For the last month or so we’ve set up our workshop. And it amazes me every time we have to buy something just how much stuff you need to set up one normal workshop. With programming it’s easy. You buy computer for $1000 US, install linux and bunch of free programs and you’re ready to go. There’s not much you need to pay for on regular basis besides Internet connection, if you work from home.

Now try to start blacksmithing from scratch. You need quite big room for your own, cubicle will definitely not do. You need forge, either coal or gas, anvil, hammer, grinder, belt grinder, drill, drill bits and lots and lots of other stuff. If you want to be competitive you really need power hammer. New one will cost around $5000 US and more. We are really lucky to be in post Soviet country – lots of old equipment is still around and no one really needs them. So we got huge power hammer for the price of 2 iPods. It looks like this:Power hammer

And for example this little 3 ton thing was with the price of just one iPod:

Little machine

I mean, even brand new anvil alone costs 3 times as much. Of course no one says you have to buy everything new, but you get the idea. Besides buying all that stuff you need to build lots of custom things, for which you again need tools like arc welder and many-many more. Ok enough of that.

Here’s what we’re actually producing:

Almost finished New blades getting ready

And here is our first successful forge weld in process, and yes, it really does spit out all these sparks.

Spark show during forge welding.

It looks nice, but it also can give you a new meaning of hot.

3 thoughts on “Workshop preparation

  1. This is all incredibly interesting… I hope you keep posting details like this as you proceed in your new career. When do you expect to have something for sale? I’m interested in supporting your new career and buying a Katana or whatever you end up making.

  2. Don, I can’t give any specific deadlines as of now. There’s just so much I need to learn. But I think, real soon now, whatever that may mean. I hope I can buy good blade steel next week (for which I know heat-treating and tempering temperatures) so after that I can can start doing ‘real’ blades. So far I’ve used some scrap metal.

    But Don, why don’t you tell me which knife you’d like to get, what is its intended purpose and I’ll make it (as good as I my skills permit). My email is viltsik [at] gmail com.

  3. Do you know what’s funny i see myself in you … also from an ex-comunist country… also used to be a programmer and also into blacksmithing…First power hammer i got for cash …but about the same amount as what 2 ipod;s worth.It’s a pleasure to find this place and to see more and more ,,programers starting to do something with theyer hands instead of typing at the keyboard !

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