Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 32 Wood working

Year 10, Week 32, Day One (week 554)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-21-10 Saturday

94 degrees, blue sky in the morning, becoming a high shield filtering sunlight, then low clouds blocked up the sky, mostly to the west, in the afternoon. Weather hit after I got home. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.


The turning club meeting. I was doing the demonstration on using jam chucks and double sided tape for doing platters.
I had found that the tail stock on the lathe was out of square. I decided to give it a try anyway. In my checking, I found a second little problem. The Live Center on the tail stock (the point mounted in a bearing so it spins with a wood, rather than the wood spin on it like on a nail) was too small for the way the project was going to work.
The wood face plates face plates I had to work with, were ones I had drilled and threaded to fit over the shaft that spins the wood. the actual spinning part of the live center was small, and had a big piece running around it that did not move. The hole rubbed against the unmoving part of the center.
I quickly made a jig. I took a piece of wood and made an insert into the hole. I turned it around and did a center mark for the tail stock to go into.
When it became time to start, I felt I was ready. I told about what I was after for the project and why I was doing it, showing examples I had. I showed the steps of mounting the wood into the lathe and I turned it on.
I work at maximum speed with my lathe at home, but this was at a third the speed and it looked fast. It started wobbling instantly because it was out of center. The wood came off and I got the lathe turned off almost fast enough. No disaster. the piece spun against the tool rest and did not fall off the lathe. A bit of the tape still stuck. The second chuck, not taped on, came off. someone picked that up for me.

Because I had prepared wood at each step, In case of some form of failure, I used them to show and explain the different stages I work, and explained what I did and why I did it that way. I felt I was a bit disjointed, as I had not practiced what I was going to say and do. I just knew the points I was after.
When I was done, I passed the examples around so they could see what it looked like at the various stages of the process.
There were several things I thought of later I should have said, but forgot at the time. Several people came by and told me I did very well and they learned something. That I never tell people that unless I mean it, I take that as something really meaningful.

I talked to a new turner, he has taken classes but has not assembled his own lathe, about the wood. He did not know that yellow pine can be used because of pressure treating. I told him that I get my wood at Lowes or Home Depot, and that if it is greenish, it is pressure treated, but they do have untreated wood too.

I have no problems talking to someone one on one, and to a few people. I am always in front of the group taking pictures. I found that my mind set changed once I started my presentation. I had taken some acting classes back in the 80s and actually was on stage once. I noticed then, like I noticed now, that even my vision changes before the crowd.
The best way to describe it was that I "stepped back," My vision was more wide angle, less focused. I sort of shifted into automatic. I was not "thinking" on my feet, but instead, reacting, more on instinct.
I can see why some people would panic before crowds. I would rather have been talking to them like I was face to face to them. It is a slight sense of not having maximum control over the situation..
I will say that if I have something to demonstrate, I will do so again. I have to say that I did have fun. One just has to prepare properly in case of mistakes and know what you are doing.

The club gives a gift card for doing the demonstrations. I had a partial gift card in my wallet, along with a gift certificate that the club members get after a certain number of purchases, the store's version of a discount for club members. The certificate was going to expire next weekend.
The store had a chuck on sale. Over the past several years, I had missed other sales on these chucks and they were something I had always wanted. I ended up buying one, at a third the normal cash I would have put out.
The chuck is designed to grab the wood and hold it in place while spinning the wood for you to do the cutting. The chucks come with different jaws, to grab different sized pieces of wood and holding them different ways. Some jaws (Coles Jaw) are designed to hold finished projects as you touch up the bottom, for example. This chuck comes with two jaws. the standard 50 mm and a 25mm jaw for small work. It also has a "Worm Screw" which is a special screw designed to fit into a drilled hole and has special threaded to hold the wood better than a normal screw.
Having a second chuck is of a great advantage. I can have different jaws on them, so I can shift the project to different ways of holding it without having to do a dozen screw operations. One can also have the same jaws on the chucks and leave a piece in the jaws while working on a different project for a moment. This improves accuracy. since nothing changes for the piece still in the jaws.
This was not money I really should have spent, but I had to take advantage of the situation. Now I have it.

Me at the turning club meeting

The chuck I purchased. the box, and laid out.


We started out yard sailing. I got a GAME BOY COLOR with one game and a case, four small cast iron fry pans which I am seasoning now, a coffee grinder, and a little fairy who's position I like for my next fairy carving. I also got a book on making historical navigational devices. I did not spend all that much money for all of it, either. It was more than I should, but not as much as I could have. I kept my hands off several items that I considered getting.

