Next up is providing better tool access around the lathes and other machine tools. Every tool used in the process should be convenient, easy to reach, and just as easy to replace so it's there next time it's needed. The processes of pipe making involve lots of different tools--seemingly endless drill bits, chamber bits, bores, cutting bits, lathe tools, chisels, chucks, centers, gauges, you name it! All these tools are hard to keep organized. The lathes are where a great deal of the tool intensive work happens so I'll be starting there. I've scrounged some nice maple cabinets that will serve as a foundation for the new benches. Larger tools and chucks can be held in the drawers underneath the benches. Then I'll build racks above to hold the cutting and boring tools. I also want to take better advantage of quick change tool posts, and utilize more dedicated chucks for specific bits to streamline switching between processes
So, for now I'm laid up, but it's given me time to plan these improvements, and more importantly, to think and reflect on the art and craft of pipe making.