Sunday, March 17, 2019

Year 19, Week 09, Day One (week 999)

Year 19, Week 09, Day One (week 999)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-09-19 Saturday

Partly cloudy some sun, a few showers early morning just enough to get you scrambling but not really get you wet before it was gone. 64 early morning, 81 by noon, light breeze and plenty of sunshine. This weather report is brought to you by The Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.


A couple months ago, Harbor Freight had a sidewalk sale, and I bought a sidewalk. This time they had a parking lot sale and I bought a parking lot. There were a couple things I really wanted and this gave me the chance to pick some things up. I did not intend to come home with all that I ended up with. A small shopping cart sat right near where I parked so I rescued it. I intended to leave it with its mommy. As I went through the stuff on display outside, a few things ended up in the cart. I then went through the store and more stuff ended up in the cart. There was no way I could carry all that in my arms so I kidnaped the cart and emptied the contents into my truck and left the cart in the parking lot again, not far from where I found it. 


I got out back, laid out my Friday finds so mom could see them. I decided to work on a platter. I took out a blank and mounted it in the lathe. This time I used my sanding disk to back it up instead of the chuck. The chuck does have some advantages. If I ran the boards through a thickness planer to flatten them, things would be easier in this project. I am using commercial two by yellow pine that has been around for a lot of years and the blanks have been cut and trimmed for a lot of years also. 
From experience, I learned that you do the inside of the platter first. Yellow pine will move, (bend or cup) as you remove the wood because stresses are released so, because less wood is removed from the inside, it is better to do the inside first. 
I was working with the blank that I had knocked the corners off a couple weeks ago. It was a good piece of wood to work with.
Once I got the bottom, the flat part of the plate as deep as I felt it should go, I did some clean up cuts and then sanded it. 
I took the sanding disk off and put the chuck back on. The sanding disk is smaller than the plate. The chuck, opened wide, is still slightly smaller than the flat center so it will hold it flat and in place. 
I had previously marked the center by running lines corner to corner before knocking off the corners. I found they were a little off. I ended up measuring across it and marking the center of the measurement, turning a little doing it again. I finally found what was close to center. Even so I was slightly off. A tiny bit off shows up big. I rounded the outside again and then worked on the back of the platter. I always inset the center and make a ring for the plate to sit on, then taper the rest of the platter to be fairly close to the angle of the front of the platter. 
I would cut a little bit, then I would hear the thump, thump, thump. I would level it out then I would get the thumping  again. I got it as thin as I figured it should be and as close to level as It was going to get, and I did a little clean up cuts and sanded it. 
It is not the best I have ever done, but it is not the worst. It was a lot of fun to be creating something and getting results. 
I piled up the sawdust and photographed it to show what about 1 1/2 inches wood looks like when converted into shavings. 

By then I had done enough and needed to go onto some non-project activities.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 19, Week 09, Day two (week 999)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-10-19 Sunday

There was drips on my windshield but the day  otherwise sunny with light high clouds and lower puffs migrating across the sky. Morning temps were 74 very early, 77 when I hit the road and 81 in the afternoon with a nice breeze keeping things cool This weather report is brought to you by The Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I was kind of excited by the results I had yesterday. Years ago, I had practiced making platters with the intent of demonstrating the process of making them. Life got in the way and never did the demonstration. I never really got back into making the platters. I have a whole bunch of the platters stacked up waiting for the next step. The platters were initially rough turned but never cleaned up, sanded or have the center post removed. 
Today, I decided to do some clean up on them. One by one, I mounted them in the lathe and sanded them with 40 grit belt sander paper. Some I took out my turning tools in an attempt to clean them up some more. I did pretty good on most of them, though all will need much more work. The fact that the wood has moved/warped made this a tough project. 
My lathe has an adjustable pulley. I turn a knob and the lathe will speed up or slow down, depending on how wide the pulley is. On the slowest, I get some slippage as I need a new belt. This one is quite worn. (I did a quick look on line a couple weeks ago and the belt is not available from Delta any more) I made use of the slippage at times because the pressure of the sandpaper on the wood would slow the spin down. This allowed the sandpaper to follow the curve of the wood better, getting some bad spots better.
I went through each platter, sometimes using tools to clean some spots, other times just sandpaper. Since I have yet to cut the posts off, I figured some places will require more dedicated sanding at the same time I remove the remains of the posts. 
When I was done, I had 13 fairly good platters. There was one platter than looked like it was not going to be rescued. I figured I might toss it later so I left it till last.  I finished rough cleaning the other platters and decided to work on this bad one. 
There was a knot that the middle had broke out of, and there were deep gouges where the wood warped badly and the tool dug in. I used a scraping cut to even out the gouges some, and then sanded with the 40 grit sandpaper. I had not expected it to be better when I was done. It still is not close to being good, but it is a tiny bit better than it was before. 
That gives me 14 platters to work with. Really only 13.

One problem of power sanding, is that each method does its own damage. The lathe generally has parallel grooves going around the piece. Sanding with a drill leaves circular gouges, the belt sanders leaves straight gouges, the dremmel leaves little dimple marks. 
The question is as to whether the damage caused by the power tool will be less than the damage you are trying to clean up. One ends up hand sanding when all is said and down. These platters are going to be a multi weekend project and I do not know how excited I will be about it next time I get out there. I usually work on what excites me and it might not be the project I worked on before.

Last week I had started a cup before I cleaned up. It was still in the chuck when I needed to use the chuck for the platters. I took it off and decided I’m not really happy with it. It could well migrate into the garbage can. 

I will see what I do next weekend


two blanks, the upper one has alien eyes and if it was clean, you would see sort of an alien face.
the bottom one was what I ended up turning. I tried to work to keep the knot centered.

platter for cutting in the face of the plate.

started hallowing it.

the top of the platter, the nott is at the base of the post in the center

the bottom of the platter

the edge view of the platter showing how much cup I added to it.

a close up of the knot at the post from the top

a view of the knott from the base of the platter.

some chatter caused by the cupping of the wood. the  gouge is kicked up slightly then comes back down hard on the wood. 

the wood removed from the two by nine disk. each of those stones is a foot square.

13 of the platters I sanded on, on Sunday. 
two lower right platters were partially finished a long time ago.
The lowest right platter was made from 3/4 thick wood.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Year 19, Week 08, Day One (week 998)

Year 19, Week 08, Day One (week 998)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-02-19 Saturday

68 early morning, 75 at about nine, 85 late afternoon, light breeze with gusts you could just feel, blue skies except low puffs over the everglades and the ocean. We got some good heavy showers during the week so Mom did not have to water her plants this weekend. This is supposed to be our dry season and we have not had many dry weeks this winter.  This weather report is brought to you by The Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

We found one yard sale. I am not sure why, other than the cost, I picked up one of those pumps to inflate pool floats. It seemed the thing to get when I handed over the dollar but now, I am not totally sure. The box looks unopened.

