I have been blogging about my adventures in knife making for a couple of years now. I have had many faithful followers who have offered great feedback and support for what I do. Since upgrading and moving my website to my own domain, I thought it prudent to take my new followers through a short tour of my little workshop so that you might get acquainted with what I do and where I do it. And, since my shop endeavors over the weekend were comprised of an epic failure of the blade that I was working on and many choice words, I decided that this week was the time to give that tour.
And here it is in all its glory! I know, I know. . . it's not very glorious at all. In reality, It's a converted garden shed that sits next to my kids sandbox and play area in the back corner of my yard. It only claims about 77 square feet of space on this earth, but lots of great things have come out of this little building. It has gone through quite the evolution over the 13 years that it has been under my care. In its current state is has pretty good insulation, permanent power, built in workbenches and storage, and decent lighting. Let me take you inside for a closer look.
Here's the corner of my workshop where the majority of the work takes place. All the assembly, fitting, handwork, and other assorted detail processes are handled right here on this workbench. The most important piece of equipment here is that simple carpet sample on top if this bench. It keeps all the many pieces of my folding knives from rolling around and getting lost. I have my vice and anvil within reach in this area too. And of course, an insulated mug of soda is an absolute must have. Gotta stay hydrated!
Working our way around the room, we come to this little area. Here I have plenty of storage for all the little, intricate folder parts and pieces, my band saw, buffer, and shop-made horizontal disk grinder. The band saw is just a standard bench-top Craftsman model 10" saw, but with some custom-made bimetal blades from an online supplier, it cuts the thin metal stock that I work with quite well.
The next corner is my grinding bench. Old Grey, my shop-built 2"x72" grinder, is the center of my knife-making tools. She's been grinding for a couple of years now without a single issue. The little bench-top grinder next to Old Grey was the only grinder I had in the beginning of my adventures in knife making. It's still in use for the disk grinding feature. And above, of course, is an array of grinding belts of varying abrasive grits and styles in a rainbow of colors.
And, in the final corner, we have my drill press, spindle sander, lathe, dust collector (tucked into the back), and my heat treat oven on a shelf above. Other than a small handful of hand tools, that's about all the tooling available in my shop.
I think that some may well be surprised at the low number of tools needed and small amount of space necessary to produce some fantastic custom knives. The space is small, but it holds everything I need. One day, I would love to have more floor area to work in, but for the time being, this little shop has everything I need.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my shop. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my little home-away-from-home, or to answer any questions that you may have, so don't hesitate to drop me a message on my Contact page. Thanks for stopping by the Robinson Edge.
- Brandant Robinson