Not too long ago, serious metal shaping classes were hard to find in the U.S. That began to change in 2012 when Baileigh first offered trainings led by top-notch metal shapers. We set a trend that rippled through the industry.
As Baileigh Social Media Coordinator Shane Henderson says, “We kind of started a metal shaping renaissance. Classes started to pop up everywhere. Now there’s a huge metal shaping movement on social media, and we started that.”
And Baileigh has kept on training the next generation of metal shapers.
Every year we host wildly popular 2-day metal shaping classes. At Baileigh HQ in Wisconsin, eager fabricators can hone their skills—and learn new ones—with help from celebrity instructors. Participants have come from as far as Australia, the UK, and Germany to learn from the best.
At our most recent class, in April, we were proud to feature the following line-up of metal shaping leaders:
- Aaron Kaufman and Jeremy Webster from Arclight Fabrication – The stars of Discovery Channel’s Shifting Gears worked side by side with participants and demonstrated a range of metal shaping techniques.
- Joe Mielke from Snap-Fab – The motorcycle parts expert taught manual shaping with hammers and shot bags as well as English wheel skills.
- Austin Paruch from Paruch Automotive Craftsmanship – The celebrity hot rodder trained the group in advanced English wheel techniques.
- Craig Rodsmith from Rodsmith Motorcycles – The viral video tutorial sensation showed participants the finer points of metal shaping with an English wheel.
- Chris Rusch from Baileigh and Rusch Machine and Design – The creator of our power hammers displayed the latest in innovative metal shaping techniques.
- Mike Wagner from Cornfield Customs – The rising fabrication star provided in-depth guidance on maximizing the value of bead rollers as well as power hammers
Watch some of these instructors in action.
We plan our classes so that every participant gets direct attention and training from our renowned experts. “We limit the classes to around 30 students, so there’s loads of one-on-one time,” Henderson explains.
Every student has the opportunity to practice with many different kinds of metalworking equipment, including:
- Power hammers and planishing hammers
- English wheels
- Shrinker stretchers
- Hand tools, like mallets and shot bags
As Henderson says, “There aren’t 100 guys standing around watching someone else shape metal. It’s hands-on. All the students get to make projects, like gas tanks and fenders.”
Our most recent crop of attendees gave the class rave reviews. Feel the metal-shaping joy as they talk about the event:
As Bobby Schumacher from Vintage Fabrication told us, “We had a great time and learned some new ways to move metal.”
After getting first-hand experience using many of our machines, Schumacher decided to add our best-selling power hammer to his shop. “The MH-19 multi-hammer is going to be a great time-saver. We can give our customers a better product in less time, making this a great investment.”
The benefits of our classes reach beyond the metal shaping skills that participants learn. “A Baileigh metal shaping class is a networking opportunity: 30 to 35 like-minded people spending 2 to 3 days together and getting to know each other. Everybody who comes to one of our metal shaping classes leaves as friends, following each other on Facebook and Instagram,” says Henderson.
“We’ve had thousands of students at this point, and we’ve connected so many dots across the United States, and sometimes around the world, with people who are into metal shaping. We’ve created a network of fabricators and metal shapers like nobody else has. It’s pretty cool.”
If you want to take a Baileigh metal shaping class, be sure to follow us on Instagram for announcements. Spots fill up fast. If you’ve recently bought a Baileigh power hammer, you go to the top of the list.
Have you ever attended one of our metal shaping classes? What did you learn? How did it help you? We’d love to hear about it. Post pictures on social media or tell the world what you learned in a blog post. We’re always happy to share updates from members of the #BaileighArmy!