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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: A Very Forged Christmas

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[jazzy "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" plays]

- Tonight we deck our halls,

gather round the warm glow of propane forges,

and celebrate Christmas.

All right, gentlemen. Go ahead and open your gifts.

Four smiths...

join in on the holiday spirit

in the hopes of making it to the top of Santa's list

to win the best gift of all--

the title of "Forged in Fire" champion

and 10,000 Christmas dollars.

[end chords]

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- I'm Bill Young. I'm from Brewer, Mississippi,

but I rodeoed for about 20 years,

and pretty much everything we do is a competition.

I've been called a scrooge by my family,

so I'm hoping I can be a scrooge

to a few of these other smiths. [laughs]

- My name is Jamie Chandler. I have a BFA in metalsmithing.

That's probably gonna be my edge in this competition,

because having three hours of making knife

is how I learned to make a knife.

- My name is Boyd Ritter.

I'm a mechanical engineer from White Rock, New Mexico.

At home, my son likes to come in and do

the Wil Willis countdown every time he's tired of me

being in the garage by myself.

I'm really excited about Christmas, and hopefully,

I get a really good Christmas present of $10,000.

- My name is Ben Arlotta.

I'm from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

I'm a junkyard dog, so if it's hardenable,

I'll try to make a sharp thing out of it.

I have three priorities, really,

coming into this competition--

produce the best piece that I can,

to challenge the other competitors,

and to win.

- Bladesmiths, welcome to The Forge, and Merry Christmas.

- Ho ho ho.

It would seem your Christmas wishes

are about to turn into Christmas nightmares

as we move into three rounds of edged weapon-making

competition designed to test every aspect of your skills

in front of three wise men who will tell us which of you

is our next "Forged in Fire" champion

leaving here with a check for $10,000.

Let's go ahead and meet Santa's helpers now.

Up first, ABS Mastersmith J. Neilson.

Next, historic weapons recreation specialist

David Baker.

And last, edged weapon specialist Doug Marcaida.

Now, gentlemen, for most people,

their favorite part of Christmas is the gifts,

so I have some for each of you.

As I call you up, one at a time,

you'll come and select a gift

and take it back to your anvils.

Don't open it just yet. Wait for everybody else.

Ben, you're up first.

- You're automatically going right back to nine years old

and just excited to tear into that box

and see what present's waiting for you.

- Bill, you're up--please come and select your gift.

♪ ♪

Jamie, please select your gift.

♪ ♪

All right, Boyd. You're up.

- I'm picking up my box, and I hear rattling.

I am really not excited to tear into this gift at all.

I'm hoping for a nice solid chunk of steel.

I don't think anything in this box is that.

- All right, gentlemen. You have your gifts.

Go ahead and tear into 'em.

[suspenseful music]

Bill, it is a 52-100 high carbon

chromium steel ball bearing.

Jamie, that is round stock W1 steel.

Boyd, that is 1095 square stock.

And then over here on the end, Ben, that is 5160 spring steel.

Gentlemen, I would like you to take these

high carbon steel gifts that you've been given

and turn them into a signature blade in your signature style

by combining them with the mild steel

of these toys underneath the tree

to create a San Mai blade.

Keep in mind that in the second round

you'll be attaching handles to these blades

to turn them into fully functional weapons

that will be tested for strength and durability

in a Yule log chop

and for edge retention in a Christmas light slice.

I remind you that, at the end of this round,

after the judges have inspected your work,

one of you will have to surrender your blade

and leave The Forge. Good luck.

Your three hours starts now.

- And ho, ho, ho we go.

- J., we gave our competitors

four different types of steel.

Do you think that somebody has more of an obstacle?

- See, actually, it's kind of great

the way we got this broken up,

because everybody's got a challenge.

Two of our contestants have to forge weld to get more steel.

Our 52-100--he doesn't have to forge weld,

but that core is huge.

And then you've got Ben on the end with the 5160--

great forging steel,

but he's got to uncoil it to get in the forge and work.

- Big piece of 5160's heating up.

I'm gonna work on my mild steel, stay ahead of the game.

For mild steel, I chose the dropout tube

from a little kid's tricycle.

It's hollow. All I have to do

is cut it on one side, and I can open it up

and I have access to a flat piece of steel.