I went out back. I had about 20 projects flipping through my mind. I had three wooden chairs that are nice but the joints were coming apart. I glopped water resistant glue all over the joints, and wiggled and pounded them back into position.  Two of the chairs seem like they might stay put, but one is still wobbly (the one I repaired a while back). I will have to check more joints to see what condition they are in.
My next project was to check out some baggies of stuff I had. I have some fabric that is for decorating project s. One brown plaid fabric was used as scarves on some snowmen I made. I did not realize I had some felt in green and white. The other day I almost picked up a baggy of cloth but mom talked me out of it. 
I went over some ornament blanks. I have a couple weekends of carving in those. A couple I no longer have copies of, so carving them would be something to do. Some of the ornaments have been started and just need some time to complete them.

I forgot to mention it, but a few weeks ago, I broke one of my turning tools. It was basically a quarter inch square rod (high speed steel) in a handle. The end was cut on an angle that was square to the rod. It worked pretty good until I got a catch and it snapped in half. It was like two weekends later I found the end that broke off. It was not where I looked for it based on the sound when it hit the ground. 
Today, I took out a tool handle I have. It was made from a TIRE BUDDY” which was a really long rod on a handle for installing and removing tires. My brother bore out the end and added an allen screw into it. I took that square tool end and stuck it into the hole in the end of the handle and tightened the screw. I now have access to that tool again by using it as a bit. 
The handle is nice but there is only about 3 inches of the square rod sticking out. That is really not enough for use. The handle itself gets in the way of the tool rest. I might sharpen it anyway. As another option, I have no idea how I would get the rod out of the handle. I happen to have another of the same tool but the end is rounded into a bull nose. I could grind that on an angle if I needed to. I do have a mate to that tool where the end is on the same angle, but sharpened in a radius. It would be nothing to grind away the radius and have the same tool again. 
I sharpened a circular bit (almost like a tapered washer). I have it in a curved handle that is used for hollowing out the interior of vases, reaching around the mouth of the vase and getting into shoulder. This bit really needed to be sharpened but I was not totally sure how to sharpen it. I then decided to use my dremel, but not before I found that the screw was too big for the dremel chuck, so I grabbed a drill and clamped the screw into the jaws of the drill, with the bit shoved against the jaws so it would not spin on the screw (much). I spun ran the drill at full speed and held my diamond hone against the edge. When that was not doing it right (not enough surface touching), I took a grindstone bit out of my dremel box and held that against the edge top and bottom and finally got the edge sharp. 

I addressed the vase I started last weekend. I sharpened a couple tools and used that bit in the tool handle, two bowl gouges, that circular bit tool, and hollowed the vase out. There is one little spot inside on the side that is not great, but I decided it was not worth getting rid of. I then sanded it. I used 40 grit sandpaper, then 80, 100, 150, 250 and stopped with 400, which I had found in my digging. It is not as good as it should be (likely really only sanded to 100 grit quality), but that is a good start. I then sprayed it with spray poly a few times. Tomorrow I will give it a good sanding and add more coats of varnish. 
The knots that had caught my attention, which was why I chose that piece, were gone. Apparently, they started later in the life of the tree/branch so did not go in very far.  I dremmelled out the hole caused by a dead branch, mainly to clean it up some, then drove in a dowel. I worked some glue into it and then worked in some shavings into the gaps between the dowel and the hole since the hole was not perfectly round. I did that several times as I shaped and cleaned it till the wood looks like it fits around the dowel nicely. It the dowel does not look quite right as it is of a different wood but it does not look bad. 

The way sandpaper is made, is they have a set of screens and they pour the sand through the screens. The screens are classified as how many threads of screen to the inch. Whatever goes through a 60 line screen but not an 80, is then classified as is 80 grit. The grit goes through an 80 but not the 100 line screen is 100 grit. 
Now manufacturers might use thicker or thinner grid lines (they don’t use actual cloth screens any more) and the types of stones used for the grit, the type of glue, and the backing can be quite different between manufacturers. Because of this, it is best to use the set of grits by one manufacturer when sanding. 
Sandpaper works by having the edges of the grit scrape (cut into) the material. When the whole surface has the same level of roughness (removing the tool marks or the lines caused by the grit of the previous sand paper) then the surface is said to be sanded. You then go to the next grit. As they get finer, the grooves become smaller and smaller, and less and less visible until you can end up with a fine polish on the surface.
Some sandpaper has lightly glued grit while others are almost impossible to remove. The grit on some sandpaper is designed to do the scraping, and as it gets dull, then come off the backing so a fresh piece of grit edge can do the work. Other sand papers might be glued on tight so it will do its cutting for a very long time (especially for belt and disk sanders). Generally, the harder the material that you are sanding (like steel), the more likely the sandpaper will lose grains as it is being used, as the material dulls them quickly.. 
I was using sandpaper from various manufacturers and composition to do my sanding today. I used whatever I got my hands on. 

Once I had the little vase to a somewhat acceptable level, I put another piece of wood on the lathe. This was longer and the ends were on angles to each other. I decided to make use of the strongest angle end as the top of the project simply because it was interesting. It was also slightly wider than the other end and had some decay in the very center. I put the larger end into the chuck first and made a tenon on the smaller end. Because of the decay in the very center,  the drive spur dug in nicely as I worked (cranking the tail stock so it kept pressure on the wood). I then turned the wood around and put the tenon into the chuck. The hole by the drive spur assisted in hallowing out the inside. 
The moment I started it to spin, I decided I would TRY a natural edged goblet. When you turn like Godzilla, you end up losing some of the natural edge in the process. Even so, I tried to be careful. I first cut in beneath the lip and then partially formed the bowl to give me something to work with. I then started hallowing. I worked carefully, shaping it rounding it trying to get a nice clean cut. I then sanded it with all sorts of grits getting it passable (for now).
I then started shaping the outside. The idea is to get the outside and inside close enough together to make it feel thin, delicate.

In wood turning, what you are selling is air. It is true. A block of wood sells for a ten bucks. Make a thick bowl, and it costs a thirty bucks. Make it really thin and it is worth maybe 75 to 100 bucks. Pierce it and decorate it and it becomes worth several thousands. You are simply selling air... Make your as thin and delicate as possible if it is decoration or make the pieces much thicker if it is to be used.  

I kept working the outside of the bowl of the goblet. I had the bottom thicker than I wanted but had to be careful as I had the stem getting thin. It has the pith running through it and that weakens the wood a lot so you have to leave the stem thicker than you would like. Some guys, using the right kind of wood, will make USB WIRE thin stems really tall. I cannot do that yet.  
I did a lot of sanding, some extra tool work to clean some tear out, then some more sanding until I decided I was not going to get it any better. I then worked on the stem and sliced away the wood to a similar thickness down to the base and sanded. I decided to save the making of the base for tomorrow. I was beginning to feel the day. 
The natural edge was not too bad, but was not the best. One small piece of bark remained and the rest of the edge was rough which I will proclaim is the natural edge. 
I am surprised at how much stuff ends up getting pulled out for just a couple simple projects. It also takes twice as long to get it put back in place than it took to get it all out. 

I likely will finish the goblet. I also was asked to make some wooden feet for Mom’s foot stool. 

I will have to see what I do tomorrow.

