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Local bladesmith faces keen competition on ‘Forged in Fire’

Eric Finch, a senior at Slippery Rock University, hammers out a blade. Finch will appear in Wednesday’s episode of “Forged in Fire” airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the History Channel. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Butler County man had to be sharp as he competed to make a weapon on the History Channel show “Forged in Fire.”

Eric Finch, 20, a 2019 Seneca Valley High School graduate and a senior safety major at Slippery Rock University, will compete against three other bladesmiths on the show airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“The idea behind the show is competitive bladesmithing,” said Finch, the son of Jeff and Rebecca FInch. “Four bladesmiths take on three rounds of challenges. You forge a blade, and then there’s one elimination. Then you finish the blade you started in the first round.

“The blade goes under a sharpness, strength and KEAL test, and then another is eliminated,” he said. The remaining two competitors go back to their home forges and make the final weapon in 35 hours and return for a final test. A KEAL test is an acronym for "Keep Everyone Alive“ and emphasizes the importance of celebrating the art of forgery without causing harm.

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