Step one for the 5160 is to get it uncloaked

and make sure that I have enough material to work with.

Christmas is my favorite holiday,

and what better way to spread cheer

than with fire and force, man? It's beautiful.

- San Mai literally means "three layers"

in the Japanese language. - Right.

Can we refer to it as Santa Mai?

Come on.

- Wil, I appreciate the present,

but I would have much rather had a cell phone.

Something. Anything.

I've never had any luck with 52-100 steel.

I got the big ball of 52-100,

and just it's taking forever to heat it up.

I cut the handle off of the wagon.

It was a solid shaft. Cut it off.

Stuck it in the forge.

Drawing it out. Flatten it out.

Cut it in two pieces. I'm ready to stick it on.

- I got my W1 round stock cutoffs,

so I'm just trying to get those drawn out into bars

so I can stack 'em together and forge 'em into something

I can actually use.

While that's heating up in the fire,

I start prepping my mild steel.

I'm just trying to get the paint off of these.

Otherwise, it'll cause inclusions and make a whole

bunch of fumes that are kind of deadly and poisonous.

- Boyd actually has the 1095 square stock--

a lot of little pieces.

- I wish I had a better present,

but I must have been doing some pretty bad stuff

to get saddled with this-- [breaks off, laughing]

I have never forge-welded anything

with so many directions it can move

when I start to press down on it.

So I'm thinking, at this point,

I'm just gonna get it really, really hot

and hit it on the press.

I rotate the bar...

and all my seams blow to pieces.

Now I'm in full panic mode.

It's just a nightmare, at this point.

- Ben cut a tube off of one of our toys.

It's not gonna give him much steel for anything.

I'm really kind of concerned of where he's going with this.

- I realize that this is way too short

because I wanted the length of the mild steel

to cover the length of the hardenable steel,

and this is simply not gonna cut it.

So I grab the pogo stick

and I decide to use a part of the handlebars.

So I'm just trying to focus on the problem that I've got

and solve it, and then we'll move on to the next one.

- You have just two hours remaining

to finish your blades!

Look at the size of that piece of steel

that Bill keeps cycling in and out of that forge.

- The key to working with 52-100 is keeping it hot

and not trying to work it cold.

I'm not real good at waiting, but now I've got to wait.

- I, uh, formed out all my individual pieces.

Stacked 'em together. Forge welded 'em.

Drew it out, and now I'm gonna attach the mild steel

to the sides, forge weld that on,

and then I'm gonna make the profile of my knife.

I feel behind, but I'm gonna feel that no matter what,

so I just gotta keep on moving.

- I'm trying to cut some usable pieces

out of my billet.

- Boyd's already had one flawed weld.

He's trying to put it back together,

trying to weld it again, so Boyd's scmbling.

He's running out of time.

- I'm gonna restack, clean up these faces.

Get everything nice and tight. Re-weld it.

Put it back in the forge.

Time's ticking away,

and I can't afford to mess this weld up.

- Now I've got my three pieces of steel.

It's time to tack all three of 'em together,

get 'em hot, make that billet.

I start getting it hot to weld.

[machinery whining]

So I'm in the press, and...

the whole San Mai comes apart.

all: Oh! al- Oh.!

- Oh, man.

- One whole side came loose,

and I just bailed on it straight away.

You know, don't chase a bad idea.

[bleep] Now I have to find a new piece of mild steel.

That's what we're doing.

See the footpad on the tricycle?

There's a bunch of material there.

- Ben's got about 90 minutes remaining

to turn this, uh, disaster

into a little bit of a Christmas miracle.

[rock music]

- I finally get this big ball drawn out,

and I've been a welder all my life.

I really know my way around a welder.

I've got my two pieces of mild steel.

I line 'em up on the spine of the blade.

- What I do like about Bill's setup

is he welded all the way along those edges.

- Right. - So you don't get

any atmosphere inside of 'em.

♪ ♪

- I'm drawing my steel out, lookin' around.

I see that I'm gaining on everybody else,

and things are starting to look up for me.

♪ ♪

- You can just tell that Jamie

is having a hard time wrangling this hammer, man.

- That's fatigue.

- It's past two hours,

and my grip is starting to slip.

I can't hold on to things tight.

My arm's tired. I'm getting hot.

It's like running a marathon.

