Monday, September 19, 2016

Year 16, Week 36, Day One (week 868)

Year 16, Week 36, Day One (week 868)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-17-16 Saturday

86 degrees early morning with high humidity and no wind. Some towers over the ocean. Some feathers and milk above. Puffs appeared here and there, but there was large sections of blue sky most of the day.  A light wind picked up in the afternoon that helped. No weather all day long. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Department Of Tourism.

During the week, a weather system passed close to us. I noticed it on the weather radar after it was already north of us. I saw movement in the Doppler where the rain patterns circled one area. A bit later, I saw it was reported as a storm. We received some feeder band activity, but that activity was not great as most of the rain event was over the ocean and not over land, which made it nice. If it had not been above us on the map, I would have thought that we were all going to die. It did gain a name after it finally was completely over water east of Georgia.


The wood turning club meeting caught me off guard. All I had to show in the instant gallery was my drum sticks. Only three people brought something in to represent finials. A couple people brought in work that they hated. One said that his big bowl, about 2 feet in diameter, ended up in the garbage three times. His wife pulled it out of the garbage each time. It had laid around for a long time so he threw it in the garbage. His wife pulled it out and painted figurines on it. His adding the finish messed up her paintings and he tossed it..recovered it and fixed it and then they got a good finish on it. He still does not like it, but it does look good. Another brought in a decorative little container that was up on stilts. He hated it, he did several things to it, then his wife wood burned on it and made it impressive. 
Both cases are examples of where we know what it is supposed to be like and it falls far from our image. Someone else has no clue of what we had in mind, and they liked it. 
I have found in many kinds of art I’ve dabbled in, the artist knows what it was supposed to look like and is very disappointed. Everybody else only sees the end result and are impressed

The demonstration was on making pepper mills and salt mills. There is several steps of drilling and you have the have the hardware to make sure the holes are the right size. The difference between the hardware for the salt mills and the pepper mills, is that the pepper mills can be metal, but the salt mills HAVE to be ceramic because salt will corrode metal. One can get the rods in various lengths. He explained what to do if the rod is too long. The top of the rod is threaded. One cuts on the end that has the mechanism and then re-bends that end to crimp the mechanism in place. Never cut the thread unless you have a way to thread it again. Most people don’t. 
Once the drill holes are made, the outside is basic simple turning. If the wood is interesting, one should keep the parting slots as thin as possible so the wood looks like it was from the same piece of wood with no gaps. 
For fitting the parts in, he had modified a scraper to get the proper angles on the surfaces. He said that each mechanism comes with instructions on how they go together and work.
I will say that the masters make absolutely anything, no matter how complex, look easy. It makes my wood turning look like it is done by Godzilla.


The weather report was good, so after breakfast, I headed out on the yard sale circuit. I visited 9 yard sales and skipped 4 (they either always have sales or nothing was on display worthy of stopping for). I was shocked at how many I stopped at after I counted them up. 
The only thing I picked up was a stuffy kitten. It was in a box of stuffies. I moved them around, setting several of the little teddy bears upright as they are supposed to be. When I grabbed the kitten, it started purring. It wiggled in my hand. When I set it down, it became a stuffy again, except the green eyes blinked at me. After that, I realized I could not leave it there. I really could not take it home as my teddy bears are very jealous and won’t accept any other stuffies. I solve the problem by letting the kitten stay in my truck on the dash, to look at me while I drive.

I saw a whole lot of stuff that in previous years I could have grabbed. There were doll house furniture. There was several cooking appliances, such as a two bladed french-fry cutter. There were bread machines and various electric cooking devices like pancake maker, rice cooker, sandwich makers, etc. I am getting a little better on being picky on what I get. I do have days where I am weak, though. Several pieces of furniture I have no room for. One woman had a copy of a master’s painting. It might have been painted.  If I had room, I would quickly run out of room anyway. 

Once I was back, Mom had a red Cedar tree that was dying. She had me top it, then cut just below the highest green branches. The thickest part of the trunk was about two fingers wide. She had a Tababulea that kept sending up shoots from the top that would rush to reach the sky. It had developed a knob on top. She had me cut that knob off. She will see how it reacts to that. I did those cuts with a hand saw as I did not want to drag out the extension cord for such small cuts.  With the last cut I was making, I was wondering if it would have been less effort to drag the cord. It likely would have been the same. 

I then brought out all the oak branches I had accumulated from my brother’s oak tree.. I decided that I was not going to keep them as many were not in good condition. I chose to cut them up into smaller pieces so they could go into the garbage. I used the saw-all with a not sharp enough blade. Once the blade got part way in, the branch vibrated wildly which is not efficient cutting.
I kept the two largest pieces, removing excess branches from one. I could have unloaded those two, but I decided to give myself a chance anyway. 

After lunch I went out and decided to cut some blanks for wood turning from the board I picked up. The first thing I found out was that it was a two by ten, not a two by twelve. That means the blanks are actually nine inches across. 
I cut on one board with the circular saw and it got stuck. It was also not going straight like I wanted. I changed to the saws-all and that did even worse on going straight. I cut a second blank and decided to change projects. 

I already had some blanks cut but needed the corners removed in order to be able to turn them. I had started on one last month but stopped because it was hot and I was lazy, so I decided to finish that one. The saw was still fighting me. I changed to a sharper blade and it was still fighting me. I should have opened a new blade but didn’t. 
I was cutting away when something hit me on the back of the head. It was like a closed palm hitting me. Solid but no edges. It could not be what I was working on as that was the exact opposite side of where I was hit and it was a small piece I was removing, having removed the main bulk of the corner before. That piece would hit me on the top of the head, not the back of the head.  My vision blurred for just a second, I yelped out, then turned around. I looked over the entire area for what it could be and could not find anything. 
I was going to do some more cutting, but just felt uncomfortable because I had no idea what hit me. There was no sound of anything bouncing off the house before or after. No swishing sounds of things being in the air. 
I decided it would be a good idea just to pack up and call it a day. 


