OtterHere

Forged In Fire Tests

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One of the "Master Smiths" I know during a discussion of the tests used on the blade test mentioned that it took a lot of cutting practice to cut the rope as required in the test.

I have heard people on TV that claim to understand Japanese swords  make statements that their effectiveness comes from three things 1 steel, 2 edge and blade design.3 Technique of the user.

I haven't been following the series but in the first go round I thought some of the tests were pretty sketchy.

I recall that in Ewart Oakeshott's  book Records of the Medieval Sword   He remarked that some of the differences between European Swords and Oriental Swords was the kind of armor they were used against.  He elaborated on that theme to say that as armor changed so did the swords and their blade design.

The Point is not that the blades were bad but that the tests and the designs were incompatible.

 

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the one test that made me mad was cutting the phone book pages. I mean you could have some of the sharpest blades out there and they still wouldn't fully cut that book like that! 

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The blade they showed in the demo clip had a rather large J. Nielson marking on it. I would guess the do a proving run with a good blade before hand to see if it is possible.

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Hey guys, this show is WHY I'M REBUILDING AN OLD FORGE, and on this site!!!

Like most reality shows there are any number of inaccuracies that occur for the sake of "The Show".

To me this seems to be one of the least "fake" "reality" shows out there.  My daughter and I watch the show and are entertained.  That is up until they used a pig carcass for testing.  She loves pigs, stuffed animal pigs, pig books, etc...  Now I have to watch alone...

I was a cook in restaurants and could have been considered a "professional cook".  Some cooking shows are bad, some are good...

I agree some of the "tests" are kind of weird but hey, they need to keep things interesting right? 

This show is like a gateway drug for those who like to work with their hands and like metal pointy things.

That being said I am very excited to start forging things like a hanging basket hook, coal rake, and some other useful things.  Blades are nice to look at but all you really need is just one good knife right????

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5 hours ago, Shogun71 said:

 Blades are nice to look at but all you really need is just one good knife right????

This gave me a good laugh ;)

Yeah, start with the small stuff - the guys on your other post have some great ideas on how to start. I look forward to seeing what you forge

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On 9/28/2015 at 12:57 AM, Frosty said:

Oh heck, who built the forges? What make were the anvils? You used your own hand tools yes? What do you estimate the air temp on the set?  Okay, I'll let up. . . for now.

Noticed watching the show Emerson was written on the side so definitely an Emerson Anvil

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On 9/19/2016 at 8:59 AM, Shogun71 said:

Blades are nice to look at but all you really need is just one good knife right????

Right; just like hammers. 

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I have to give Deb a ride seeing as it's getting too dark for her and I have to wait up till midnight to see this week's episode but I get to see last week's. I can't think of the lady farrier's name who won last week or the week before, (they had to make a hand hammer that episode) but I really like her. Someone asked what she planned on for her knife and she told them "Straight, Sharp and hard."

I managed to stay up to watch last night's episode and was surprised they declared a winner at all. I had to love the guy who was trying to hammer a backhoe tooth off using a single jack sledge hammer. Not one person looked close enough to see the bits slip onto the tooth and you can knock them off with a light hammer. IF you give them a rap from behind.

I think the show is going to have to up the prize money enough to get folk who at least know how to use metal shop tools.  Then again, there are guys demonstrating tools for companies who don't know how to use them. . . . <sigh>

At least nobody is kicking doors and trash cans, swearing at folk and having temper tantrums.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, the forges are built by Majestic.  I have one and wouldn't recommend them.....

I remember the one testing where the maker was kinda looking a bit askance at the results.  I believe they had to make a cutlass because they were on a wooden ship set.  The one blade cut through a hanging rope, but failed to cut through a big ol' fish.  The second blade failed to cut through the rope, but sliced the fish clean as you please.  The one guy didn't much like his results, wondering aloud how you could cut through a rope and not slice through the fish.  

I saw the clip on the internet where they slowed the film down and you could clearly see the tester twist the blade before it hit the fish, not quite a full-flat impact, but enough drag that a complete cut wasn't in the cards.  Unintentional, sure, but still something that could have potentially cost the contestant ten grand.

My personal preference is when they use some kind of apparatus to hold the blade during the test.  This removes any unintentional faux pas on the part of the tester and showcases what the knife can really tolerate.

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I remember that test and the tester, Mr. Marcaida, explained that the grip on the cutlass was round making it hard to index in the hand and twist on impact. This has been a common criticism throughout the program and often the difference between winner and first loser.

I like the test apparatus as well but blades aren't made to be used by apparatus and need to work well for humans.

A $10,000 prize isn't going to attract good bladesmiths, there are posters on Iforge who can produce more in a day than $10,000 let alone a week. I also don't see many high end smiths let alone bladesmiths willing connect their names to the show. I was frankly surprised to see Lyle Wyne competing this week on the other hand I got the impression Lyle doesn't need publicity nor does he take himself too seriously. Being able to laugh at yourself is a highly desirable skill and watching Lyle was like a text book lesson.

I think the program is improving but anyone who thinks it's an instructional show is fooling themselves, it's entertainment no  more instructional than "Cutthroat Kitchen," or "Chopped." If you're already proficient at the craft you can pick up a few things but it's not going to teach you to smith. I've NEVER watched ANYBODY work at the anvil without learning something myself and I've coached many first timers.

If you're not learning something every time a hammer rings you're doing it wrong.

Of course that's just my opinion I could be wrong.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I was very disappointed when Lyles blade failed to perform. I was rooting for him because he seemed like a good ole country boy unlike some they've had on there.

I would love to have that check at the end of the show but doubt I have what it takes to produce a winning knife under those conditions.

