Sunday, October 31, 2010

week 564 Woodoworking

year 10, Week 42, Day One (week 564)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
10-30-10 Saturday

82 degrees at nine, 88 at two o'clock. Mostly blue sky with nice soft puffs slipping across the sky. Only rarely did one cloud decide to block the sun from me. Nice breeze made it quite comfortable all day long. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

During the week, I tested the Tunisian hook I made last week. I found a couple problems with the design. I then took one of my older hooks a small one made of Orange and drilled the end and tested with that and it worked nicely. I saw several errors in the hook I had created for the project. I took a hand sander and tapered the end almost to a point. I then tapered the hook end so it would fit through the wood a bit better.
After hand sanding the two ends a little, I drilled the tail end and added a cord. I cut the end of a large paint brush off for the stop on the end of the cord. The brush handle was plastic, but that worked anyway.
The corrected needle is working better than I ever expected. I went on to correct the hook end of one of my other hooks as this new design was much better.

front and back of the Tunisian crochet.

single crochet I am doing in my truck at stop lights.

At work, a catalog for a company that personalizes all sorts of items came in and I got my hands on it. Right on the inside cover were some snow people sitting down. I liked them so much I decided I should try to copy them.

The catalog pictures I am copying for my snow people.

When I arrived and got my stuff spread out, My first project, after petting the cat, was to explore my design for the snow people. I had worked out the basics of making them. My wood, which was reclaimed from something, is very slightly rectangular, 4.2 cm and 4.4 cm. It makes a very slight, but useful difference. I use centimeters only because it is easier to use on small works like I am doing right now than fractions of inches. I located the center, then placed my center point for the lathe 1.5cm from the center of the edge. This gave me some extra distance for the feet to stick out since they are seated.
I turned the body until it was round, then touched the feet so the soles were a smooth radius. I under cut the feet on top and bottom so the toes stick up and the heals are slightly lower than the legs. I also rounded the bottom slightly. With a tiny bit more planning, I could assist in my shaping a little bit more.

Snow people blanks on the lathe.

These snow people have stocking caps with wide brims where the company put the names. They are tipped, higher in front than in back. If one is going to turn this rim, one should make it wide enough to handle both extremes and then carve the angle later. Also one can delineate the bottom of the head.
These have a scarf around the neck and going down in front. I lightly carved them in slight relief after I shaped the balls of the body. Looking at the picture, I now see they also have hands in their laps, which mine don't have. They could use that to look better. More carving to be done.
I also left a slightly raised nose, but their nose are pointed for a carrot.
I have painted my three, including the faces, and the one with the broader head looks better. They do need hands in mittens so I will add that to my next design.

First three finished snow people

I would say that these are a very good start on Christmas ornaments. I now have cats and snow people. I have to come up with two more, and make a dozen of each.

Tomorrow, I will make more snow people and maybe a couple more cats. I have other ornaments that need to be finished such as my swans, and I need to make some Christmas trees and regular snow men as I am out of them.

I will see what I really do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 42, Day Two (week 564)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
10-31-10 Sunday

85 degrees, very light breeze, mostly blue sky over me with some clouds to the south and west. There were wet roads in other parts of the county and once or twice a cloud got in the way of the sun.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of tourism.

My computer was acting up this morning and that really messed me up to start with. Later in the day, I broke one of my digital cameras. the old adage, DON'T FORCE IT, has a reason to exist.

I petted and fed both cats, Scarface and Beggar. I gave Scarface attention until he had enough, then turned to Beggar, who simply wants company at first, then attention after he has eaten a little.
The beast was so sweet later in the day. He laid down and slept at my feet twice when I was carving. One he leaped into hiding when my brother came out of the house, and the second time he leaped into hiding when a strange noise sounded out front. He was a bit disappointed when I started cleaning up after that second time rather than sitting back down and calling him back.

I first made three new snow people blanks and then started carving them. I added arms and they might be a bit better.
I figured out that they might be better if they were shorter. I use a piece of wood nearly twelve inches long and divided it into three for my first six snow people. I then made another set of blanks and got four out of the same length wood rather than three. I did not take the time to start carving on them but they are ready to be worked.

It has been a while since I have done extensive carving, so I developed a blister on my right hand on the middle finger because of the rubbing and pressure from the knife. I tore it open. A bandage works well to protect that and I should wear one when carving anyway to avoid that blister. I do wear a cheap leather gardening glove on the hand that holds the wood and during the past two days, It has saved me from half a dozen little nicks. They would have been bothersome little lines in the skin. The glove really does not help a whole lot for a serious cut but for the little things, it is well worth getting used to.

I mentioned yesterday that I was using metric for my measurements on my ornaments. I decided I should explain a little more on that. I am not actually measuring. I am dividing a distance by a number of spaces. I could be using English inches, decimal feet, meters, crinkles in corrugated metal. All that is needed is for them to be even. for the small work I am mostly doing right now, metrics tend to come out even or close to it since they are small.
Yesterday I said it was like 4.4 cm wide and I was doing 3cm from the edge for making the body of the snow people. I was working in the proportion of the body to the legs sticking out. The actual numbers were meaningless.
The length of the wood I am using for these ornaments is limited to what can fit on the inside throat of the band saw. It is close to twelve inches. I then divide the resulting stick by how many pieces I need. Nothing I am doing right now is critical in measurements. When I am done carving, they end up being slightly different anyway.

Friday, I will check in on the antique shop and the water gardens. It has been two months since I had been down there. I am curious as to how my wooden flowers had done, along with anything else I have down there. I will have a few more items to bring down with me, but nothing spectacular.

Next weekend, I will finish the snow peoples I have made blanks for, finish the two cat blanks I have, and make some more cat blanks until I have a dozen. I have plans for some major projects, but will have to see what comes up by then.

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