I stopped at one yard sale I saw yesterday since it was up. I still did not need a french-fry cutter or bread maker. I did pick up some recipe booklets. No, I did not need them. They looked interesting anyway. You know how addictions are, you do well for a while then you get a weak moment.

My brother was up. I arrived and we talked about Model railroads for the most part. Most model railroads are designed to see trains run around the tracks. We, though, are into dropping off and picking up cars, or delivering passengers. We discussed how to improve the model railroad layout we have in my house, drawing a few examples. The layout I have inmy house is what I consider the ultimate model railroad layout on a 4x8. He was talking mostly about simplifying it, make it more challenging. We also talked about building self powered engines for the railroad. He wants to go to a big scale where he can use drills to power the engines. I want to stay with HO and use battery power with the batteries in the second car. We don’t do much with model railroading as our schedules don’t mesh. Also, to get my railroad ready to run trains, we would have to spend several sessions just clearing the layout and cleaning tracks. 
Beyond that and some talk about welding and machining, we accomplished nothing. 

Hopefully, I will actually accomplish something next weekend. I can cut a bunch of blanks from the boards. In trimming the corners of the blanks I already have. With the 2x10s I don’t have to cut quite as close to the circle as the two by twelves require. There is more room to spin the blank from a smaller boards. 
I have a lot of wood that wants to be made into something, and a lot of projects that were started and never finished. I need to give up something unimportant such as work, and sleep, in order to get more done.

All the way down the Atlantic coast is a dune area referred to as barrier islands with what was originally fresh water behind it. With dredging, engineers interconnected the inland ponds and lakes behind the barrier islands to create what is now known as The Inter-Coastal Waterway. One can take a boat from New England all the way down to the keys in the protection of the barrier islands. 
Down here in Florida, if a city is established entirely on the barrier island, they gave themselves a name with Beach on the end of it to separate themselves from the city on the main land. You get Miami Beach, Dania Beach, Pompano Beach. Hillsboro Beach. 
I thought you would like to know. 

I will have to see what I do next weekend. 


The bowl that got thrown out three times

a turned and shaped piece that was fished out of the garbage and wood burned by the wife.

Some pepper mills used as examples in the demonstration.

cat stuffy standing up.

cat stuffy on in the permanent home in my truck

wood to be cut up and tossed.

cook books I picked up Sunday

Friday, September 16, 2016

Year 16, Week 35, Day One (week 867)

Year 16, Week 35, Day One (week 867)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-10-16 Saturday

86 degrees early morning. Sky full of puffs of all sizes with blue sky in between. 94 high with a light breeze. A weather system down by Cuba (continuing to head west) had sent streams over us most of the week so expectations were low for the day. The day turned out to be dry and nice. Another storm is shown coming right at us in the Atlantic. We may still be scoured off the face of the earth. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

Because of the weather system, I had no expectations for yard sales, but decided to go anyway. I followed the entire big loop. I think there are eight sections one can expect yard sales. There were only three sections with yard sales.
It dawned on me while I was driving the route. This route is about 20 miles. Before the car, 20 miles was a day’s travel for most people. Most towns were spaced about that far apart because of this, plus at river crossings, road crossings and some other geologic locations along the way. Here, I am driving, with no stops, in an hour, and I am driving really slow compared to what we are used to. 
I found six yard sales along the way. Many weeks, something will be common in several yard sales. Golf clubs were at three of them. Cook books were at four of them. Furniture was in four of them. 
At the last yard sale, I picked up a Crock Pot slow cooker which is the same size as one I already had, and a Cast Iron fry pan, which on-line says is for cooking bacon. The pan really needed help. 
I did well in not bringing home a full load as there was a lot of items I gave thought to and talked myself out of.

I got home and Mom wanted to go to Home Depot. I drove as I needed a board. Just as we hit the road, we saw a yard sale sign that was not there when I made my run, so we stopped. She had a lot of children’s stuff. I picked up some rubber stamps and was able to walk away WITHOUT another package of watercolor paint-pots that are connected together. I have plenty of them already. 
I walked from one end of the Home Depot to the other, weaving through about a quarter of the front isles and a few of the back isles too. I picked out a two by twelve board for my platters. While examining the boards, it dawned on me that I tend to grab a board right in front on top. It is a lot of work moving them around and the desire to find the exact board I want is very weak. It usually happens that the kind of board I am after, one with knots, is right there as it was left behind when someone was after clear boards. Below it was a nice clear board with no knots. I like knots better. 

On the way home, I took Mom to that last yard sale I had seen when I went on the circuit. Mom said this woman has nothing she is ever interested in but I stopped and we looked. Mom did find something to buy. I found a doll I had not seen before. The doll had a pretty face, a cute dress and the price was good. I have a friend that gushes whenever I show her pictures of the dolls I have gotten. I might gift her one for Christmas.