The four fry pans the fairy

I started the morning by unpacking my new chuck, and checking it out, taking a couple pictures. I did not mount it on the lathe until the afternoon when I needed to work on my crochet hooks. It does not close down absolutely to zero, but it does close down enough (without the jaws), to hold all my crochet hooks, some are really tiny, just slightly bigger than the minimum.
I found my tools for tightening and loosening my old chuck are the same, so that is good.
I mounted my crochet hooks and sanded them some more. That helped as many were not in good shape. I also worked the new handles I had made for them and they are better. Some ended up off center, so I re-cut the outside to make them centered. I also changed the profile to make them better on the hands.

Crochet hooks with handles.

My first project I decided to do, after unpacking all the stuff I took with me to the demonstration at the turning club, was to make a pencil cup out of a yellow pine four by four I recently. I like the look of the wood and I have a lot of them. I have a use for about four pencil cups. They are quick and simple to make and look pretty good to me.

Yellow pine Pencil Cup.

I got a lot done but not as much I as could have.

Tomorrow, I will make another pencil cup, possibly hand sand on my crochet hooks, maybe make a couple more hooks using the new chuck. I might also dig out some bass wood. I have several projects. One is to carve another fairy, so I can draw it up and cut out the blank, removing the worst of the spaces and get the basic shape. I also could spend some time and make some shaving flowers. That is a good project to do while just sitting in the shade and cooling off.
I have the partially done pieces I used for my demonstration that I should finish up too.
I have a lot to do, but will have to see what actually comes up.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 10, Week 32, Day Two (week 554)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-22-10 Sunday

88 degrees in the morning, 95 degrees when the sun finally shown under the awning in the late afternoon. High thick pebbles blocking the sun early morning, It got lower and thicker late morning, thinned out with big patches of blue sky and sunshine in the afternoon, but a thick high mountain of thunder towers appeared on the horizon on the other side of the everglades very late. Light breeze picked up to comfortable level in the afternoon. some humidity in the morning but that was gone with the first puffs of wind. this weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

After petting and feeding the beast, I dragged all my stuff out and got ready to work. it seams like a lot of stuff, drill kit box, dremmel box, carving basket, lathe, tools and stuff on a cart, bits and pieces all laid out.
I selected a piece of 4x4 and measured the middle, and cut it in half. I then mounted it between centers and rounded the piece, and made a tenon on one end. finally, I stuck it into the chuck and after making the outside right, I hollowed it out. I used my bowl gouge to get near depth and give me some space to work.
This is a soft wood I am using my skew chisel to run down the inside, making it straight. I whittle down the thickness of the walls in several passes. Just a little bit of work is required to do the bottom.
I could well have done four in the time I worked for the day, but I wanted to do something different. I put my lathe stuff away and cleaned up. I do make a lot of sawdust.

I dug out a piece of basswood with the idea of making a new fairy. I went inside to my fairies, which are on display in my mother's house, along with some other larger carvings. I pulled on one carving and several fell, right on top of a couple others I spent some time to glue pieces back in place. One of them had the pieces just glued on the base and the glue gave way so I glued them in place. Another of a father holding a fishing pole, lost his shoulder and his other hand. They are now back in place. I still have to stick a butterfly, on a wire, back in place on one carving, but decided not to deal with that right now.

Since I was messing with basswood, I looked at my stock, since the board I had was a bit too narrow. I did not have anything the right size. I would have to do a glue-up and I am not good at that.
I had an idea for a project and found a 3/4 inch board. It would be good enough for the project planned.
I drew along the edge of the board a line in the middle. I then re-sawed (bandsawed) it in half, making two thin boards. I then cut one of the boards into square sticks.
A bit later, I sat down and started making shaving flowers. The way this is done is you taper one end of a stick, which is the base of the flower. You then reach as high as you can with your knife and cut thin slices, stopping above the base and try to keep them attached. I started on the corners, and then as the piece became more rounded, I kept going round and round. One keeps doing this until there is no stick sticking into the flower. That naturally breaks off and one has a dandelion.
The fewer shavings that you accidentally cut off, the better the flower is. It seamed like one side always had some shavings where the knife slipped off before it got to the base.
Once the flower is free, I drill a hole in the base and glue in a skewer to be the stem. I might later color the flowers. I have to be careful. They will straighten out and look more like a cone, if the fibers get wet. I will try spray clear and spray paint to see if I can do it without effecting the shape.

Pencil cup and shaving flowers

My brother finished up two clocks he was scroll sawing. He had assembled it last week and today he added a finish. One of them is going with his wife to visit her sister.
He just started his Christmas ornaments. He selected his boards, cut them, glued them together and applied the patterns he will follow. They will dry for now and he will start cutting them out over the next few months. He does not always have enough time, so he will start on the ornaments that have the date, as they will be useless after this Christmas, and then do the others as time comes available.

For next week, I have a number of projects. I will look at what it would take to do a glue-up of basswood for a fairy. I will likely make some more flowers. I have no end to the projects I can work on. I just have to pick one or two and do them. During the week, I hope to have time to sand on my crochet hooks. I need to get them to where the wood does not catch on the fibers.

I will see what I actually do next week.

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