WOW! What a day! I woke up at 530am to start the daily adventures. Jeff and I had a day of excitement and schooling planned ahead of us. Jeff met me at the hotel at 7 and we had some breakfast before heading out. Gotta have some fuel to get the day going. I know that I needed it and I'm sure Jeff did too. We set out headed south toward Massachusetts. Jeff wanted me to see the Atlantic ocean while I was here. So that was a first stop.
We meandered through much of the "old" country of the US. Jeff was giving me a history lesson around every bend in the road. We made it to the coast and it reminded me of home.The only difference was that there is huge pieces of granite and rock lining the coastline and there are lots of trees just on the edge of the marshes. He informed me they are working to rehabilitate the wetlands here, much like we are attempting to do in Louisiana. It was a beautiful sunrise with a brisk chill in the air.
we arrived and headed up the stairs of this unassuming machine shop. It is a two story building that houses nearly all the machines on the second floor. Walking up the stairs and into the room, there were all these old glorious machine tools. I wish I had taken more pics but I was just in amazement. We went into Ray's office and Jeff caught up a bit then I proceeded to tell Ray what I want to do....explore options. Well, it's going to take a bit of cash infusion to get what I would like for the Goodspeed. These knives aren't cheap and they are all hand ground to sharpness. We went and talked to Ernie and he helped me understand what is entailed with a more hands on approach. Ernie seems to be "the man" when it comes to these components.
He explained all the little details that go into making this tooling as well as how it will perform based on the different options I presented. There is a low price point and a high price point and for the abilities the high priced option may be the way to go. I really want to be able to offer drumsticks with some different options. My plan would be to offer 2 different shaft lengths, 3 different tapers and a variety of tips(all in wood at this time.) The major challenge is making these components work together and aligning them on the "knife bar." With this option, there will be some sanding to done to remove some artifacts that will be left on the sticks.
Ernie took the time to talk to us about a different roughing gouge that can be used to cut a nice edge behind the tip. Needless to say, I ordered one of those today. It was definitely worth it. Ernie even showed us how he grinds/sharpens the back knife on a grinder and also a specialized grinder for delicate areas and also sharpening gouges and roughing knives. He even offered, when I purchase the Back knives, for me to return and he would show me how to sharpen hem with the grinder. It is a must to know how to do this as the tooling needs to be sharpened regularly/daily depending on use. I will definitely be back, after the snow season.
We set back out for home and took the winding old state highways back toward "home." So beautiful and colorful. I was driving so I couldn't take any pics of the colors in the leaves. We got a bit turned around and had to ask for directions. Jeff wanted to take me to a mill so he could show me the differences between good hickory and bad hickory for drumsticks. we wound up at New England Forest Products. Very cool exciting place, as I would like to someday be able to saw my own timber into usable viable lumber products.
We got back on the road and got back just after dark. It has been a long, full, knowledgeable, exhilarating, stimulating day. I am wrapping up and getting ready for some much needed rest, for tomorrow is another full day. I am enjoying this trip immensely and Jeff's company and conversation is helping to solidify information. I am very thankful I was able to make this trip before winter set in.
I'm off to bed.