year 10, Week 40, Day One (week 562)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
86 degrees as a high, 65 degrees early morning, nice breeze, blue sky with wiry puffs everywhere. Good sleeping weather.
Being used to it getting into the 90s, night temps in the mid 80s, the temps below 70 had a momentary chill to it. We were used to it almost immediately, but it was a bit of a surprise.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
Someone has been taking care of Scarface. His fur is in much better condition and he looks much less like the scarred cat he once was when he first showed up. He has not been in any recent fights either. I should start calling him TOM as my mom does. He will still be Scarface to me.
Our favorite restaurant was closed this morning, police cars all around, the staff sitting outside, waiting. someone broke into a check cashing store three doors down, by breaking into a next door store first. We went some place else for breakfast.
We hit a bunch of yard sales. I saw some wonderful stuff, but nothing I wanted enough to be worth asking the price for.
After petting and feeding the cats, I got my equipment out. I now have things where I can grab everything within a few minutes.
My first project was to get to the back of the shed and see what I had in two by two lumber for ornaments. It was rather quick. I did find several sticks of wood that will do fine. I got them to the front.
I saw a piece of oak I took off a pallet and decided to get the nails out of it. The nails were embedded into the wood and refused to come out. On the mate to this one, after killing a bandsaw blade, I figured out a way to get the nails out. It helps that this piece is a three by four, rather than square, and that the nails were on the three inch side rather than the four inch side, and that they are all on one side of the wood.
I marked it so it will end up being square wood with the nail heads in the waste wood. I also found the center of those squares. I drew marker lines across the board right across the nail heads. I mounted the wood on the lathe based on my center marks on the end. When I spun the wood, you can see lines where the nails are.
I turned the wood fast and used my parting tool to cut down the wood on each side of the nail. Try not to hit the nail like I did. It chips up the tip nicely. I had to sharpen the parting tool a couple times because it slipped on me.
I cut grooves on both sides of the nail and generally stopped when I could hear the back corners touch, a four corner tap. After they were all grooved like that, I took it over to the workbench and pried or knocked off the wood beside the nails so they were fully exposed on all sides. Now if you have a nail puller, great. Vice grips would have worked great too. I did not have either. What worked best for me was a pair of plyers. I would grip it, then bend the nail down and press on the handle. The force between the wood it was laying on and my pressure down, helped keep them closed. I had to work each nail side to side, using the bend against itself. It was some work but the nails came out.
after I was done, I drew a line down the sides of the board in line with the squares and bandsawed the damaged wood off. The corners are nicked, but I usually round the wood anyway.
One of the undamaged piece of oak was long enough for crochet hooks, so I made two attempts at making hooks. The point of my center split the wood on the end I had narrowed down, and turned the piece around to finish up. I was sanding the far end of the second piece and the strip of sandpaper got wound around the wood and it got bent, unusable. both got tossed. I still have two pieces to play with.
The oak board with gouges cut out to get the nails, and then after it was sliced
Some crochet done the past week. The second picture of the ball and ribbon looks something like a walrus with glasses. That is giving me some ideas.
I have a wood turning club meeting on Thursday so I decided to get some projects finished up. I sanded and varnished on some bowls I made last month, some pencil cups, and a plate I made months ago. I have to get more varnish to finish them up. They will also need more sanding.
The sanding and the oak took up most of my work time.
I finally located the pictures of the post cats I was trying to make. I E-mailed it to mom and she was having problems printing them. Late morning, I checked on what she was doing. She accidentally was trying to make a PDF of the picture, rather than printing them. When she was showing me the problem, she figured it out.
I see that what I created last week, had nothing to do with what I thought I was making. I will give them a try tomorrow now that I know I have the wood and pictures together. there is carving to them so that works out. It is all a matter of proportion. will see how they come out.
tomorrow, I want to make some shaving flowers, some crochet hooks, some post cat ornaments, and may make another pencil cup. what I actually do, may well be different, but that is my plan.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
year 10, Week 40, Day two (week 562)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
67 as a low, 76 when I arrived at Mom's house, It got up into the 80s in the afternoon. The morning started out with slightly broken clouds, many with grey bottoms. I thought I saw a few misty drips on my windshield on the way up but saw or felt little or nothing else. the clouds started breaking up and more and more sun was seen until it seamed like in spite all the clouds, it was always sunny. This Weather Report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
After petting and feeding the cat, I got out my equipment.
My first project was to try out my plans for the cat ornaments. I cut wood to length, and marked the centers on each end. This pine has dark heart wood that is full of pitch. One corner is sap wood and is white.
I made two first, to test my concepts. I set the wood off center, measured along the corner to corner line. so the heart wood stuck out farther. I decided half a centimeter was a good distance. It was easy to see compared to the fraction of inch markings and it looked like it was about the right distance.
Much of my measurements have nothing to do with the actual numbers. Much is 'how many spaces needed across the piece, or where is the center' The numbers are unimportant. Just the even spacing of the markings. Whatever is closest works.
I mounted the wood on my off-center mark and turned the wood to my decided shape. I cut in at the neck, then tapered out as I went to the feet. I jogged out slightly where the legs were. Being off center, the chest and front of the legs were turned while the back corner, where the tail was, was only slightly touched by the tools.
I used the band saw to cut the Vee between the ears, and cut straight down the front of the ears and partially shape the front of the face. I used the knife at first, but found that the dremmel worked better for my carving and shaping.
Fairly satisfied with my results, I made four more blanks for the cat ornaments. They are not like the picture, but quite passable anyway. I made design changes to make it easier to do.
I gave them a coat of sanding sealer, and then painted eyes nose, mouth, whiskers and a chest spot on the two I had already carved.
They do look good. Not perfect, but they do look good. I will add several coats of varnish and with an eye hook and signature, will call them done.
I did two shaving flowers but did not add stems to them.
The work I did on the cats took most of the day. There was a lot of exploring the design and the techniques. for carving them. The dremmel made it quick work compared to the knife and I had to use the dremmel to clean it up anyway.
Turning, bandsawing several angles and directions also took time.
I am happy that now I have started my ornaments. I have some swan blanks to carve that I made last year, and now have to come up with three other ornaments to do.
First picture is my blanks and undecorated carved cats.
The second picture is the finished cats.
With my Christmas ornaments, I have several rules. My official ornaments are carved, preferably with a knife, but not necessarily. I will use a bandsaw and lathe to remove excess wood. they are made from two by twos to limit the size. I try to do a dozen of four kinds of ornaments each year, though don't always succeed on that. I get them done for display and sales starting the first of December.
Thursday, I will have a turning club meeting. I have my two finished cats to show. I might paint some others I made just so they can be called done and show them off as mistakes.
I will see what I do next week.