Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 575 Wood Working (year 11)

year 10, Week 01, Day One (week 575)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-15-11 Saturday

75 degrees in the afternoon, 64 when I arrived at nine, 56 early morning, blue skies with random wisps of puff clouds and a light breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

This is the 11th anniversary of my starting in wood working.
My dad was dared into learning carving by an art teacher he was with. For years, he would travel to carving conventions around the country each summer and then see the rest of the country with my mom. At the conventions, he learned carving from the masters.
Years later, he was asking me to start carving with him. At the time, I had no interest in carving. I would go up to their house and write, or work on buildings for my model railroad. one day, I realized that he was in his 80s and I did not want that "I wish I had said, I wish I had done," kind of thing.
On January 17th, 2000, I took one of his carving knives and a piece of wood and did my first carving. I remember that Dad had a problem of getting out of the square of the wood, afraid to remove the wrong wood. I dug in deep and created the top of a man. He was supposed to have a brim all the way around but it kept breaking, so It ended up like a baseball cap slightly askew, and I had given him a big nose so he looked like a French foreign legionnaire.
I kept track of the number of carvings I did until I got a couple hundred carvings (some really small) and lost track.
I have carved ever since, picked up wood turning in 2003, and am now adding carving to my wood turnings.
I never realized how good Dad was in his carvings until his last year or so. He had real talent. His training with the masters helped, but he was able to make a face that looked like someone. I never appreciated or saw that until the end of his life.

This week

I added beads, as belt buckles to my last two dress vases. Both of them have problems with the finish, mainly they needed a lot more sanding before I started varnishing them. The beads, pinned and glued in place, make for excellent buckles. One has jewels around it and the other is a decorative metal bead.

I spend one of my Christmas presents, a Sears gift card. I got sand paper for my disk sander, and a set of spade bits with hex ends.

my spade bit set

Later, I went to Constantines, a wood shop, and picked up a set if riflers. These are small rasps of several different shapes. I have had some projects where I would have loved to have these, though It would have been nicer if there were different "grits" on these tools.

My rifler set


After yard sailing, I went out and bothered the cats. Beggar was not in his best mood, but I remember when I wished he was this sweet and nice. when I do something he does not like, he will look at my hand, He used to shy back and swat!!! It is really something on how he had tamed over the past few years. I got my equipment out and had to pet the backyard beast again.

I had several projects I wanted to work on. I mounted the face vase on the lathe and made a new tenon, centering it the best I could. I then hollowed some and then broke the tenon. I replaced the tenon and then broke that one too. I decided to go with "plan B" and put the two inch spade bit in the lathe and worked it in as deep as needed.
I then took the "worm screw" and inserted that on the bottom, and tried turning with that I would start working and the piece would start to wobble as there just was not enough bite on the worm screw. I got a lot of wood out of the inside, though.
It then dawned on me that I would go deeper into the wood when I do my carving, so I left it at that, I will use other tools to finish hollowing it out when the time comes. The extra wood will reduce errors for now. If needed, I can shape the inside to fit the carving.
I marked in pencil where the features will go. I had to look at the knots to know what would work for each face and what would not. some were close and others were wide. I considered having each eye shared by two faces, having six faces instead of three, but decided against that this time.

I tackled the rain fairy. She is holding her hand out to check for rain. I added some detail to her top so it looks like she is dressed. I then selected a new piece of wood the same wood. I then shaped and carved a brand new head, bigger than the one I had on there. I changed the hair style, got her looking up the way she is supposed to be.
I then removed the old head and doweled the head to the body and added glue and filler so the new head will blend with the body. I turned the head so it is looking to the hand held out. Mom said this was the best female head I have ever done. I have not done well with female faces. This one is not good either. Old Men are easy in comparison.
This forces me to see how I am not as good as My dad.
This carving looks good now. I have to cut her off the block she was made from, and finish her pants. There are details I need to add to her clothing too. I did take advantage of the head not being on to get some clothing shaping in.

I took a few cuts on the other fairy, but set that to the side. She really needs something to entertain her and I will have to carve that first. I need to know if she is looking up or straight.

