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Nationalist Pundit

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Forged In Fire Bladesgiving Marathon 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!  That time of the year again for families to get together.  But, rather than watch another dismal Lions football game, try the History Channel.  Wednesday night marks the beginning of the Forged In Fire Bladesgiving marathon for 2019.  At 9pm Eastern, we even get a brand new episode, where two families are pitted against each other.  Both families will field two bladesmiths, whom may wind up competing against themselves in the final phase.  Meanwhile, from 7pm Eastern Wednesday through all-day and night Thursday, the History Channel will air "Forged In Fire" for our viewing pleasure.  In between segments, we will get a fair amount of Tom-foolery as the show's judges butcher turkeys, pumpkins and other delights with knives, swords and axes.  The action may take you to the 'edge' of your seat!

I LOVE this show!  Especially when the judges test the blades forged.  Watching Doug Marcaida go through the motions, bashing ballistic dummies with swords and such is great fun.  As simulated blood, bones and faux organs are sliced and set flying, who knows who may get splattered?  For that matter, who knows if the blade will survive?  We have seen many break, often when J. Neilson tries busting up a block of ice.  Or the tension as David Baker bends swords 40 degrees both ways to see if the metal returns straight or breaks.  The weapons fashioned by the artisan competitors are put through their paces to see who will win the prize of $10,000 and the title as winner.  A title which will mean big bucks as the bladesmiths sell their wares to future customers.

Hosted by Will Willis, "Forged In Fire" has become a hit series on the History Channel.  While most TV series rarely air more than 16 episodes per season, "Forged In Fire" does double that, if not more.  Plus, it has begun a wave of new bladesmiths.  Some of the competitors on TV started making knives after watching the series.  One fellow who had only made about 50 knives in six months wound up beating the others, some with many years of experience.  Facebook is loaded with knife making and blacksmith pages.  You-Tube has hundreds of videos showing all sorts of tricks and tips for beginners.

Working with steel is not easy.  Too hot and the steel becomes brittle,  Too cold and it simply doesn't forge and comes out flawed and too soft to hold an edge.  During the first phase of the program, when the steel is forged, some bladesmiths toss out their work and do a second, sometimes a third billet to make their knives.  Time management and focus are crucial.  As is knowing the proper color of hot steel.  Then, when all is done, comes the quench.  That moment of truth when the steel is heated up one last time, then quickly cooled in mineral oil.  A loud ping means that the steel has fractured internally.  Another problem which may occur during the quench is warping.  In this case, a quick smith may be able to bend it straight during the few seconds before it cools off too much.  Otherwise, the blade may have to be reheated and quenched again, risking it becoming weaker, structurally, with each reheat.

So pass the cranberries, and the remote, and tune in to the Forged In Fire Bladesgiving marathon for 2019.  Some of the episodes being aired Wedsnesday night through all day Thursday include making astronaut survival knives, Chinese deer knife pairs, and reproducing George Washington's favorite sword.  Will we hear those immortal words by Judge Doug Marcaida, "It Will KILL!"?  Or will Will Willis tell the competitor, "Please surrender your blade and leave the forge."?  Watch and learn!  Gobble-Gobble!

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