Mom had a project for me. She told me about it last week and I decided to tackle it today. We have a wood pile of dimensional boards that we have not touched in a very long time. Some of it is pressure treated and some is not. I started pulling boards out and the ones that had started rotting, at least on one end, got tossed. There were a couple boards that had full contact all around and kept wet that had became compost. There was almost no wood left with them. The pressure treated wood looked well weathered, but they are still useable. 
I found two pieces of black walnut among them. These are like two by twos and a one by one and a half. I had learned how to spot black walnut a while ago. It had a special weathering signature, black spots here and there among the grey surface. 
After I sorted the wood and got them out of the way, Mom cleaned up the wood compost and then figured out how to keep the wood off the ground so it won’t rot so fast. 
I have some oak branches my brother gave me early last year that I have to look at and decide whether to keep them or toss them. I might do that next weekend.

The cast iron pan I picked up, needed some help before I could use it. I looked for a wire brush to mount in my drill. After searching  a bit, I remembered exactly where the brush was. The problem was it would require an archaeological dig to get to it. I was not up for that. I took a brass brush in the dremmel and worked on the bottom of the pan which as fine grooves circling the center emblem. I found out that the brass sticks to the iron and the brush slowly became a simple disk. 
I decided to take a hand powered wire brush (ever use one of those? It is something that cave men used a few years ago) to the pan. It helped but still the pan needed more help. I finally dug out some sandpaper. That finally got the pan to a useable level. It still needs to be washed and scrubbed with steal wool and a brush, but the worst of the corrosion and dirt was gone. 
I was reminded that rust sticks to cloth. I was cleaning the pan with it on my leg and I had a nice rusty colored area on my leg that does not come off easily.

I intended to do all sorts of wood turning today, but from the yard sailing, the Home Depot and the wood pile, I was pretty much done in. It was about two and I decided that calling it a day was the wisest thing to do.  I wanted to turn another platter. The turning club meeting is Thursday and I wanted to make a couple finials for the club challenge. Instead, I called it a day. 
If things go well, I should do a little turning tomorrow. 

I will see what I do tomorrow.


My brother had to work and was not coming up. I got to Mom’s and she asked if I wanted to go out to eat. I said yes and that killed any wood working for the day. Even at a buffet, it takes a couple hours to go out, eat, and come back. One never rushes dining out. 

I have the Wood turning club meeting Thursday. 
I will see what happens next week. 


stamp set

the inside of a pan left outside for a while

the bottom of a pan left outside for a while.

closed crock pot

disassembled crock pot
heating element, metal pan and glass top.

the doll front

the doll from one side

The doll the other side

The two sticks after some sanding. the bottom one is black walnut.
the upper one is some good wood.

sanded pan inside

sanded pan outside. Once seasoned, it will be black.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Year 16, Week 34, Day One (week 866)

Year 16, Week 34, Day One (week 866)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-03-16 Saturday

84 degrees early morning, light clouds all over the place. Mid morning a feeder band came over and basically ended my day. I had noticed tall puffs all around but did not equate that to showers. The storm missed us entirely except for a couple feeder bands. Surprisingly, Florida is still a peninsula rather than an island because of the storm. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

After Breakfast, we stopped at a yard sale on the way home. The woman’s brother had passed and was unloading much of his stuff. He had a number of items that were still in their original packages. He had quite a bit of tools, like sockets and wrenches. 
The woman saw the hat I was wearing and went inside and brought out two more. One was a bit too big and the other fits nicely. I also picked up a travel alarm clock.
I had my hands on a socket set a couple times and a draftsman’s compass set. I actually walked towards her to buy them but she turned to someone else and did business with them first. I put the items back. I am positive I might have four of those draftsman compass sets somewhere. I have not seen them in a long time. I seldom use the sockets I already have. 

I headed out on my own on the big loop. I stopped at four yard sales in my run. 
One had some hammer heads. A wedge shaped head was what caught my mind. I figured besides making handles for them, they could be used for other things.
One woman is an artist and was selling off some spare materials and some other things. Her art is to apply jewelry and other things onto animal shapes as decorations. Her work was masterful. A blue sea horse caught my attention and I kept coming back to it. If I had a place to put it, I might have found a way to get it. It was that good. I can still picture it in my mind. She said that she adds a liquid glass product over her pieces so they can be displayed outside, which a lot of decorators are doing now. I almost had a bag of wooden beads in my hands, but I remembered I have a bunch of them and have not come to a project that would make full use of them. Sadly, I walked away without anything. 
About this time, I noticed a bunch of tall puffs all around. 
When I reached to the Southern end of the run, drips started to appear on the windshield. When I headed North, it got heavier. I drove past a yard sale that was already covering their stuff with plastic sheets. I kept going. I soon got out of the showers, but when I did the Eastern jog before heading north again, I saw a yard sale by a woman that always has them. She seldom has stuff I need and her prices are higher than I like. Soon after I passed her, drips appeared again. She was going to have to pack up very quickly.
I got home and drips increased in intensity as I reached the front door.. I checked the radar and saw that the feeder band from the storm was passing over us. The band itself which was but a couple miles wide, was heading east on an angle, closer to the ocean to the North of us than to the South. The storm cells within the feeder band were heading north through the feeder band at a good speed. I decided to take it easy.
After lunch, I headed out and it was showering again. I looked out, and after a moment of thought, I decided NOPE. 

There was a lot of things I could do under the awning. I have Christmas ornaments to work on. I could bring out the little lathe and make crochet hooks. I could sit and sand on the platters I have made so far. “NOPE” got the nod so I went inside and relaxed with my legs up.

At about three, I looked out the window and thought about doing something, then chose “NOPE” and laid back down again. There is a twinge of guilt from not working on things, but it was not strong. 


My brother came up but other than pumping up the air in my truck tires, we sat and talked and accomplished nothing. I headed home soon after lunch.


I chose to stay home and work on some projects around the house. Sleep, put some stuff away, sleep, move some other things around, sleep, etc. 

