Sunday, June 30, 2013

Home Studio Setup & Re-purposing & Readjusting for the real world outside of the University

Just got back from Decorah, Iowa from the 10th annual "Down on the farm" Iron Pour. It was a great time. I didn't have any work ready for the pour but it was nice to observe for once and lend a helping hand here and there when needed. Special thanks to Kelly Ludeking and family for hosting the event. There were so many nice people. 

Back down to the new-ish studio in the garage today. Need to get more of my work done for the Uptown art fair. Its coming up fast.

Here is what I've been up to since not being allowed in the metals studio over summer like I had in the past...
I have lots of art to make and  the setback with no studio acces forced me to set up shop in my dads garage. I had a rummage sale to clear out projects that are just in the way, but also to make money to buy what I need to complete more work. Rummage sale money got me this nice big "YOST" vise and also an L-shaped piece of steel to make into a stake. 

I also picked up two large bolts and a machinist vise handle to repurpose them into forming stakes.

This L-shaped piece has been cut with a band saw into a rough shape.

I cut, ground and later polished this L-stake which resembles one half of a stake that I used in the school studio.
These bolts got filed sanded and polished into anvils

My primitive setup. Vice on treestump. Typewriter or microwave cart for pretty much all my work surface. Coffee table for tools and such.

First vessel. attempted, still not finished. had to borrow an oxygen/acetylene torch from my dad. Gets a very hot flame. Difficult to see metal temperature for annealing and easily burnt holes in the walls of the bowl as I soldered. Below is the propane torch that could anneal with a massive fireball but couldn't solder. I've since sold it and purchased an old National Veriflow 3A-B glassblowing torch which works very well

Studio space is getting more  mobile and organized. Dads vehicle needs to be in after I'm done working. Small price to pay for using his space... I also found a cheap Chinese made bench grinder for $5. You get what you pay for but It's a bare bones operation right now. I removed the metal shrouds and grinding wheels and retrofitted on a wire-wheel and buffing wheel.

More work has been done.
I took part of an old door and some thin metal wall stud looking things and created a slightly larger bench for the grinder which sat unsecured on a cardboard barrel. I also ordered a cheap "dremel type thing" that came with a screw on flex-shaft for finishing work. Get what you pay for. Like the bench grinder, it hits high RPM's but bogs down a little too quick when working. I ordered pickle solution for cleaning metal, and some patina chemicals. I also have been continuing to invest in things such as files, tin snips, chip brushes, delrin acetyl resin (used to upgrade my two oak hammer heads up to a harder more shock resistant material.) I've Gotten several bowls finished once the new torch and a fresh tank of propane arrived. Also bought an air compressor from my friends at the Vitamin Studio. They gave me a pretty good deal on it. I took wheels off a little old snow blower that I parted out so I could replace the broken wheels on the compressor. I just had to drill out larger holes. I finally found a belt for it ($17) and after some cord repair, it works great for the torch.

Thanks for reading. I will try to get some pictures up of the new work and studio arrangement. 



  1. If you haven't used a tool in an exceedingly year, likelihood is that you do not would like it, unless it's a selected or costly tool that you simply very might use within the future. Useless tools take up precious house Multimeter symbols.

  2. I'm not sure if I understand your statement, however, there are tools that have limited use or consistency issues that need to be fixed from time to time. I try to acquire tools when I need them or when they are affordable and most likely a wise investment for future use. Space is limited in my shop at this time and I've had to make sacrifices for that reason. Some tools I have, such as the anvil, I bought because it was affordable even though I didn't necessarily need it at the time, however I use it quite often since I have acquired it. Metalsmith seems to be a lot like being an automotive mechanic in regards to constantly needing more tools to perform certain tasks.

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