Year 19, Week 08, Day two (week 998)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-03-19 Sunday

70 early morning, 85 late afternoon. Blue sky with high clouds, some puffs over the Everglades, a light breeze and a little humidity.  Aren’t you also getting tired of the cold of  winter, so you can complain about how hot it is in the summer?  I am... This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I got out back and started setting up to work on my various projects when my brother arrived. He was reading an old book on files, and telling me about what he was reading, so he took out his phone and looked up some information on files. He did not know there was that much on files. I won’t tell about what he was saying as it would be better for you to look it up. I will just say that they had files made of stone for working with stone, thousands of years BC.
I started the lathe on the goblet. Other than a little bit more sanding, the main project I was after was to separate the base from the waste wood. I first took a “sheet metal” parting-tool to the work table and spent time cleaning it and sharpening it. I wanted to reduce as much friction as possible and make sure it would cut nicely.
I intended to use it to cut a thin slot in the base of the goblet on an angle so it would go up toward the center. Just the rim would be on the table. I knew I had to be very careful. I did not want to waste the wood. I am not sure what happened. I might have been distracted for a moment, I broke out part of the edge I was trying to save. I then turned to plan N (other plans from A to M were used up). I made a couple bad decisions such as how I corrected the base after I broke out the edge. I put in a step edge and should have just made that wood part of the stem, or try to make it a slope to the stem. 
I took the goblet off and went to the disk sander. I removed all the wood until I had it about the thickness I was after. Nice to have good sandpaper on that disk. I then had to sit and touch the edges of the base as I did not get it as clean as I should have. More time on the lathe and the less time sitting and working. I got it to the point where I decided to stop. After doing a light sanding on the little vase,  I gave the goblet and the vase from yesterday another shot of spray varnish. They both got several coats of varnish but will need a lot more.

Mom has a foot stool she likes. It is basically two pipes bent in a curve on each end with a sheet metal connected to between them. The bottoms of the pipes become the feet. She had rubber feet on it, but over time, the pipe cut through the rubber feet. She was afraid the pipes would damage the rug or the carpet beneath it.. 
A couple weeks ago, I made feet for some four footed canes I have. I learned a lot from the attempts. I decided to use the same technique. First I cut some square blocks, and then drilled in the center with the proper sized Forsner bits. One thing to keep in mind is that rubber feet are actually made to a slightly smaller diameter than the pipe or rod they are fitting to. That way there is some stretch to hold them in place. 
I then went to the bandsaw and cut the corners off. I then took a different block of wood and made a peg to fit the holes I drilled. There is a way to make them a suction fit, but I have not worked out that skill. I have to depend on the friction of the block at the base of the peg to hold it tight, that and the tail stock applying pressure to it. It is never perfect. 
I used the square rod in the interchangeable handle and found that if I tip the cutting edge to a sharp angle to the side, the bit would not dig into the corners of the wood near as much. My first batch was yellow pine and I had several break. I ended up with two that were usable. I touched the bottom corner to chamfer it. I later figured out that this was not necessary. I made two more useable feet in white wood. I had to clean up the tops and bottoms of the feet one yellow pine had chip out on top. I sanded the top and bottom flat, then I rolled it against the sander to clean up the outside of the feet that the sandpaper on the lathe did not do a good job on. Finally I chamfered the edges simply by rolling them against the sander on an angle. It cleaned them up nicely. 
I finally got the foot rest and had to make the holes a little bigger with the dremmel to fit the pipes. The platform had a bend in it where too much weight was added. I flattened it out but it would not take as much weight. It simply has the edge bent down on the ends to give it stiffness. The bent down edge was cracked where it was bent. I straightened it out with putting it on the corner of the work bench and pushing down with my weight. Several times and it was straightened out quite a bit.
Mom was really happy with the results. The wood feet don’t look horrible and it solved all the problems. If she wanted them to look a little better, she could add a little bit of paint. 

I had some more time and a little more energy. I grabbed another piece of wood. It had where a couple branches were cut off and was coming out. I decided to do what is called a banana bowl kind of design. A true banana bowl is where you take a longer piece of wood an hollow it out as the ends spin around. The center becomes really low, near the bottom of the branch, and the ends are near the top of the branch. You do the same on the backside. A long narrow bowl that will fit a banana,... 
Quickly, it was not going to be that as I removed the cut ends, it was becoming simply a vase. I used that square rod in the handle to hollow it out. I had the tool rest holding it in place so I had a post in the center. I was able to cut in quite a bit and have most of the depth before I stopped. It will require a lot of other work. I just wanted to make something. The wood was there and it came out of the scrap wood really quick. What it actually will be, the wood will tell me next weekend. It is not what I was after. I see that the branch does not show on the inside which changes some design ideas. I will make more decisions next weekend.

I accomplished a lot in the short time I was able to work. It was a lot of fun. I have a sense of accomplishment. I will do some sanding and varnishing of the goblet and vase over the week. Neither might be done next weekend, but they will be closer. One thing the varnish does is that it sets the outside grain so that when it is sanded again, it will make it smoother than it would otherwise. Also the varnish fills in the spaces between the surface fibers. 

I was about to leave and decided to take advantage of the daylight and my time. I returned out back of mom’s house with the cane that I had made wooden feet for two weeks ago. I removed the wooden feet, one had to be tapped a couple times as it was too tight. I then used what I learned today, and moved the tool cart out of the way, which I have to do to get to the disk sander. And sanded the feet I had made. 
I sanded the outside to clean up the tear out on the outside, the bottoms and tops were made flat, and then I put the bottom and top at an angle to the grinder. The bottom I kind-of rounded them a little. The tops I removed the sharp edges and they were not totally rounded. One was bigger around than the others so I sanded the outside until it was closer to the others and corrected the top and bottom again. 
My original idea was to have them tapered to the hole like most rubber feet you see. I could still do that but I decided just to make them less blocky than they were. I am slowly learning how to do these. I have a couple more four legged canes that need feet and I will, over time, make more for them. I figure each one will be better than the previous one. 
A good clean sandpaper in a fast sander does wonder to clean up mistakes and make new ones. There are those who would simply use the sandpaper to do the rounding that I did with the lathe. It might even be faster. I am trying to learn some techniques that can be used for other projects so it is worth my effort to try these on the lathe. 

I do need to spend time and sharpen my tools PROPERLY. I have a long ways to go. Many of the tools were pulled out and then stopped being used, because they were dull. 

I will see what I accomplish next weekend.


goblet on lathe

goblet on lathe note thick base

the tools I used. the long one is made to use interchangeable bits. 
It used to be a TIRE BUDDY

the vase with some varnish and the newly made goblet
note the stepped base. that is a no-no

A piece of wood I decided to turn. see the knot on the bottom of the picture? 
that was what I was after
I had already made a tenon when I took this picture.

partially turned not looking good.

partially turned, rotated around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Year 19, Week 07, Day One (week 997)

Year 19, Week 07, Day One (week 997)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-23-19 Saturday

70 degrees early morning 85 afternoon. Blue sky with large puffs herding across. A few needed diaper changes but that was not at Mom’s house. Most of those were north of us. Early afternoon, one watered mom’s plants while we were having lunch. Cars left a shadow where they were sitting. A nice breeze tried to move little plastic bags off my work table. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.


