welding in forged in fire

Discussion in 'Knife Maker Shop Talk' started by Brad Lilly, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Brad Lilly

    Brad Lilly Moderator and Awards Boss

    So I'm watching an old episode of forged in fire. One of the knifemakers developed a crack in his blade. I was shocked to see him weld it up with a mig welder. I messed around with arc welding a spring once and had lousy results. I was under the impression if the base metal was hot and you normalized the steel after it might work. Anybody ever try welding high carbon with good results?
  2. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Oh it can be done...... but the more important questions is Should it be done. :) General purpose welding rod and wire are of a low carbon base, which means you're introducing another "type" of material into the mix. Unless the rod/wire is a very specific type, it won't harden, and it will ALWAYS appear in the finished product as a "glob" in the pattern. The general purpose rod/wire shows up a grainy, ugly, grey blob. Welding rod/wire also has vastly different forging characteristics then base blade steels..... meaning it will often crack/tear when forged.

    Ya gotta remember something when you're watching Forged in Fire, just like Youtube...... it's all about the drama, and ya gotta take it with a grain of salt. :)
  3. CRWhit

    CRWhit Member

    I often find it interesting that they never show tempering the blades. A

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  4. WY_Not

    WY_Not Well-Known Member

    That is done by staff after the time runs out and the competitors are done. We've had two members of our club, Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil, on the show. One of them gave a presentation on his experience at one of our club meetings. Very interesting experience. Basically what you see them do on the clock is what they do.

  5. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Forged in Fire is certainly something to experience. I was in New York last year for a screen test for a Judge position (obviously didn't get the part), but I learned a great deal about how they do things. Being a competitor on the show is simply not something that is for me. It's certainly all about the drama. There are a lot of things going on "off screen", that plays into what everyone sees on TV.

    The show itself is very popular, but they are at a point where they are running out of contestants. I receive a phone call or email about every two weeks, asking if I'd reconsider being a contestant. If I speak with them on the phone, they always ask for "leads" for possible contestants.
    I suspect in the future we'll see various types of "spin off" shows because of it's popularity.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  6. Smallshop

    Smallshop KNIFE MAKER

    Forged with fire is the Orange County Choppers of the knife world. Would any of you EVER buy a knife made on that show? It is fun to watch. But when the producers are setting the time demands on the craftsman...well...just look at the quality. I think most of those guys on their own turf/time are probably doing decent work.

    i was on a reality gardening show once....reality? LOLOLOL!!!

    Probably the best thing that could happen for all you custom builders is that it goes the way of OCC....then the unrealistic time constraints that result in piles of crap winning first place won't be part of the challenge you face on pricing....."What!! $800 dollars for a knife?? I saw a guy on Forged In Fire make an entire battle axe in three hours.....!!" MMMMM-Hmmmm....three hours of quality art. Snerk....

    Does ANYONE do good work with DRAMA as the daily fare....?
  7. John Wilson

    John Wilson Well-Known Member

    I'm happy for anything that makes knifemaking exciting to the general public. I agree with Ted's sentiment, though. A little bit goes a long way.

    A whole bunch of my friends were on a reality TV show called Game of Arms, which was the Forged In Fire of armwrestling. Yeah, it's cool to see so many friends on TV but the show was ridiculous and didn't do the sport any favors. It's a running joke now every time we all talk about it because the underlying theme of the show was that every single guy was down on his luck and needed to win the money to survive. The "drama" was hilarious when you know all of the guys personally. I have no idea how they film FIF, but the armwrestling show was as contrived as could possibly be. They'd film the "match" countless times from countless angles and then via the magic of editing turn it into what you saw on TV.

    Forged In Fire has gotten me some sales. Average Joe sees that kind of thing on TV and decides he wants a handmade knife. That's a good thing. Luckily for all of us, reality TV jumped the shark a long time ago and the public is wise to the fact that it's made-for-TV.
  8. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

    Hey, I think FiF is MUCH better than OCC!!! I remember when OCC first came on I was really looking forward to the program to see them build choppers (I built a few in '70's). It didn't take but a couple of times before I threw in the towel on OCC - too much anger drama there. FiF does not have the "anger drama" of OCC and that alone makes FiF MUCH better.

    My 2 cents {g}
  9. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey Dealer - Purveyor

    might watch the show if it comes to Netflix. I agree it all about 'The Drama'. to answer original question, tool steel needs special filler to be welded properly. If working with A2, you would need Harris 3AH special rod for air hardening steels. Harris Super Missileweld is recommended for high carbon and tool steels. You also need to preheat item to be welded and do a controlled cool. We had a bottom knockout beam in our forging press, 15' x 8" x 12" of S series steel. folks would try to fix cracks with MIG, weld might last an hour or a day.
  10. Entropy762

    Entropy762 Well-Known Member

    I know it's TV but I still watch the show. My favorite part of the show is seeing other guys shops.

  11. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp Dealer - Purveyor

    I have been on the show, it has not aired yet. I can tell you that there is no fake drama. The only drama is created by the time limit. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done. The five days of filming at home was one of the most grueling things I have ever done, and have trapped at 40 below and walked 250 miles across the Brooks range. I often work ten hours a day but for me the ten hours a day in the forge non-stop (except for the 30 minute lunch) was a work out. I was sore and beat at the end of each day.

    It is not scripted, produced or contrived in any way.

    The only other show I know of that is not all faked-up is "The Last Alaskans" it is also as real as it can get. It's people just living life in the woods.
  12. Ty Adams

    Ty Adams KNIFE MAKER

    When will your episode air? I like the show and some of the crazy things that happen. It's one of only a handful of shows that I watch.
    My only complaint about the show is when I'm talking to people about knives. This is usually how it goes.

    Oh you make knives... Like on forged in fire.

    No I don't make knives like forged in fire. I don't forge, I only cut and grind them to shape. It takes me longer then they give the people on the show.

    Wow really why?

    Because I'm slow...

    How much do you charge to make a knife?

    $210 to $350....

    Wow your making a lot of money for something that only takes 3 hours.

    ??????Yep I'm rolling in $10 and $20 dollar bills.:biggrin:
  13. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp Dealer - Purveyor

    I know what you mean, Just tell them that on the show we don't have enough time to finish the knives to the degree that we want. There's not enough time. Actually, my average knife takes 50 to 100 hours to make.

    I don't know yet when the episode will air, I will let everyone know as soon as I do. They say they will tell us a week to ten days before it airs. My episode was 15th of season four.

    To answer the OPs original question. The contestants only have three hours to turn in a complete forged and hardened blade. When the blade cracked, the smiths only choice was to weld it. That's just a little better than turning in a cracked blade. No one would want to weld on a blade like that if they didn't have to. Make another blade, or reforge it into a smaller blade if you can.
  14. BossDog

    BossDog KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner

    On a tangent, I can tell you FIF is driving new makers into the craft and the rate is increasing. I talk to two or three brand new guys every week that saw the show a few times and want to try it.

    More interest in knifemaking will drive more sales and acceptance/awareness of the craft.
  15. Mark Knapp

    Mark Knapp Dealer - Purveyor

    Yep, all the tables were full at Blade show this year for the first time in a while. Attendance broke records too. I attribute it to the show, I can't think of what else might be driving it. It's all good. Cliche time, "A rising tide floats all boats"

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