Hopefully, the weather won’t give me an excuse not to do anything next weekend. There will be a turning club meeting next week so It would be nice to show something off..
I will see what I actually do Next weekend..


The artist's work

The hammer heads

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Year 16, Week 33, Day One (week 865)

Year 16, Week 33, Day One (week 865)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-27-16 Saturday

86 degrees early morning, 91 by noon. Very early morning radar showed a squall line heading towards shore. I assumed I would get mid morning showers. We got some puffs, a whole sky full of feathers and spilt milk. No showers in my area until about dark. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


The turning club rescheduled our meeting for this week. We had a good turnout, though nowhere near our best. 
We had two demonstrations. 
One of our members has gotten orders for the handles for beer taps (you pull the tall handle to fill a glass). The brewery company is called LauderAle. They are located in Fort Lauderdale, hence the play on the name. Their logo is the power plant chimneys that were a regular feature in the city for many decades until they were removed about four or five years ago. The demonstration showed several methods of making the pieces to be very close to the same. If you have many feet between them, they don’t have to be as exactly the same as if they are side by side. 
He told us about a duplicator he has, where a feeler follows either the actual piece you are copying or a hard board pattern you make for it. His problem is that the duplicator doers not get in tight in the corners so you still have to do some hand cutting to make crisp square corners. 
In this demonstration, he used a pattern to measure where the walkways were and used calipers to measure the diameters. One end of the pattern hooked on the base of the rod and all measurements were from that end. 
Working between centers, He started out measuring the diameter at both ends and then cut the taper between the two spots. That gave him the maximum dimensions along the entire piece.  Then he used the center points to drill the holes the taps need, one on top for a logo plate while the bottom took the screw assembly. He held one end in the chuck, and he used a shortened drill in the Jacob’s drill chuck to bore create the holes. He has a Drill Doctor drill sharpener so he simply broke a drill bit and sharpened it. The shorter the drill bit, the less it is going to wander or bend when cutting into the wood. 
Mounting it between centers again, using the holes as the center, He then measured and cut a groove at each spot for the smallest measurements between the walkways and then cut between them. Because these were to be handled by bartenders, he softened the edges of the walkways a little so not to bother the bartender’s hands. and also explained about painting them on the lathe. 
The masters do make it look so easy. My experience is that doing everything right, they are not going to match. 

The second demonstration was on how to create a vase with an integral handle. This is where the handle is actually part of the wood of the vase, not glued on as most people do. 
In many of our lines of skills, we are like a child with a hammer. Everything looks like a nail. If you have a lathe, everything must be spun fast. You dare not make a rounded object any other way. I have seen a video where a guy used a table saw and a drill-powered jig to make bowls. I have also seen where people regularly make bowls using chisels or drills, grinders. This is to show that the lathe is not the only tool that will make something round or hollow. In some ways, it is the easiest way to do it, but not always.
Also there are other ways of using a lathe. It is a great device to manually rotate an object to get to all sides of it.  We have had demonstrations where the lathe was as a platform for cutting grooves or piercing in a vase or bowl for a decorative effect. 
There are also ROSE ENGINE lathes (demonstrated at the club a couple years ago) where the head is designed to rock side by side. A feeler follows a pattern shifting the head side to side. The cutting is done by a little spinning bit (like in a dremmel) that bumps into the work to create a pattern, depending on the pattern the feeler is following. 

Tonight’s demonstration was great to open up other possibilities. He had a router mounted on an arm style tool rest support. He took his piece of wood and mounted it onto the lathe. He said that one must make sure the lathe is unplugged as it is so easy to reach for the wrong switch. That can damage the work or equipment.
He placed a piece of blue tape on the work to show where he wanted the handle, and, as something new, he placed a second piece of tape out of the way but ahead of the handle tape as a warning. He said that second piece of tape made a big difference. When he saw it approach, he was ready to stop.
He turned on the router, placed it against the wood and rotated the work around to the tape. He then spun it the other way to the tape, a little deeper or to the side a little until he reached the tape again. He simply rotated the work back and forth, removing wood. He would cut down till he reached the vase shape he was after. He would then daylight the handle for the hand. 
He said that the completed vase he was showing took almost longer to hollow out as it took to shape the outside. If you did not know that he worked the vase in this method, one would have never been able to figure out how he got such a good vase shape with a handle that had no seams on it.

We have a turning challenge for next month. The turning challenges are designed to get people to make something they would never make or don’t make very often. It helps expand the skills of the club. 
When we first started these challenges, we had skill categories. There was always a question of who was of each skill level. The same people seemed to always win. 
Now we simply draw a raffle ticket and four tickets are pulled and the winner gets a gift certificate.  We show what we made, tell a little about it and see what others did. 
With this challenge this month, we are to make finials. Those are the spiky things on top of ornaments or decorative containers. Some of us will just make finals, while others will make a container with the finals on them. The proportion of the finial to the container can be important. 
We had a few examples of finials in our instant gallery. One guy made a finial with multiple centers, so it looked like a bunch of off centered disks. Another made a bunch of different shaped finials and had them in a board for display.


