Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 581 Wood Working

Year 11, Week 07, Day One (week 581) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 02-26-11 Saturday

63 degrees early morning, 82 degrees as a high, blue sky, some clouds around noon but that cleared up, little breeze in the morning that picked up in the afternoon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.


A very good friend of mine, James T Duke, died on Monday. It was his birthday and he was 73 years old.
He was a professional sign painter and I took sign painting classes from him back in the 1980s. I lost touch with him for several years, and then he contacted me and we started getting together again. He had been treated for cancer caused by the solvents used in the paints, and was suffering the effect of lead poisoning as he used lead paint for decades.
I kept in touch with him after that, helping him through Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. When a friend I was visiting in the nursing home died, I shifted over to visiting him each week. As he started getting bad, I started visiting him twice a week. He had the son of an old friend who move in with him and took care of him to the end. I visited the day after he had died.
A few weeks back, I purchased a mini lathe and he gave me a bunch of tools. I wish I had spent more time with him, but second guessing is useless. I did what I could do at the time.


I started the process of applying Linseed oil on the cannon barrel. I took to pouring the oil inside the barrel as a reservoir, and then wetting a cloth and wiping the outside down. I would then stand it up so whatever was inside the barrel would soak in. It really make the wood stand out.

cannon wiped in linseed oil

I picked up some putty at the grocery store with the idea of making a mockup of a carving I want to do. 'the problem was that this stuff slumped at room temperature, becoming a puddle after about an hour. that did not solve my problem. I am not sure what I will do with it.


We went yard sailing after breakfast. I picked up a hand powered food processor made by Tupperware.

Tupperware food processor

roller blades

I did not need it but it was two bucks. I also picked up a pair of roller blades, also for two bucks. They were in bad shape. I am happy to get them as they are going to be a tool for the lathe, a STEADY REST. That is a set of wheels that are placed on a piece in the middle to hold it steady. There are times when you can place them on the end and not need the tail stock.
I removed the wheels from one of the roller blades. I will have to see what design steady rest I will make. I stopped at a friend's house on the way home and he showed me his design. It was not what I was thinking, and not one I would have thought of.

four jaw chuck I cleaned up

Last week, My brother took a rusted four jaw machinist chuck I got from Duke and heated it up with a torch. He had soaked it almost all week in a de-rusting solution he made. The de-rusting solution did not do the job. After he got the chuck fully hot, he dropped it into water, quenching it. this allowed us to disassemble the chuck.
Today I took the parts and cleaned them up, sanding on them, brushing them, working them. My brother showed up and gave me a bunch of stuff for the little lathe. He told me that the jaws had to slide through the guides with hand pressure. At the time I had to drive it through. I took a file and filed the guides and suddenly the jaws slid nicely. The screws that move the jaws had a little problem. I figured out that one had a bigger Allen Screw socket than the other three. To use this chuck, I have to use two Allan Wrenches. I got the chuck working sweetly.

To test the repaired chuck, I stuck a white pine two by two and marked the tail stock end with a bunch of off center dots. I centered the jaws of the chuck first, and turned both ends round. I then shifted the jaws off center, and moved the tail stock point off center. I then turned it. I did this about six times, essentially making a badly designed crank shaft. I was excited as that proved a concept of using the chuck to do offset turning. There are projects where offset turning is highly desired for specific effects. Now I can do it easily.

Off center experiment

I emptied the box the little lathe was in, cleaned it out a little and re-packed it. I then took some purple heart cuttings and decided to play around. This purple heart was cut off the end of the board so the grain goes across it rather than down the length. I mounted the piece in the lathe and machined off the corners of the piece. I had it basically round. I stopped with the bit against the wood. When I turned the lathe back on, the bit caught and broke the wood in several pieces.
I will say that machining something is very time consuming. You don't "horse" your way through the material. This lathe uses belts instead of gears to transfer power and is prone to slipping. I broke a fine rubber belt while working. It is known as a rooky mistake.
My brother came and gave me a "care package" for the lathe, bits of metal to work with, some milling bits, some turning bits. It adds to what can be done with the lathe.

machined and broken wood

I stopped on the way home and picked up some molding clay. I am making a king frog and need to make a model before I start cutting on the wood. I just made a frog, but used too much clay and did not have the robe and crown. I will make another one either later tonight or sometime tomorrow and make it right. I also picked up some bandsaw blades. the blades were more than I should have spent, but I am not sure where I will be able to get them after the local WOODCRAFTS closes.

I am thinking of starting over on the carriage for the cannon. I just don't feel it is as good as the cannon itself. It is not square and has some problems. If I do make a new carriage, I will use the table saw to get my cuts square. It will be a royal hassle to get the saw out of the garage but well worth getting quality cuts. I want this an art piece and I made too many mistakes for this piece to be artistic. It is more junky. I can use it for measurements, though.

