New show on History Channel- Forged in Fire

Discussion in 'Knife and Blade Forum' started by tallbump, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    First episode tonight at 10 PM eastern

    Yes, it's a "reality" competition show, so some of ya'll will hate it :D

    personally, I'm hoping the wife falls asleep early enough so i can watch it.
  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    DVR, it comes on again after midnight.;)

  3. I'm giving it a chance..... ain't nothing else on!!
  4. Dragonbreath

    Dragonbreath Member

    I gave it a chance, tapped out after about 20 minutes.
  5. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    That bad huh?
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    I watched the second half first, it was OK. The first half did kinda suck.

    I wish they had used some mechanical thing to do the tests, instead of some guy swinging the blades. Who knows if he is doing each swing the same?
  7. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    it's the history channel surely they are fair and balanced in their testing.
  8. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Lol I missed the first 10 minutes or so.

    I didn't think it was terrible. I do agree with the tests being done by a man does allow for inconsistencies.

    No DVR Al, it would raise my cable/internet bill about $50 per month. Not happening LOL
  9. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I had been watching the commercials and looking forward to it. Then I forgot about it and only managed to catch the last half. I enjoyed that 30 min, I truly did, but, yeah, some of it really irritated me. It might be that I just didn't know what the build and judging criteria was going to be so it tweaked me. I gotta say, speaking as a martial artist, the U.S. obsession with the Katana is irritating to me. It's simply not that awesome a sword. There are some neat things about it, but mostly they were developed because the Japanese had such crappy iron sources to work with. Then they gave the smiths almost no realistic time to build one and, consequently, neither of them were Katana. They were more "inspired by" the Katana. I didn't have a problem with the testing protocols for the swords until they got to the "splitting a bullet" foolishness. <sigh> I know that splitting a bullet with a katana is part and parcel for fantasy fiction, but that's FANTASY.

    However, the testing protocols for the knives were idiotic. Shoving them into a steel drum? Whack-a-mole rope hacking? :rolleyes:

    Even with the issues I had with it, I did enjoy what I saw. I didn't see the expected inter-personal (manufactured) drama between smiths so that's a major big thumbs up, but maybe I just missed it in the first half.

    I've got the series set to DVR and will be watching more. I have high hopes.

    Peace favor your sword,
  10. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Depends on the guy. An expert in Tamishigiri (the Japanese art of test cutting with a Katana or "Shinken"/live-edge-sword) will know how to do it right and how to be consistent.

    In this case the tester was Doug Marcaida. He's a pretty well known Filipino Martial Arts expert which usually means he's got good skills with knives and (often) machete. I couldn't find anything in his CV which attributes Kenjitsu (the Japanese art of using a Katana/shinken) training to him, never-mind any specialty in Tamishigiri. Nevertheless, I believe he's probably qualified to offer broad opinions on edged weapons as a generality. Though I accept that he's a topic general expert, his expertise on the topic of test cutting with a Katana would be eclipsed by that of a Tamishigiri expert, which is what they should have brought in to do the testing of the "Katana." It would have been cheap and easy due to the fact that Tamishigiri experts are available but not in high demand. (I.E., you can rent them for cheap) OTOH, a real Tamishigiri expert would have probably never stopped complaining about the non-traditional grips and furniture and never gotten around to actually cutting with 'em. ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
  11. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    That has always bugged the crap out of me, too. I would gladly choose a simple Medieval long sword over a katana, any day. At least you can thrust with it, and in close, you can also use the half-sword techniques (with gauntlets, of course), which is something that the katana can't be as effectively used to do.

    Furthermore, if I were facing someone with something as light as padded leather, I would definitely take the long sword over the katana. A katana derives much of its effectiveness from pressure and slicing, an attack mode which would not set one up well for going through any significant armor.
  12. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Thanks Kirk. I was kinda thinking some of the same things, but don't know a lot about bladed weapons, so wasn't sure if I was right.

    But the little blob they talked about what real Katanas are seemed to say that what these guys weren't Katanas. As someone who knows very little, i could tell the blades weren't made the right way and that the handles were way off.

    I must say, though, I did like the way that modern looking one looked. Loos wise, I wouldn't mind having one. But it didn't replicate an authentic Katana
  13. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I told Mylinda that the bullets they were shooting had to be soft lead, low speed. Must have been custom loaded "cowboy action" style loads.

