Autumn Update

Summer has slowly melted into Autumn for me without barely recognising it happened. I've had my head down stuck into work and not seen too much of the outside world beyond my workshop and family home. I do, however, still get the odd cuddle and kiss from one of my children as they pass by which makes it all the more worth it working from home.

It's been a season of great highs where I have achieved some fantastic results but I have probably had more great lows mainly featuring the RSI (don't go there, still very painful and not yet sorted out!) and a very difficult local builder who has far too much self importance and likes to work to imaginary lines making my life as hard as possible!

I have been fortunate enough to have had a chance to invest in some new equipment to make my life easier and hopefully speed up work production time. One of them being an air compressor so that not only can I blow the children's bike tyres up without swearing but I can also spray paint everything! Very much loving the results, quick, easy (still fun - not sure if that wears off?) and a much more professional finish although with French paint being as expensive as it is I swear that sometimes the paint particles in the air look like euros floating about! Next job to find a good supplier of some quality metal paint without having to remortage...

My latest baby arrived this morning. Ah the excitement. I've been waiting and tracking it for days.

It's sitting in my workshop looking so new and smart. I've been reading the instructions carefully and taking my time to get to know it before I try it out. My wife, however, keeps pestering me to just rip off the packaging and start pulverising everything - she never has been one for patience! I have a fire-back to cut in the next couple of days so Ill get her to take some action shots of it in use :) Its the little things that excite me.....

My biggest projects recently have been an ornate balcony and a staircase at a local château.

My favourite project has been a collaboration with a client who wanted me to make a tree seat for her husband's 40th birthday (yer I know, I only get socks as well!) I really like the result, these are the progress photos.

So, I'm not sure when Winter starts but I'm eyeing up some thermal overalls to get me through it - just need to kick the RSI into gear first...

Love the tree seat, good luck with the RSI I got one letter last week saying I owed a couple of hundred and one this a few thousand think its the 200 one i will believe lol

I've heard a lot about HVLP, and all good Stuart, and when/if I ever get the forge going I'll be in touch ;-)

and to answer your last comment - that was the difficulty I had in the UK, in the end I earnt more on bog standard welding jobs than I ever did on quality hand-forged work, good luck Renny!

Hi Renny. You're welcome. I forgot to add, I love your work by the way. I do hope you're getting the just rewards. Not easy when you're putting lots of hours into something.

Thanks for the info Andrew and Stuart. Its good to hear other people's experiences.

Hi Renny, hi Andrew. It depends on what spray system you use. I use HVLP electric. I bought a semi professional model and it works a treat. If used properly it can actually save on paint, but it needs some practise. On another note, when you do get back into smithying Andrew, let me know. I'd love some tips and we're not that far apart. I can only give woodworking tips I'm afraid :(

From an ex-artistic blacksmith in another life - spraying is always fun compared to painting but boy does it use up paint - had an excellent supplier in the UK, even stuck to galvanized work without a primer but we're talking mid/late 90s and i haven't kept any contacts/info. There must be something similar here or in Italy/Spain. My biggest break through was ditching my old stick welder for an industrial MIG, a migatronic, then a kemppi - both fantastic and speed up work and quality no end (but from what i've heard it has to be a descent one, the cheap diy mig welders aren't meant ot be up to much) still have a workshop in France, depuis peu, but haven't had the time to do anything except make a forge and organise things. perhaps one day I'll get back to it ;-)