Woodway: Knife maker tries to make the cut on reality TV show

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WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) Cutting steel was part of his job in the automotive industry, and for Jim McGuinn, 70, of Woodway, it's now his hobby.

(Photo by Ke'Sha Lopez)

The Vietnam veteran makes knives.

His skill took him all the way to Connecticut where he was a contestant on the History Channel's "Forged in Fire" reality television show.

He competed against three other veterans during a special on Memorial Day and making the cut wasn't easy.

"It was stressful but I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be,” he said.

The contestants were given three hours to craft a knife from a plate of steel that was sharp enough to penetrate and then chop a military can.

At the last minute the judges said the knives would also have to cut rope.

"So I made a knife that had a good point for stabbing and a razor thin edge for slicing much like a chef's knife, but the geometry of the knife's edge was not for that. So it failed right there but I had a great time."

McGuinn's knife didn't win any prizes but he did forge three lifelong friendships with the other competitors.

Working under pressure, he also made his friends and family proud as they watched the episode during a watch party he held.

McGuinn continues to practice his passion and teach others who want to learn.

He said it's important to keep these handcrafting skills alive.

McGuinn was drafted right out of high school in Oklahoma.

He received two Purple Heart Medals for injuries he received while in the service.