Recently, I had my first machining job in a very long time.  I won’t go into details, but since my customer is connected with me on LinkedIn (you know who you are, thank you for the work), I’ll add any comments that may show up in my feed over there.  It’s a bit awkward, so let’s get off that subject, and onto the main topic of today’s post!

Knife sharpening thumbnail

A few months ago, I bought a Work Sharp 3000 wood tool sharpening system, and I finally got round to setting it up and trying it out.  The video is up on my BitChute channel.  Admittedly, I didn’t prepare ahead of time, so I had only three bolts to mount the machine to my workbench, and they are all different lengths.  Furthermore, I didn’t realise how strong the adhesive was on the spindle, so when I removed the glass disc, it chipped on one side.  Good thing I had a spare!  I’m aware that you’re not supposed to install the glass without sandpaper stuck to it (and now I know why), but in my defense, I needed to know if the spindle was properly balanced when I bought the machine.  I used a dial indicator to test the exact amount of wobble, and I couldn’t very well do that with sandpaper.  No matter, the machine works, and produces superb results, far better than that of any other machine I’ve used.  I’d say it’s as good as a hand stone, just a lot faster.  The next thing to do will be to try it on a sword.

I have lots of other things lined up, which I’d rather not get into here, but I do have some other updates which you may find of interest.  The first is that the conclusion of my tractor canopy project is finally in sight!  Finally, a year after I started the blasted thing, I’ll be able to finish the last bit of work needed to actually make use of it.  Now, if only I could more reliably start a project like that and not get interrupted a million times…

The next update concerns the foundry.  Obviously, foundry work is a cold-weather activity, so I’m not going to set that up until late autumn.  Assuming that the pandemic is still disrupting everyone’s business by then (and sincerely hope it isn’t, because people have already lost their minds), then perhaps I’ll have a good reason to start casting my own jewellery designs, since Shapeways has yeeted all of them from my shop (and everyone else’s) for the time being.  Besides that, they didn’t like my coronavirus pendant to begin with, so it looks like I’ll be making coronaviruses with the words “I survived” entirely on my own.  Now that I think about it, I should probably adapt that design into a lapel pin as well, just to give people options.  However, I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’ve never done investment (a.k.a. “lost wax”) casting before, so I’m relying on information entirely from my home shop journals and the internet.  Luckily, if things don’t go well, I know someone who’s quite experienced with casting custom jewellery.

Finally, I need to dream up some simple things to make in my shop, since I now have the means to make machine tool tutorials as well as CAD tutorials.  Obviously, the tractor canopy frame was a simple design-cut-weld process, but so many other things I’d like to make are far more difficult to plan out for filming purposes.  A lot of what I do is trial and error, staring and thinking, and not at all suitable for a live media format, which is why I come across as a bumbling, scatterbrained nitwit in my CAD tutorials – I couldn’t script those things even if I wanted to!  Anyway, that’s enough from me.

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