ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local clinic director Cody Csontos recently appeared on the History Channel’s “Forged in Fire,” showing off his bladesmithing chops on the episode “Chef’s Special.” I had the chance to ask Csontos about his experience on the show and how a Christmas “experience” he wanted to get for his father seemingly started his blacksmithing journey.
Growing up near Mariaville Lake and graduating from Schalmont High School, Csontos has been a Clinic Director with Choice Physical Therapy for roughly six and a half years. Now, in Clifton Park, I asked Csontos how he got started as a bladesmith.
“A little over two years ago I really wanted to get my parents experiences for Christmas rather than gifts. My father is a skilled woodworker and has been a maker my entire life. I thought it would be cool if we could do a knife-making class together,” Csontos said. “I found a local smith named Steve Wayne over at Heather’s Heart Forge in Stephentown who offers two-day knife-making classes. He invited me to his shop before the class to take a look around and let me hammer on some hot steel making a fire poker. A couple of months later my father and I took his course and I was hooked.”
Csontos started researching on his own, built his own shop space, and taught himself using online resources and with the help of other local smiths. He credits the local black/bladesmithing community for all he’s learned from them.
“The local black/bladesmithing community is an exceptional group of people that are welcoming and very forthcoming with information,” said Csontos. “Before studying physical therapy, I studied mechanical engineering as I enjoyed working with my hands and building, getting into knifemaking certainly scratches that itch!”
When it came to appearing on “Forged in Fire,” I asked Csontos how that all came about. He said he is a longtime fan of the show, and described the experience as “surreal.”
“I have been a long-time fan of the show, watching for years. In October of 2022 they made a posting that they were casting for season 10 and several other local smiths sent me the casting call recommending I should apply. At the time of application, I had only been really into making knives for about 1.5 years, so I was not expecting to be selected for casting. After going through several steps and processes I was selected for the Chef Special Episode. It definitely felt surreal being on the show, standing on the set that I have been watching on the TV for years.”
I asked Csontos what the coolest part of being on the show was. He was quick to give credit to all the other smiths on the show with him, as well as production and the judges.
“Without a doubt, the coolest part about being on the show was all of the people I had the opportunity to meet. The other smiths I competed with were great and a pleasure to be with. The production crew and judges were all incredibly nice and down to earth, I still remain in contact with a few of them.”
On his website, Csontos considers himself a “hobbyist bladesmith.” I asked him how he juggles being a clinic director with his passion for bladesmithing and knife making.
“Most of my work in smithing is consolidated to evening on the weekdays (after my son goes to bed) or on weekends where my wife and I can coordinate and plan for a couple of hour blocks at a time. I am fortunate to have an incredibly supportive team at Choice and each week we establish top priorities to help keep us on track moving forward toward our goal of providing a top-notch [physical therapy] experience for our patients.”
Csontos said whatever his most recent project is is his favorite at the time. He says he tries out something new with every build to keep learning. He told me about some other personal favorite projects, as well as a recently finished Japanese kitchen knife that’s his current favorite.
“I recently finished a Damascus Japanese kitchen knife that is my current favorite. Another cool project is actually when we redid our mudroom in our house as a gift to my wife for Christmas. My father made floating shelves to go above our washer and dryer and I forged the brackets to hold it up.”
Anyone interested in following Csontos’ bladesmithing journey, seeing his projects, or would like to know more, can follow him on Instagram (@C2Forge) or check out his website online.