We had a line of storms approaching on the radar so I figured there would be few people out. After breakfast, we went to a yard sale of a friend. I picked up a wine box. A few weeks ago, I had made a donation box out of a cigar box. When I was looking for it, I was actually looking for a wine box rather than a cigar box as the wine boxes are larger. I did not realize it at the time. I am positive we had a couple but I could not find them. I have no idea what I will do with this box but I got it anyway.
After a stop at Walmart, Mom decided to stay home. I headed out on my own for yard sailing, heading north. I found one other yard sale. The two things that they had that was interesting was a rocking horse that had a plush body. They also had a carved horse on a platform with wheels. I had seen pictures of these pull toy horses. I would have gotten them but I don’t know anybody with children that young. I never even asked a price. If I ask the price and it is within my range, It is hard not to grab it. By not asking, I don’t know what I am missing. 
I was still expecting to get caught by weather so I only went a little south of mom’s area and checked out the area near the diner we had breakfast. I saw a sign but did not find the yard sale. I headed home. 

Mom decided that some YUCCA trees in front had to go. They had gotten tall and she topped them. The flowers were pretty, but the trees were really dirty. She had hacked off one of them a while back and a new truck came out from the side. She wanted them gone. I am better with the tools than Mom is, so it came to me to remove the rest of the trunks. To do this right, I should dig out the trees by the roots, but me and shovels do not get along. 
I am not great on the ground, but this needed to be done at ground level. Bending over in a chair is even tougher on me. I started with the electric chain saw since in the tree I did last week was wider than the blade was long. The trunk at the ground was almost as wide as the chain saw blade. I cut level to the ground, as close to the ground as the chain saw could go, I cut from above in a few places to speed the process. Mom pushed on the trunk to keep it from binding. 
After removing the big stump, I turned to the three smaller stumps. Because of my position, I accidentally pulled the plug on the saw several times with my foot. Then while part way through one trunk, the saw bound a little and then then I saw smoke from the plug. One prong of the saw was melted at tip. I think it was not in all the way and got overloaded. I believe the prong will have to be replaced and will have to check the extension cord to see if it is all right. 
Mom swapped extension cords and I finished the job with the Saws-All. Mom had me level the big trunk which had a chunk sticking up where I had cut down, then she had me score the tops of the trunks so weed killer can soak into the trunks. 
Mom went out back and brought forward a tree she had in a pot and put it in place, along with a potted plant she already had out front. Looking at it, with the potted plants in place, one does not see that anything was taken out of there. 

We sat and talked, and cooled down a little in front of a fan, then Mom went in, happy she got that project done.  Yucca is a fibrous tree and the chain saw was packed with the wet fibers. I cleaned that out before I put the saw away. It took some doing as the mass stuck to everything in the saw chain slots. I also had to do a little cleaning on the Saws-all while I was at it. 

I was still not sure what the weather would do, but It looked like I would at least have an hour to work, so I pulled the lathe out. I put the drum sticks in place. I had messed up one of the ends last time, so I decided to try to make both ends the same, and since they were longer than needed, I would shorten it. I used my bullnosed scraper to shape the bulb on the end of the drum sticks, and then used sandpaper to make the sticks a little thinner and to remove any tool marks. I cleaned up both ends of the sticks. They are thin enough to go into the hole of the chuck. I can close the chuck to clamp on the sticks to hold them. When I put the striking end into the chuck, the stick went almost half way in. I sanded the end to clean it up. It still has the center hole that the tail stock point made, but that is not a problem. I also sanded the other end of the drum stick. 
The sticks are not quite right, but useable. They need finer sanding and while I gave them one coat of motor oil as a finish, I figure I will add a few more coats rubbed in and then dried. I am not going to varnish them as I found that if left in the car, the varnish sometimes will get a little sticky. I will now have to teach them the songs.....

I had time, the weather was still cooperating, and I was feeling good, so I took out one of my platter blanks. This blank has a big knot running through the thickness. It had been several weeks since I had made a platter so I was able to see what I had learned and what I forgot. 
I tried mounting it with a faceplate, which as a flat surface, but the wood wobbled too much. It was too small and even a little knob would throw it off. I put the chuck back on. Just the face of the jaws touch the wood and there is a lot of space around them. There is less for flaws to mess with. 
Shaping the inside went easy. It is harder to judge the thickness at the very bottom without using some form of guage and I was too lazy to measure it. When I thought I was deep enough at first, I decided to go deeper it looked like there was plenty of room. When I had the surface about right, I then turned it around. 
The backside went well. It seemed to take longer to remove the wood. I kept getting the shape about right, then deciding it was too thick and cut some more. I did not get a lot of bounce this time, but there was some tear out that I could not quite get rid of. The tear out is where the end grains are shoved to the side or pulled out rather than cut. It opens little holes in the wood. Sanding helped but it will need more work. 

As I am typing this, I am thinking I need to take my tools to the grinder to fix the shape. Stropping or honing with a diamond plate will clean the edge, but after a while, the metal dulls until it gets too thick to touch up. The shape on my round nosed scraper is a little wrong. I am positive I can do better with the bowl gouge. It really comes down to a decision of which is more important at the moment, sharpening or cutting. There comes a time where the decision is made for you. I read something recently where it said that if your tool seems dull, you should have sharpened it half an hour ago. 
To sharpen some of the tools right, I need to make some jigs to hold them at the proper angle. My grinder has a tiny platform at the stone that is way too small for cutting some angles I am after. I can make wooden sharpening jigs for the grinder. It really would not take that long. Just a couple small pieces of 2x4s would do most of it. 

After I cleaned up, I was done for the day and it was just After Twelve. I did a lot of work even with the rest times in between. I was also dirty and wet. Out in the heat, that is not a problem, but you feel it when you get into the cool air conditioning. 


The weather I expected on Saturday, arrived on Sunday. Other than two minutes of hand-sanding on the drum sticks, nothing got done. 

I question whether the storm out there will wipe the state off the map by grinding it down to sea level. Either that or make it an island by cutting through the upper part of the state. All I know is that according to the weather fairies on TV, we are all going to die.

