With Every Dream, a Desire. With Every Desire, a Beginning...
Where to begin... as far back as I can remember, I've always had a fascination
with steam trains... these big iron goliaths, their awesome power and
mystique, how they helped tame the West and revolutionize transportation
worldwide. Steam engines of all sorts interest me. I can spend a whole
day at a museum like London's
It should be no surprise that my favourite toy as a child was a
Jensen Model 65 steam engine
which I still have today.
Large steam engine running at London's Science Museum. Humans included to show scale.
In my early teen years, I used to volunteer at the Montgomery County Fair's
antique farm machinery exhibit (a.k.a. the Old Timer's Section) which
spawned my interest in Hit and Miss farm engines, one of the earliest commercial
applications of the Otto cycle.
In late teen years and early adulthood I learned the mastery of woodworking.
I am almost entirely self-taught as there were no vocational schools offering
the techniques I needed. Trial-and-error was a big part of my learning process
but thankfully, I still have all my fingers. I enjoy working both domestic
and exotic woods, my favourites being black walnut, maple, zebrawood and purpleheart.
I produced hundreds of musical instruments under the label of "Griffin Music."
Though I became an accomplished woodworker, metal remained an intriguing
mystery, waiting to be discovered. It wasn't until very recently (2003) that I
took the plunge head (and wallet) first, buying a metal lathe and MIG welder.
My approach to metalworking has been more aggressive and with a higher budget
than previous vocational interests. My process of learning and collecting have
been supplemented with videos, books, eBay auctions and a unique system of
"playing cards" I developed to acquire everything I needed. See the "Workshop"
link to get details on the playing cards. As I am just starting this venture
at the time of writing this page, you will realise my skill is as yet unrefined.
Since it has been so much fun going through this learning process, I wanted
to write these pages to share my experiences.
My first gears... bevel gears nonetheless! Details on projects page.
©2004 R.Alexander Griffin. All Rights Reserved.