I’ve been really bad about updating the site since Chicago, and I apologize for that! My lack of blogging does not equal a lack of activity though.
Jeff Gracik working at his shop in Southern California
I’ve been pretty busy, even though that busyness has not been in actual pipe production areas. Last month I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Jeff Gracik working in his shop in California. That was an eye opening experience, to say the least, and I’ve been digesting the things I learned there ever since. Two pipes did come out of that visit, though I still have not taken legitimate pictures of them. I was excited to have a chance to use Jeff’s sandblasting equipment, as it is something I do not yet have for my own shop. For my first two sandblasted pipes, I feel really good about them! Here’s a couple of low-grade pictures, in case you missed them on Twitter:
Taking up even more of my time (stealing it from actual pipe making, I should say), is what I found when I arrived home from visiting Jeff’s workshop:
My new metal lathe
This is the new metal lathe I have had on order for months, and it finally arrived while I was gone. At 5 feet long and nearly 800 lbs, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was going to have to do a major workshop overhaul to accomodate the new machine. My workshop has been located in the basement of our home for several years now, but the thought of hauling that beast down the stairs was frightening on many levels, so the past few weeks have been spent hauling everything else UP the stairs and into the garage.
Suffice to say, the shop overhaul has taken twice as long as I had hoped, and I still feel like a fish out of water because everything is located somewhere other than where I am used to it being. I also had to get new tooling machined to accomodate the new lathe, as well as setting up a bunch of new equipment and systems that I
stole learned from my time with Jeff.
Taking it all into account, it’s no wonder I have been a bit slow to keep things fresh lately. I’ve been trying to incorporate new skills and techniques learned from Jeff, using new equipment and machinery, in a shop that is “new” to me for all intents and purposes. All that to say, no more excuses, and I am eager to start cranking pipes out again! Not only do I have lots of requests for commissioned work, but I also want to make some pipes available for the general public. Oh, and the West Coast Pipe Show is only a few months away!
Pics of the new and improved shop will be forthcoming as soon as i finish clearing the clutter and have a space that’s presentable enough to share with the public. Hopefully some sweet looking pipes will be right behind!