I will see what I do next weekend.


examples of finials

the wine box I got. I could leave the lettering in place or sand them out to have a different design.

A pair of face plates I picked up at the turning club meeting

The large yucca trunk

The small yucca trunk.

One problem of wood turning on a hot day. Sawdust sticks.
Note the platter on the lathe behind the arm.

face side of platter

Back side of platter

the drum sticks. Just needing sanding now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Year 16, Week 32, Day One (week 864)

Year 16, Week 32, Day One (week 864)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-20-16 Saturday

86 degrees early morning, 95 degrees late afternoon. A nice breeze herded puffs and blobs over the Everglades while blue sky remained over the ocean and us. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.


I went for the turning club meeting, but was intercepted out in the parking lot. We meet at a school and the school was closing early this evening because it was the start of school so a bunch of us simply gathered and talked while waiting to see if anybody else would show up. One of the officers was calling up everybody he had a phone number for, telling them the meeting was cancelled. A few people showed what they brought. I did not think about it later, but I should have taken pictures of the work. 
I got home early, but still later than I normally get to bed. It was nice talking to everyone that was there, though. 

There was just a glow in the Eastern sky as I headed to Mom’s house. It was not long ago when the sun was already up at this time. 
Right after breakfast, we stopped at a yard sale. It was mostly tools. The guy was getting rid of a bunch of extras he accumulated. While a lot of the tools were stuff I wanted many years ago, the only things that really caught my eye was a very large bench vice I don’t need it) and a transit level (also did not need but would have offered it at work). I did not ask the price on either. At the end of my day I stopped back to the yard sale and both were sold and over half his other stuff was gone too. 

I am still fighting the bug I had last week. Each day it is better, but it is taking time. We got back from breakfast and I laid down and napped for a little while. That helped immensely. Mom showed me some projects she had in mind for me, and then I headed out on the yard sale circuit. I decided to clock the distance out of curiosity.
I headed North from Mom’s house, then went to the other side of the highway and went all the way back down. Where I would turn to go to mom’s house after the upper loop, it was 9 miles. I figure another mile to get home. 
I then headed down to the southern limit of our run , crossed the highway and headed north again. Where the high speed driving started, was at 15 miles. Other than about three miles of fast driving, the trip is at 25 mph or less. When I got back to Mom’s house, it was about a 20 mile journey. That is the long loop. We don’t always do that. I was not planning on it until I decided to clock the distance. Then I was forced to go the whole thing.

As mentioned, the first yard sale was before we got home from breakfast. As I headed out, I passed that one. I found a yard sale where they had big mirrors for sale. I told them that I thought the mirror was haunted. I walked in front of the mirror and some goofy guy stepped in front of me and I could not see my reflection. They got a kick out of that.
A short distance farther, I found another yard sale and this one was where I did some buying. I got a bunch of files, and some clamps, along with a cassette tape set of the bible. This recording is read by Alexander Scourby. He is very good. He pronounces the complex names with ease. Now I have to find out which of my tape decks will work after all these years.  It could also end up being a gift, if I find someone who can play them.
Heading south, I found several yard sales. They always have interesting stuff, but not the right stuff.  One I just drove by as they had about twelve pieces of furniture and not much else.
Just before where the fast traffic starts, I found a yard sale and there I got a cook book. Not that I need another cook book. I don’t use the ones I have, but it was interesting so I got it.This one was on TAPAS. It is Spanish finger dishes. It started out as bread with something on it, set on top a glass of wine to keep the flies out. 
In all, I saw nine yard sales but two I did not stop at. One was a woman who always has them and I have gotten about three things from her in the past few years. I also saw signs for two places I could not find. 

Once I got home, Mom and I went out back to work on one of her projects. She had a tropical plant that had gotten too tall, so she had it trimmed down but decided to have it completely removed. This way, the only plant that is still in the ground on her property is a small Clerodendron tree.She is keeping it small. 
NEWS FLASH: Itinerant wood worker cuts down tree. Falls on neighbor’s house demolishing it. More news at eleven. 
The remains of the tree when I arrived, was about five foot tall. Most of the pieces are about the diameter of your thumb and it is a very soft wood. I used the Saws-all to cut the pieces to half the length and to remove thin pieces sticking out from the base of the main trunk. 
To remove the main trunk, I had to cut at ground level. I am never good on the ground, but am worse bending over while sitting in a chair. I first tried the Saws-all to cut the biggest trunk, but the blade I was using was not long enough. Part way into the cut, the end was tapping on the wood on the other side of the cut. I then swapped to the electric chain saw. Even though the chain saw worked better, it was still not easy as this used to be for me. It took some time to work through the wood. Mom pushed on the trunk to keep it from binding on me. Wet wood, which this was, swells when heated. Once I cut it, there were a couple roots that came out of the trunk a little high and went into the ground. I had to cut that to free the trunk.
I then cut the second one the same way, but I cut the roots first. This one was a little smaller.
Mom stacked the debris to take out for pickup later.
I will say that it took some determination to not grab the big pieces of wood for carving or turning. It is not like I am out of wood or projects to make with the wood. 

I pulled out my lathe to work on the drum sticks I started last week. I swapped ends a couple times with each one as I worked, bringing it down closer to size and then shaping the striking end. The tool slipped and I mess up the ball at the end of one of the sticks. 
When I was done, both sticks were a bit too big in diameter and they don’t need to be that long. They are a lot closer to what I am after, though. Next time I work on them, I might make them shorter so I can get the striking ends of both sticks the same. I kind of wanted to get both sticks finished today, but one was fighting me, the tool dug in and the stick bounced in the middle. I did most of the clean up of my tool marks with my 32 grit sand paper. 
I am not sure if I will use the sandpaper to get the sticks smaller, or use my cutting tools. I should use the tools even it if is nothing more than practice, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. They will have to be sanded to a much finer grit in the end anyway.  

