News from the Pipemaking Workshop with the Funk.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Talbert Workshop 3.0

We live! Or, at least our workshop chairs do. To the left is the first published pic of our new workshop-under-construction in North Carolina. It's an odd experience, building one all over again from the ground up. On the one hand, it's great to finally be able to lay out my own working space from the very start, instead of trying to retrofit a garage or someone else's shop into something I can function in. On the other hand, thanks to our last horrendous French disaster, we're still penniless and financially crippled - Most of the tools and hardware are borrowed or donated by friends and family to help us out.

Those of sharp eye may have also noticed that the former "American Pipemaker in Brittany" blog has revived and changed titles... and even is starting to have posts again! I thought hard about just deleting it and rolling its commentary into this blog, but in the end I felt it was better to keep the two separate. That way, this blog can remain pipe-focused and those who come here to read about pipes and pipecrafting won't have to suffer my rambles about pork rinds and Hammer horror films, which I can turn loose in "Life in America".

The new workshop is coming together. It's a slow process, which is about to get slower and pickier - The basics are now in place (work benches, machines, etc) and now it's time to get the motors and belts and hardware needed to get all this running and producing pipes and pens again. That will be the tricky part - Motors are expensive, and we need a bunch, so I guess I'll be combing Craigslist and yard sales for any bargains I can find. Still to-do are getting adapters made to allow the shafts to accept our wooden sanding spindles and buffers, and getting the compressor wired to 220 volts so we can sandblast again.

Overall, the new workshop is excellent. It's a drastic turnaround from the Herbignac shop, which was very much a gothic castle laboratory full of dust and cobwebs and foul things lurking in every corner. Our new place is open, airy, bright, and downright cheerful to be in, not least because it has a nice back window view of the back deck and enclosed green backyard.

Yes, green....... No more townhouse views of traffic! I look forward to this as much as anything else. After seven years of parking lot, pavement, roads, tourists, window watchers, teens on scooters, and all the annoyances of trying to do a day's work in the Herbignac workshop, being here is a positive revelation in relaxation. I was beginning to fear that I would never actually enjoy being in the workshop again, a subject I'll talk about in more detail in a future post.

For now, at least, we are here, work is happening, and this blog is alive once more - I'll be charting the evolution of the shop as the project progresses. Thanks very much for your patience in waiting through this long fallow period, and let's hope for happier days ahead!

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