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Local blacksmith competes on TV show

David McConell making a knife.

KALKASKA COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) --Inside a small shed in Kalkaska is David McConnell's getaway.

“Get in my shop and close the doors and nobody knows I'm here," McConnell said while working on his craft. "I just go to town.”

Ten years ago, McConnell picked up an interest in being a blacksmith, and began making and selling tools, even starting his own business, "North Woods Forge."

“When I first started out, I was smithing outside next to the house," McConnell recalled. "Now I have a little shop."

“Before and after work, on the weekends," said David's wife Rebekkah McConnell, as she rattled off all the times her husband is out in the shed. "I rarely see him because he’s outside smithing.”

While he's constantly busy, Rebekkah is fully supportive of her husband's passion.

“I think he’s happier blacksmithing, I think this is what he was meant to do.”

“Ahhh, I love it,” said McConell as he hammered away at the knife he was making.

A few years ago, McConnell discovered “Forged in Fire” a competition show on the History Channel featuring world class blade smith's and had an idea.

“I got pretty excited and watched it, and I thought 'yeah maybe I should apply to that someday,'” he said.

So McConnell applied to the show, and after rounds of interviews was selected to compete in an episode this season, which he says was extremely stressful.

“It was pretty intense filming," he recalled. "We were filming 12 or 13 hours a day for three days straight.”

After filming in both New York City and at his home workshop, the show is now ready to air. While McConnell hasn’t been able to talk about what happens on the episode, he can talk about the experience.

“It was a great experience," he said. "It was fun, and I met some great people.”

You can catch McConnell and North Woods Forge on Season 4, Episode 7 of Forged in Fire, airing Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. on the History Channel.

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