When he made his first castration knife, Peyton Ramm didn’t think his skill would win him $10,000.
Ramm, of rural Valentine, is a bladesmith who competed on History Channel’s show “Forged in Fire” and walked away the winner in an episode that aired in January.
Ramm’s bladesmithing career began shortly after he graduated from the University of Nebraska. He always liked knives, so he decided to make some of his own, he said.
“I just started beating on steel,” Ramm said.
The first blades he made were castration knives. Eventually, someone asked to buy one and Ramm’s hobby became his part-time job, he said.
Ramm’s come a long way since then. He is a member of the American Bladesmith Society and certified as a journeyman bladesmith.
Before he agreed to go on the air, the TV show reached out to him twice. He declined the invitation both times because he didn’t feel he was qualified, he said.
“I told them ‘I can’t make swords,’ ” Ramm said.
Then he got the offer again in spring 2019. This time, he decided to accept, Ramm said.
“I knew a lot more, and I thought it’d be a good idea to do it,” he said. “I didn’t want to have any regrets about not doing it.”
So Ramm started training for the show.
“I went hard-core before that show,” he said. “I practiced, practiced and practiced.”
Ramm felt a mix of emotions when he went to compete in August, he said.
“They put me up against three bladesmiths. ... It was awesome, but I was nervous the whole time,” he said.
The worst part was waiting between rounds, but he fell into his groove once the timer started and he got to work, he said.
For the first round, Ramm went with what he knew and made a knife. It went well, but he had to do his best with some materials he hadn’t used before, he said.
“It came out pretty close to what I thought it should be,” he said.
The real challenge came when the contestants were asked to forge a sword, something Ramm had never done before, he said.
Ramm and the others were tasked with creating a replica of Joyeuse, the sword of the medieval emperor Charlemagne, he said.
“The whole thing was difficult. I had never made a sword before. I just had people tell me how to make it,” he said. “It turned out pretty good.”
It was definitely sharp — Ramm’s blade was able to cut through an entire pig — and it was good to impress the judges, who chose Ramm as the winner of the $10,000 prize, he said.
Ramm’s still making blades, just not on TV, he said. He makes and sells his knives. His blades can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200, he said.
When he’s not in the forge, Ramm works on his ranch near Valentine, he said.
In the future, Ramm would like to make and sell knives in the collectors market, and he’s working on becoming a master bladesmith, he said.
“Everything I did was pretty much guessing,” Ramm said of his appearance on the TV show. “I can honestly say I got lucky.”