The wood turning club meeting was very good. We had a nice attendance today. The work in the instant gallery was excellent. The instant gallery is where people bring stuff to show. You can examine the pieces in detail if needed. Then later in the meeting we have a show and tell of the work we placed in the instant gallery. One guy gets cut-offs from someone who stacks different colored woods and he makes them into jewelry. One girl is just learning and she puts my work to shame. 

I had my cane and my gnome home on display. A couple women looking at the gnome home said “cute”.  That’s good enough for me. I had dropped the gnome home early morning and lost the side rails on the ladder, but it really did not need them. I will add them next weekend so it will be complete. During the week I had touched some paint on the ladder to make them look more weathered and less like they were new. 

While the presenter was getting ready for his demonstration, he showed a tool he picked up. It is a shaft that has the morris taper that fits in the drive pipe in the head stock (most lathes have a pipe for the shaft. The outside of the pipe is threaded for commonly available chucks and face places, and the inside is sized for morris tapers to slip into and hold). You can put a grind stone on the shaft, converting your lathe into a grinding station. He said they have shafts available that you can put the multiple buffing wheels on the lathe also (known as the Beall Buffing System). Most lathes at their fastest are not near as fast as grinders so less heat is built up when grinding things with the lathe. You can even slow down the lathe even more for really slow grinding. The slower speeds is great for touching up the tool rather than trying to remove metal. It also reduces “bluing” which happens when the metal gets hot. Modern high speed steel are not softened by the bluing, but with carbon steel tools, this can remove the temper of the metal, making it soft and require a lot more sanding. His stone he showed was not round, because he had not dressed it yet, but the sides were spinning dead true. 
I then showed my sanding disk and explained that the lathe spins slower than the sander, and the size I made the disk used a sanding disk that was easy to get. This is great when I have to use use them on materials that mess up the sandpaper. I also said that I could square the outer edge and add emery cloth to aid in sanding. 

The demonstration was on making ornaments from sea urchin shells. He sometimes was able to get the spines and use them as the finials of the ornaments. He explained the shells are fragile and have to be stabilized they are in lightly bonded sections. He told where one person uses construction foam to fill and glue the shell, some use super glue on the inside. he uses a hot glue gun to bind the shell segments. He tries to keep it away from the openings. 
He then uses a dremmel-like tool to round the opening slightly to make the fit of the finials better. The bottom of the shell has a large hole while the top has a small hole. He usually makes a cap for the large opening that the long finial will usually go into. Because the shell is delicate, he likes to have a dowel or skewer connecting the top and bottom caps so the shell itself is not holding the weight of the whole ornament. A light twist can break up the ornament so that is why he uses the dowel between the caps.
He then showed how he turns the top and bottom finials to a size that is proportional to the shell. It takes sharp tools and a steady light hand to make the finials he makes. “Any two year old can do it with twenty years experience.” He showed off some shells smaller than a normal button, and some your thumb could fit into. He loves demonstrating fine wood turning.

We may have to get another location than meeting at this church. When you change locations, it is not uncommon to have to test several places before you find one you can stay comfortably at for a few years. 

I worked on my zig zag scarf at the club meeting. It is coming along. It is made of small balls of yarn I had laying around and the color combo is coming out nice. I will have to dig out some more yarn soon.


Right after breakfast, we went to a church yard sale. They did not have near as much stuff as they usually have. Usually the stuff they have is well used. I was looking at some beads and forced myself to walk away.  Little else caught my attention. 

I had brought a duffel bag I knew had SOME beads, but I was not sure how much. Back to Mom’s house, I took to the back a duffel bag I have of my beads. This duffle bag is designed to have those plastic trays with moveable sections in them. I emptied it out and took the beads I got at a yard sale a couple weeks back. I had more beads than I thought I had. I am not even doing bead work. I am glad I did not grab the ones at the yard sale. There is always that thought that you should get some item if they were to be tossed, but if someone else wanted them, it was best to leave the item for someone else. I have to work harder on fortune telling. 
The bead kits I got a couple weeks ago were for kids. There were letter beads WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) and two hearts and a disk with a cross printed on it, along with a cord and a key ring with each kit. The Ws were in two colors. What they were supposed to do is to put the cord onto the key ring, and then add the beads and connect the ends of the cord. There were a number of the kits some missing stuff and a lot of beads free. I placed the beads, and the fittings into separate compartments of the tray. 
I then examined everything else and did some separation. I had a package of wood beads of different sizes and shapes. They got separated in the trays. When done, I consolidated most of my stuff into the trays I had and got rid of a bunch of bags. If I remember to look, I can find a lot of stuff easily. I likely have more beads somewhere, I just have to figure out where they are.
My main interest in beads is to decorate something else that I have made. I have used the tiny beads as the “rocks” on light house ornaments, as an example. 

One always waits for the perfect project to use a special piece of wood. One does not want to “waste” it on something lousy. This weekend I came to the conclusion that when one gets a special piece of wood, one should use it, even if it is not for that perfect project. Otherwise it will eventually go to waste through various forms of damage. 
I had a piece of wood branch with all sorts of knots in one section of it. I decided to cut it into pieces and convert most of it to sawdust. I first used the saw-all to cut it into three pieces. Two pieces have no any figure, but the center piece has all the knots.
I tried to mount it on the lathe and turn it using a spur drive. It fought me because the angle the free handed end cuts prevented the spur from holding it. I took it off and went to the bandsaw and tried to get the ends matched by cutting off some angle from one end. It was not cutting well. The last time I went to the last surviving SEARS store in the county, I picked up 9" sanding disks and a bandsaw blade. 
The blade I had on the bandsaw was a meat cutting blade. I had used that during an out-of-money experience and never removed it. For cutting meat, they don’t add any set on the blade, which is the slight angle of the teeth used to clear the space a bit better. You don’t want to lose any meat in the saw cut so there is no set. Also, this blade was likely very dull after all this time. I took the blade off and put a brand new blade on.  When I tried to cut the wood with the old blade, it was just barely making its way through the wood. With the new blade, it took only two seconds to cut through the wood. What a difference. That new blade was hungry. 

I mounted the wood back in the lathe and rough rounded it and then added a tenon so would fit in the chuck.  Once in the chuck, rounded it some more, getting past the last of the bark. I then ran out of time and put everything away. 

Mom’s neighbor had his garage door open to air out the house. I took the push mower out and mowed the worst part of the back yard. Grass (or weeds) are not growing much this time of the year so I only had to hit the spots where certain types of weeds were doing really good. 
The electric mower requires the cord and you have to plug it in, unwind it, move it out of the way when you are mowing, making sure it does not hang up on anything. When you change yards, you have to gather up the cord and move it to a different outlet. You then have to deal with the cord again. Finally, when you put the electric mower away, you have to wind up the cord and put it away. The electric mower has the advantage that the blades create a suction to cause the grass to stand up to be sliced when the blades pass. The push mower does not create that suction. 
I am finding that the push mower is just as easy to push around as the electric, and while it does not do really good with some weeds, such as the stiff stemmed ones, it does a good enough job over all.  As this is a quality mower, it is almost as easy to push as the electric. 