It's just so stressful and so physical.

It's much more of an endurance race

than like a talent contest.

- Bladesmiths!

You have just 60 minutes remaining to finish your work.

♪ ♪

- Boyd hasn't started with any mild steel at all.

All he's working with

is his hardenable steel. - Oh, wow.

- I need to get my mild steel,

and I see the pogo stick.

Fortunately, the pedals were metal instead of plastic.

They're actually really thick pieces of mild steel

that will help me add the mass that is missing to my knife.

I'm just gonna set it very delicately with the hammer.

I don't see anything moving. My billet feels very solid.

Nothing's splitting apart on me.

I'm starting to do the happy dance,

but I have a lot of catch-up to do.

- My first attempt at the weld

didn't really go all that hot.

For this weld, to make sure that it holds,

I'm gonna put more tap welds on it.

I'm not messing with the press.

I'm going over to big blue.

And this time it works,

but that clock doesn't stop ticking,

so I just have to quench.

- Ben has to be really careful about not overheating that

and not have his seams fall apart.

[intense music]

♪ ♪

There's a warp in that.

- I lean the blade on my handle, grab it by the point

and try to straighten out that bend right there.

Those judges will judge a finished knife from me today.


- Bladesmiths, 30 minutes!

- I'm trying to drill my holes for my pins, for my tang.

♪ ♪

I can't get the high speed drill bits to drill it.

I can't get the carbide drill bits to drill it.

I'm getting a little bit frustrated on the drill press.

I don't think most people would use an oxygen acetylene torch

to cut a hole in your tang, but go get the blowtorch.

Blow me three holes in it.

- Well, man, we've never seen a guy

just torch the holes for his tang before.

- It works. That's cool, I like that.

- Jamie, right now,

is the temperature that-- oh, perfect.

- There we go. - Perfect.

- Nice. - Oh, yes.

Stir it up, baby. Stir it up.

- Whoa! - Oh!

- Yeah, you really don't want to pull your blade

out of the oil until it kind of stops smoking.

- Eh, Jamie's got a warp.

- I run to the vice and I just push my weight on it,

just enough to get it beyond the bend.

- Ten minutes, bladesmiths!

- I need to get this thing quenched...

♪ ♪

And it's either gonna come out straight as an arrow or not.

And I notice that warp, so I pick it up.

It's not a terrible warp.

I'm hoping it's something that I can get with the grinder.

It seems like it's hardened well.

I need to finish my blade.

- Five, four,

three, two,

one. Bladesmiths,

shut down your machines, drop your tools.

Whew! This first round of Christmas competition is over.

- Ho, ho, ho, ho.

- I'm nervous.

The judges watched me chase that weld

for the better part of the entire competition,

and just based on the steel that I had,

I did what I could.

So we'll see. [laughs]

- Bladesmiths, that was a tough first round of competition.

Now it's time for the judges to take a closer look

at what you've done with your time.

Bill, you're up first.

Please present your blade to the judges.

[dramatic music]

- All right, Bill. What I really love seeing

is looking down and seeing those three layers.

I mean, there's no question that they're there.

Really well done, but there's still a ton of steel here.

This is a weighty beast right now.

When I'm holding this blade,

there's just not a lot of stock to it.

Figure out what you're gonna do with that handle,

lose some weight off of this thing,

and you're well on your way.

Nicely done. - Thank you.

- Jamie, please present your blade to the judges.

♪ ♪

- I can see the difference between the hard

and the soft steels, but instead of just a line,

I see a seam going down, but a lot of weight.

Lose a lot of this mass, and hopefully, doing that,

you can get rid of these seams, too, if you move on.

But it was a good choice what you did

of adding more steel, so good job.

- Thank you.

- All right, Boyd.

Please present your blade to the judges.

♪ ♪

- The one thing that I do see here--

you have some seams here on the spine.

If you move forward, that's something to consider.

But overall, solid piece of steel,

and we just need to find out-- hidden tang or not.

- Thanks.

- All right, Ben.

Please present your blade to the judges.

♪ ♪

- You did a good job drawing that 5160 out, initially,

but you got it long and thin.

And then when you starte doing those welds

your welds were long and that material was thin,

and I think it shows in that

there's just places where that material's burnt away.

- Yes, sir. - I mean, you pushed through

to the end on this thing.

