(Courtesy of Seth and Amanda Marshall)

CASPER, Wyo. — Casper’s Seth Marshall will appear in an episode of the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” airing at 7 pm tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 4.

“You get to test your metal against other metal, literally,” Marshall says.

Marshall will appear in the episode alongside three other experienced bladesmiths, competing for the $10,000 prize.

This trailer posted to the “Forged in Fire” Facebook page gives a peek at tonight’s episode:

“Former Army Ranger Wil Willis hosts the competition series that sees four master bladesmiths challenged in each episode to forge the swords, which are then tested by a panel of judges consisting of J. Neilson, who has been making knives for more than 20 years, hand-to-hand combat specialist Doug Marcaida, and David Baker, an authority on replicating period-accurate weaponry,” the History Channel’s description of the show states.

The competition has three rounds:

  • Round 1: The contestants are presented with a material to be used to forge a blade. They then design and forge this blade, and judges then inspect their work. One competitor is eliminated at the end of this round.
  • Round 2: In this round, contestants are typically asked to craft a handle to attach to the blades they forged in round one. They can also work to sharpen or otherwise address flaws in their blades. Judges then test the weapons on a number of criteria, often using them to chop or slash various objects. Another contestant is eliminated.
  • Final round: The remaining contestants are given five days to create a historical weapon. They return home to conduct this forging work. They then return and their creations are tested in historically based scenarios. The judges then select a “Forged in Fire” champion to receive the $10,000 prize. The show does not bring the winners back to compete in future episodes.

Marshall got into bladesmithing as a hobby back in 2014. He’d seen “Forged in Fire” and decided to give it a crack.

(Courtesy of Seth Marshall)

“Oh, I can do that!” Marshall says he thought at the time. “I found that I had a knack for it.”

He started honing his skills and then began to sell what he makes to support his hobby, displaying his wares on his “Seth Marshall Customs and Damascus” Facebook page.

“It sustains the hobby,” Marshall says. “I pretty much break even.”

(Courtesy of Seth Marshall)

Marshall enjoys smithing damascus steel blades. Such blades have distinct markings on the flat parts of the blades and were historically known for being strong, durable and sharp.

He says that forging can involve using high carbon steel or different steel alloys, usually with nickel.

This metal is then heated and the bladesmith hammers it into form.

“You put the life into the blade by quenching,” Marshall says, explaining the steel is rapidly cooled to secure its shape.

Water, oil or air quenching techniques can include other elements to aid the process.

Marshall says that the overall process of crafting a finished weapon can take between 4-50 hours.

He applied to go on “Forged in Fire” before the new season kicked off.

“I made enough blades where they were ok with my accomplishments,” Marshall adds.

While he can’t share too many details ahead of Wednesday’s episode launch, Marshall said he had a great time.

“The experience itself is great,” he says.

(Courtesy of Amanda Marshall)

But very hot. Marshall says the the contestants worked in an environment with temperatures of about 120 degrees. He says that even his work in the oil field didn’t totally prepare him for such conditions.

“The other guys I competed against are all stand-up gentlemen,” Mashall adds.

The television crew and judges were also “super respectful.”

That’s a sense Marshall says he gets in bladesmithing communities generally.

“Since I’ve dove into the bladesmithing community, the sense of camaraderie is so strong,” he says.

Marshall encourages anyone who thinks they might have a knack for bladesmithing to give it a go.

(Courtesy of Amanda Marshall)