We stopped at home depot. I got some glue and Mom got some mulch. The employee put it in my truck for me. I will deal with the mulch tomorrow when I am more rested up.

  I likely will likely work on this piece of wood tomorrow. 

Year 19, Week 07, Day One (week 997)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-24-19 Sunday

70 degrees early morning, 84 late afternoon, nice breeze kept things comfortable. I hate this deep winter weather... This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I decided to test a concept I had wanted to try. I am commonly making crochet hooks from toothbrushes. There are times where the handle gets thick very quickly past the brushes. It would be nice to mount the brush in the lathe and turn the shaft back exactly to the diameter it should be. I had a used tooth brush I located and a couple Dollar Store brushes that were still in the package. 
I stood at the lathe and tried to line up the tooth brushes so as much of the shaft would be straight as possible. I tried several positions and found that it was not going to work, even if I used a jig or something to hold it in place. The nature of the curve was not going to give me enough straight using the lathe. 
I then decided to shave the width of the brush head off with my knife so I could keep more length. I had not tried that before I always simply cut them off. I found out that those bristles are held in with little metal staples. That is not good for the life of a knife’s edge. The brush head had to be cut off because of that. A couple seconds at the band saw solved that. I tried cutting in the hook with the dremmel-mounted blade. I learned something. 
Most of the crochet hooks I have made to date were with brushes I got from the dentist or otherwise fairly expensive ones. The brushes I love best for making crochet hooks are the clear plastic It is a good sturdy material that sands nice. This was the first time I used the dollar store brushes. 
The plastic they are made with is soft and weak. I would get a hook cut into them and with a just a little pressure to the hook to test how it would handle the yarn and found that  I could break the hook off. I tried a few times, then threw away both dollar store brushes. The other brush did was not the best I have done. I will test it out but might toss it too.  I don’t think I went deep enough but it is already not good. When rounding the shaft, I may have removed too much material. It is also rough. I have to spend more time sanding it. The soft rubberized plastic does not sand or otherwise clean up well.

I remounted yesterday’s wood on the lathe and shaped the outside. I made a wide lip and then a rounded body.  I kept feeling a bump at one spot. I stopped the lathe and found that the core of a dead branch had came out. I will figure out what to do with that a bit later. My thought is to drill it clean, and turn a dowel to fit into the hole. 
Anyway, I started hollowing out the piece. I found I have to spend serious time to sharpen my tools. I was more gnawing at the wood than cutting my way in. I got a good start on it anyway. If the tools were sharp, I would have had it mostly hollowed out by now. I left it on the lathe (the wood is dry because it is several years old) and will try to work on it next weekend.

I then sat down and carved while my brother was going through a steam engine book. My Gnome Home really needs a Gnome on it so everybody will know what it is. I decided to try to carve a little man. I made several mistakes from the start. I wanted a pointed hat, but started the shoulders too high in the little piece of wood. I have him sitting and the legs are also way too long.  I did came up with a figure to look at anyway. My carving skills were off enough that other mistakes cropped up. I can correct most of them, as long as it is not going to be a gnome, but just some person. I will likely prepare some more tiny blocks of wood and try them again. Carving little people was something I was starting to do anyway.

Mom’s neighbor had his garage open so he could air out his house. I got his push mower and mowed part of the front lawn early on. Later in the day I mowed the rest of the front yard. It really only removed the tops of some of the grass. The lawn is filled with little white flowers that are near the base of the plants. At least the lawn is under some control for now. 

Mom had a tree that had gone into the ground, going through the hole in the pot. My brother had released it from the ground during the week. Mom and my niece cut away the pot and then butchered the roots, and removed all vestiges of branches and leaves from the trunk (three inches in diameter and about four feet tall) and repotted it. She considered tossing it but the neighbor said she could put it in her front yard with a bunch of other trees she has put there. It is now a thick stick in a pot sitting out front. We shall see if it recovers or dies. Either way does not matter. 

Next week I hope to finish that vase, sharpen some tools, and I am sure I will come up with some other projects also. 

I will see what I actually do next weekend.


the grinding stone on the lathe

my scarf under construction. I have more colors to add to it.

partially hollowed vase

vase showing branch hole. and also the figure form the wood.

the feet of the cane 
what was supposed to be a gnome figure on his "porch."

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Year 19, Week 06, Day One (week 996)

Year 19, Week 06, Day One (week 996)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-16-19 Saturday

69 degrees early morning, 80 late afternoon, (I hate these horrible winters) light breeze scattered clouds, good breeze, sometimes strong but not under the awning where I worked. Humidity was low so it felt good. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

We stopped at two yard sales on the way home from breakfast. One had mostly clothing, the other had party favors. I ended up with some letter beads kit partly worked on. I will find a way to use them, EVENTUALLY......

Later, Mom wanted to go to Walmart. She thought she saw red mulch on sale. We found several yard sales along the way. I was doing pretty good. At one, I got a bunch of metal skewers for the BBQ. I have a bunch somewhere but cannot find them. I figured the price was good enough to get these. The mulch Walmart had was more expensive than she intended to pay. I was driving, and getting into and out of my truck was hard on her. I saw a yard sale along the road near our house and I stopped and got out, telling mom she could stay. She sat for about five minutes, then got out. I saw a few religious items and asked if this sale was for a church. It was. Mom got out to have a look. found out that one of the people working it was her good friend. They talked a long time, while I looked around. 
I have some large pots that don’t  have lids. There was a really big lid in a shopping cart of copper pans. They would not sell it without the pan. I ended up finding the pan at the very bottom and got it out, and the price they asked was worth it just for the lid. I could make a big dish, for the whole family at a gathering, in that pan.  I how have to un-bury my big pans to check to see if the lid will fit them also.

During the week, I sprayed varnish on the gnome home. I got a nice gloss on it. It is not a quality finish, but it is good enough. 
I sat down with my portable drill press and drilled six holes in it, two for the platform, and four for the ladder. The drill is not really firmly bolted in place on the drill press stand so the drill tipped a little when I was pushing the drill bit to the angled wood. The first two holes were not quite in line. The wood on one side of the wood is slightly punky while the other side is comparatively firm. For the posts for the ladder, I used a dremmel grinding bit to form a “shelf” for the bit to dig into at the points I wanted them to be located. I glued in the posts, and, a bit later, added the platform for the entry. Hopefully, I will add a few more pieces to it tomorrow. For now it needs to dry. I ran out of time.

Year 19, Week 06, Day Two (week 996)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-17-19 Sunday

Sunny, patchy thin clouds up high, good strong breeze, 70 late morning, 85 in the afternoon. This Weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I added more pieces to the gnome home, forming the ladder. I also shaved wood away on the side of the house to create a flat surface for the door. My shaving of the wood next to the hole gave more bonding surface for the door to stick to, and it removed some of the varnished surface so glue could bind two raw woods together. 

