Episode #17 Randy McDaniel – “The $2 Blacksmithing Class”


Randy McDaniel has been forging hot metal for over 40 years and his business is called Expressive Metals out of Reading Pennsylvania. One of his biggest commissions was to design and forge the Children’s Garden entrance arbor at Hershey Gardens in Pennsylvania.  Besides forging steel he also works with copper, bronze and titanium. In addition to teaching basic and advanced workshops for more than twenty years Mr. McDaniel has also gained recognition and acclaim for writing and illustrating two  successful books called “A Blacksmithing Primer, A Course In Basic And Intermediate Blacksmithing” and “Hydraulic Forging Press for the Blacksmith” both are published by Finney Company/SkipJack Press and are available here.

Thirsty Monstr Bottle Openers Titanium Dragon Head Letter Opener Flames Bronze Belt Buckle 

What We Talked About 

  • In 1972 the local farm museum was giving a blacksmithing class for 4 Saturdays, 2 hours a day for $2.00 and that’s how Randy started blacksmithing
  • His several different business names, RAMS Forge, Dragonfly(publishing), Expressive Metals (forging press work)
  • 1976 was the beginning of his full time blacksmithing business
  • How is teaching of blacksmithing started 3 years after he started blacksmithing himself and his first student
  • The progression of the “revival” in blacksmithing since the 70’s
  • His week long class he taught in Newfoundland
  • How big is shop is now (it’s his 7th shop he has set up), what tools he has in it including his 60 ton homemade hydraulic forging press
  •  His Etsy shop and how it is doing as far as selling
  • How he prices his forge pressed belt buckles and the process of making them
  • Pricing tips that he talks about in his blacksmithing classes
  • Writing his two books and the process of working with publishers and self-publishing
  •  The “Blacksmithing Primer” book came out in 1998 and he has sold over 16,000 copies so far!
  • His 3rd book that he is currently writing

Guest Links

Randy’s personal FB page – https://www.facebook.com/rachel.david.98?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Randy’s Expressive Metals Business Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/redmetal1245?pnref=lhc

Randy’s Etsy Page – https://www.etsy.com/shop/expressivemetals?page=1
A short clip of video from Randy’s 6 hour blacksmithing DVD that incorporates the Blacksmithing Primer book – http://youtu.be/9UT5-lsC0Ys

Randy’s books are available here – http://www.astragalpress.com/just_added.htm

Randy’s email is rams4G2msn.com

Today’s Sponsor: Finney Company, http://www.finneyco.com/

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