You were really fighting that steel.

- Yes, sir. - If you move forward,

the biggest issues are these delaminations.

Finding a way to fix that might be pretty tough.

- Yes, sir.

- But, um, props for pushing through.

- Thank you.

- Gentlemen, judges have deliberated.

They've made their final decision.

It's time for one of you smiths to leave The Forge.

The bladesmith leaving The Forge is...

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪


Your blade didn't make the cut.

- Ben, this competition's all about problem-solving

the challenges we give you, and you did just that.

Took you two tries, but you turned in the blade.

At the end of the day, your blade was least finished

than that of your competitors.

For that reason, we're sending you home.

- I understand.

- Ben, unfortunately at this time,

I have to ask you to please surrender your blade.

♪ ♪

- I did my best to be able to stick to my plan

and dealt with problems as they came.

Just made a mistake in the mild steel that I chose.

Will learn from it and will get better.

You only lose if you don't learn anything, you know?

It wasn't a victory,

but it certainly wasn't a loss either.

[dramatic music]

- Bladesmiths, congratulations.

You've made it to the second round of this competition.

And now that your blades have been tempered,

it's time to attach holiday handles to them

using that nutcracker right over there.

You'll have two hours in which to assemble your handles

and get them ready for weapons testing.

We'll be testing them for strength and durability

in the Yule log chop

and for edge retention in a Christmas light slice.

So I remind you that at the end of this round

after your blades have been tested,

one of you will be selected to surrender your blade

and leave The Forge with no milk and cookies.

Good luck. Your two hours starts now.

[melody from "The Nutcracker"] - Ah! Sorry.

- So this nutcracker is made out of

pretty solid-looking wood, man.

- Out come the hammers. - Oh, my God.

- There you go. - There we go.

[overlapping chatter, laughter]

- Oh! And again.

all: Oh! - That's good, that's good.

- Some child is sitting at home crying

while his toy is destroyed.

♪ ♪

- I need to get the slight warp

that I was dealing with out.

I need to grind away those [indistinct]

along the spine of the knife,

and then I'll jump and start dealing with

the little man-guy thing.

- Bill needs some kind of swell in the back,

'cause he's got so much blade.

- So I just cut a little piece of mild steel...

welded it on, made a flare,

and ground it down and feels a lot better.

It won't try to fly out of your hand anyway.

♪ ♪

- Right now, I'm just trying to get

all my handle pieces assembled

so I can get 'em glued up and set.

I got this nice red Micarta.

I got this hunk of the nutcracker.

I'ma dye these green.

So I'm pretty much just trying to turn my knife handle

into a Christmas present that I can give to the judges.

I take my wooden pieces and my spacer

and I glue those down to the black spacers

so that I pull 'em off the board--

it'll be just two solid slats that I can just work with.

I need to give it at least five minutes to set up,

so I grab my knife and go and try to fix these problems.

- Right now, I'm getting my handle fitted up.

I ended up using one of the legs

off of the little soldier guy.

I'm feeling the pressure right now.

I'm still working with my fit,

so I'm a little stressed at the moment.

- Well, Bill's back over to the drill press

with that tang that's given him so much trouble.

- The holes in my scales--

they're not big enough right now

for the pins that I'm planning on using,

so I'm trying to drill it out.

It starts to scream a little bit

then hangs up in the hole, and I'm stuck.

- Bill's got a drill bit stuck on his tang.

- Oh...

- I can't get it to move.

I'm trying to twist this drill bit out,

and there's a possibility that it could snap

right there where that hole is.

This could be a $10,000 mistake right here.

I finally just have to just bust it off

and knock it out with a punch.

So now I'm going back with the acetylene torch

and just hope for the best.

- Bladesmiths, you got 60 minutes remaining

to finish your work.

- I grind for about 30 minutes,

and I go and check on my handle pieces.

And I look at my handle slats and I take the clamps off

and it's looking really nice, and I go to pick 'em up

and I glued it to my cutting board.

[suspenseful music]

And I'm freaking out.

- Uh-oh. - Looks like Jamie just epoxie]

- Uh-oh. - Looks like Jamie just

epoxied his materials onto the table.

- I go to hit the second one, and only half of it flies off.

- And there... both: It falls apart.

