View Full Version : Workshop picture tour.

11-28-2011, 03:58 PM
Well the workshop was unusually tidy for a monday morning, so I thought I would get some pictures:D My humble workshop is on an industrial estate in Hereford. I've not been in this workshop more than a year but have been on this site for about ten years. I moved not to long ago from a big breezy leaky tin tunnel not 200 yards away. It was still an effort to move:running: This one is a bit smaller, but its waterproof, which is a real luxury:D I work on my own for the larger part, with the help of my machines. I regularly have work experience students come and help though, especially If I have a larger scale project on.

Through the shutter door.

My work table in the middle there, overbuilt of course, but you never know what you'll have to build on it.


Couple of new additions, most of my tools are pretty old. But these work fine.

My good old Donkey Saw, in need of the belts changing at the moment.

Grinding bench

This big boy saves me allot of heat on larger projects. 100 ton horizontal press, would have been used for cold curving railway track originally.


Vertical forging press and various tooling

My little trusty Anyang 40K:biggrin:

Loads of tools, I could do with making a load more tongs, but I've been saying that for years. As i'm mostly on my own I use allot of spring tools on a tool holder.

11-28-2011, 03:59 PM
Coke Forge. Actually the same one I made at college, although its had a few new canopys and forge bottoms.:laugh:


Fly press, such a handy bit kit.


Some assorted carbon steels and test laminate billets.

My little welding furnace, actually a converted enameling kiln, with a home made burner.

Bigger gas forge, rarely gets lit these days, too thirsty.

New toy. A friend of mine built this. I have it for 6 months to test it for him, i'll be building one very similar in the mean time but will hopefully be getting some help with the electric box of tricks.:)

This one is just about long enough for a 300mm Wa Suji. So far seems to work very well, he's a clever chap.


11-28-2011, 04:04 PM
Some action shots of me working, courtesy of T.B London on his visit.:D

11-28-2011, 04:15 PM
Cool, thanks for posting!

Dave Martell
11-28-2011, 04:30 PM
Nice shop tour Will. Hey what type of anvil is that?

11-28-2011, 04:50 PM
Thanks Chaps, My girl friend calls my workshop "Metal land":D. My little Anvil is a Peter wright. A wrought one with a welded on top. It does a lot for its size.

Mike Davis
11-28-2011, 04:56 PM
Very cool shop! Thanks for sharing :D

11-28-2011, 05:08 PM
Thanks Mike, Its still a novelty not having water dripping on my head while i'm forge welding. The old place was a bit more Mad max style,:D

Dave Martell
11-28-2011, 05:36 PM
T My little Anvil is a Peter wright. A wrought one with a welded on top. It does a lot for its size.

I knew it! :)

11-28-2011, 05:38 PM
That press looks amazingly versatile. Sweet Shop.

11-28-2011, 05:51 PM
Thanks Jm, yes it gets used for all sorts. Punching, fullering, hot setting, stamping out funky shapes. There's a pile of tools i've made for it there on the shelves. Most stuff is a one off, which means new tooling depending on the design. Its fun making squishing tools. Would like to get some patterning tools for damascus made for it soon. I've not explored that area of damascus much yet.

11-29-2011, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the tour! Keep the pictures coming!


Burl Source
11-29-2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks for showing photos of the workshop.

11-30-2011, 04:25 AM
My pleasure, if anyone is ever in the area, drop in and visit Metal land.:biggrin:

Marko Tsourkan
11-30-2011, 08:45 AM
Plenty tools to keep you busy. :)
I have said it many times - there is never too many tools.


11-30-2011, 10:50 AM
Really?? I will visit the Metal Land sometime next year to see the final process of etching for a Damascus... and handling if possible and bring it home with me.... NOt free of course.... but at a Hammered price! just kidding

Alot of heavy duty epqt there. I suppose that when you calculate all the tools and equipment.. would have cost you some serious money



11-30-2011, 01:36 PM
Your right there Marko, more get , more want.:D I've been really jammy over the years with picking up the presses pretty cheap, right place, right time sort of thing. I nearly sprung for a BIG hammer several years ago, I think it was a 4cwt, until I realized it would cost 5 times as much to install as to buy it.:O

David, you would be welcome to visit Metal land anytime. :D The equipment has mainly accumulated with larger architectural and sculptural projects. Though I started with a loan from the Prince of wales trust fund, which bought me my hammer and the vertical press, which was a great start. :biggrin:

11-30-2011, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the pics, Will.

