Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 573 Wood Carving

year 10, Week 51, Day One (week 573) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-01-11 Saturday

65 degrees in the morning, 78 degrees in the afternoon, fast moving light puffs of clouds, lots of sunshine, good breeze. I over dressed so the breeze helped keep me comfortable for the most part. Early this week, we had some temperatures that up north would be near freezing. Nice that it warmed up. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

During the week

I got my invitation for the LIGHTHOUSE POINT YACHT CLUB ART SHOW.


I went down to Dania to visit the Dania Beach Water Gardens one last time before they closed. I showed my dress vases and my Christmas Cards. I got a goodbye hug. They were getting ready for one final New Year's Eve bash and did not have much time.

I stopped at the Antique shop to see what was going on. I showed him my stuff and he almost put my dress vases on the shelf, but I stopped him, telling him they were not finished. I gave him a card.
He gave me permission to take something he had in the shop as a Christmas gift. He followed me with a mop to clean up the drool. I found my tastes were expensive, anything of real interest was $175 and above.
One product he sells is spinners. These are large fabric Whirly gigs. I picked one out that I know I would like and Mom would like too. That was actually inexpensive if I purchased one and not hard on his pocket either. I had wanted to get one for Mom since I first saw one. and the one I left with was one kind he had not been selling.

I visited a friends house. I will be going there Monday, since I have the day off, and teach him some carving. I dropped off food since he went to culinary food.


I got an early start because it was new year's day and no one was doing yard sales. Next weekend should be full of them.
After feeding and petting the cats, I got my stuff out and got to work.

I sharpened my new turning bits, then finished a pencil cup I started last week, using the new tools. They were pretty good. I did use my bowl gouge a little inside, and my skew to clean up the outside.

Pencil cup with wood spirit hiding inside

I did see that the boring bar was just a little too small to get the leverage I needed.
Years ago, I was given an ash tool handle that was too big for anything I had. I ended up moving it from one place to another to store it.
Today, I remembered about the handle and figured it might work for the boring bar. I looked where I thought it was and decided it was deep at the back of the shed, which was one place it was stored once. A project I was working on caused me to find the handle in a place I never considered it would be. I was elated that I found it.
I used a spade bit the diameter of my boring bar, and extension that fit it, to bore the handle deep enough to hold the bar straight. I then drilled the handle from the side and added a set screw to hold the bar in place and straight. I have not tested it to see how it works, but I expect it to give me the leverage to keep the bar from twisting.

boring bar with handle.

One big project was to unload the lathe. I took off the head and tail stock, laid it on the side and got all the sawdust out.
Over the years, I have used plastic sheeting as a skirt around the lathe to reduce the sawdust getting onto the shelving. I decided I would try something different. I dug out some sheet stock I was positive would never be used for anything and attached it to the lathe on three sides. The back side was left open. it does not get too much sawdust in there and if it does, I do have plastic sheeting I can add.
Once I got the lathe stand boxed in, I emptied a cart I have used to hold things I am working with. With that cleaned, I had to load everything back up.
I made a change. I had removed all the PVC fittings and pipes I had on the lathe and put them back on again, tight. I also drilled some extra holes in the angled board I have for sawdust to slide down. I already had holes for an allen wrench set, a awl and a depth gauge. I added holes to hold my drive centers (have to add one more) and some other bits and pieces.
I have had scrap wood beneath the lathe and on the cart. I put all that wood beneath the lathe. The lathe needs weight to hold it down when I am working with pieces that are seriously out of balance. I have some weight lifting weights and bricks I also add to the bottom shelf of the lathe to keep it from bouncing too much.
I then loaded the cart with the tools I hid underneath the lathe all these years. I could not access the stuff easily so they were forgotten. I have a better view of what I have now.

Side of lathe I stand at, and back of lathe boxed in to reduce saw dust inside.

I assembled the spinner I got yesterday. It was easy to put together, but it had the problem where the tail touched the wings as they spun. A little string solved that. the winds in the yard itself swirled and was not strong enough to really get it going, but looks nice.

Pelican spinner.

Tomorrow, I plan to test out my boring bar with the handle to see if it will stand up to some hard work. I will change a few things around a little. I need to get started on the fairy carvings blanks I dug out last week.
I also need to get things together for my Monday carving session.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 51, Day two (week 572)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-02-11 Sunday

78 degrees, light breeze, good moving thin puffs, mostly sunny, a perfect day to be outside. Tired of the cold and snow, come down for a visit. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

I started by petting and feeding the cats. I figured out the way to please them the most. The backyard beast wants someone there, but does not want to be given attention at first. I give Scarface attention first. About the time his body language says he has had enough, I shift over to giving the backyard beast his attention as he is now ready. I get to give attention to two cats and they both "eat" it up.

One thing that comes with a chuck for the lathe, is what is called a worm screw. This is a special screw with deep threads, a square head with rounded corners. One drills a hole the diameter of the shaft, and then drive the screw in and it holds the wood really tight.
I decided to experiment by making a wooden holder for the worm screw. The way I was thinking of using this was to drive the worm screw into the wood. the chuck would hold that while I worked one side of the wood. I would then turn the piece around so the opened chuck would be against the wood, and the holder would fit over the head of the worm screw and also fit over the tail stock's live center (spins with the wood).
I drilled the wood to fit the flats of the wood and then worked the screw in, in stages, to fit nicely inside the hole. I took a piece of two by four and was trying to make a goblet bowl out of it. The first stage of making the outside of the bowl went pretty good. I then turned the piece around and tried to use my holder. I kept getting minor catches as I was trying to hollow out the inside and the piece would shift and wobble.
I did not make my piece fit over the tail stock but had the pin against the back of the piece of wood. I took a number of shortcuts on the setup and operation of the project. I could finish it with a strip sander and dremmel. I will try it again and maybe try to do it right for once....