- I'm just gonna try to line up all these little pieces

into one block, which is the thing I didn't want to do

in the first place, and I guess it was unavoidable.

- Boyd's a little bit behind the power curve

doing this, you know, through tang construction.

- I really would have liked the option for a full tang,

but just based on the steel that I had, I couldn't do that.

- I don't think Boyd mixed his epoxy very thoroughly

because things aren't drying over there.

- You need to give the epoxy time to do its work.

I don't have time to do that, so I'm gonna rush it a bit,

and I just grab the knife.

- What Boyd calls the "good enough."

- I take it to the grinder.

I was expecting this would be a real fast, easy trim,

you know, sawdust everywhere and...

nope, it's not moving at all.

And I'm looking at the clock, and it's ticking down.

I'm thinking it's the chopping and slicing competition,

not the handle competition.

I need to get sharpening and finishing my blade.

- 30 minutes, bladesmiths!

- So I'm a little bit nervous

'cause I might be a little slower

on putting handles on than I am at forging.

- If Bill doesn't make his handle out of material

found in that nutcracker,

he's disqualified automatically

with no deliberation.

- I'm using Micarta because I'm thinking

it'll stay together with this log chop

better than a piece of wood.

We gotta use part of the nutcracker,

so I'm gonna use his beard.

I'm gonna just cut a strip out of it

and lay it around the outside edge of my handle.

- And I think that that's a really bad idea.

The knife is great. Like, don't mess it up

by just gluing fur to the handle.

Who had a fur-handled anything ever?

[rock music]

- I go over here to the grinder

and put a real nice, fine edge on it.

And I'm leaving it heavy

because I'm worried about the log chop.

I don't want to thin it out and have it break.

I want to see J. just beat the fire out of it.

- Five minutes!

[rock music] - I'm running behind.

I got my handle material on,

but I still have to shape that completely.

I still have to take care of the edge bevel and sharpening

and get these hollows a little deeper.

- Five, four,

three, two,

one! Bladesmiths,

shut down your machines. Drop your tools.

This second round of competition is over.

- I just spent all this time making this piece of artwork,

and now I'm just gonna watch someone

beat the absolute crap out of it.

I want to see it do well,

but I also know about all the mistakes involved.

- All right, bladesmiths.

Welcome to one of my favorite parts

of our competition-- the strength test.

[dramatic chords]

To honor Christmas, I'm gonna take each of your knives

and I'm gonna beat them into these Yule logs.

Bill, you're up first. You ready to go?

- Try me, if you want to. - [laughs] Okay.

- J. is gonna test our blade on a log chop.

If there's a crack in my blade

when J. busts that log with it,

it could just break in half.

- You know, it's not really a Yule log without a fire.

[jazzy "Jingle Bells" plays]

♪ ♪

[grunts] Uhh!

♪ ♪

- Damn.

- All right, Bill. Survived.

Good job.

Only problem we have is your blade picked up

a pretty good bend in that test.

Your handle's a little hard to hold on to.

The beard addition actually makes it a little slippery,

so there's a couple times I had to readjust.

But you're sharp.

It's all in one piece. Good job.

- Thank you.

- So after seeing that, Jamie,

how's your Christmas spirit?

- It's pretty good. - Good?

All right. Well, let's test it.

[percussive music]

- I just watched Bill's blade perform,

and that thing just smashed those logs right up.

And I am so worried, 'cause my blade

is so much lighter and thinner than his.

It already has a warp in it. I am so worried

that my blade is just gonna snap on the first strike.

♪ ♪

[intense Christmas melody]

- [grunting]

♪ ♪

- Congratulations, Jamie. It stayed together.

The only problem I have is it's a very small handle.

It was kind of hard to hold on to, but it's tight.

It's sharp. Good job.

- Thank you. - Boyd, it's getting hot

up there, but I got a little more in me.

How about you? - You bet.

- All right. Let's do it.

- When J. goes to banging on that Yule log,

there's a lot of stress that's gonna be built up

right at that front joint behind the guard.

I'm worried that I have empty cavities in that handle

that are just un-reinforced,

and after two or three strikes, they're just gonna crumble.

♪ ♪

- [grunting] Uhh--uhh!

[intense music]

♪ ♪

[suspenseful music]

- Good job, Boyd. Your edge is still sharp,

but your handle is big, so it's a little awkward.