12-07-2011, 01:04 AM
Cool toys, Will. I had forgotten that you are a bit of a ringer in that you have apparently been playing around with metal for a fair amount of time before you decided to make kitchen knives.:D

Don Nguyen
02-07-2012, 04:56 PM
Wow. Not to make a horrible bump, but I am in awe of that workshop.

02-08-2012, 04:30 AM
Its a bit more messsy right now than in the pictures. A healthy busy mess though:D Thanks Don:biggrin: I'll dig out some work highlights from over the years when I have a moment.

02-08-2012, 07:25 AM
Metal working has always been a mystery to me but I do understand machinery and shops. "Metal Land" looks terrific and I am impressed.

02-08-2012, 09:30 AM
Nice tour, Will. I especially like your 'tree'.

02-09-2012, 06:20 AM
Thanks guys, I can see it evolving with a few different bits of kit. I've been making damascus all week and i'm thinking of things I could build to make the process smoother.
Dave the tree is going to be a water feature, it will have leaves going all around the outside as well which will fill and pass it around the sphere. Should look pretty good. I did some twisty leaf floor lamps in the same sort of style recently with a cylinder of leaves.

02-18-2012, 09:29 AM
As promised a few Highlights from over the years.

02-18-2012, 09:31 AM

02-18-2012, 10:50 AM
I really like your work, Will. Your style looks completely unique...very dynamic. A little Gaudi, a little Steampunk, totally Catcheside! Those gates are magnificent.
If I ever win the lottery, will you do my ornamental ironwork? :D

02-18-2012, 02:36 PM
Thanks Dave, your very kind.
Yeah, lottery win ironwork, that would be something, stainless damascus gates?:D

02-18-2012, 02:50 PM
wow!.. that really makes you an iron Monger..!

for once I am beginning to appreciate iron works. Will now open my eyes to sculptic iron works.. can now understand the type and effort involved in making them. I suppose knife making is entirely different but the effort is no less different.

the above pics accounts for the steep learning curve in knife making. By my layman estimate, the equipment that you have would run in 6 figures at the very least.

I certainly look fwd to receiving the test stainless blue paper core with the "bleeding carbon" as I believe/ expect or rather hope that the shape and contour of the patina can be dramatic against the stainless portion and become a slave to another collectable knife piece...

hv a nice week-end..


02-18-2012, 05:48 PM
Great stuff, Will! Maybe you can relocate to the US; you'd have a good customer base :cool2:

02-18-2012, 06:16 PM
Interesting and impressive Will. Looking at pictures of your work brings to mind Tim Burton movies for some reason...dark and unusual and creative. The little gate (first picture on post #25) the best.

02-18-2012, 06:48 PM
Funny you should say that. I was asked to design some Tim Burton-esc gates for one of these dream home builds projects. They were very keen but as tends to happen with these projects they ran out of money building the dream home before they got to any Ironwork.

05-07-2012, 05:08 PM
A new addition to the workshop..... An old Avery hardness tester from e-bay. It works too:D
Will be nice to be able to do my testing in shop now.
This feather damascus blade tested between 59 and 60 hrc on the tang.

Marko Tsourkan
05-07-2012, 06:09 PM

Man, I would LOVE to learn to make stuff you make. Absolutely stunning work!!!

Congrats on the hardness tester - an essential tool to have.


05-07-2012, 06:39 PM
Thanks Marko, I'm sure you would pick it up no problems. But beware, getting stuff hot and hitting it is as addictive as Kitchen Knives:D
Your welcome to come and have a play if your ever over here.:biggrin:

Marko Tsourkan
05-07-2012, 06:59 PM
Thanks Marko, I'm sure you would pick it up no problems. But beware, getting stuff hot and hitting it is as addictive as Kitchen Knives:D
Your welcome to come and have a play if your ever over here.:biggrin:

I know. I have been fascinating about blacksmithing since a kid, but never had an opportunity to get into it.

I will definitely visit your shop should I be in your side of woods. You are likewise are welcome to visit.


10-08-2013, 04:39 PM
A couple of new tools hustled today, both CE rated which is european for health and safety, guards, safety features, wiring and checked. :D So at least my apprentice will have two tools to learn on. We will introduce Barney in a few weeks when we have settled in a bit. He is going to be good, I can tell.
But for now the toys err tools.
A Grit Profi 50
I think an EU copy of a Wilton square wheel?
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131008_142303_zps56bf9458.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131008_142303_zps56bf9458.jpg.html)
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Used as a demo machine once, can't believe my luck, they are not made anymore and it was a bargain. Have plans to install speed control, new platen with fitting for small wheels one side, 100mm wheel the other side and a more variable quick change platen face. Can put a large wheel on in place of the whole platen assembly.
Will be delivered soon with a horizontal belt grinder running 75mm x 2000 belts 4hp 3 phase, should hog, has a 1400 setting so will use this for tapering and the very start of bevels. I pop some in situ updates as we go, going to need to have a bit of a reorganise in there and pick up some extraction stuff.:)

10-08-2013, 06:37 PM
No idea what any of that means but awesome to hear that your business is growing and that you will have some company! Congratulations!

