year 10, Week 52, Day One (week 574) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-08-11 Saturday
75 degrees, 64 at nine, blue sky with tiny wispy puffs here and there, nice breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department Of Tourism.
During the week
I finished another crochet wash cloth this week. This was my first attempt at four yarn crochet. It was not as good as I hoped, but much better than I expected. I have another wash cloth on the hook.
After breakfast we did some yard sailing. I picked up some game boy protective cases and some books that are for ideas for woodworking and crochet.
I fed and petted the cats before I thought about getting my stuff out.
I unloaded the car of all the carving stuff I had because of my Monday session of wood carving. I intended to empty it all out and re-sort it, but that never happened.
My first project was to mount the spade bit in the lathe with the drill chuck and drill the dress vases to a better depth. My spade bit is smaller than the Forsner bit I started with. I had to hold the vase with my hands and push it onto the drill as it cut away the wood. On the vase I made last week, it slipped out of my hand and thwacked my fingers. No damage. I turned the lathe off, remounted the vase and finished my drilling. My brother might be making a drill extension for me. If he does, I will take a Forsner bit to the inside of all three and clean up the insides. If not, I will go with what I already have.
I decided that some plastic tray baskets I had on the second shelf of my tool cart should be on top where it is easy to dig into them for stuff. emptied the cart in sections, emptied the baskets so I could sort them. I dug out a big wire basket out of the shed and stuck that on the bottom shelf and stuck all my wood face plates and unfinished platters in the basket. some bits of wood went into there too. this basket allowed me to hold more there.
I have several tool rests and they went onto the second shelf along with a pair of vices that we intended to bolt down onto the cart.
After I sorted the baskets I loaded them up and they are on top. they will allow stuff to be stuck on top and they will stay there. I did find a number of things I forgot I had or could not find.
I took a piece of Norfolk Island Pine I have left and started on making it a face vase. I got the basic shape of the face, the nose sticking out, the mouth and eye area set in. They are rings and hollows around the piece.
The fun part is deciding the eyes that will go to each face as some are close and some are far apart, some are lower than the others. That will be design work.
I started hollowing it when it started wobbling. I found out a bit later than the tenon I made on the bottom for the chuck to hang onto, broke right off. I will have to re-center the piece. I won't touch the outside as that is going to be carved anyway, but I know I won't get it exactly centered. Usually that does not make any difference as long as the wobble is not horrible.
I have my bit holders for the boring bar. A few weeks ago, I was shown where someone made a pipe into a turning tool. I wondered where I could find the right kind of pipe for that kind of work.
While emptying out the baskets, I found just the right kind of pipe. I was not sure where the hack saw was. I cut a short length from the piece of pipe I found and then cut the segment in half length way so I had two half circles.
I used some dremmel cutting disks and went through nearly a dozen of them in the process. I think a hack saw might have been better.
One half I set in the vice and squeezed it into a sharper curve. I then drilled holes in both of them.
I fitted the narrow one on a bit holder and sharpened it. I did not have the cutting edge right, but it did do some cutting. I found that it needed to be up against the boring bar itself to keep from turning so I took my bit holder in the grinder and ground away the shoulder. It was not pretty, but it did do the job. that was a test of concept there.
The concept of using pipe for a turning tool will work. there is a lot I would do differently, starting with a longer piece of pipe. I might leave the pipe un split so the whole thing has more strength. I would put the bit holder on the inside of the pipe and mount it upside down so the cutting edge would be closer to center.
I have some rod material and I might drill and tap a rod and use that to hold the pipe bit rather than my normal bit holders. It would fit in the pipe's curve better.
I will see if my brother comes up tomorrow, and if he brings his truck. He will have a way to cut the pipe better and I will test my concepts more.
I do love tool making
I took my strip sander and sanded on the dress vase I started last week. I remove the raised ring that will be the breast, from the back and sides of the vase. I have more there than will be needed, but when I do the final shaping, I will bring that into proportion.
I still have not decided on the strap design I want to use. Each has an advantage of design, and each has problems. I could go strap less, one strap, two straps or backless (strap around the back of the neck). I figure I will do what I have to do around the rest of the vase and then make my final decision.
Tomorrow, I want to do some carving. I have two fairies, a baby dragon, a face vase and a dress vase to carve.
I will play around with more tool making, and might also turn something just for fun. I would not cry if I started another dress vase.
I also need to sort my wood carving stuff again. My kit that goes in the truck needs to be complete now that I have located a bunch of the pieces for it.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
year 10, Week 52, Day Two (week 574) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-09-11 Sunday
74 degrees, 62 degrees early morning, blue sky, a few widely dispersed puffs more toward the horizon, gentle breeze, the sun felt good. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of tourism. If you don't like our weather, come and experience ours.
I fed and petted the cats. Scarface ate his fill and wandered away. The beast of the back yard pretended to be a cat and returned periodically to receive attention in the manner of a creature that thought it was a god.
It appears like I am about the only one who is not sick in my family. I dropped off my last two wash cloths to my Niece-in-law for her 8th anniversary and both she and my nephew are sick. My brother and sister in law are sick, and so is my mom. They seem to have different problems.
I played around with my new bits a bit more. they are made all wrong. I sharpened and shaped them more, and tested them. AS bad as they are made, they showed me the concept will work. I just have to cut the pipe differently.
I have a tap set and cannot figure out what I did with it. I was going to drill and tap a rod that fit my boring bar and use that to hold the bits. Since I could not find it, I used what I had.
Top and bottom of experimental turning bits
I remounted my face vase blank and got one end centered, but the other end was too far off. I was dealing with a rough interior on one end and mis-located the center of the end. I put a tenon on the centered end and when mounted in the chuck, it was way too far off. I will do it right next week.
The face vase. The knots are the eyes. the ring below them is the nose. Above them is the brow ridge.
I carved the newest dress vase. I call it the Monroe dress, as in Marilyn Monroe, who had a famous dress similar to this. While I was grinding on it, I was thinking that I really don't know what a dress really looks like and really have not studied the female form for carving. Somehow, I get the design to look right each time. I was then thinking about how I never was taught body form or three dimensional design. I simply started carving and got it right. If I had to explain it, I could not. Luckily, unless you are totally wrong, it will look acceptable because people are quite variable.
My Monroe dress vase front and side.
I am varnishing the dress vases now. I like to soak the pieces in wipe-on varnish so it gets into every crack and cranny, and gets deep into the wood. I will then use spray varnish to build up coats, sanding between some coats, until they are shiny.
I cashed a Sears Gift card and got some stick-on sand paper for my disk sander and some spade bits. This bit set has hex ends so they will fit into my extensions. I will be able to drill holes up to a large size. with my extensions, I can go as deep as I need. Now if My brother makes the Forsner bit extension I asked for, then that is something else. I do have something to work from anyway. I could never get to my dad's spade bits in the garage. Too much stuff in the way.
Next week, I will hollow out the face vase so I can start carving. I might cut the pipe I have and make new turning bits to play around with. I now have some idea of what I am doing and doing wrong.
I have loads of carving to do. Two fairies, a baby dragon or two, a face vase, some ornaments, just to name a few.
I will see what I actually do next weekend.