I had it by that time. I did not even bother sweeping up the little bit of sawdust I had made. I don’t like leaving a mess but I was at my limit. I could have done more after an hour or so of rest, but I chose to relax and cool down the rest of the day. 

I have no idea what I will do tomorrow.

(Sunday Note) I showed my brother the files and clamps I got and he took some. He then asked if we wanted to stay out in the heat or go into the air conditioning.  That ended my day for any possible projects. 

I will see what I will do next weekend. 

files and clamps. The square piece near the bottom edge is a machining clamp.That is going into my mini lathe box.

Spanish cook book on finger food and Bible on Tape

Showing the tapes with the bible recording.

The remains of the tree I cut down  that flattened the neighbor's house.those are 12" X12" square patio stones. 

The stumps of the tree.

The dark stick is one I am using for a pattern. the other two are the ones I am making.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Year 16, Week 31, Day One (week 863)

Year 16, Week 31, Day One (week 863)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-13-16 Saturday

86 degrees early morning 95 degrees late afternoon. Herds of sheep clouds would cross the sky and disappear, only to be followed by another herd. A good breeze kept things cool enough. No strong weather until very late in the day. We had feeder bands from the storm that wandered east along the gulf coast all week, so the weather expectations were horrible for today. I was actually surprised there were any yard sales out, but the weather turned out to be nice all day. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

I fought something all week. Coughing, but not runny eyes or nose. Very, very tired during the day. We were going for breakfast and Mom found her tire low. We decided to use my truck. When we got back, the tire was even lower. I got out my air pump that plugs in the power outlet in the cab (Cigarette lighter for the old folks) and tried to pump the tire up. Well, when I put the nozzle on the stem, air escaped. I thought it might be the core, but then found that it hissed when I moved it. More exploration showed it was a cut in the stem. Mom called someone and got the tire changed and then took the car to the place she had some wheel work earlier in the week to get it fixed. While she was doing that, I went and laid down, because I was having troubles keeping my eyes open. I slept for over an hour solid. 

At Ten, I got up and decided to hit the yard sales. I found one yard sale just a few blocks away. She had a lot of cross-stitch books. She also had children's crafts and toys. 
I later realized that those cross stitch books could be used for patterns for scroll sawing, coloring books and many other things. Anyway, I left there without getting anything.

Several blocks away, I ran across another yard sale that mainly had kids toys. That was also not something I needed.

I then traveled the Northern arc of my long loop and found nothing. I had gotten to Mom's area, where I had stopped last week (which is about a third of the total trip),  and decided to go just a little farther figuring I would go to where I  had seen a sign near the place we had breakfast, but had skipped it then.
Just South of the area, I found an estate sale. I realize now that I never entered the kitchen. The house was a rather nice design. Three story high living room ceiling, two story ceilings everywhere else. There were second story bedrooms which I never went up to. I saw a Samaria sword that was just for looks and was over priced. I saw some stuffed animals and toys. I somehow resisted the stuffies. It helped that my teddy bears on my desk at home won’t let me bring any home.
This house is going to be torn down to the ground and rebuilt in a different design. The house we saw last month, that they were going to take down, was not a design I liked. This one is more a standard design and was nice. 

I followed the big loop all the way to the south end, and back up to the area we had breakfast before I found another yard sale which was the sign we saw earlier in the morning. She was basically sold out. There were a few interesting things, but I had no use for them at this moment. She was a cleaning lady and people give her stuff. She had her yard sale to unload the stuff she no longer had use for.

I was disappointed that I had not gotten anything. Part of the fun of yard sailing is bringing home some treasure - the capture during the big hunt. I was surprised there were even that many yard sales considering what weather was looking at us until morning. 

Once I got home, I decided to stay inside and rest for the remainder of the day. I had been fighting tiredness all week and decided a rest day would be a good idea. 
At about three, I considered strongly to go out and work on some project, but decided that I would never have enough recovery time before it was time to leave. Early in the day, I had zonked out so hard, and I did not want to test my endurance. I ended the day without accomplishing anything other than running around.

I will see what I accomplish tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 31, Day One (week 863)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-14-16 Sunday

88 degree mid morning, 93 afternoon. Some wetness early morning as I was getting ready to leave but was completely gone when I got outside and on the road. Lots of puffs and a breeze all day. Some towers here and there, some signs of wetness far west. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach and the City of Sunrise Department of Tourism. 

My brother was not expected to come up, but he showed up because he was between jobs he was traveling to.  He stayed for lunch. We saw some of Mom's pictures as a slide show on TV. Afterwards, my brother and I went outside. He needed to tack up a couple wires that were hanging down and in the way. I helped him by finding some screws, and then handing him pieces and parts as he stood on a ladder and worked. 

