In between all the family, friends and events, I spent some time over the holidays to reflect on the past year. There have been many milestones throughout the year and I am reminded of them on occasion by outside eyes. I am very grateful for everything that is in my life now... everything! Last year I learned more about a lathe I knew nothing about before I got it, saw the development of drumsticks, refurbished some tools in the shop, learned a lot about wood characteristics and how wood behaves if not treated properly, played some music, taught some lessons and worked on some property. Life is better than it has ever been. I am truly grateful for my family, friends, my beautiful, caring, and supportive partner AND ALL OF YOU THAT HAVE CONTINUED TO HELP THIS GROW! THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!
As with any upstart, business is like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, feasts and famines. With it all comes the happiness and gratitude that I can continue to do what I'm passionate about, applying years of skills and craftsmanship in drumming and the trades. One of the most challenging aspects of stick making, as I've stated before, is sourcing the raw material needed to make a quality stick that drummers will like and continue to use. So far, all the sticks produced have shown extreme durability. I believe I'm selecting good stock. Now, the business needs more raw material to move out of the small batch runs supplying the local market, into bigger production runs, to supply a larger market. The shop is capable of the numbers, provided the raw stock is there.
Over the past few weeks, I've taken the time to do some machine and tool rearranging to help the shop function more efficiently and gain some much needed work space. The lathe moved across the room, the trim saw relocated, the tip/butt shaping station, along with tip sanding are now all within a couple steps of one another. There are still some tweaks happening, but this will definitely cut down on expending energy needlessly. Also during this time, the big band saw has finally been rebuilt and reassembled. The plan is to resaw boards to thickness and rip books into squares, minimizing waste and material loss to kerf. I have some pics to show the progress...some you may remember from earlier posts.
I found this Rockwell/Delta 28-3X0 20" bandsaw in a classified ad online, along with a barrel dust collector and a 55 gal 3HP bag collector. I had no idea it was this big until my friend Martin and I took the ride to Eunice LA to look. It was a sad sight full of mud dauber nests and a HUGE wasp nest. I should have run away but I took the challenge for the deal I got on all three pieces of equipment. After a lil' gruntin' and groanin', we got some help from a forklift to get it on the trailer. It popped a ratchet strap on the bumpy rural roads, we had to stop in Rayne for a couple heavier ones. I gave myself a good bruise and scrape on the trailer and the trailer got bent from 800lbs sitting a little too far ahead of the wheels. We had to disassemble the saw to get it off the trailer.
This project took nearly 15 months to finish from the date of purchase. The saw has moved around the shop in several different stages and parked for periods when time just did not permit any work being done to it. It is very close to being usable. All that is needed is a fresh blade and the blade guard to be installed, along with make a couple jigs for re-sawing and ripping. It has definitely been worth all the time invested!