But survived. Good job.

- Thank you.

♪ ♪

- All right, bladesmiths.

This is the sharpness test, the Christmas light slice.

To find out how sharp your blade is,

I will take your weapon

and slash across these Christmas lights.

A sharp blade should cut easily and give you clean cuts.

Bill, you're up first. You ready for this?

- Try me if you want to. - All right.

Let's do this.

[intense music]

♪ ♪

All right, Bill, let's talk about your blade here.

It's a heavy beast. You still have a warp here,

but more importantly, for this test, it will cut.

- Thank you.

- All right, Jamie. Your turn.

You ready? - I am.

- Let's do this.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

All right, Jamie, let's talk about your blade here.

It's got a very sharp edge. It cuts through in two slices.

Your handle construction-- it's comfortable.

I can index when I'm slicing with this blade.

And more importantly, sir, it will cut.

- Thank you. - Oh, Boyd.

It's time. Are you ready?

- Oh, no. No. - [laughing]

We're gonna do it anyways.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

- All right, Boyd, it felt good swinging your weapon.

You got a good weight to this and a sharp edge.

Now, your handle construction--

a little bit on the wider side,

but more importantly, sir, it will cut.

- Thank you.

♪ ♪ bells jingling]

- All right, bladesmiths.

Each of you has used a little help from the nutcracker

to make the blades that we tested.

And now, it's time for one of you to leave The Forge.

♪ ♪

Bill. Your blade didn't make the cut.

- Bill, you brought us a fine-looking piece

of San Mai steel.

This came down to three things--

the weight of your blade-- it's a really heavy piece,

the handle on that blade, and most of all,

the fact that you took that bend in the strength test.

That's a good indicator that there's something going on

in that steel that's not right.

- All right, Bill. Please surrender your blade.

♪ ♪

- I think the judges made the right decision.

I made a decision to leave my blade thick

so it wouldn't break during the log chop.

And the thickness and the weight of it

is essentially what bent my blade.

I'm not coming home with a Christmas present,

but I am coming home.

[dramatic end chords]

- Jamie, Boyd, congratulations. You guys are in the final round

of this Christmas-themed competition.

Now, we're sending you back to your home forges

to recreate this iconic weapon from history--

♪ ♪

The 1796 British light cavalry saber.

- [bleep].

- The 1796 English light cavalry sword

was first used by British dragoons

in the Napoleonic wars.

Unlike the subtly-bowed French cavalry sabers of the era,

the English version had a deep curve

whose width increased as it reached the tip.

Although this design weakened the blade's

thrusting capabilities,

it made every slash heavier and more brutal.

Designed to inflict maximum damage

during large melees on the battlefield,

the saber had the ability to remove heads and limbs

with a single stroke.

The light cavalry sword is the weapon

of the traditional wooden Christmas nutcracker

and can be seen at the iconic soldier's side

in the latest film adaptation

of the Tchaikovsky "Nutcracker" ballet

"The Nutcracker and the Four Realms."

The length of this blade must be between 31 and 33 inches.

It must have a fuller on each side of the blade

that runs to within 9 inches of the tip.

You must have langets on both sides of the blade,

a stirrup guard, and a backstrap handle.

- I've always wanted to build a saber.

They've always had very sleek lines to me.

They're smooth, they're fast,

and now I have an excuse to do it.

- You'll have four days at your home forges

in which to complete this challenge.

At the end of those four days, you'll return

and present your swords to our panel of expert judges.

After they've thoroughly tested your Christmas sabers,

they'll declare one of you the "Forged in Fire" champion

and give you a pretty nice gift.

All right, gentlemen. Good luck.

We'll see you in four days.

- Good luck. - Good luck.

[end melody from "The Nutcracker"]

[rock music]

- We're in Grand Rapids, Michigan,

and this is Vulcan Studios.

I'm gonna start with one chunk of 5160 spring steel,

and I want to sandwich two hunks of each spring

to create a San Mai billet.

The goal today is to just

get the San Mai billet put together

and then stretch out the billet

as much as I possibly can

so tomorrow I can really bring it home.

♪ ♪

And there it is.


I officially burned my billet into two pieces,

and I am definitely falling behind on the clock.

Had to make a whole new billet.

