Fishing skills

Bismarck-based welder to showcase his blade-making skills at ‘Forged in Fire’ competition

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — Making an appearance on network reality television is a rare achievement. This week, a Bismarck welder gets the chance to show the world what the people of North Dakota are made of when he participates in a program that showcases steel.

A welder by trade, Cody Adolphson prepares a piece of steel and lights his forge.

“I’ve spent my whole life hunting and fishing outdoors, and I’ve always loved knives,” Cody said.

Cody’s passion for blade making started two years ago when he made his first knife.

“I drove seven hours to Wisconsin and took a class with one of my best friends. We made my first Damascus knife and I was hooked,” Cody said.

Flames at the anvil…steel comes to life at Cody’s forge, Little Wolf Ironworks in Bismarck. Various techniques transform the material into unique works of art.

“Damascus is two alternating layers of steel. One has nickel in it and the other doesn’t. Depending on how you handle the metal, the pattern looks like steel,” Cody said.

Now Cody’s hard work has paid off. He will face off against three other blacksmiths on the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” show. In timed rounds, they’ll transform raw materials into the knives and weapons of history before the blades are put through a series of brutal tests of strength and sharpness.

“I did a five hour practice run here at the shop before going to the show. It went well. I did it. Making a 100 layer Damascus scale model, 15” blade. Tested myself and beat the heck out of it. I’ve tested my blades before. I’ve driven them into nails and cut water bottles after driving them in there. I hit them in the wood, the woods just to see if my heat treatment is right and I have a good knife,” Cody said.

It takes Cody about five hours to finish a knife and about six hours for the knife to be tempered.

Although there are few blacksmiths based in North Dakota, the trade has forged many lasting relationships.

“I love being from North Dakota. It’s crazy how united this state is and how supportive they are of people from this state going out and doing things like that,” Cody said.

Cody’s involvement in business has put him at the forefront of blade making, he is the first person to represent North Dakota on the network show.

You can watch Cody compete on “Forged in Fire” Wednesday on the History Channel at 8 p.m.

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