    Depends on how anal the person making the decision is. According to the Japanese Government, "real" katana are made only by licensed smiths (in government controlled quantities) from traditional materials, with traditional methods. Others loosen the restriction a little bit to include any sword made with traditional methods and (mostly) traditional materials; but it still has to have the exact same traditional "parts." Still others will include basically any sword which is effectively the right size and shape as a traditional katana regardless of the methods and materials used; it doesn't have to have a traditional guard or handle, for instance, nor a hammon. So you can go from extreme, where it must be identical to the old methods by a licensed smith, to extreme, where it basically must "look" more or less the same and generally "handle" the same.

    I'm kinda in the middle. A katana is defined by the parts that make it up and the shape & construction.

    They were neat looking. Visually, I liked them well enough.

    Peace favor your sword,
  14. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Anyone watch last night?

    I am glad the one who won, won. I like the runner up, his charkram looked cool, but, it didn't really throw very well....kind of important for a throwing weapon.

    I really liked the winner's knife he made out of a rasp, that was pretty coool
  15. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Yeah, I watched it. I really liked it. I was disappointed the Bowie Knife was eliminated. I thought hat their hack test was contrived. Would you judge a scalpel a failure if it blunted in the same test? Of course not.

    On the other hand, the guy knew ahead of time they were going to do that exact test and he still made a knife which would fail it (due to thin, hard edge) so, while I think his knife was great and it was a poor test of his knife, it was also a poor selection of steel, design, and heat-treat on his part.

    What I liked most about the episode was that none of the contestants were douchebags. Every one of them had good things to say about their competitors and their work. None of that tiresome manufactured personality conflict drama. Yeah, there was still drama and it may have been over-emphasized (or not, I dunno yet), but it wasn't "I hate you, you're work sucks!" type malarkey.

    I liked the bowie best but the rasp was a close runner up as far as I was concerned.

    When it came to the chakram, I hated the ornate one, but mostly because of the center-bar grip. I loved the simple design of the winner. They said it was simple but there were subtle design elements. He set decorative rivets at the quarter points and then he made decorative file-work/jimping at very well measured points on the inside spine. Nice.

    If I wanted a custom knife made, I wouldn't rule out any of these artists. I liked them all and I liked their work which I saw.

    Peace favor your sword,
  16. talon

    talon the banned wagon

    All of these type of shows be it bladeforging, tattoos or cupcake baking irritate me. Give half the time required to do even a mildly decent job then be irrationally over critical about the lack of perfection. Want to really highlight the talent of any of these people, give them identical projects, a realistic timeframe and then have a justifiable reason to rip apart the flaws.
  17. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    This hurts, but I agree with talon. I would rather see them work on similar projects in their own shops. That will show you the true masters.
  18. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Yep. So far, almost every single problem has been related to the limited timeframe for forging.

    I'm not sure they know the actual test that will be used. If they did, I'm sure there would be some different designs.

    As to the throwing thing...again, if you knew the strength of the guy throwing, you'd build to his strength. So, I wish they had calibrated the launcher to get the same speed out of both weapons to get a fair(er) test. Obviously, the guy that built it could throw it.
  19. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I don't know about the first episode, but in the second (this one), they told the smiths up front what the tests would be. They all knew their weapons were going to have to ice-chop and were going to have to draw-cut.

    Nah. They made what they did in the (very) limited time frame available to them. They didn't have time to "calibrate" to anything. The first chakram was bigger and heavier partially because he used a thicker bar to start with. Neither of them seemed to think about calibrating to strength, they just grabbed bar stock that they had on hand (apparently - who knows what ended up on the cutting room floor).

    Peace favor your sword,
  20. I knew Neil Keen and he was an authority on katanas. He told me in detail why a katana had to be made in only certain places in Japan and why traditional materials had to be used.

    In certain places in Japan the soil that the rice grew in and therefore the rice straw used for charcoal contained the correct elements(cobalt for example) that allow for making a katana that's steel was very similar to the tool steel that Krupp developed in the 1920s.

    The Japanese sword makes had no idea of this. It was extremely common for someone to apprentice for years and return home to make katana and fail to be able to make them. Then return to do the master again for more training. They could make them where that master lived, but never when they went back home and ended up being considered 'stupid'.

    He also told me how to kwikly id a 'real' katana, but I've forgotten enough of the details that I wouldn't spend any real money thinking I'd found one.

    He wasn't really a collector of them, but more a buyer of the ones in the US and selling them back to Japanese. He was one of the guys who put Yamaha on the map in the US and had become close friends with the top management of Yamaha. That is how he got into buying and selling katanas.

    After he told me all of this, I lost any desire I had to own a katana and view them as a 'freak of nature' instead of being anything special. For me I see no point having a 'fake'. As for the 'real' ones as they have such great importance to the org owners family, it wouldn't seem right for me to keep it.

    I assume that the soil is about the same as that clay in Japan that can be used to crack hydrocarbons in oil refineries.