I'm stretching the billet,

and I see a little seam that's starting to come apart.

So I put the flux back on and I put it back in the fire.

And I see this big crack appear.

I wouldn't say first day wasted,

but it's looking pretty close.

♪ ♪

- I'm happy to be back home here

in Northern New Mexico at Christmas.

My overall plan right now is I'm doing a Damascus blade

out of W2 and 15N20.

Okay. Got all my seams closed.

I'm gonna bring it up to temperature.

I start drawing out my billet.

Everything on the power hammer's working excellent.

So with the time I have left I'm gonna get it cut,

stacked, and all welded up tomorrow.

♪ ♪

- I started my day off with 70% of yesterday's billet.

Third time's a charm.

Just decided to take more leaf spring,

put it on the outside of the billet

to add a little bit more beef

and keep going with the San Mai.

Don't want to stick.

For whatever reason, I cannot get the metals to fuse.

o stick.

For whatever reason, I cannot get the metals to fuse.

Bail on the San Mai.

I have to start over again.

I go in my junk pile

and I find a nice 2-inch bar of tool steel.

I'm very disappointed I have to give up

on my original San Mai construction,

but I have to make something that I can actually finish.

Forged out as far as I could go.

I don't have enough material. I'm about 5 to 6 inches short.

We go any thinner,

it's gonna be way too thin for the final piece.

It's a real [bleep] way to end day two.

- Morning of day two I got my steel all blocked up,

ready to go.

♪ ♪

[bleep]. I think I see cracks.

My last one cracked all the way down

to about the center of that billet.

There's no recovering from that.

They're just junk. I have to start plan B.

We're starting over.

We're gonna go mono steel with the 5160.

The plus side is my bar

is drawn out a lot further than it was.

I've lost half my day messing around with this Damascus.

Not to mention yesterday.

We're just gonna go all-out and move as fast as we can,

see if we can catch up.

- I was expecting to have a quenched sword blade

by the end of yesterday.

I don't even have the sword blade yet.

My emergency plan is I'm taking

two pieces of mild steel and making a San Mai billet

on the tang end of my carbon steel billet

in order to be able to draw it out long enough.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

[bleep], man.


I cannot believe this thing just cracked on me.

I've used the technique before and it works,

but I'm running out of time.

Like, I can't just mess around with something

that's not gonna work, so I abandon it

and I just grab a leaf spring.

Pressure's really on, but I'm gonna finish.

I'm either gonna turn something in

that I can be proud of, or I'm not showing up,

and I'm showing up. I'm gonna finish

my [bleep] blade and I'm gonna go there

and show them what I'm made of.

Mama didn't raise no quitter.

- Today I need to finish up that handle and guard setup,

and I need to concentrate a lot on the blade.

I mean, ultimately this is a really light weapon.

It needs to stay a light weapon.

I do have a lot to get done and a short amount of time.

But luckily I have my own personal Wil Willis here,

so at some point today I will get a countdown

and letting me know when all of this is done.

I'm gonna put Christmas on this handle.

I think it's cool.

- Five, four,

three, two,

one! Shut down your tools.

This competition is over!

- Good job, buddy.

["Jingle Bells" plays]

♪ ♪

- Jamie, Boyd, welcome back to The Forge.

The weather outside is frightful,

and I guarantee you what lies ahead is frightful as well.

You boys have had four days at your home forges

to work on the 1796 British light cavalry saber.

Boyd, tell us about your blade.

- I had a lot of fun with this build.

♪ ♪

The blade ended up being 5160.

The rest of the metal components are mild steel.

The handle is deerskin-wrapped blood wood.

- All right.

Jamie, tell us about your blade.

- It was a really tough four days.

♪ ♪

I ended up making the blade out of spring steel.

The guard component is mild steel, copper,

and some hardwood as the handle.

- All right.

What lies ahead are three tests.

There will be a strength test, a sharpness test,

and up first, Doug is gonna carve the roast beast.


["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" plays]

- Bladesmiths, welcome to the KEAL test.

Keeping with this Christmas theme,

I'm gonna take your weapons and deliver some slashes

and chops on this Christmas ham.

Jamie, you're up first. You ready for this?

- Let's do it. - Let's do this.

- I'm a little nervous about being first up

for the KEAL test.

