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Hi! I deliberately left making an intro post until I had settled in but now I think it's time for more of a proper introduction.

My name's Dan and I am a half English, half Chinese bloke from London living in Hong Kong. I'm a proud father of two and former banker who makes stuff in his spare time. I love to create things that are beautiful and functional and technically challenging at the same time. My kids are a prime example, but I also make knives and recently slingshots and do a fair bit of photography too; mostly portrait work and some events.

Space is at a premium in Hong Kong and my missus objected to my making pearl-handled daggers in the spare room, so I established a workshop and worthy man-cave near my home where I can hang out alone and play with flaming hot metal, plasma and slingshots in relative safety where I won't harm anyone but myself. More importantly, she doesn't have a key and so has a hard time tracking the tools that I have accumulated.

Here's a virtual tour of the workshop...

It's crowded, but I can move about. When I can no longer move about, I tidy up.



Here's the Delta bandsaw. It's only good for wood, laminates and thin non-ferrous metals. Beside it is a decent 10" off cut grinder, an 11" bi-directional 1HP disc sander and 1" arbor, a bench grinder for tool sharpening and lots of tool steel, and all kinds of other materials in a stock rack.



Below is my powerful, vibration free and beautifully tracked 10"x72" belt grinder by Norman Coote, a 2x72" belt grinder, running on three phase, variable frequency (and hence variable speed) with a 2HP motor, the shop vacuum, a circulation/extractor fan, a little trooper of a 1"x30" belt and 8" disc sander and a 1HP 2,200 RPM buffer that can throw a heavy bowie knife at almost 100 fps.




In the corner is my detail work station, with hand tools, small fittings in trays, an air grinder, a dremel table, variable high-current DC for electro-etching and plating, a expendible jeweller's toolrest, lever press, sandblasting cabinet and my daugher's art to keep me inspired. I have a lot of magnifying equipment here and lots of light sources so that I can see detail and scratches.



This is the measurement and mark-up station. There's a Vernier height guage, dial caliper stand and a pantograph for reproduction/ reduction work as the PC's never working properly.



This is the machine shop. There's a high speed pillar drill, a big pillar drill, lathe/mill, mini lathe and all manner of clamps, machinist straps, vices and such.



Next is my scrollsaw and horizontal mill set up here as a surface grinder. Below is the TIG/Arc welder, plasma cutter, a couple of forges, mounted CO meter/alarm and a Paragon KM-14D computer controlled heat treatment furnace. It can be used as a kiln and I've even done glass slumping in it. On the wall is a chalkboard for planning and a powder fire extinguisher because of the nearby hot work station.



Opposit is the hot work table and my workbench. It's nice to have somewhere safe to put down a hot piece of metal and some solid legs to hammer on. The two anvils would do that too, although I spend more time sitting on them or shooting cans off them. The table features a micro-forge for small work, plus oxy-acetylene and compressed air-LPG burners, a Bernzomatic/MAPP venturi burner, butane venturi burner, a quenchant trough, rotary hot work table and plenty more vises. Some are for holding, others for bending. There's a ball-head vise in the background and a homemade smithing magician (a die fuller). You can also make out a blue bucket full or resins under the bench.



This is a log splitter that I'm in the process of converting to a hydraulic press. I also have a big anvil/ slingshot target. It's not very good target because it tends to shoot back. It's like playing table tennis againsta wall, but with 1/2 ball bearings shot by Hunter Bands. My backstop is 15' of windows. Nobody said I was smarter than I was lazy.



There's more to come in a second post, but I think I've posted as many images as the forum will allow in one post.
 

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At the back is storage You can spot a table saw in there somewhere. And thankfully there is a a big open space where I can build bigger projects, hang a hammock, or run for the door. Look, I have sprinklers. sprinklers are bad because if they go off, I'll have about a million bucks of liability as everyone else's unit gets flooded. I also therefore have heat sensors on the ceiling. There's a chain winch too, and both three phase and single phase sockets hanging from the centre of the room. You can never have too many sockets or vices.



There's a fridge for beer and icepacks. If you need an icepack, beer helps too. There's also a water cooler, a dehumidifier and a toaster oven with a big high precision thermometer drilled through to the centre of the oven. I also have a thermocouple in it for local sampling and I've calibrated the thermostat to them both. I use this for tempering freshly quenched steel and making cheese toasties. I keep chemicals and paints in the cabinet.



In the photo above there is a second powder fire extinguisher. I keep safety stuff where I can find it with my eyes closed. Below is the wet station and the emergency eyewash, plus argon, oxygen and some small MAPP/ Maxy Gas bottles.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are the kids: Ethan


And Hannah



Yes, I know she shouldn't be drawing without eye protection and with the bands the wrong way round. Here's an improvement, this time minus a tooth (not from a ricochet
):

 

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And in case you're wondering, the PAPR Mask (the blue hat with the polycarbonate visor and the grey flexi tube in the back) is connected to a squirrel cage blower, not the shop vac.




I got fed up of black snot and a hacking cough a couple of years back and made this rig from a blower, tube, safety visor and a HEPA-grade filter. It's really great. It has no seal around the face and I can breathe really easily, unlike a filter mask. It's more effective than a filter mask, because it takes in air from far away from the source of the smoke, dust or fumes and requires no seal as the air in the mask is of a higher pressure than the surrounding air. Filter masks take air from around the face, which is usually near the point of origin of the dust and when you breathe in, it sucks in all the bad air through any gaps between the mask and my face. It also prevents bits from hitting my face and in summer, I put the blower next to the aircon and it blows cold air over my head and down my body, which is all the motivation I need to use it.
 

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DAN-DAN- great layout and shop, would love to have something like that, very nice, fine looking kids too, bet theyre full of the old get up and go- NICE PICS THANKS FOR SHARING
 

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MY GOD DAN! WHAT A SHOP!
I would kill for a shop like that Bud! All those tools. I'm a former machinist and sometimes miss the heck out of using machine tools. Very nice Bud and the kids are great too! You are blessed Bud! Flatband
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The curse is I have no excuses for shoddy work. Besides the beer, that is.
 

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Wow Dan, Looks like the kids are going to follow in dads footsteps ! What a wonderful playground to grow up in . Great shop , the only thing I saw missing was a lead pot and mould to make round balls to shoot . You have made me dizzy,
so many toys (tools) and so little time ! Heheheeee

Regards,
-Scott
 

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"Southern Flip Style"
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My gosh ZDP that looks like my high school shop class!!!!
My "shop" is just my house garage, I am truly a "cottage industry" in every sense of the phrase. Nothing to see, but everything I need to get the job done.

Very nice shop and children....neat to see some of your life. Thanks for sharing.
 

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My gosh ZDP that looks like my high school shop class!!!!
My "shop" is just my house garage, I am truly a "cottage industry" in every sense of the phrase. Nothing to see, but everything I need to get the job done.

Very nice shop and children....neat to see some of your life. Thanks for sharing.
I was under the impression that all Americans had a set up like this in their suburban garage, next to a SUV and a rusting '69 Shelby Mustang.
 

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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Totally WOW ! That's all I can think of to say except that it is so nice to get to know you better. Those two kiddos are just as cute as cute can be.
 

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I was under the impression that all Americans had a set up like this in their suburban garage, next to a SUV and a rusting '69 Shelby Mustang.
If only that were so...
That's truly an epic man cave/shop, ZDP! Thanks for the pics!
 

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My workshop is a shed in the back yard that has no electric( I use an extension cord from the deck). I do all my frame work with a band saw and a Dremel. I cut logs with a Sawzall to make blanks. I have a BIG wishlist of tools! Can I live in your shop ZDP?
Flatband
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What the workshop does for me is that if I feel inspired to make something, or at least get out of the house on an evening, I can pop down the road and I'll have a a warm/cool place with good light, tooling and all the raw materials and fittings to hand to make exactly what I wanted without having to place an order from overseas and wait for it to arrive in Hong Kong then realise they forgot a couple of bits. That's why I can churn out so many items in such a short time.

However, you can (and I see you do) create excellent work in a garden shed with no power. Sometimes it's easier to make a project using specialist machinery, but just about every operation is doable with hand tools and sometimes a bit of ingenuity. On the other forums I am on, I write tutorials that reduce seemingly complicated techniques into simple operations and jigs that anyman can use. If members here pick up on things like the laminate tutorial and make their own, I plan on doing a series of tutorial threads to show members how to apply a lot of knifemaking and other techniques to their slingshot frames to create things that are interesting and different without drifting so far from traditional styles that they become unrecognisable as a traditional slingshot.
 

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I was under the impression that all Americans had a set up like this in their suburban garage, next to a SUV and a rusting '69 Shelby Mustang.
Are you kidding? I dont even have a garage let alone a suburb.
 
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