Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Housekeeping Continues

It has been over 2 months since my last post. 2010 has been declared the year of the studio. So I've set aside all new furniture designs until I get the shop sorted out. Still patiently working my way through the diabolical district permit process for a small shop addition for metalwork, and a covered outdoor working area/carport. In the meantime, I stripped the shop, built insulated walls & finished the insulation/vapour barrier on the ceiling. She's holding the heat now, just in time for the mild weather. Ripped out a whole bunch of stuff, whatever wasn't crucial, like a big utility bench. The extra space allowed for much needed lumber/in-progress racks/sharpening station/dust collector home.

Slowly getting on top of the chaos that broke loose & putting tools & machines in their place. Loving the bunkhaus laboratory's new warm, white walls, as any self respecting studio should have. Looking forward to getting the metalwork department into it's own space, then I can run ducting for the dust collection, put in a window etc.

A few words about sharpening & the sharpening station i threw together. I've been using this precision ground granite slab for flattening my sharpening stones, & decided to use it as a bench top for honing too. Some people don't flatten their stones too often, but I prefer to keep my stones flat, it eliminates possible confusion, like when you start getting a weird camber on a plane iron & can't figure out why. It's also less of a chore when you stay on top of it. Also really like this 10" slow speed electric wet grinder, works well. I had been persevering with a cool hand grinder, but I couldn't fix the annoying run-out on the arbor, so made the switch.

Here's a link about all sorts of cool local species, going harvesting with Dan has introduced me to a lot of these:

Also a good clip, old school style:

I'm sure there's not too many people left in the world that can whittle a pair of shoes from a log. I'm also sure there's not too many people who can appreciate what it takes to set up & maintain a shop. Which brings me to a good book I read recently - 'Shop Class as Soulcraft' by Mathew Crawford, which questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a cubicle/knowledge worker, and the resulting almost complete loss of craftsmanship in our society/economy. He also takes a close look at the merits of manual work, a great read from a pshycologist turned mechanic.
and in a world where we celebrate mama pacha day once a year, but continue to buy furniture that doesn't last long, a few wise words from a designer buddy of mine (a most entertaining blog with all sorts of goodies):

Food for thought...

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