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apicius9

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I don't have beautiful pictures of new things, but I wanted to give you a few updates and a few pictures from my shop. Like a WIP, sort of...

I still have not moved all my wood to one place, but the last time I estimated it, I had approx. seven 11-gallon bins full of wood, a lot of it already precut into sizes I use for handles. That should last me approximately until 2038 :rolleyes2: So, At this time really want to work with what I have for a while. In the past, people often wantd a specific wood - the one I didn't have - and then I went and bought some, and while I was at it, I bought a dozen so I would have some in the future. That's one of the reasons I actually managed to loose money when making custom handles. :cookoo: I also want to focus more on the local woods, and fade out some others. So, this here is hopefully the last wood order for a while, these came in a few days ago:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

This is all from the BIg Island of hawaii. Unfortunately, a few of them are not as dry as I had hoped, so most of them will have to sit for a few more months to dry out enough so that I can send them in for stabilizing. Fortunately, they dry reasonably fast because they are already cut, and many of the woods are very light before stabilizing. The woods in the picture are dark koa root pieces (these are dry), all others are spalted: signature tree, royal poinciana, mango root, and Norfolk pine. To dry faster, I stack them up in anairy place and run a fan as much as can:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

I actually should use small wood pieces between them, so that they get air from all sides. Decadent as I am, I may use koa pieces for that - the guy I share my space with maks picture frames, and he has tons of leftover small pieces around.

So, today I spent a whole day in the shop - well, until back pain drove me out - after a longer break. I have a busy semester, I teach two very work intensive courses and my students are really smart this year, so I actually have to work harder to challenge them a bit. Anyway, I am trying to work on my order list, add a few handle designs that I would like to try out, and I still have the 'off-the-shelf-handles' for Dave to work on. Today, I prepared a total of approx. 35 handles to be epoxied together this weekend. Most pieces had been cut before, today I squared them and predrilled them, tomorrow I do some fine-tuning, roughen the surfaces, clean them up and glue them together. This is what's waiting for me tomorrow:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

There are about ten more that are as good as done (orders from loooong ago), and I have about 20 more on my order list. So, this will be a very busy April... The other ones want to work on during the week are the handles for Dave. These are very rough cut, I started with the octagon sides, but they need to be sanded further down (many are still too big) and cut too length. The only thing that ns really different from the 'normal ones' that make is that I spend less time hand-sanding and I don't apply any finish on the (which stabilized wood doesn;' need anyway).


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

Finally, this is my shelf with stabilized blanks:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

I am actually running low with a few of the 'standard woods' like koa, so I will send in a box for stabilizing this week. That's usually around $350 per box, so thanks to everyone who picked up a handle during my recent sale - this is where your money is going, more wood, stabilizing cost, a new set of drills, and new sanding belts. It never ends...

That's it for now, :bye:

Aloha,

Stefan

P.S. Too tired for manual spell check, gotta download the program eventually...

P1040268.jpg


P1040268.jpg


P1040268.jpg
 

DWSmith

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Love the photos Stephan. When you get a chance, please include more photos of your shop.
 

apicius9

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Thanks guys. Looks like a slight change of plans, not feeling at my best today :sick2: Not sure If I make it to the shop tonight. Going to pick up some meds and some food first, and then decide.

I'll try taking a few more pics in case anybody cares ;) I had wanted to do a WIP for a while, just documenting how I get from a piece of wood to a handle. Maybe I remember that in the next round.... Also wanted to make a list of the woods I have.

Stefan
 

Pensacola Tiger

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Take care, Stefan. No sense in pushing yourself when you're not feeling good.
 

kalaeb

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Get well, if you want your wood to dry faster you can send it to me, I live in a low humidity climate.:biggrin:

Really...I will keep them safe!
 

ThEoRy

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Wow really cool stuff. A wip would be really nice to see the process from rough cut to finished beauty. Keep up the good work and feel better soon.
 

steeley

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Thank you for the look in your shop and WIP would be great
stay well Stefan.

Mahalo
 

cnochef

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WOW, I can't wait until some of that Hawaiian signature tree is ready. I'm thinking about ordering a Konosuke 180mm petty without handle from Jon to go with one of your handles.
 

apicius9

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Why wait? :) I still have stabilized signature available, they are just slightly slimmer piecs that are not big enough for a large gyuto, but they should work fine for petties unless you want an 'oversized' handle on them.

Stefan
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I don't have beautiful pictures of new things, but I wanted to give you a few updates and a few pictures from my shop. Like a WIP, sort of...