I grabbed a piece of wood I thought was Black Olive, but is something else. It is hard. this piece of wood had some interesting pleats in it. I could have chosen either end as both had good design.
I decided where I wanted the centers, trued up the ends based on those centers on the band saw, and then started turning. I have another dress vase roughed out. this is rather interesting wood. I left the bark around the hem of the dress and because there are pleats, those areas of bark goes up the dress.
The end I chose to be the top, had a deep bark inclusion. I chose that to be the place for the arm holes to go through. It fit the design nicely.
I now have some grinding work to do. The way I make these is to turn a ring where the breast is. I then grind away everything that is not in front. The front then gets extra shaping along with the dress and the straps.
I have to make a design decision on this. I can have the two strap style dress I have done on my past two. There is the type where it is one strap that essentially starts on the right side, goes up over the left shoulder, and come back down to the right side in back. And then there is the type where it goes up in front and connects around the back of the neck leaving the entire back open. This is not the type of wood to do the strapless dress. that would be more for a major mistake.
I have a set of spade bits that has a hex end. I happened to notice I have a bunch of short extensions that can connect together and also fits the spade bits.
I have a chuck mounted on a taper that I can stick into the head stock or tail stock (after removing the live center). I mounted the chuck into the tail stock, put the spade bit into the chuck and drilled out the hole as deep as the chuck would let it. I then mounted the extensions and was able to go as deep as I had mentioned.
I decided I wanted it a little bigger diameter so I used my boring bar with the new square ended bit to make the hole just that much bigger at least near the top.
I drilled out the arm holes with my battery powered drill and a Forsner bit. the battery needed to be charged up some more. It almost did not have what it took to go out the other side of the wood.
This dress vase looks nice. so far.

front of Dress vase blank.

I gathered together stuff for tomorrow's carving session. I have far more than I will ever need, but some of it is showing off. Some of it was not making a decision.
I have never taught anybody to carve, so this will be a new experience. I am planning to start with doing a pencil head, and then will then decide whether to do bodies depending on how well he does and how much time we feel we will have. I have plenty of pieces to show off as examples. I have a few different kinds of projects to work with too.
I will be having him carve on white pine, since that is cheap, available, and easy to carve, though not as good as basswood.
Watch, I will forget everything.

A couple years ago, I took all the bottles of paint we had, which was a lot, and sorted them into three stacks. One stack was in my carving kit. Another was for work at home, and a third was to be available around mom's house. It has been several years and I decided that the paint stored for Mom's house will never be used. I gathered it up today and took it home. I plan to paint some more greeting cards and I tend to paint my stuff here at home, so here is the best place for them to be. Also, I just don't have some colors I need and I know it is in that set.

Not carving, but I am working on a washcloth designed to use up some yarn. I am working with four different colors. I found I really like the effect, and realize I don't have enough yarn to finish it. I happened to have two of the colors already, but had to stop today to get the other two colors to finish up the piece. This was supposed to be a gift, but it is likely not going to leave the house.

I will see what I happens tomorrow.

year 10, Week 51, Day two (week 572)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-03-11 Monday

I was indoors all day long and really did not notice what it was like outside. I think it was in the 70s, patchy clouds with blue sky, very light breeze. I do know that I have left my sliding glass door open the past few days since it has not gotten below the mid sixties.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Fort Lauderdale Department Of Tourism.

I spent the day with a friend of mine. He has a floor that is easy to sweep, so we decided to sit inside and carve.
I had given him a carving knife I made for Christmas and we sat there with our knives. I quickly figured out that he is not a carver, but he enjoyed learning how to use a knife. I carved a face vase, showing him how it was done, while he abused a piece of wood, taking it from square to round.
Most of the time we were talking, which was really the reason to be there. My friend he is staying with is not doing well and slept the entire time. I was there mainly as someone intelligent and interactive to talk to.
I carved a pencil head and made a couple shaving flowers, showed him some carvings I had done and discussed knife making. We then spent most of our time talking about our past and exchanging jokes. This was an excellent way to spend a day.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I made a blank for another baby dragon carving. I have one I already made to use as a pattern. I made a few cuts on that carving, and took a few shavings off two fairy carvings I had with me. Unless you knew where to look, one would never find evidence of anything on the two fairy carvings. I have to think about the changes a bit more.

baby dragon and blank.

Next week, I have a number of projects to work on. What I actually work on will be seen once I am there. I have two fairy carvings to work on, a baby dragon carving another block of wood marked with pen for another baby dragon carving, and I have a dress vase to carve details on. I also want to drill the two existing dress vases so they are as deep as they are supposed to be.
I also have a bunch of my old work that needs to be sanded and varnished to a new level of finish.

I have my art show on April 17th, and while that seems to be a long time, when you have time consuming work such as wood working, that is no time at all.

I will see what I actually do next week.

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