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About Makoz

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  • Location
    near Toowoomba, Australia
  • Biography
    Creative recycler
  • Interests
    Part time artist working in timber and metal, and also make t
  • Occupation
    Studio manager at a uni, and teach workshop skills in sculpture
  1. Makoz

    Herb knife

    Hi there, I've actually done some forge work lately! I made a two-handled herb knife as a present for my twin sister- our 50th birthday. Made from a recycled rotary hoe blade. I left some forging marks on it (simply because I like the rough hewn look;)), but overall I'm happy with the result. Progress shots and stuff can be found here. Cheers,
  2. I usually wear a light leather glove, called rigger's gloves here, on my left (holding) hand only, none on my hammer hand for reason's pointed out by others. When welding I put a standard Kevlar gauntlet on my left to protect it from direct heat, and a rigger's glove on my right because I have more feel on the trigger....and don't flash myself as much! Cheers Makoz
  3. I just tried tacking on an image in edit, but here it is anyway, to illustrate what I mean about bevel up or down. I'm focussing on the necked taper vs. straight taper (which is critical if you are making round tenons for rustic furniture), but the diving into the wood or out of it is also illustrated. Cheers, Makoz
  4. Actually both ways are correct! I'm more of a woodie than a blacksmith, and use drawknives and shaving horses a fair bit. Bevel up is good if you're hogging out a lot of wood, but flip it over so the bevel is against the timber or branch, and you have more control. Yes, the angle of attack is different, and feels different with hand grip, but it works. It takes off less shavings, doesn't dig in or dive into the grain (contrary to what Frosty said, sorry!). Put it this way, carving chisels are mostly used bevel down... and normal chisels get used either way, depending on how much bite you want. Bevel up, they spear in; bevel down, they rise out of the timber. Bevel down with a draw knife also allows you 'neck' a round tenon into concave profile, or shoulder, instead of a straight taper. What was said above about sharpening is good advice. I tend to use a diamond hone on the job, for a quick touch up. Cheers, Makoz
  5. Sorry to hear about his passing. I just went through a few pages of the gallery, what an amazingly talented man! He must have been a real inspiration to work with. Regards, Makoz
  6. I have the option of using an auto helmut or a standard full face type, at work using a MIG. I choose the latter always, maybe because I'm so used to them, but also because I like being able to watch the glow of the metal between runs. If I'm joining thin to thick pieces, or just plain thin work, I'll weld for a bit, stop with the gun in place and watch the heat build-up dissipate, then press the trigger and go again. Saves me from blowing holes etc. Ditto for filling in gaps or repairing those blow outs, weld briefly, wait for the glow to dissappear then proceed. I learned that from a guy years ago on arc welders, and its something that just can't be done with an auto helmut. As soon as you stop welding normal vision returns (Duh!) and there is no sign of the tell-tale glow, so it lacks the nuances in the steel. Just my opinion anyhow! Cheers, Makoz
  7. Welcome Michael! Where abouts have you set up shop, I'd like to drop in soon. Good luck. makoz
  8. Hi Creek, I've been down a similar route to yours, went back to art school after 12-13 yrs working, mostly as a diesel fitter but also some furniture making (when the spanner work became too much:p). The most useful courses I've done outside uni have been basic welding -as offered by trade colleges for apprentice boilermakers; and an intro blacksmithing course. To further a career in public art I would suggest doing a proper CAD course. While it may not actaully assist your own work directly, it will only enhance your proposals when you go for commissions. Many such opportunities are dependant on the OK of an engineer (well they are here, because of Workplace Health and Safety, duty of care, public liability ad nauseum), and people like that only speak CAD! It certainly doesn't hurt to present your work as a 3D walk-around on a computer, or send it on a CD etc. I haven't been too far down the route I started, with only a few commissions and some exhibitions- inc. a selection of work over your way at SOFA in Chicago- instead I stayed at the uni and now teach workshop practices to sculpture students. Anyway, that's my advice, good luck with what you're up to! Makoz
  9. G'day Ray, Good to see you here, now I feel a lot safer!! Cheers, Makoz
  10. When I worked as a diesel fitter in the mines there were a couple of classics: "Cut your way in, weld your way out"; and "Never put put your finger where you wouldn't put your ol' fella first"! Cheers
  11. Makoz

    Whittling knives

    Thanks for the comments guys! rmpcb, have you used any rose mahogany aka Australian rosewood? Lovely stuff to work, one of my favourites. John, I think its a combination of the curve and the wickedly sharp blade which has no real bevel. The curve means that the blade keeps in full contact as it swipes the pencil? Prolly seems a bit fussy, but I do a lot of drawing and like a sharp pencil! Hate the edge a pencil sharpener gives. Cheers, Makoz
  12. Hobbyist smith, although I did earn my keep for a while at a wrought iron works. I too did the Cobb & Co course in Toowoomba (1993?), and since then use the skills mostly to make tools for myself. I use the the tools for metal and woodwork. I teach workshop skills to sculpture students and although we have a forge I haven't fired that one for years. I live on acreage near Cabarlah, on the range north of Toowoomba. Cheers, Makoz
  13. I do a seasonal ritual: stop shaving at the start of winter, the shave it off come spring. The wife hates the beard, but I hate shaving, esp. after years in the airforce where it was compulsory, so I find it a real relief. The whole respirator thing is a worry though, not just wood dust at work. Cheers
  14. I have access to a uni library, and wade through all manner of books: history and archeology, paleontology, biology, engineering, art and crafts (blacksmithing & furniture making especially), biographies and fiction. I too keep a journal/sketch book, jotting down ideas as they come to me, or pasting in pics and photocopies. Its a bit of wake up call to flick through 15 odd yrs of them to realise the same patterns or images keep emerging, like they've been re-assessed in my subconcious. Cheers, Makoz
  15. I've done a few public commissions using laser cut stainless as well as aluminium. Besides the cost of converting CAD files (which shouldn't be there if I'd learn to use a CAD program myself!), the expense seems to lie with the cutting of holes. The machine has to stop and start again, obviously. Each "insertion" costs $$$, so if you are cutting a lot of holes, which your mesh is, that equals a heck of lot of money! The technology seems to be suited more to continuous cuts, in multiples. Can the holes be linked in a more continuous flow, ie strips of holes? I would agree with Nate, use a commercial mesh and shape panels which can to be joined later. Is there a possibility of joining each panel to a formed rod or bar, on the seam line? Good luck