I don't know what's gonna happen,

how well it's gonna do.

I am equal parts nervous and excited.

[intense music]

♪ ♪

- All right, Jamie.

The first thing that I notice is the extreme weight.

Automatically, I can feel the stress on my hand.

It wants to fall forward.

Now, let's talk about the blade.

This is a chopper that gets work done in three chops.

Your weapon, sir, will KEAL.

- Thank you.

- All right, Boyd. Were you naughty or nice?

'Cause it's your turn. - I don't know--we'll see.

Jamie's blade performed really well.

I mean, it sliced through the pig like it wasn't even there.

So now I'm a little nervous about my blade.

My blade is gonna have to do at least as well

for me to even have a chance.

♪ ♪

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- All right, Boyd. You nailed the weight.

This proves that a light, sharp blade

is just as deadly as a heavier sword.

Overall, sir, your nutcracker saber will KEAL.

- Thanks.

- All right, gentlemen.

It's time for the strength test.

Now, to test the strength of your sabers

I will be chopping into this ice block.

Jamie, you're up first. Are you ready?

- I am.

♪ ♪

I'm kind of nervous about this strength test.

It's so heavy, it's gonna be hard to control

once it hits that ice.

And because there's so much weight,

it might actually bend my sword.

[intense musical build-up]

[percussive music]

- [grunting]

♪ ♪

- The biggest issue I have with your blade is its weight,

but for this test, it's a strong blade.

It held up, so good job.

- Thank you.

- All right. Boyd, you ready?

- I don't know. - [laughs]

[hard rock music]

♪ ♪

All right, so Boyd, now, your blade's still sharp.

It still has a perfect edge.

Didn't take any damage that way,

but we did pick up a bit of a warp towards the tip.

I mean, it's definitely an issue.

It's not so far out that it wouldn't cut.

Everything else is still tight and together.

Good job. - Yes, sir.

- All right, bladesmiths. Now, it's time to find out

if there's any edge left in your weapon.

This is the sharpness test-- the Christmas tree trim.

♪ ♪

To find out how sharp your edges are,

I will trim this tree

in the Marcaida family Christmas tree tradition.

Jamie, you're up first. Are you ready for this?

- Trim away.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

- All right, Jamie, let's talk about your edge here.

It is a little bit on the obtuse side,

and it's still heavy.

But on every stroke, I'm able to trim this tree.

Overall, sir, it will cut.

- Thank you. - All right, Boyd.

It's your turn.

Are you ready to do some Christmas tree trimming?

- You bet. - All right, let's do this.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

All right, Boyd. So, your edge is sharp.

And the weight that you have for this--

I didn't have to reset for every cut that I did.

I'd just go cut up, cut up, and cut.

Overall, sir, it'll cut.

- Thanks.

- Oh, absolutely.

- Jamie had issues with weight.

I was good with weight,

but my blade bent during the strength test.

Right now, we're pretty even.

- So basically, it's down to a heavy blade and a bent blade,

and I am just shaking in my boots.

♪ ♪

- All right, gentlemen. The judges and I

have had a quick conference,

and they've made their final determination

about which of you is the "Forged in Fire" champion

and who has to leave The Forge.

The bladesmith leaving The Forge is...

♪ ♪


Now, unfortunately, Jamie,

your blade did not make the cut.

That's because it's very heavy and unwieldy,

and for that reason, I have to ask you

to please leave The Forge.

- I feel really disappointed, but I'm not surprised at all.

I know how heavy my sword was.

I just wish I could have done better.

Making that sword was such a struggle,

and after cutting my time down to, like, ten hours,

I still actually got something done,

and I feel good about that.

- Boyd, congratulations.

You are the "Forged in Fire" champion,

and that is a title that comes with a check for $10,000.

Merry Christmas, my friend. Anything to say to the world?

- Merry Christmas. - All right, my friend.

Come on over and shake our hands.

- I'm really happy the way that the sword turned out.

I was a little nervous when I saw it take that bend,

but I couldn't ask for a better performance out of it.

$10,000 is a great Christmas gift to me.

It's gonna be exciting. My son will be off the wall

probably for the next month-and-a-half.

[acid rock]

♪ ♪

- Ho, ho, ho. [sleigh bells jingling]

The Description of A Very Forged Christmas