I took some pieces of yellow pine, and after marking them with some care, I cut them off the block they were in. These were three inch blocks, which were leftovers from a project I did a few years ago. I marked the centers, dug out mom’s forsner bit set and drilled the near center of the blocks (I have to say near as I did not get the points exact when lining things up), with the grain running side to side. I then made a new holder for the blocks on the lathe, with the peg sticking out for the blocks to slide into and keep them centered, and then rounded the blocks. I am using whitewood for the peg block and it is not holding the pieces on well. It needs something to keep give them ore friction to keep them from spinning.
I have to crank the tail stock’s screw every so often because I am getting slippage. I think the head stock needs to be tightened. I downloaded the instructions and should cinch it properly.   I had to use a very light touch on the blocks as they spin on the peg easily. The tool kept catching all the time as the wood would bend up rather than cut.  Anyway, I drilled and rounded six pieces. 
I wanted to flip them around and shape them, for a pleasing look, but did not have time so I left them as they were, and after making the holes slightly bigger with the dremmel, I put them onto the cane. They do not look horrible, but they don’t look quite pretty. 

I took a ten inch diameter platter blank, mounted a face plate to it,  and rounded the outside edge. I then measured it for the six inch sandpaper disks I got during the week. I chose part the outside edge of the  disk with a parting tool leaving me with a near right sized disk and a rough ring. The ring needs work if I were to use it for something, but I figured this would be the least amount work to get the disk to fit the sandpaper. 
I flattened the face of the board because it had a wobble. I touched up the back not covered by the by the face plate just because. I could not find a couple tools I like to use, so I did some cheating once I had the face fairly flat. I put my tool rest up against it and let the metal edge of the tool rest to scrape the wood flatter over a large area. I did some tool work to remove the high points so the tool rest could level the face. Once I had it quite flat, I hit it with sandpaper with a block of wood inside it. The sandpaper I was to attach to this disk is designed for an orbiting sander. I mounted the sandpaper to the plate of wood. It fits. I might later flatten the outer edge and glue some emery cloth (sand paper) strips onto it. I made something like this some years before. The sanding disk on the lathe is nice as it spins much slower than the dedicated disk sander.  The emery cloth’s edges do create a bump where the edges meet but there were projects where that was useful for getting certain places on the work I was sanding. 
One thing I did a long time ago, was I made a shapely vase body. I wanted to add a handle that matched nicely to the vase so I glued sand all over it. I spun the vase and held the handle to the sanded body. The handle was nicely shaped to the body. Removing the glued on sand created some problems and ate up the edge of the tools. You are cutting hard sand. 
I could easily spread glue on the outside edge and coat it with sand. And thatt would act like a sand paper, though I would have no idea what grit it was. I am in no rush to do any more modification to the sanding disk. I can make my decision at any time. 

I have a turning club meeting Thursday. That is why I am rushing to get things done yesterday and today. I will finish up the gnome home, giving it varnish coat on the added pieces of wood so I can show it at the club meeting. 

It is fun to have a lot of possible projects and have the chance to work on them.

I will see what I do tomorrow.


The sanding disk

the face plate of the sanding disk

the resulting ring

The gnome home

the gnome home

side view of the gnome home

feet on the cane.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Year 19, Week 05, Day One (week 995)

Year 19, Week 05, Day One (week 995)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-09-19 Saturday

Early morning pretty good, two sets of weather passed through early mid morning, watering mom’s plants, then the weather became nice the rest of the day, Not to the South or North of us, though. Their plants must have ordered more water.  Mostly medium high clouds with plenty of blue around them.  Light breezes most of the time, but strong winds near the weather cells. This weather report was brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I tested out the wooden feet on the cane. One broke quickly as it was cracked in the first place when I installed it. I lost one somewhere and a third was cracking so I took them off. My problem was I made them with the grain running up and down. Wood splits easiest With the grain. These were also very thin. Next time, I must make them bigger, and I must drill the hole across the grain. Then it should not split. Pieces might come off the bottom, over time, but it won’t split. Of course, if they were much bigger, they would not have split either, as there would be more wood to hold them together. It was an interesting experiment. I went to add rubber feet onto that cane, and the small ones I had were too big. I will have to buy the right ones. Some other time I will try this again, just not right now.

After breakfast, on the way home, we stopped at a yard sale. There was loads of wonderful looking things there. They had some collector dolls, a few with the red velvet dresses. Nice but not cute enough to take home. I will buy collector dolls, but they have to be really cute wearing pretty dresses, otherwise, why bother?
They had several large skeins of yarn. I might have taken all of them for the price  they were asking for one, and I likely would have gotten it for that price should I have asked, but I have a life-time supply of yarn and don’t need any more cream or white, right now. Now if it were cotton, rather than acrylic, I would have it at home right now... 
This was a three family yard sale and there were lots of decorative pieces. They had a bin of stuffies. Luckily for me, their calls to take them home with me was muffled as they were stacked one on top the other. 
I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up leaving with some reference books. Just what I needed...... I already have a 26 foot long wall of books. 

We got home and I looked at the radar and decided to work out back rather than run for other yard sales. The radar also told me not to bring the lathe out yet, either.  Within a half hour, a dark cloud showed up to the east which was where the weather was coming from. 

My first project was to do some sanding. I am not sure if I told you, I don’t like sanding. I have a turning club meeting week after next Thursday and I want to get this gnome home done. That meant sanding. 
I had soaked the wood for about three days in varnish. I added varnish on Tuesday, trying to get as much inside the body as I could, I added more varnish Wednesday and then Thursday. Friday I took it out of the varnish to dry as some varnish had jelled up on the back. I figured that would be enough to stabilize it once it dries out completely. 
I started with a small sanding disk to smooth it out. While digging in a shopping bag of sanding stuff,  I found the fixture for it. Last week, I had removed the threads in the plastic of the disk so the drill could hold it in place. When the cloth shopping bags get into a bad condition, they become storage for tools, projects, or materials. The disk gummed up quick. I then decided to remove the tenon on the back. I started it on the disk sander and got most of it gone, but the sandpaper was really gummed up to uselessness. 
I have one of those sanding erasers somewhere, but have not seen it in a long while. You hold that to the sanding disk and it removes some of the build-up. The condition of the sandpaper was that where the eraser would not have been helped clean this disk. I took the old sandpaper off and put a new sheet on. I have one sheet left. I need to see If I can get some more as I want to make a sanding disk to fit on the lathe. I have no idea what happened to the one I had.
After I changed sandpaper, I went to the work bench and dug out a wire wheel for the drill. I went over most of the surfaces with that first. It ate away the tenon on the bottom and most of the tenon on the back. It cleared up some bad spots and edges too. The problem is that it left scrapes from the wire as it dug into soft spots on the wood. By then I was down below the surface varnish. I then finished it on the disk to make it flat. There was some gumming but not bad by this time. I then went over the whole thing with progressively finer sanding disks on the drill. By then any sign of weather was gone.
I pulled out the lathe out and glanced around for a piece of wood that needed to be made into sawdust. Some time ago, even from before I had put up the lathe for a storm, I had a crotch of a tree with three branches and stubs of another. I had tried to turn it back then and could not keep it on the lathe. I was not trying hard at that time. I decided to give it another try. 
I noticed the tenon I had on there was not centered, so I re-measured it and marked where the real center was. I then decided to cheat a little bit. I put the branch side of the piece against the chuck (no spur, just the force of the tail stock holding it in place), and the point of the tail stock in my center point and started it spinning. The crotch found its own center against the chuck. 
The old tenon was well off center, so I turned that into a post, then created a new tenon, removing more wood from the bottom. this tenon was a tiny bit too small but I went with it anyway. I flipped the piece around and started hollowing it. I developed a post in the center where the tail stock was holding it to the chuck, and had some depth when the piece came off the lathe. 
A bit of wood came off on the post, preventing the point of the tail stock from remaining in place. I have to level it to continue. By then it was time to pack up, clean up, and get ready to pick up lunch. 

