My name is Daniel Casey. I was born in 1987, and live in Romance, Arkansas. I spend each day building customer-ordered Knives, Flintlock Rifles, Tomahawks, and a variety of other things. Blacksmithing has been my full-time job for many years now.
When I was young, I was an avid reader and a student of American History. I would get lost in tales of the Eastern Long Hunters and was mesmerized by the men I read about like William Wallace, Rob Roy McGregor, Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Nathan Green, Kit Carson, and of course Davy Crockett. All I could think about when I read these books was that all of these men have something in common . . . they needed a Bladesmith or a Gunsmith to become the legends they are. This is what inspired me to get into being a Blacksmith.
I built my first forge when I was 12 years old from an old Chevy brake drum. My little brother, Charlie, was my blower. After experimenting with this for a while, and after reading several books on the subject, I built a much better one when I was 14 with an old friend and gentleman Tom Harvell.
I later worked with a fine older gentleman named Rex Harral. He was a self-sufficient homesteader and craftsman. As a trade for learning from him, we struck a deal . . . I would fork all of the winter manure from his barn every spring, load it in a wagon, harness a team of draft mares, and spread the manure over the garden and cornfield. I would then harrow and plow it in.
As payment, Rex would teach me volumes of things from basic mountain crafts and blacksmithing to forge welding, making chisels and carving knives as well as scorps and scrapers. We built butter churns and buckets, hand-crafted spokes fellows, and hubs to build complete wagon wheels. We dynamited clogged water wells and so much more. One of my fondest memories of working with Rex was drawing a bucket of water from the well after working in the heat and humidity. Drinking the water from a dipper so sweet and cold as it ran down my chin and the sound of the squeaky old pulley just a singing as the bucket was lowered down again . . . . I have to say I haven’t found a bottle of water to match it yet!
At 15 years old I was offered an amazing opportunity of learning from the world-renowned Master Gunsmith Hershel House and his brothers Frank and John House. Visit their website here.
While I learned something from all of them, Hershel truly invested his time in me, for which I will always be grateful. Hershel taught me the basics of building rifles and traditional blade smithing. Hershel gave me a great foundation on which to build my skills and was/is always willing to offer a kind word of encouragement. I also learned a whole lot about Model A & T Fords (which Hershel collects). Single stroke hit-and-miss engines, grist mills, and moonshine. I love him for it all!
Since the day I built my first forge at age 12, I have pursued the mastery of my craft. It hasn’t always paid the bills, and I’ve had to work part-time at various jobs while building my original pieces after work. As a teenager, I poured concrete, framed houses, wrote articles for outdoor magazines including Muzzleloader Magazine, roofed houses, worked as a scrapper, welder, fabricator. I also worked in many machine shops as a mill operator, lathe operator, CNC operator and shop foreman. I’ve driven grain and potato trucks during harvest, bought gold from pawn shops for a refinery, dug ditches, cut firewood, ran traplines and maybe even ran some shine when times were tough, but always build knives and rifles.
In 2013, my wife Chelsey convinced me to contact The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and invite them to my gun shop.
My gun shop ended up being featured in a segment called Craftsmen of the Ozarks, accompanied by an article in the newspaper about the experience. About three months later I was contacted by a gentleman who had read the article and was interested in filming some of my work for a possible future show on the History Channel. We filed a three-day piece that was sent to the History Channel and they offered us our show “Iron and Fire” which was an absolute blast to film. Sadly, the first season of the show did not receive the ratings they were looking for, so it ended after the first season. After the show was over, I also competed on History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” in Season 5, I lost to a great young smith, but it was still quite an adventure.
During the last few months of filming “Iron and Fire” in 2015, we decided to start our business “Casey Arms”. Its been over 7 years since making that decision, an we are still in it! I must admit, I couldn’t do it without my amazing Wife, Secretary, Leather Worker, and Cheerleader – Chelsey Casey
In March 2022 I started my Casey Arms YouTube channel to share with you how I hand-make my projects.
In July 2022 we launched our Online Shop, where fans can purchase branded clothing and accessories, as well as a variety of handmade things from knives to leatherwork – straight from our shop.
I am very excited about what the future holds. I am always working on new and unique things. I would tell you more about it, but instead, watch for it to post on my YouTube channel in the near future. It is a true honor to have the time and ability to honor our history through this dying art. I hope you enjoy what we do, and thank you for being a fan and supporter!