Winter is over and spring is on its way; soon we'll have very comfortable weather for working in La Officina (The Shop). I work in the shop year round. My shop isn't insulated yet and I rely on two baseboard units to keep me and the equipment within operating parameters. Sometimes it gets so cold in the winter (yes, even in Virginia) that I worry the equipment will not tolerate the chill. Anything below 20 degrees F is compromising so I will usually skip a day in the shop. This year that was a chunk of late February and early March. The picture is the snow of February/March 2010 when we had close to 58" of snow.
I have been slow getting this site up because I have been building the content and learning WordPress at the same time. So thanks for your patience. This time of the year is also busy for a small business getting everything shipshape for tax purposes. Let me show you around the shop.
I have two metal lathes: a small Sieg 4, from the Little Machine Shop called the HiTorque 8.5 X 16 Bench lathe, which weighs in at 300 pounds. I do most of my finish work and turning of very small parts on this lathe, although it is quite agile for making complete pens.
My production lathe is a Precision Matthews PM1340 GT that weighs in at a dainty 1200 pounds. Hard to imagine that something so big can be used to make something as small as a fountain pen, but it works so well. This is a picture of the two lathes in their current configuration:
Getting it in the shop was quite an undertaking because the delivery truck off loaded it on the driveway on the front of my property, and it was July. The very day it was delivered was the start of three days of thunderstorms, go figure: