Saturday, 20 June 2009 15:44

Laid Up: A Time to Plan and Reflect

Terrible timing.... Just as my busy work schedule winds down, and intense family activities calm, and I'm finally seeing extended pipe making time looming on the horizon I find I'm laid up with a bad back! Why now? Of course there is never a good time for a bad back... I'll soon be answering the call to make pipes I'm designing and planing now. I'm also channeling my pent up pipe making energy into planning studio improvements, working a bit on the website, sending out a newsletter, and just planning the next round of adventures in pipe making. Certainly time well spent, but I'm really looking forward to putting my hands to briar and ebonite!

Workshop/Studio plans: I've been longing for more natural light. My studio was a 2-car garage, and one window provides good morning light, but it's just not enough. The plan is to replace the old worn out garage door with an insulated door with as many windows as possible. This should go a long way toward increasing the natural light in the studio, as well as provide a more comfortable climate.

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.

Last modified on Thursday, 02 September 2010 20:44