion problem. When Frank responded, he CC’d Bob and Jeff at NSM on the e-mail.
I did not want to publicly discuss the inclusion problem. However, when Bob called me a liar, I had no choice but to respond. I have not impugned his character or him as a person. Something he has no problem publicly doing to me. I was not in the office the morning he “reached out”. He sent an email at 6:16 AM, a direct message at 8:18 AM and called me a liar at 10:22 AM. He knew about the inclusion problem from a recent post here on BladeForums and the email sent Aug 2018, yet he still called me a liar.
I hoped the inclusion problem could be resolved and we would restock Crucible steel. However, in this thread and in previous communications, Bob has made his position about me and AKS very clear. The culture of a company goes from the top down. Until there is a quality, culture and/or management change at NSM, I will not buy steel from them.