I expect to sand more on the gnome home and likely will turn more on that crotch piece. 
I will see what I actually do tomorrow

Year 19, Week 05, Day One (week 995)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-10-19 Sunday

Nice day all day, lots of high clouds but nothing threatening.  Light breeze intermittent sun. This Weather Report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

On the way to Mom’s I found two yard sales. One has had sales before. She had a lot less stuff, partly because she usually has other people at her previous yard sales. I ended up picking up a couple cook books. Just what I need. I already have about 70 cook books.... She said it did sprinkle yesterday, but she had tarps ready to cover the tables until it passed.
The other yard sale had interesting stuff, but nothing that needed to load down my truck. 

I got out back and leveled the post on that piece I was working with yesterday with my knife, and made sure the center indentation was deep enough to hold the tail stock point in place. I started turning and some bark inclusion started showing. I kept turning deeper and deeper. I also started widening the opening more to improve the shape . It came off again and the post had broke again. I leveled it with a knife, poked the center so the point would stay.
Thinking back, I should have been using a different point in the tail stock. I kept working and more of the bark inclusion showed up. I got deep enough that the whole post that the tail stock was stuck into was surrounded by bark inclusion. The post broke again. 
I did something I wish I did not do. I took a hammer and knocked the rest of the post off, and drove off the center of the wood out. The center was held ONLY by the bark inclusion. I should have left it alone, and filled it with resin or super glue, but you know how things go when you are after quick results.
Now I have many ways of saving this piece. One is to get some resin and cast the center, then turn it again. Another is to add a false bottom to it with another piece of wood and turn it so that becomes part of the piece. I could also just stick a face plate on it and turn it the rest of the way and leave the center open. It could also end up in the garbage. My main problem is I only have a few hours each weekend to do anything so I really am unable to spend time repairing mistakes. It is better to start fresh and forget about it.

I sanded a little more on the gnome home and gave it a shot of varnish. I will take it home with me and work on it during the week. 

I will see what all happens next weekend.


the bottom of the work piece I turned on

The top of the piece.

The gnome home

this drill had died last week. I disassembled it this weekend.

the sanding disks the drill can use and the fitting they go into.

A block of wood I picked up on the side of the road. nice cracks in it, but still useable for me.
the cracks was why it was tossed. 

the work piece after I knocked the center out. I should have left it in.
this is looking from the hollowed side. 
I did not work with the outside as I had not decided what to do with that on the shape yet.

A pair of crochet hooks I made from toothbrushes. 
I had to remove the first hook I cut into it the blue one as it was too weak. 
that made the hook a lot shorter.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Year 19, Week 04, Day One (week 994)

Year 19, Week 04, Day One (week 994)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-01-19 Saturday

65 degrees early morning, 75 late afternoon, showers before I woke up and dried out, cleared up by the time we got back from breakfast. A good wind felt nice, strong enough to move branches, but not a big thing at ground level.
The winter months tend to be our dry season. I remember a couple years where they were discussing water rationing at this time of the year. Usually, that was caused because a wet hurricane was coming during the summer, so they would lower the water levels of Lake  Okeechobee in preparation for the storm, then when the showers never came, the water levels in the lake would be too low for this time of the year. The lake was the main charging point for the aquifers that the south florida cities would get their water from. A shallow lake creates many problems. They built dykes around it to retain the worst of the water when the lake raises up.  The downpours we have gotten has kept it filled and charged the aquifers in the region, and did a good job of watering the lawns. The weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

I did not expect many yard sales out this morning as it was still drying out, so I immediately went out back of Mom’s house after breakfast. I had a couple projects to do and was not exactly sure how I was going to accomplish either one. Both were new to me. 
First I wanted to make wooden feet for a four-footed cane I have. The rubber feet wore out and I was “too lazy” to dig out the spares I have in a pile of stuff. I’ve wanted to try this for a couple years. I’ve seen some projects on line that gave me the basic concept of the process I intended to use.. 
I took a piece two by three by four inch thick of yellow pine and cut it into cubes. They were more like rectangles than cubes. I decided I would work through the end grain, rather than the side grain like I was originally planning. I figured the end grain would last a little longer. They were close enough to cubes to not matter that much.
First I needed to drill some holes. None of my regular  drill bits were big enough to match the pipe the legs are made of. I have a short spade bit set still in the box, but could not remember what I did with them. I will likely run across them a few weeks from now. The only available was a half inch spade bit about 18 inches long. 
I decided to use the lathe. The first thing I found was that the tail stock was not hollow. It has an insert that is solid. That kept me from running the shaft through the tail stock and using the tail stock shaft as a guide. 
I then tried to run the bit through the head stock pipe. It worked, but It was not cutting at all when I was holding it with pliers and pushing hard. I decided to use a drill. I marked where the drill bit was when it touched the wood, then took it out and measured how deep I should go. I then stuck the bit into the drill and started drilling. It was doing well, then the drill stopped. Not able to run. I tried plugging it in other plugs, plugging other things into the same plugs. It was the drill. 

I dug out another drill and as I tried to drill  work, I could not keep the bit tight in the chuck. I did get a couple holes drilled, but I then sat down with the drill while mom had come out to talk. I poured a few drops of oil into the chuck and then cranked the chuck completely closed, then open again. It took some cranking to get it to move. The oil was beginning to work by the time I got the chuck fully open. I then cranked it closed and open again. It was so much better, I figured that was good enough. It likely could use another bit of oil. When I returned to drilling, the drill held the bit tight. I drilled six pieces of wood. It is always best to make a few extras. The oil does not seem to effect the grip between the metals, which I had seen over the years with other drills.
The drill running through the chuck did not go straight in so several holes were not centered, one was very close to the side. Had I did it again, I would make sure the long ways was up and down so I would have used something to place the drill bit point  exactly where It. 
My next step was to make them round. I took another piece of wood, white pine I think in this case, and turned it so a peg stuck out that fit the holes I drilled. This was my pin chuck I had to shorten it once and flatten the surface behind it a bit more, but I used the tail stock to hold the work tight against it. I had to use a light touch as there was not a lot of friction to hold it in place. I intended to have more wood on them, but because I was so close to the edges on a couple of them, I made the feet small. 
Once I had them turned, I grabbed one and sanded the area around the hole fairly flat, then chamfered the edge, then I rounded the other end. As I worked on the others, I used the first one as a guide to the length and made them all about the same length.  One was too close to the edge to use so I left that. I stuck my bowl gouge into the hole and used that to hold the piece as I turned rotated it against the sander to clean it up and round the ends. That made it easy to get them even. Without real measuring and fitting, the end result was fairly even. 
Now the holes were just a hair too small so I used my dremmel with a burr bit to make the holes slightly larger. Of the five completed feet, one was a shade too long so I made that the spare. These will slip and are hard on the ground, but I want to see how they last with a little abuse. They are much like the hard plastic feet you can buy. 
Using the peg to hold a piece on the chuck is a very common practice for many types of projects but I have never given it a try before. It worked pretty good. I could have left it a little bigger so the fit was tighter, but it did not do horrible. The real idea is to have sort of a suction fit so the work will stay on and not spin when removing wood with very light shaving cuts. 

