A bad day at work

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Delbert Ealy

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After making over a dozen sucessful stainless damascus billets I have had some failures. I did 2 billets today and although at first I thought they were sucessful, a little working soon showed me that the welds were incomplete. I think I know what I did wrong, but it will take more billets to tell for sure. I set up a couple more billets to work on tomorrow. I hope I will be more sucessful tomorrow. After my failure, I decided to work on something else, so I started on more gyutos. I have found that it helps to work on something completely different when I have a failure. I don't have them very often anymore and it is very discouraging, but I have learned that if I take a break from that aspect of work and do something else it helps. Sometimes I will just quit for the day, but I have a show coming up and it adds some urgency to my schedule.
I know everyone has bad days at work and I just wanted to let you guys know it happens to knifemakers and damascus makers as well. Sometimes, with all the positive comments we hear it can make us feel a little too proud. Days like today brings me down a notch or two. Don't let that stop you if you feel the urge to add a positive comment on a newly completed project. Those comments give almost as much satisfaction as selling it.
Thanks for letting me vent.
 

Jim

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If it was easy anyone could do it! Hang in there.
 

PierreRodrigue

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It happens. I had a simmilar day last week. A 300mm suji billet, sanmai with near 200 layers on each side of an O1 core went in the trash, core was too wavy. Also tried something new, had a little too much pure nickel in the sanmai, the blade looked fantastic, the edge took a hardening, but the spine had no spring, soft like aluminium. I here your discourgement, and wanted to add, your not alone. :)
 

Delbert Ealy

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Guys,
Thanks for the encouraging words.
Pierre, sorry to hear about the suji, I have yet to make one especially that big.
I'm off to the shop now.
 

SpikeC

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As a custom order jewelry maker I often ran into seemingly insurmountable problems with a project. Sometimes I had to sleep on them before the solution became apparent. I always found that if I stopped looking hard at them, and let my "back brain" work undisturbed, the problems disappeared.
 

apicius9

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Sorry to hear about your bad day, Del. But your day did not involve having to talk to your boss or sitting through a board meeting, so you are still lucky ;)

Stefan
 

Delbert Ealy

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Stefan,
No it didn't, the last 5 years I worked as a janitor in fast food, and no matter how hard I worked I couldn't please those people. I got a reaming every single morning before I left. It is a good thing I had all my anger management issues worked out long before I started there, or I would have went postal on them long before I left. Not that I didn't consider it from time to time.

Dave,
I did 2 more stainless billets today and I had better sucess. They are cooling now, but both billets are about 1/4" thickand ready for the rolling mill. I plan to do more tomorrow, but I have to get more steel tubing for cans and a new pair of gloves as well. My current pair of gloves look like I got into a fight with a big cat. I also did some grinding on a couple more gyutos.
On a more humorous note, While walking in from my shop I surprised a skunk, but not so badly that he felt threatened. This is the third day with temps at or above 50 degrees, I guess he just woke up and is looking for something to eat. I told him to scoot and he waddled off. I hues he wasn't in the mood for a confrontation. Thats good because neither was I.
 

Jim

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Its hard to win an argument with a skunk!
 

deker

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I understand how those bad days go. Heck, I know you remember me fighting with nickel a while back! :)

Glad to hear it got a bit better.

I'm off to start my 55 mile commute home soon...your 55ft. commute sure beats that..... ;)
 

Chef Niloc

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The best art teacher I ever had told me never to over work a pice of art. If you don't like what's coming out put it down do something else and come back to it later with a new set of eyes.
 

Delbert Ealy

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The best art teacher I ever had told me never to over work a pice of art. If you don't like what's coming out put it down do something else and come back to it later with a new set of eyes.

Colin,
Thats exactly what I have been doing, I am currently working on another batch of 3 knives. I have the blades hand finished and they need handles now.
 

tk59

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Colin,
Thats exactly what I have been doing, I am currently working on another batch of 3 knives. I have the blades hand finished and they need handles now.

Yup. Same thing happens in the lab... One particular time, I came into work, picked up a flask containing a compound I'd spend a month making and dropped it, losing most of it in a drain. I took the rest of the day off and didn't really want to come back the day after that either.
 
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