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10 thousand dollars is quite a bit of change. Yet I've seen very few folks from youtube actually enter it and I consider them both expert blacksmiths and yet one made it to the finals and the other had a blade failed. But I wonder if some people are are avoiding going on the show because it may ruin their reputation if they don't make a good showing.'

One reason I wouldn't do it is because of lack of knowledge and my crappy shop. The man that usually wins has a bridgeport mill,lathe ect.. and he's gonna make a nicer weapon that anything I could make. Not always though I've seen excellent work from people with humble tools but more often than not the winner has a shop with a hydrolic press doing Damascus while I'm over here farting with a lawnmower blade.

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While some have had very nice shop set-ups at "home" with all the tools you could ever want; many have had much smaller, less equipped shops. Check out Season 1 Episode 3 - one of the finalists forged out in his yard with a satellite dish and cast iron frying pan as his forge. The most primitive set-up I've seen yet, and he ultimately won the contest.

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It's always great to root for the underdog and sometimes they pulled it off I'm thinking of this young man that won and while he worked in a barn but still he had some serious gear

off inside that Hay barn Yet he was going against a master bladesmith and still got the victory. There was one guy who's name shall go unmentioned but was kind of arrogant and when they were sent back to their home forge was saying crap like "He's in my world now". And it was hilarious watching him lose. It look like he was about to cry and just couldn't believe that the poor man working out of the garage could build a better weapon that the judges liked better. I always like seeing the braggart get what he deserves. Still more often than not. The guy that has the machine shop in his garage is gonna make a better looking weapon if he has the skills to go along with the gear. 

I saw that guy with the satellite dish lose a latter competition against other champions. He might think about getting out of the stone age and buy some gear with money he won! I know I would..

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It's definitely interesting to see the range of shop set ups, and I too like to root for the underdog, but mostly I like rooting for the person who is seriously paying attention to their craft, lean on gear or loaded with tools. Always amazing to see what can be done with so little.

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I haven't watched TV in 2 years but I came across another conversation about this what they said was the tempering goes on off camera because of time and the prosses isn't flashy enough for TV 

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 4:49 PM, Fred Beagle said:

I saw that guy with the satellite dish lose a latter competition against other champions. He might think about getting out of the stone age and buy some gear with money he won! I know I would..

I thought the same thing, then I heard that Ryu used his winnings to help out his family in the Philippines and set up to teach other bladesmiths over there.  From all accounts he is a real stand up guy.

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Loved the Ryu episode.  I do know I've seen a bladesmith being shown 'normalizing' his blade on a few occasions, walking around swinging a smoking blade, then shoving it back in the forge and repeating the process.

   To the gentleman that wants a tee-shirt that says 'it will kill', they don't make those, because that isn't actually what Doug is saying.  He believes in knives as defensive weaponry, and is instead saying 'it will keal', which is an acronym for 'keep everyone alive'.  

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I know this is an old topic, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents.  I knew then as I know now that FiF is a reality show that leaves out so much detail.  But here's what it did for me.  As someone with a long but peripheral interest in blacksmithing having gone to Renaissance Festivals since I was a teenager and being a fan of anything fantasy/medieval, it led me to believe that I, too, could make a knife with my own hands.

I'm a 47 yo electrical engineer with 0.0 experience in hands on fabrication of anything beyond semiconductor processes for making computer chips.  After 2 years of watching the show, I decided to could do it.  So I found a local traditional blacksmithing class last December, and after 40 hours of training, 8 months of buying equipment and setting up shop in my garage and practicing the skills on my own, I'm making my first knives.  The third one being this Bowie that is 100% hand forged from a piece of leaf spring and that I'm finishing up now.  Not showable or sellable, but a really cool thing that I made with my hands.

So as real or fake as the show is, it's the one thing that got me into this in my mid-life crisis phase.  And for that I am thankful. 

IMG_20180630_123622186.jpg

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Anything that inspires us to do better can't be entirely bad.

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Paulgatx - I too was inspired by FIF to get into a new hobby. KUDUS for that. BUT I think the same could be achieved while making a more honest/"real"/prossetional show.

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8 hours ago, lyuv said:

BUT I think the same could be achieved while making a more honest/"real"/prossetional show.

WE might but what WE like won't sell corn flakes. FIF is a LOT more honest than most reality shows, look at how fast the spin offs have lasted. I'm not even sure of the name of the ridiculous one, what was it called, "Detroit Iron"? with dangerous idiocy like dunking Sis in a water tub? The most recent one, "Knife or Death"(?) barely lasted longer than the what's it called Premier. 

Keep hoping, HollyWood might come up with a good one that'll sell well enough to be marketable.

Don't hold your breath though I kind of like you. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I love this show, not only because its about blacksmithing but there is no fake drama xxxxxxxx like with other crafting shows like faceoff, its just all fun, seen a lot of talented smiths win and lose on that show, great people, great show.

 

I could never finish a knife in the time they do it, or at least I don't believe so. Does not mean I would not jump at the chance to give it a go ha ha.

Edited by Mod34
Edited for inappropriate language

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On 7/8/2015 at 10:49 PM, OtterHere said:

I am watching this show on History, "Forged in Fire." I don't know how many people have seen or even like it. I watch them quenching their blades for hardening, but not tempering it. Is that even possible; to harden the blade and not temper it?

Hey Otter,

I too was confused as to this part of the show so I went and started researching. I found that the heat treat and the tests happen on two different days. We see the heat treat in the show, but overnight, a separate crew tempers the smith's blades for them. Now this personally would set me on edge if I was a smith because I would worry about them not doing the tempering well enough but that is what I found.

 

Hopes this helps,

Seabass

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tempering is a heat treatment, 

we try to use correct terms here, the show  lets us see hardening, and the tempering is off air... who really wants to watch metal just sit there

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