My next project was to copy a tea pot I saw in a wood turning magazine. It is basically like a rubber bulb used for squirting water, a ball with a long tapered spout, and the hole and foot is set to tip the spout up to lid level. I thought it would be fun to try. 
I looked at a number of pieces of wood with the idea of using them. Some were too good to use they are really for special projects. Others were the wrong dimensions. I wanted to make this small so it would be a quick project. I had a nice piece of wood with interesting colors in it. I sliced it in half and it turned out to be Camphor. I immediately stuck that in the shed. I figure the smell might help with any bugs that get in there. 
I tried some oak my brother brought over several years ago. Bugs got into them so I stuck them into the garbage. One piece was nice on one end where I cut it, but the other end was not good enough. 
We then dug into some garbage cans we have that have wood in them. They were put in there to keep them dry, with lids and plastic bags covering them, but plastic does last long under beating the sun and constant weather. I found one piece that was interesting we drew on it a couple times. I trimmed the worst of the wood away with the SawsAll. 

Oh I love these saws. I could have used it for a number of things in the past six months if I had thought of it. The blades are more aggressive than the band saw. It is a whole lot safer and easier to use than a chain saw. My blades are not really sharp, but it did nice in shaving away wood.
The piece of wood had some punky materials in it. I shaved away the worst of it but it still had some. It is better if the piece is not banging your turning tool with every revolution. The more wood removed by the saw, the less turning is needed to get to the rough shape. 
With these vases, there are two ways to make them. I had to make a decision. One, is to hollow the wood first, then turn the bowl and stem shape. The other was to turn the shape first, then hollow it. 
I drilled for the stem first, using the half-inch mile-long spade bit. It was hard to get the piece in the chuck just right as I was not dealing with flat surfaces. Once I drilled into the center (I measured where the bit touched the wood, and then measured so it would go past center before I drilled) I decided to turn it to shape first.
With the neck in the chuck, (I used the small spur to fit into the hole so while it was not the perfect situation for holding it, it helped spin it nicely) I started turning mostly air, then as I knocked the high spots off, I started getting into the wood. I found I had miscalculated on the shape of the thing. The way I had it, I had half round on part of it, and there was a large flat-ish area where the wood was not available. I realized this was going to be a problem for the type of tea pot I was trying to make, but decided I would continue and just get some experience with the design anyway.
I finally stopped. The bowl was not round, or anything close to it. I would have to do a lot more turning to get it there, but I had a design to look at. 

I will see what I will do tomorrow. Today was pretty good.

Year 19, Week 04, Day Two (week 994)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-02-19 Sunday

Sunny, a few clouds, light breeze, 68 as the low, 88 was the high. This was a great day to be outside in. I would not complain if all highs were about this. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

Last night, I tested out the feet on the cane. It does slip, and is a bit noisy, but worked better than the metal sticking through the rubber feet. I will see how they hold up over a period of time. 

I visited three yard sales on the way to Mom’s. I picked up a few things I did not need at a home where a guy is retiring. He had cancer surgery and they are down sizing. He had a lot of construction style tools, so I figured he was getting out of the business. I never asked which business it was but I am thinking he was working on interiors. A couple things I picked up will likely be passed on to someone else later. 
He had some sheets of plywood there. He was selling it cheaper than the store. It would have been nice to get it, but I have no place to put it. I do have some projects they would be good for, it might be six months before I get to those projects. It will be better to pick it up when I need it. 
One yard sale was just setting up and had a whole lot of Christmas stuff.  The last yard sale had some interesting things that I forced myself to ignore. I don’t need another coffee grinder. Much of what else they had was easier to ignore.

I had shown a picture of the tea pot I was making and she suggested that I make it a gnome house.  When I looked at it again, I saw it really demanded to be a gnome home. 
I sharpened my bowl gouge and did as careful cuts as I could to smooth out the turned surfaces. I improved it but it was still not great. I will have to do some heavy sanding. 
I then sat and measured for the center of the bowl both front and back. The back was a really an uneven flat. Mounting the small spur in the center of the round section, and the tail stock point to the back side of the piece, I started the lathe spinning. I had to wait until the spur buried itself into the wood, then it was spinning nicely. I knocked off the high spots and got the center evened out and made a tenon to hold it in the chuck. I then flipped it around and started hollowing it. I guess I got a catch inside (I did not get very deep) when the piece came off the lathe. I had broke the tenon.
I don’t know what kind of wood this is, but it is not very strong, and it is punky in some spots. Stuck the spur back inside the hole, and held it in place with the tail stock to flatten more of the back and make a tenon again. I can remove the tenon later and it will fit flat against a wall now. 
Part way in, I started digging into the punky wood. Hollowing it out went really fast at that point. I had one spot that with thin and use that as the size limit of the hollow. I cut into the hole I drilled which was supposed to be the spout.  The biggest reason to hollow this out was to lighten it. It is good practice anyway.
After I got the inside the best I could, I sat down and shaved on the really bad outside surfaces with the knife. I cleaned it up quite a bit but it will require more. When I created the tenons to hold the piece, I had left a stub sticking out. I used the disk sander to remove them. I figure when I am no longer going to put it on the lathe, I can use the sander to flatten the tenons completely. 
Next weekend I hope to take the sander to it and really clean it up. I want to get it down to 250 grit at least in that session. I need to check to see what the most effective method of stabilizing the punky parts of the piece. I will then make parts for it, like a round door that will be open, a chimney coming up from the top. My brother suggested having a ladder to climb up to it. He even suggested to make several of these and have a rope ladder, rope bridge going between them.  I don’t expect to make many, unless I make a mistake on the next tea pot experiment. Other than that, it should be a stand-alone piece. 

This was a pretty good weekend for projects. I had fun and had results. 
I will have to see what I do next weekend.


The drill with the spade bit going through the back of the head stock of my lathe.

the drilled blocks, the holes through the end grain.

The peg to hold the pieces on the lathe.

Mounting it on the lathe

piece on the lathe ready to turn.

The finished feet with one held on the bowl gouge four sanding on the disk sander.

Peg feet in place.

The gnome home starting out on the lathe. 

The rough-finished gnome home.