10-08-2013, 08:32 PM
Very cool to see you gearing up for more production. Looking forward to more shots of WIP. Should be a real plus having an guy with experience you can work with. Keep us posted Will.

10-08-2013, 10:44 PM
Will, all of your work is just as incredible as your knives! Thanks for sharing all the photos! Hoping someday to add a Catchside to my collection!

10-09-2013, 02:19 PM
Thanks guys, your comments mean allot to me:)
Here is the new big grinder, 2 speed which helps. Have a number of possible tasks for this. Really need to have a bit of a sort out in the workshop now. Barney will be on building a new finishing and assembly/etch testing area tomorrow. Changes are a commin.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131009_164619_zpsac21f794.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131009_164619_zpsac21f794.jpg.html)

Don Nguyen
10-13-2013, 12:58 AM
That's a cool grinder Will. What will that one be used for?

10-13-2013, 06:11 AM
It's really humbling to see all this Will. I don't know you but can only admire your craftmanship and love for your work that transpires from these pics.

10-13-2013, 10:59 PM
Wow, Will. Your ironwork is out of this world. I'm in awe. Literally, mind-blowing stuff.

10-14-2013, 11:20 AM
Thanks Guys, Don the big grinder will run very course belts for hogging material flat. Thus saving my bevel grinding belts. I think I will adapt the platen and rest though and run 50mm wide belts as will hog even more then and use it to start tapers as well.

10-25-2013, 12:52 PM
Whilst I am beavering away on knives...Barney is with me doing a little work experience while we wait on possible bursaries etc for his training. Barney has been helping me very much in getting the workshop sorted and ready for our joint efforts...prepping materials for damascus. So far I have a really nice new clean bench for laying out blades and handle materials and doing etch and glue up and clean processes, away from the grind. Bonus. Next project for Barney get me a larger welding furnace built as soon I will up my billet size as it will be more efficient. It will be handle to have two sizes of welding furnace anyway and a long thin furnace for heat cycling after welding and billet preheat.
New welding furnace build...

Old furnaces, one on the right is my welding furnace, its so good and efficient for smaller work, it will stay in service. The cheap fire brick one will get skimmed in refractory cement and used for preheat and heat cycling.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131025_145304_zps55953619.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131025_145304_zps55953619.jpg.html)

Barney fabricated these bits for me, base, furnace shell and lid. Will be lined with refractories.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131025_145322_zpsdd55c542.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131025_145322_zpsdd55c542.jpg.html)
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Barney tweaking some pieces for the doors.
http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131025_145254_zpsae985e64.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131025_145254_zpsae985e64.jpg.html)

Its going to be an upside down design, burner or burners come in the side bellow the work, giving very even heat distribution.

http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131025_151547_zpsdda50b9d.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131025_151547_zpsdda50b9d.jpg.html)

Base is now cast with heavy refractory cement, The kiln body will sit on this. It will always be able to split down into 3 parts for renovation/adaption.

http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/20131025_153757_zps28747fd5.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/20131025_153757_zps28747fd5.jpg.html)

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I will now line the forge body with about 80mm of fire blanket and skim this in with a very thin layer of wet refractory cement. The roof will be the same. Will post further progress and see how well it works. I'm hoping it will run up to the temps I need on one mega burner but have an extra hole for another if needed.

02-26-2015, 04:00 PM
I had better do a proper tour of the new digs now I'm all settled, Im hoping to build an upstairs soon where I will have a large Office/display/packing room. And a fine work area, for the smaller more intricate work, and smaller cleaner machines.

Speaking of which

I had a present from Big Tom, who visited clutching a mouldy box, filled with rust pieces of metal..... I grunted I'm acceptance of the strange gift from the strange man.....

But when I cleaned it all up, it looked like this, :) Isn't it cute, Im going to put it to work making the tiny brass fittings for the back of the Western versions of these.....

http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/yy262/catcheside/2015/_MG_4969_zps3tyncws7.jpg (http://s798.photobucket.com/user/catcheside/media/2015/_MG_4969_zps3tyncws7.jpg.html)

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