Tomorrow, I will work more on the rain fairy and may start on the face vase.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 01, Day Two (week 575)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-16-11 Sunday

56 degrees early morning, 70s all day long. Blue sky with puffs in the morning, they got closer together and heavier in the afternoon. Many looked pregnant, but nowhere near term. Light breeze all day was nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After bothering both cats, I got my stuff out. Beggar got plenty of attention. In the afternoon, after my brother was there, Scarface showed up and got fed again. We made some noise and he scampered away but came back for food. Beggar did not come when called. He will show up later after I left.

I decided I was going to make a mushroom, or a base, for one of my fairies. I took a piece of pine I had taken from a tree that was taken down. I chainsawed a length off, and then bandsawed a disk off A chunk came off the disk, I drew a circle around what was left and bandsawing it when it came apart again.
I will have to split that piece of log and turn it sideways. It is not useful because of cracks through it for turning on end. The piece would split apart.

Since I was at the lathe, I found a piece of orange that had a split of a branch and some excellent twists and turns in it. I trimmed the bottom so I could fit it on the lathe, and then cut it to the length, measuring with one of the other dress vases I made. I mounted it on the lathe and started shaping it. I got the shape where I wanted it, then drilled it out with the spade bits I got this week. I broke a bit extension in the process and dug out another one I had.
Spade bits have along point that digs leads it into the wood. When one is dealing with not going through the end, the spade bit limits how deep you can go because of the point.
I used the spade bit to do the holes for the arms. I measured, leveled lined up and still got it slightly on the wrong angle.
I ground off the ring I did for the breasts everywhere except for where it needed to be. I saw then that the front, based on a bit of bark at the breasts, was off center from the flat of the front of the dress. the back was way off line. It has basically become a walking dress. It is pretty good.
There was a crack running down one side of it. The design of the straps I planned was not going to work. I ended up drilling across the crack and slipping skewers to dowel it. I then worked glue into the crack and let it sit till next week when I can clean up the mess and continue with the design.

I finished carved my latest fairy's body. I had messed up on one hand so I built up the thumb with wood filler. I have to smooth it out a little, but I will be leaving the exposed skin bare wood.
I may make some changes later, but I am going to paint her for now. I brought her home and gave her a coat of wipe-on varnish to protect her, the glues and fillers.

The rain fairy. She is hanging onto a mushroom while checking to see if the rain stopped.

My brother gave me a drill extension I asked for. it works well. I can now use Forsner bits to go deep into my work. Forsner bits create flat bottoms.

Here is the drill extension My brother made for me
I forgot to mention that I had to repair two of my older fairies yesterday. The one holding a worm, the top part of the worm broke off. The butterfly of the one with the flowers had come off the wire and the wire came out. I replaced that with a skewer I painted green. It helps to fix the position exactly that the wire never really did.

My brother is making some wood toy trucks for my grand nephew. One problem we had was how to drill the axels. I have some three foot long drill bits. I drilled the wood on the lathe, the chuck holding the wood and the drill bit passing through the tail stock right into the wood all the way through. The toys he is making are MODEL T style. He has the first one done except for some dowels to make them stronger, some final details, and the wheels. It looks good already.
My dad made some wood toy trucks for my brother's kids. I got a few of them too. I have wanted to make some wood toys but have not had the opportunity to do so lately.

OOh!!! I just now realized that I could finish a cannon I had started ages ago. I could not drill the barrel deep enough. The only problem is digging through the shed to get it. Finding the book with the plans would be a challenge to find, but I remember the basic design. I will have to fix the finish of the outside as it was not well done at the time. My image was a cannon of highly polished wood. I will have to look for that and see if I still have it.

Thursday I have a Turning Club meeting. I will be showing off my dress vases. Of course, I will be taking pictures.
Next weekend, I have a dress vase to finish, another fairy to finish, the scenes for both fairies which will include mushrooms which I can turn. I have baby dragons to carve, and a face vase to carve.
I have a full weekend planned, and other projects could surface too.

I will see what else I will do next weekend.

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