I still have not moved all my wood to one place, but the last time I estimated it, I had approx. seven 11-gallon bins full of wood, a lot of it already precut into sizes I use for handles. That should last me approximately until 2038 :rolleyes2: So, At this time really want to work with what I have for a while. In the past, people often wantd a specific wood - the one I didn't have - and then I went and bought some, and while I was at it, I bought a dozen so I would have some in the future. That's one of the reasons I actually managed to loose money when making custom handles. :cookoo: I also want to focus more on the local woods, and fade out some others. So, this here is hopefully the last wood order for a while, these came in a few days ago:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

This is all from the BIg Island of hawaii. Unfortunately, a few of them are not as dry as I had hoped, so most of them will have to sit for a few more months to dry out enough so that I can send them in for stabilizing. Fortunately, they dry reasonably fast because they are already cut, and many of the woods are very light before stabilizing. The woods in the picture are dark koa root pieces (these are dry), all others are spalted: signature tree, royal poinciana, mango root, and Norfolk pine. To dry faster, I stack them up in anairy place and run a fan as much as can:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

I actually should use small wood pieces between them, so that they get air from all sides. Decadent as I am, I may use koa pieces for that - the guy I share my space with maks picture frames, and he has tons of leftover small pieces around.

So, today I spent a whole day in the shop - well, until back pain drove me out - after a longer break. I have a busy semester, I teach two very work intensive courses and my students are really smart this year, so I actually have to work harder to challenge them a bit. Anyway, I am trying to work on my order list, add a few handle designs that I would like to try out, and I still have the 'off-the-shelf-handles' for Dave to work on. Today, I prepared a total of approx. 35 handles to be epoxied together this weekend. Most pieces had been cut before, today I squared them and predrilled them, tomorrow I do some fine-tuning, roughen the surfaces, clean them up and glue them together. This is what's waiting for me tomorrow:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

There are about ten more that are as good as done (orders from loooong ago), and I have about 20 more on my order list. So, this will be a very busy April... The other ones want to work on during the week are the handles for Dave. These are very rough cut, I started with the octagon sides, but they need to be sanded further down (many are still too big) and cut too length. The only thing that ns really different from the 'normal ones' that make is that I spend less time hand-sanding and I don't apply any finish on the (which stabilized wood doesn;' need anyway).


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

Finally, this is my shelf with stabilized blanks:


By apicius9 at 2011-03-26

I am actually running low with a few of the 'standard woods' like koa, so I will send in a box for stabilizing this week. That's usually around $350 per box, so thanks to everyone who picked up a handle during my recent sale - this is where your money is going, more wood, stabilizing cost, a new set of drills, and new sanding belts. It never ends...

That's it for now, :bye:

Aloha,

Stefan

P.S. Too tired for manual spell check, gotta download the program eventually...
Great looking shop, Stefan. I really like your handle assembly trays. Very neat idea.

M
 

apicius9

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Great looking shop, Stefan. I really like your handle assembly trays. Very neat idea.

M
Thanks Marko, they are actually jewellery trays, got them on ebay. They really help keeping things organized a bit. BTW, there are a few more pictures on my website hat show the shop in a much cleaner condition than it is these days... A lot of the things are covered in saw dust these days. Gotta talk to the 'landlord' again about fixing the large dust removal system.

Stefan
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Thanks Marko, they are actually jewellery trays, got them on ebay. They really help keeping things organized a bit. BTW, there are a few more pictures on my website hat show the shop in a much cleaner condition than it is these days... A lot of the things are covered in saw dust these days. Gotta talk to the 'landlord' again about fixing the large dust removal system.

Stefan
My shop could use some organizing. I need to get my tools on the walls so I can find them. :mad3:

But the trays ideas is great. I might make some of these myself (rout channels in poplar wood planks). When you make one or two different wood handles, it wouldn't matter, but if you make multiple handles in same wood, things can get confusing.

M
 

PierreRodrigue

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Send 'em to me I can get them freeze dried, just leave them on the deck overnight!
 

apicius9

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Mixed results in the shop today. Lost 2 handles in the process, broke one drill - of course one of those I cannot get locally, so I am stuck with a few projects again until the replacements come in - and it looks like I also killed my Dremel :mad3: Maybe overheating; looks like I will pick up a new one this weekend. My Dad had his for a decade but I seem to go through a least one per year.

Anyway, on the positive side, I glued 30 handles together. Sitting in the shop now (10:40pm) waiting for the epoxy of the last batch to set to make sure nothing shifts and moves. - Almost died of a heart attack when the compressor jumped on a few seconds ago :eek2: - I am spending probably too much time on preparing them for the gluing. I double check them for straightness, roughen the surfaces, dremel little dimples into the surfaces for the epoxy to hold on to, clean them thoroughly, and then apply epoxy. The whole process takes only about 10-15 minutes per handle, but I sort of forgot that 30 x 15 = 450 minutes = 7 1/2 hours.... I thought I would be home for dinner, now it looks like I'll have to pick up some fast food on the way home.