I left soon after he did. I needed something, and decided that a Walmart next to The Sawgrass Mall might have it. The Sawgrass Mall is the county's super mall. I have never walked the length of it and likely would need a lift back to the car afterwards. I only stop at stores around the outside. This Walmart is just a block away. 
I found a parking space really close to the building. There are five parking spots where the water does not drain. I am wearing work-boots so parking there was perfect.. Any other available parking spot was a very long ways away. 
This Walmart is as big as any of the biggest stores in the county, which there are half a dozen big ones, but I figured this store would be kept well stocked as there was tight competition nearby and heavy traffic. It had been there for a lot of years, but it looked new inside. 
I found what I was after immediately, but then decided to check around a bit for a few other things. One thing I was after was that spray you put on fabric to make it water resistant. I figured it would be in camping, which was the far end of the store. Well, they did not have any. I did find the liquid gas for camp stoves. I had wondered if I was ever going to see any of that. I had not seen it in any stores I had been in before. I have several camp stoves and a couple lanterns that use the liquid fuel. I wondered if they were going to be just junk. NOPE. I got two cans so I have enough for many uses. After some heavy searching, I found a couple other things. I spent more than I intended, and walked farther than planned, but I got some stuff I needed. 
When I got home, I knew I had walked my limit. I am glad I did not have to park way out away from the building. I need to do that more often as it is good exercise. The bug I was fighting all week appeared to be almost gone. There was no tiredness at all today. I am happy about that.

On Thursday, I have a turning club meeting. I don't have any projects to show as I had worked on roughing platters, not finishing them. 
I have no idea what the weather will be like next weekend. Hopefully I will have a chance to work on one of many projects I have in mind. 

I will see what I do next weekend.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Year 16, Week 30, Day One (week 862)

Year 16, Week 30, Day One (week 862)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-06-16 Saturday

86 degrees at dawn, 96 past noon. Nice breeze in the afternoon. We got some heavy showers at about nine and then that cleared out and the rest of the day was pretty good the rest of the day, until dusk when some more showers passed by. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

We hit two yard sales directly from breakfast. I then went out on my own. I visited three yard sales. I had headed North to start the great loop like I have done previous weeks. While there was nothing heading North, on the way south, I hit a couple yard sales.  When I pulled into the last one, the sky was dripping. I then skipped a yard sale I saw signs for, about four blocks away, becuase the sky opened up. I quickly got back to Mom’s area and headed home.
What I saw the most of was kitchen stuff. I saw several cook books. I always wanted to learn how to cook a microwave or a blender, but have not bothered looking at the recipes. I wonder what a microwave tastes likee.....
One woman had a device that is supposed to heat English Muffins and cook an egg at the same time for a breakfast sandwich. I handled it a little, but realized it was too specialized for my needs. She also had a food processor with two heads. One had a grating blade in it and I think it might have been a juicer. The other head had a chopper. Cute, but I chose not to get that either. There was a French Fry chopper with two sizes of blades. I handled it, then realized I will never make French Fries, let alone that way and I am good enough with a knife to do the same thing with less clean-up. I might even have a fry cutter somewhere. If I do, it was one mom gave me when I moved into my place.
I had seen other interesting devices but walked away without them. 

After resting a while, Mom and I went to Walmart. I visited different sections, like the electronics section for a memory chip for my tablet. I remembered I had one already. In the Grocery sections, the three things I was after, were unavailable. And everything else I considered, I already have at home I ended up not buying anything. It was a good walk. The cart makes it easier.

After a bit longer rest, I finally went out back. I had made a pair of Mahogany drum sticks some time ago. Early this year, I broke one. I decided I would try and make a replacement. I was not concerned that the wood might match, just wanted a second stick What I found was all the sticks that might be used, were too short. 
I did find another piece of wood that was slightly longer than needed. It was also wide enough to get two sticks. I had dug it out for a different project that never happened. If I cut it right, I likely could have gotten four, but I was not that ambitious today so it became only two. More room to correct for errors. 
I cut it on the band saw and was reminded I still have that meat-cutting blade in the saw. The teeth on a normal saw is bent slightly to the side to make for a wider kerf and less chance of binding. The teeth of this blade is not bent to the side as one wants the thinnest cut when cutting meat. It is surprising how difficult it is to cut straight with that thing. The blade develops a wander and does not correct easily. The kerf allows for corrections.
After I cut the board into two pieces. I used my knife to knock off the corners. That saved me about three passes with the tool on the lathe. 
Now the wood is rectangular. It did not fit properly in the chuck. What I did was to find the rough center of the wood, stuck the tail-stock point in place. I started the lathe and rounded the first two inches of the wood. I had learned that even if the piece is at a bad angle, if you round just a tiny bit of the wood on the end of the tail stock, that will be centered and there is not enough angle to throw it off.  I then flipped the piece around I was able to stick the rounded part into the chuck and rounded the whole length, creating a rod. I had to flip it again as there was a part near the chuck I could not get.
  There is a little bit of bounce in the center of the rod, but that will be corrected when I start reducing the diameter and shape it. 
There was a thunder tower over the Everglades that was giving a free watering for people’s plants. It looked very close.  I watched it carefully in case a it reached out to my area. That was also why I was not working with a platter. I wanted something fairly quick and easy as when I take my lathe out, there is a lot of stuff that has to be put back, as they were pulled out to make room for the lathe to come out. 
I finished with both rods roughly rounded. Next time I pull out the lathe, I can make these rods into drum sticks. 

Note on Sunday:
My brother had come up to Mom’s but he had to leave because of an emergency job. A steam pipe on a dry cleaning boiler broke. I was able to give him some tools I got several weeks ago. I had forgotten what was in the bag. There was a double ended crescent wrench. A pipe cutter, a small sledge hammer to be used for drilling (the head is designed to focus the impact through the center of the hammer’s mass). There was a couple items he did not need. I am not feeling at my best so I decided to go directly home after we ate..

I will see what I do next weekend.

The stick cut in half

corners knocked off using the knife.

Rounding the end so it will fit in the chuck

The rough rounded rods soon to become drum sticks.