I have loads of projects waiting for me to do and deciding which project takes precedence is the question. I really need to get to the stuff already in process.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 07, Day Two (week 581) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 02-27-11 Sunday

85 degrees, breeze enough to blow sawdust around, blue sky with some patchy clouds that disappeared. It conditions were exactly like this weekend all year long, at least on weekends, I would think I was in heaven.
It should be noted that the 85 degrees right now does not feel as warm as 85 degrees will feel in the summer. For one thing, there was no humidity to speak of. The air is not carrying a whole lot of heat within it. Everything not air is still cool, not heated up. In the summer, everything you touch is 85 degrees. The wind even feels warm. Today the wind was cool and felt good. Of course the humidity makes the air thick and that makes it feel even warmer.
This weather report about a perfect day was brought to you by the City Of Pompano B3each Department Of Tourism.

I got to Mom's house earlier than planned. I started by bothering the cats. Scarface is a sweety and likes attention, but has his limits. He eats his fill and walks off.
The beast of the back yard back-slid yesterday. I rubbed his head while he was not in the right position. as I pulled my hand back, he swatted me with a claw out. I got a light scratch out of it. Other than that one moment, he was a super sweety, not really interested in food, but really interested in attention. I gave him attention six times yesterday and four times today. He would eat just enough to justify him receiving attention, and then just relax and soak up my petting and rubbing him. If I was willing to sit there all day, he would likely have let me pet him the entire time.

I decided the carriage of my cannon was below par. It was nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be. I decided to start over. this time I dug out the table saw. It was buried by all sorts of storage and yard sale stuff in the garage. I unloaded it and then dragged it out into the drive way. I sliced the slightly rounded edges of the boards first, then measured and cut them to size. It took me a bit to remember how to cut things properly. the fence is your friend. I got them the same size by setting the fence to one piece and then cutting the second piece.
I did run into a problem. Not having used the saw in a long time and only limited usage then, I was cranking one of the wheels and saw it was on an angle rather than upright. I crouched down and figured out that I was turning the wrong one. I turned it to straighten it up and when it got near zero, the wheel disengaged. I ended up removing the wheel, seeing that the plastic that was supposed to key into the flat of the shaft was stripped. I drilled a hole and stuck a screw in. I tightened the screw once I had the wheel on and that cured that problem. I was able to get the saw square, though I did do some cuts accidentally at five degrees and had to trim that. I had set the wood on end and they were tipping, which was how I found it.
Once I got the saw set up and worked out how I had to do things, I got the pieces for the carriage cut. The plans had a bottom on the carriage so I decided to do that too, which had me cut the braces differently.
I have to sand the surfaces. I cannot find the stick on sand paper for the disk sander. If I can find that, I will put some course grit sand paper on and clean up the pieces. I may have to go to "plan B" if I cannot find it.

New cannon carriage

I had a tool handle that was drilled out way to big. It was given to me. I decided I was going to make that into a cannon for my grandnephew. I showed it to my brother when done and he decided that my old carriage was too heavy for it. I broke the old carriage apart and my brother will use it for pieces and parts for his toy trucks. I can use them too.

toy cannon barrel

I have a flap sander for the drill. I have several. Flap sanders are pieces of sandpaper looped in strips on a shaft. when the shaft spins, the sand paper straightens out. You press them to the wood and they will bend on contact and then straighten out, getting into tight areas. I had one that was a size the dremmel could handle, but the shaft was too big. I dug out the little metal lathe and after some fiddling and some mistakes, I machined part of the shaft so the dremmel can hold it. Perfect. I have a flap sander that was a bit bigger, but decided to leave that shaft as it was as it was really too big for the dremmel. the dremmel goes way to fast for something that big.
It was great to be able to fix the shaft of that flap sander. All I really need is some raw material and I have a number of projects that the little lathe is perfect for. My big lathe could machine things, but holding the bits to metal is difficult and it is really impossible with my setup to get things straight and square.

machined flap sander.

My brother arrived and decided he wanted to mill something. He mounted the motor like a drill press and changed the bit holder to a hold down. He then milled a slot in a piece of metal. He had me do it and I made a few little mistakes like intending to tighten the chuck and turning it the wrong way. Once I got the bit at the right setting, I made a few mistakes on changing the height.
My brother then had me put the machine away, which was good as I saw the setup as I took it apart. I think I can now set up for milling. More projects appear in my mind as to what I can get done rather than buying them.
I found that if I am shown how to do something in machining, I can understand how to do it on my own. My brother showed me how to use the hold downs which now makes sense.
My brother took some measurements and will be making a vice that will fit on the machine to hold parts we are working on.

lathe in Milling machine configuration

Last night, I made two clay frogs and they looked like frogs. I planned on making one at Moms house and prepare a blank. I never got around to it. I did find a piece of wood that will be perfect for it. I likely will do the body and apply the legs separately. I will make a few more of them to get the design fixed in my mind.

clay frog pattern

I visited a friend on the way home and he showed me a different design of a steady rest. it is a simple design and could be easy to do. It does have problems as it requires good friction to stay in place. I have some designs in mind and will see what design I lock onto.

Next week, I will be going to the antique shop and check to see what is going on there. I will give him advance warning that I will be picking up my stuff next month for my art show.
I will work on my cannon, fairy scene, frog, face vase along with dozens of other projects I am looking at.

I will see what I actually do next week.

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