A Muskogee man whose fascination with creating knives using a railroad spike won $10,000 on the History Channel’s “Forged With Fire.”
Nic Overton, 23, found success on television when he won first place on a showing the reality show “Forged In Fire,” which his friends and family discovered amid applause at a Wednesday night watch party for Overton’s episode.
Overton has worked toward learning his craft since he was a boy.
“My parents moved to Muskogee from Fort Smith, Arkansas, when I was a kid, so my dad could run a church. This church had a program called the Royal Rangers — it’s like the Boy Scouts, but through the Assemblies of God,” Overton said. “We went on two campouts, and on one of them, we went into the blacksmith shop there and met the blacksmith. I built my first knife out of a railroad spike, and that was it. I was hooked.”
From there, Overton’s fascination became a career.
“I built my own forge out of some cinderblocks and gas pipe,” he said. “That’s how it got started, and it’s been a snowball effect from there.”
In the years since, Overton has started his own business, Nix Knives.
“Forged in Fire” is a show centered on blacksmithing. Each episode, four contestants compete in a three-round elimination contest to forge bladed weapons.
Overton was first charged with creating a knife, which was then subjected to a battery of tests, including cutting a pork shoulder and into a log of firewood. After advancing to the final round, Overton and his opponent were asked to create Frankish throwing axes called Franciscas.
Overton eventually edged out his opponent to take the competition after his axes bit easily into the ballistics dummies used to test their sharpness and durability.
“I can’t describe the feeling. I worked so hard for this and it finally came,” Overton said, following his victory. “It was a feeling of relief and a proud moment knowing that I made my mother proud.”
The blacksmith found his way onto the show after a customer suggested he look into it, he said.
“Once I got pretty good at my craft, I started selling some of my knives, and one of my customers told me I should try to get onto the show,” Overton said. “At the time I didn’t think much of it, but then I started watching the show and how they do things and saw it was a legit show.”
After some correspondence, Overton said, he made his way onto the show. He was flown to New York City to meet the cast and crew, and then went on to compete.
“’Forged In Fire’ is a legit competition,” he said. “It tested me to my limits and I really had an incredible time on the show.”