Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Jump in to the deep end with a big purchase.

Well I can say that the past week has been very interesting and I have lots to talk about. First I will start by saying that my trip out looking for a future workshop was quite positive after talking to the owner of a large area of unit buildings he was confident that he could find me a space by the end of the week for a good price. So I hope to have that sorted out very soon because I will need it after my latest purchase. I've just spent £1,250 on this helve power hammer which I found on ebay, its somewhere in the middle of Gloucestershire. To me this is a very important purchase and is also the most I've ever spent on ebay haha!

Over the next couple of weeks I will be planing to go up and have a go on my new hammer before it is dismantled and ready to be taken back to Bristol to which I hope to have a workshop for it to be set up in, which is going to be the hard part but I'm so excited at the moment this was a huge step to take as well as a huge investment. This is it, be a Blacksmith or fail trying, do or die time. 

This wasn't my only purchase of the week I like to poke my head around all the local car boot sales as you never know what you'll find and I managed to find a little gem, a bouncy castle fan. I've been looking for a fan to blast air into my forge and I was told that these are a great for starting out with. Yes I will need to adapt a way of connecting the two together as well as adding a way of controlling the power of the blast of air but this can be done very easily. I will be sorting all that out when I have a workshop space.   

Other purchase I made was this amazing looking bench pillar drill, Its a very old vintage drill which has had some modern touches made to it over the years I was told that it was over 70 years. I picked it up from Bargoed, Caerphilly which is west of Newport on top a very tall valley. One of the additions that I really like is the grind stone attachment for sharpening the drill bits, its fantastic and works beautifully!  

There are still a few more pieces of equipment that I need to get hold of and the most important on that list is an anvil once I have this and a workshop to work in I'll have all the basics to get me started.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Fingers Crossed!!!

On Sunday I will be looking at some possible workshop spaces right here in Bristol and not to far form my house which is very lucky but I'm not celebrating just yet as I still don't know what size they are and what the rent will be. All in all though I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of these could be my future workshop, so I'll hopefully be posting some good news next time so please keep your fingers crossed for me.
Thank !..!,   

Monday, 20 August 2012

Guitar Hook design 1

I spent the day working on a design for a smaller guitar hook which I knew was going to be a challenge from the word go but I already had a few ideas on where to start. After a long day I had not only a maquette but a full scale drawing of the design too. Its feels so good to be getting back into the design element and knowing that soon I'm going to be back in the forge making this into a product for someone. I'm also really pleased with the design, its 13x13 inches and I think it will frame really well on a wall.
Hope you all like it, comments would be great. !..!,

the full scale drawing

additional scale drawing 

third scale maquette

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hard work paying off

Its been a busy couple of weeks for me, contacting people and getting out there to try to find a workshop space and outlets to sell my work and now its finally starting to pay off. I may have found some places that will exhibit some of my guitar hooks but best of all I have my first order!!!

A music shop I know very well has asked for a small designed guitar hook to have in the store with a few pictures of the my other works to have around it to help boost interest in what I do. It may not be much but its a small step forward, so I'm going to spend the next day or two getting a great design down with a Maquette and full scale drawing, so hopefully I'll be able to get back to mid Wales very soon to get forging again. !..!,  

Monday, 13 August 2012

Society Of Designer Craftsmen

Today I received a letter congratulating me as I have been accepted as a member of the society of craftsmen and my details will be added to the societies website, this will all provide great opportunities for me in the future. !..!, 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Last Day in Buchan's Workshop.

Well I've been here in mid Wales for about a week and now sadly it has come to an end because we finally finished all Five vessels. After and elven hour push yesterday, finishing all the drilling and riveting them all together and seven hours today tweaking everything, its a huge relief now its all done in time. Although tweaking can seem like it will never end, you know its the final step and by the time we finished cut brushing the last vessel both myself and Nick were to tired to celebrate. I feel that I have learnt a lot about using time efficiently and planing a course of action while doing this job plus its been great to team up with Nick. I hope to return to Mid Wales very soon and continue to work with Nick in his workshop creating some of the designs I have for a new guitar hook and guitar stand. Until then I will return to Bristol and continue to look for my own workshop space. !..!,  

Two of the final vessels.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Day Five in Buchan's Workshop.

Today we both felt pretty confident with what we had left to do and reckoned that we could get it all finish today with one last big push. With all the pieces forged we spent the morning forming all components on a jig that Nick had made in collage and by lunch time everything was looking very positive .  

Second half of the day didn't quite go as planned (putting it lightly) we got back to work knowing that all we had to do was drill all the components cut the rivets and put them all together. To drill all the holes we had to use this awesome looking pillar drill, naked as it was it was simple yet effective and I love using old simple technology that could last a life but I spoke to soon as after we drilled two holes we blew out the motor which will now have to be replaced. We were both gutted and down hearted but we weren't going to be beat at this last hurdle so as I cut the rivet to size and Nick marking all the holes, we grabbed two hand drills and got drilling again but by the end of the day we only had ten holes to show. I'll admit I'm still a little down after we got so close to finishing but we still have two days to complete it all which is more than enough time to get it done, so it'll be all about tomorrow, hand drilling and riveting.
Lets do this... !..!,     

the awesome pillar drill but now burnt out.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Day Four in Buchan's Workshop.

Well its my forth day forging in Nick's workshop and the pressure is easing each day as we come closer to finishing all five vessels. There have been a few hiccups over the past two days but nothing major and therefore we've pushed forward in the last few steps and I'm feeling confident that they'll look amazing.
Its been a great feeling getting back to the forge and working again, its been about two months since the last time I forged so I knew I was going to be abit rusty but over the past four days I noticed it wasn't long before my forging skills cleaned themselves up. Today It even got to a point where we had four pieces of metal in the forge at a time, pushing ourselves to be better each day, working as a team with Nick has been really fun and we still have a few more days left.
I hope to post more on our progress tomorrow. !..!,     


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Day Two at Buchan's Workshop.

Well I've been working with with my friend Nick at his workshop in mid Wales for two days now and we've accomplished alot in this short space of time. Nick has to have five vessels fully finished by a deadline for a gallery, by himself this could be extremely difficult but as a team of two the time to make these is cut in half so that is why I'm here in mid Wales to team up and power through the work ahead.    

As it stands we've done the main bulk of the work now and its going at a steady pace with no problems so far (touch wood). Nick's workshop isn't very big but it has all the essentials any blacksmith needs. The designs Nick has for his vessels are pretty much the same as the ones he made for his final project but with a few small variations. we are hoping to complete all five vessels within the next three days if things all go to plan.  

We left the workshop today very pleased with what we have achieved over the past two days and know that all the vessels are starting to take shape. We're hoping that by the end of tomorrow to have all the components fully forged out and ready to be drilled for Tuesday morning. I guess we'll have to see, I'll post on our progress with some more pictures tomorrow.    

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Break over, back to work.

As it stands I'm down south in Dawlish Warren, Devon where I've had a relaxing week holiday with the family but today instead of going home back to Bristol I will be travelling straight up to mid Wales to go and work with my close friend and fellow graduate Nick Buchan in his workshop, giving him a hand to finish off some work he's been doing. I don't know how long I'm going to be away for but that's what makes it all the more fun!!
So I guess the breaks over and now its time to get back to work. !..!,