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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Workbench

Where the magic happens

Bookmark and SharePeople often want to see my 'studio' and I think have a vision in their heads of a romantic wood panelled space where perhaps a coal fire glows merrily in the corner and a lazy cat lays on a blanket snoozing peacefully as the wood chips drift gently to the floor.

Alas, it isn't at all like that!  While I certainly have a space I am more than happy with.  It mostly all happens at this little table.  Its always a catastrophic mess and there's always too much piled on there, but it works for me.  Carving purists would no doubt be appalled at my lack of organization with tools strewn willy-nilly from breakfast to teacup, but as I say...it works for me!


The machine shop
I do a LOT of complicated Celtic knotwork and as much as I would love to sit and do it all by knife, I would never get any actually finished!  To deal with that issue, I step over to the 'machine shop' where my trusty Delta Q3 scroll saw takes a merciless and quite relentless beating for hours every day.  While I have access to some big gear like a table saw, jointer and bandsaw left over from my cabinetmaking days, I rarely use them and the old Q3 pulls most of the weight.
The finishing shop
The finishing shop resides on the counter right next to my carving table.  An old router table, it now is encrusted with a half-inch layer of dried penetrating oil, bits of dissolved sandpaper and a couple of batten sticks that are glogged down and will have to be pried of with a crow bar if I ever want to move them.  My finishing regimen is pretty basic, involving a couple of coats of oil, some wet and dry sanding, more oil and then a vigorous buffing followed by a nice finish coat of beeswax polish.  Simple but delightfully elegant....just like me!

The bench in action
Although it appears pretty haphazard and shockingly 'amateur', this is the workspace of a dedicated professional!!  Although it looks like the tools are chucked around willy-nilly, I take great care to make sure they never collide 'tip to tip' and I seldom have to do much repair work on damaged cutting edges.  I do tend to let things pile up a bit though and I probably should vacuum off the chips a bit more often than I do, but when I get my head down, housework is the last thing on my mind.

Anyway, that's the studio.


1 comment:

  1. I knew I wasn't the only one, no matter what my wife says! Nowadays, however, my workbench and my finishing table are my lap, so I don't have the opportunities for creative clutter that I used to have. My tool bag, however . . .

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