Forged in Fire

Anyone else watch this?

It’s a bladesmithing competition show on the History channel. The second season just started.

I watched the first season as it aired and am re-watching it on VOD while I await new episodes.

I find the whole process just endlessly fascinating.

As far as the show goes, my main complaint is at least one of the judges, the martial arts guy, seems superfluous. His tests always come down to a judgement of “This… will kill.” No shit, it’s a knife! If it doesn’t cut, it’s fucking useless, isn’t it?!

Other than that, great show.

Saw one episode. Kind of interesting, but there’s not much detail on the smithing process, lots of attempted drama instead.

Because of that show I am going to build a forge in my backyard.

There was that one guy from the first season whose forge consisted of a cast iron pot and a hair dryer, and he did everything by hand. I think that’s my favorite episode. At one point the fire department shows up and tells him to move his stuff away from the house, but they let him continue, wish him luck, and “hope you live.” :smiley:

I’ve become weirdly obsessed with this show in recent months. For some reason, it’s been providing me with a steady diet of comfort food in these trying times. I think it’s because that under its gruff, manly-man exterior, this is a deeply geeky show - sort of “rednecks meet Ren Faire”. It helps that I usually recognize the weapons they’re supposed to make, even when the contestants themselves don’t. “A lochaber axe? Sure, I know what that is - it was in the D&D Master Set polearms table!”

As for Doug, the martial arts guy, his role on the show is the same as that of the Stig on the old Top Gear - he’s the test driver. He’s the guy who knows how the weapons are supposed to be used, and can tell if they’re well designed for their purpose, in terms of weight, balance, comfort and so on.

Also, when the smiths get something right, you can always tell the delight in Doug’s voice. Like when the balance is just so, and they’ve shaped the grip so you can know where the edge is without looking, and it doesn’t roll in the hand, his smile gets extra-broad as well. Guy loves him some cutting.

I love the show. Good to see both pros and amateurs just making stuff.

I agree. Great show in the Homo Faber category.

I love how when he gets his hands on a well-designed knife, he starts twirling it around and making cool stabbing and slicing motions, exactly like I would have tried (and failed) to do when I was 15 years old.

I liked it and watched it pretty regularly for a while, but then I got tired of what impressed me as repetitiveness.

The initial allure was of real people with actual skills, actually making things. There was interest in seeing their home forges. And of course, the challenges were fun!

But the sameness started to get to me. Okay - the first 20 minutes will have 4 contestants making blades, and those blades being evaluated, with one being sent home. Yeah, it is interesting to see them use different raw materials, but once I felt I actuall KNEW something about canister, Damascus, etc., the various blade profiles and such, the common issues/errors of forging/quenching…, it became obvious how little variety there was.

Then there is 15 mins or so on handles and finishing, followed by the tests. Yeah, the tests are fun, but after you’ve seen your first 50 melons smashed, gel torsos hacked, and hard objects crashed…

Then back to the home forges to see 2 weapons forged. I would think there would be more possibility to expand this representation of 5 days of work, to show more of the personalities/quirks of the competitors. Then the final competition.

I still will turn it on occasionally if I’m especially bored and have nothing else to do, but enough was enough for me.

This show inspired me to take an intro to blacksmithing class. It’s a lot of hot, hard, filthy work, but I did get a cool bottle opener out of it at the end.

Exactly. You know that if you tried the stuff he did with a knife, you’d be lucky not to lose a finger.

I started to put together a forge before one after another my knees broke. One after another I’m getting them replaced and once I’ve cleared a backlog of more important things to do I’ll get back to it. I don’t think I’ll do a lot of forging, but it will be fun to play with it for a while. I have done a small amount of hot work on metal, but not much more than pounding out some acorns on the ends of decorative bars.

One thing this show has done is send the price of anvils skyrocketing.

I watched the show religiously for a while, but eventually tired of it.

I heard that there will be a new host? crushed

I enjoy the show when there isn’t really anything else on. I too am curious about the new host. They haven’t said who it’s going to be on any of the commercials I’ve seen.

What’s kind of fun is seeing the old host or one of the judges pop up as a “lemme call in a buddy” person on old Pawn Stars episodes.

Apparently my next door neighbor competed on the show at some point–every durned person who lives over there is a blacksmith of some stripe and they have a full forge setup in a tent in the back yard, the garage is full of tools and equipment and one of the guys makes some absolutely gorgeous Damascus steel knives. It’s an interesting household, we get along well.