O.k., time for one more check, a bit of cleaning, and then I am out of here. Back tomorrow or Sunday for some handle shaping. I'll take a snapshot of the handles on my way out, but I'm too tired to upload stuff tonight...:sleeping:

Stefan
 

Dave Martell

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Stefan, you once told me that you thought that your tools hated you.....I think you were right. :razz:
 

SpikeC

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Stephan, instead of getting another Dremel, you should consider a Foredom flex shaft machine. They are practically indestructible, have much more power, and are more versatile. I have used them for 40 years as a professional jeweler and now that I'm retired from that I still would not be without them.
 

apicius9

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Hi Spike, that is an interesting idea, I will send you a pm once I did a bit nore research on them.

Stefan
 

kalaeb

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Stefan, just out of curiosity, what type of epoxy do you use for your handles? I have been using Gorilla Glue for some of the western handles that I have done, but it is a bit of a PITA due to the expansion. I would love to know what the pros use. :helpsos:
 

apicius9

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O.k., This is what the handles looked like last night:


By apicius9 at 2011-04-03


This is what they looked like tonight when I left the shop:


By apicius9 at 2011-04-03

A few still need a bit more tapering and a few are still a bit large, but it's moving forward. I am a little worried that a few will come out a bit smaller than I wanted - the last batch was a bit large and maybe I overcompensated a bit. We will see...

Next step is cutting the octagon edges or shaping them into a D-shaped handle. Most are going to be octagons, only 2 or 3 are D-shaped. I like doing a few D-shaped ones while I work on octagons, less boring and makes me pay more attention. For the octagons, I start the edge on a disc sander that is angled to 45* and then finish them on the sander. It's all about eye-hand coordination... I could probably build a jig, but where is the fun in that? Depending on the materials, I go to anywhere between 400 and 800 grit on the sander and then finish by hand sanding. I have bcome pretty good and precise on the sander, but some materials, like white horn or purple heart wood, burn very easily at higher temperatures (= higher grits), so I vary depending on the materials. Same with the D-shaped ones, just that I completely free-hand them on the sander. I have a few more handles in the works, they were on another table.

Kalaeb,

I have gone through about a dozen epoxies. Gorilla glue is very strong, but the expansion makes it next to useless in this context IMHO. This last batch I just glued with Devcon 2-ton, you should find that easily in Homedepot etc. It's a decent epoxy but not the best, I only use it if I have 'unproblematic handles', i.e. no metal parts, nothing overly brittle or things that need a stronger bond. For those, I often use the house epoxy by knifeandgun.com. That one is suposedy industrial strength and I never had issues with it. However, it's a 24h epoxy, so it takes forever to set. But if metal is involved, that is my favorite. But if you use corby bolts, the epoxy is just an additional security, and any Davcon should work fine. There is also the 5-minute stuff, but I rarely use that, too much pressure to act fast ;)

I also like West epoxy that is used in marine contexts, but I am just out of it, need to get a new set. That last stuff is pricey ($65) but it's a larger container. I also like that it is more liquid that others, so it's the best one I know for filling things and rehandling.

Hope that helps,

Stefan
 

apicius9

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Thanks for reminding me, I have some acra glass sitting on my shelf, but have not tested it, yet. It is supposedly the most heat stable one and might be a good choice when metal is involved that can heat up very quickly on the sander. I will run a test with it and see how I like it.

Stefan
 

Delbert Ealy

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Stefan,
I have used acraglass on all my kitchen knives and I will continue to use it. When ever I ask some of my most trusted knifemaker friends what is the best glue to use the answer always came up the same; acraglass. Its a bit thinner than most epoxies, but I have found that is more of an asset than a hinderence. I like to leave it overnight to set and then get back to work the next day. Measuring it out is critical, it won't set right if the amounts are off. It also has to be mixed well, 4 minutes of mixing.
I will second the recommendation on the flex-shaft tool, check out rio grande jewelers supply, they are made for working and will out-do the dremel. I have had mine for close to 20 years and its still going strong.
Thanks,
 

apicius9

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Thanks for the confirmation, Delbert, Rick & Spike. I had all forgotten about the acra glass on my shelf, I will definitely try it out next. Supposedly this is also the most heat stable of all the epoxies, so I will try it out with the next handles that have a metal spacer. And I have also decided to get one of the flex-shaft tools, just figuring out which one - there is a woodcarving basics kit, that might be the one for me :) Just need to sell another camera lens first...

Stefan
 

kalaeb

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Thanks for the tips on the epoxy. It is much appreciated and I will try out some on my next re-handle.
 

apicius9

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Busy day at work today, and I still found enough time to spend almost $400 on a Foredom, $60 on a stand for my sander, and $160 on drills. Sent wood for stabilizing that will cost me $500+, am about to send out a $700 order for buffalo horn, and I still need a band saw. Well, maybe I'll make a profit next year... :(

Stefan
 
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