one way or another

growing pains. i seem to experience that often.  usually during the middle of new work getting made cuz thats when i realize that i dont know things or have things that i need.   if you want to keep raising your own bar, if you wanna lift that sucker high up over your head it takes some massive push.

dilemma: i know i need a better cutting tool that isn't going to melt the pipes when i cut them to reduce grinding/clean up time but more importantly, for a better, more 'true' cut.  and for efficiency as well since not having to do so much grind/clean up means less time/waste AND things wont wobble.

 i could get a 14" portable dry cut saw that starts at around $430.  if i can find one without the carbide blade its 100 less but i need at least 2 blades and those, if i want a good one is easily $150 each.  that isn't that daunting but what IS daunting is the more i read about these machines the more i'm seeing dudes in forums always talking about chipping blade teeth, having problems with that and ending up buying more blades or needing excessive blade sharpening done.  i'm figuring if the dudes are screwing this up what kind of chance do i have?  i'm a moron most times and am envisioning the massive blade breakage already.

also...the more forums i read about these machines the more i know, while they ARE better than the abrasive cheap ($200) chop saw that i have, they are still a joke in the fabrication world.

what i probably need is a horizontal band saw.  they can be semi portable, although they will weigh about 130lbs and i probably wont be able to lug that outside, down the porch stairs and onto the parking lot unless i can also hire two gladiators. keep in mind even these are on the bottom of the totem pole but superior than the above tools.  from what i'm seeing you could easily spend 3-5-10,000 bucks on a good cold cut saw.  but realistically speaking i need $800 or so and a place to work in. thats it.

next on my mind:  i need an art studio i can work in so i dont have to wait for nice weather, available parking space or lightweight tools to lug around. i have outgrown this little parking lot set up FOR SURE. what i NEED is more money to buy a good tool. what i NEED is perhaps some mentoring.

dream on grasshopper.

do i shop around for a studio? i am still just making my rent/bills/food and now that all sales on etsy have stopped i'm back to cleaning next week.  it will take a massive leap to find a smaller apartment and then try to rent a studio that will allow me to make more noise than the average artist. i feel confined and stuck in a big big way.  i also know i need more education about metal  and tools.  i might need to find someone locally that is willing to show me stuff...keep in mind this is texas and i talk like a yankee....it is going to take a miracle i think. i have found that fabricators, unless they are artisans...just dont get the artist mindset and its like talking two languages.  i realize i no longer am in a place of wanting to be an apprentice because my work is too important to me to give up right now.

all i know is i feel ready for more change. i have a few prototypes of pipe/vase/container and flowers ideas with even more ideas in my head but for sure they exceed my capabilities.  it's a frustrating spot to stand in.  even if all i want is some tools right now it is maddening as we can't find any of these machines in stores around here.  tod and i spent way too long at home depot, our puny little home depot that doesn't carry the tools i want.  supplies yes, tools no.  i can't find a variable speed grinder to save my life there...  forget about the dry chop saws, the cold saws, the horizontal saws.  how ya supposed to know what you are buying if you can't even see it? online feels like hit or miss when you aren't sure what you are getting.

maybe i am stuck in primitive a bit longer. 
working on and trusting something will present itself as a solution before i wear myself out.
working on having a better attitude and being open for whatever.
i always feel like i am at the very beginning all the time.  like i still know nothing.  which i suppose is better than knowing it all and being bored.


collage whirl said...

Put that way, equipment shopping does sound daunting. And me in my little sewing machine quandary! You'll figure it out, I have no fear. and I can't wait to see what you will be making soon :-)

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

...learn the fabricator's language. Often, they are closet artists. I have known a few mechanics, who secretly did art that blew me away, a chief of policeman who did silversmithing, an auto mechanic who did large steel outdoor sculptures, another guy who carved tiki...you'd be surprised. Dig around and you might find a like-minded soul to show you the ropes. Or learn the language of the fabricator. Tell them you are a do-it-yourselfer.

Those are just some ideas...

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

Look for a local machine shop. Tell them to keep you in mind when they are upgrading equipment and getting rid of the old. My husband is a machinist, and we have gotten sweet deals this way. Also, you may find a machinist that is willing to make the cuts for you, inexpensively, on his equipment until you can find or afford your own equipment.

paula said...

thanks for encouragement...it helps. i think i might have found a decent option of a machine and after tod has digested more of the details we might have found something i can use until i have a studio and can get a bigger better.
great advice karen ...i know of one shop here and i can certainly go in there and ask! and dawn...i'm liking that ....learn the fabricator's language. i started reading more welder forums yesterday and getting my language lesson in metal. :)

Lisa said...

Love seeing you out there making your dream come true Paula.

paula said...

thank you lisa! ditto babe....s