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Forged in Fire Challenge


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This may be way out there, but I was bouncing around the idea of an informal 'Forged in Fire' style challenge on the forum for those interested in participating. What I mean by that is crafting a blade out of the materials commonly provided on the show (cable, leaf springs, coils, tools, saws, lawnmower blades, etc.) in 3 hours. You would then have an additional 3 hours to finish up your blade and affix a handle. The only difference is that we would be operating on the honor system for time, and since not everyone has 3-6 hours they can spend forging consecutively the time can be split up here and there as long as it doesn't cumulatively exceed the limit.

I think it would be fun to see what people come up with and for the participants to post a Round 1 and Round 2 photo of their work.

Would anyone be interested in that? My feelings will not be hurt if I am the only one sitting on a pile of junk and looking for an excuse to make a knife or two out of it.... :P

Edited by David Fischer
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Yeah, seems like 9"-12" has been their standard. I think the last episode was 9"-16". I like 9 inches as a minimum.

They occasionally throw in a variable like serrations or a fuller, but I would vote for leaving those out personally...

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It might be kind of fun, but I would vote to not include the tempering process in the 3 hours. I'd say 3 hours from raw material to a completed quench, temper however you want, then 3 hours to finish.

 

Of course, opinions will vary, and once you open up the option of creating a different set of rules, everybody will want to add their own twist.

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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Having just done 4 practice knives for the NESMW contest in 2 hours or less. (I managed to do 2 in under time and 2 in over time)

And having done one at the event in 2 hours.
This sounds like fun.
It is a great way to work out order of operations and what is vitally important to you for a knife.

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Sounds fun... I'd probably participate. What would the tests be? Is there winners and losers such as in the show, or just a bunch of guys having fun ripping out a blade in record time plus pics and documentation of the testing?

If there are losers, how are they decided?

Here's an idea for a 1st challenge: RR spike knife forge off! Just a fun idea, because who doesn't have a few spikes laying around and a couple hours of downtime? I don't know about some of you guys, but that much good steel costs me too much to be able justify smashing it into a contorted shape that I wouldn't be able to sell at all. ;)

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I'm not sure how to go about actually judging the pieces in a fair/practical way. I was thinking this would be more of an informal, just for fun kind of thing. I have already forged a blade in the 3 hour time limit, I am planning on using the remaining three hours to attach a guard and handle tonight. I have taken pictures documenting my progression, and I'll probably record a video of me chopping/slicing a few things with it. As a newbie smith I thought it would be a good exercise in time management, and if anyone else wants to join me it would be fun to see everyone's uploads.

Maybe we can have some kind of vote about who pulled it off best when all is said and done.

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To judge the knives, it may be easiest to mail the finished pieces to a willing moderator for testing

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Well, being the manic/impatient person I am I jumped the gun and crafted an entry.

I made a Bowie knife out of a broken lawnmower blade. The blade measures around the 11" mark. The guard and handle are leftover brass from a door hinge kit. The handle is bamboo I recycled from a worn out cutting board. The first picture shows my blade after forging, quenching, and tempering. Not including the tempering process, I came in right at the 3 hour mark. The second picture shows my blade after the additional 3 hours to affix a handle. My handle is crude, the pins aren't quite even, the wood isn't finished with anything, but it does feel good in the hand. I would have liked to refine the shape more and clean up the guard but I ran out of time.

I took a video of me testing out my blade on 3 coconuts, which was one of the tests on the show. It chopped through all 3 without any damage. I had a small section of the edge roll, but I believe this is because I struck the metal vent on the top of my barbecue grill which I was using for a table. It could also be that the edge is just too soft. I chose a lawnmower blade on purpose, erring on the side of softer milder steel which is less likely to shatter/crack if not treated properly due to the time constraints. It's not really desirable for a knife but I figured it would be good enough to cut through a few things. I'll probably use is at a brush clearing tool since I have a lot of overhanging vines on my property.

I look forward to seeing what other people come up with, and if everyone wants to make this more of a formal contest instead of a personal challenge I'd be happy to craft another entry.

 

20150714_195719_zpsvptnjaid.jpg

19511821-437d-4a07-b695-ab49c870bf40_zps

And here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIJzEesapsw

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Well, being the manic/impatient person I am I jumped the gun and crafted an entry.

 

I made a Bowie knife out of a broken lawnmower blade. The blade measures around the 11" mark. The guard and handle are leftover brass from a door hinge kit. The handle is bamboo I recycled from a worn out cutting board. The first picture shows my blade after forging, quenching, and tempering. Not including the tempering process, I came in right at the 3 hour mark. The second picture shows my blade after the additional 3 hours to affix a handle. My handle is crude, the pins aren't quite even, the wood isn't finished with anything, but it does feel good in the hand. I would have liked to refine the shape more and clean up the guard but I ran out of time.

 

I took a video of me testing out my blade on 3 coconuts, which was one of the tests on the show. It chopped through all 3 without any damage. I had a small section of the edge roll, but I believe this is because I struck the metal vent on the top of my barbecue grill which I was using for a table. It could also be that the edge is just too soft. I chose a lawnmower blade on purpose, erring on the side of softer milder steel which is less likely to shatter/crack if not treated properly due to the time constraints. It's not really desirable for a knife but I figured it would be good enough to cut through a few things. I'll probably use is at a brush clearing tool since I have a lot of overhanging vines on my property.

 

I look forward to seeing what other people come up with, and if everyone wants to make this more of a formal contest instead of a personal challenge I'd be happy to craft another entry.

 

20150714_195719_zpsvptnjaid.jpg

19511821-437d-4a07-b695-ab49c870bf40_zps

 

And here's the video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIJzEesapsw

 

 

 

Nice looking chopper. On the judging, each participant could send their knife to another randomly selected participant to be judged by a specific criteria. Some more honor system stuff if its just for fun.

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