Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 587 Woodworking

Art show flyer

year 11, Week 13, Day One (week 587) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-08-11 Friday

82 degrees when I arrived, 88 degrees around noon. No breeze early morning, and a breeze picked up before noon. Blue skies with some cotton puffs. None got in front of the sun, or they were too thin to make a difference. There were some state birds flying around when I first arrived. Our small mosquitoes have landing lights. The wet season has not started so they have not gotten bad. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. Florida's Warm Welcome (I saw a couple weeks ago that the City Of Pompano Beach made that their official slogan).

Because of the Art show next week, I decided I needed to come to Mom's house Friday since I had the day off. It was like any other weekend day, except the traffic was tougher.

My very first project this morning was to get my stuff to Mom's house. I took most of my carvings with me, but left the shaving flowers and empty boxes at home. I will take them with me tomorrow. The shaving flowers tangle with each other nicely so I wanted to take them where I had the room.

After feeding and petting the cats, I got my stuff in back. When I separated the boxes, I found I broke the stems of three of my carved flowers. I cut them flush, drilled them, and glued in a new skewer stem.

I sanded my first cannon and then gave it a spray of varnish. It does not meet my desires for what it was supposed to be. Maybe in a month or so, I will try a new one and try to make it a furniture quality cannon.
The toy cannon barrel had a little problem, so I re-mounted it in the lathe and fixed it. The cannon has five reinforcing bands around it, where I turned it thicker. The one on the muzzle end almost was not there. The sections between the bands were not all the same diameter. I cut down a couple sections and then sanded the whole thing. It is better.
I selected a board that will be the cannon carriage. It is three quarter thick pine, about six inches wide. It was well weathered. I sanded off the "silver" surface and the patina below has lots of colors. I will have to sand it some more, but it is going to be pretty wood. I will dig out the table saw tomorrow and start cutting pieces for this carriage. It will be a two wheel trailer. I am thinking it should look pretty good.

I showed my king and the fairy carving to someone else this morning and she mentioned about the turtle being cute. That was one person too many. I happen to have all my carvings with me and I found a carving I did in 2000, when I started carving, that was of a frog. It was marked Carving #11. Because of multiple piece carvings I was doing, I lost count of my carvings around carving 20. Anyway, I decided to make that my frog.
I cleaned it up with the grinder and a few other tools, fixing little flaws I had when I carved it the first time (Partly power carved originally). I then gave it a new paint job, painting over even the eyes.

Original frog carving, Carving number 11 in the year 2000

I then got an idea and made a crown on the lathe. I turned the outside so it was on an angle, and then used a parting tool to cut straight in on the inside, parallel to the outside, until I was past the outside bottom. I then parted it off so I had an angled ring. After a little touch-up on the sander, and with a grinding bit, I then cut in the points of the crown. I went a little too deep, and squeezed a bit too hard, and the crown collapsed. I went and made a second one, a bit taller.
The crown fits around the eyes which stick straight up from the top of the head. One point of the crown fits between the eyes and each eye looks through the valleys. It is cute.
I then ground the spaces between the points. I figured out how to do it more efficiently. With my first crown, I ground straight down, then cut the sloping sides separately. On this second crown, I had my grinder on an angle and cut down on one side to the bottom, the straightened up the other side. It was faster. After I got it right, I painted it yellow, then glued it in place. Once the glue set enough to hold it, I put in one dowel to fix it in place. I shaped the bottom to fit a little better around his head, and probably should have done that before I painted it.
I took some seed beads and drilled a pocket in each point of the crown and glued one in each point. the front has three beads. these represents jewels. I can say now, that there is no question this is a frog, or that it is a king. The frog is on the mushroom now so he can talk to the fairy.
A last minute thing I did was to make a name plate for the carving. I may re-make it tomorrow as I got some of the pith in the lettering. I had made a mistake, so I sanded it back quite a ways and the pith showed up. Not professional.

Last week I had picked up some sand paper for the disk sander. I put it on today. The sand paper I had on there decided not to come off easily. I tried to use my skew chisel to scrape it off while it was spinning and it flattened the edge. I then tipped it on the side and sanded the angles flat till I had a point again. I finally got all the glue off and then put the new sandpaper back on. I then noticed that the sparks from the chisel had put the sawdust on fire. I tried pressing it out and it was not going out, so I got some water and that took care of it. There are problems when using a wood sander for metal....

I made ice coffee last night and I took the pump pitcher with me filled with the coffee. When I got home, I had one cup left. That was better than what I normally drink. I am set up to do it again tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will likely re-make the name plate for the fairy and the frog, and peg it in place. I will also sign the base. I need to set up my table and test out how to display my work. it will give me an idea of what I have and how it is going to look. I will also see what I don't need to display. Most years, I seldom show off my ornaments. I might have room if we are using two tables for the display. That will depend on the weather next weekend.
I may turn something new, and do have the face vase to work on. I will likely cut the wood for the toy cannon. I should turn the wheels. I am half thinking of something with spokes. I would scroll saw the spaces between. The scale will dictate what all I will do.

King Frog and Fairy with new frog.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 11, Week 13, Day Two (week 587) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-09-11 Saturday

74 degrees when I got out back, 88 degrees when I left at noon, blue skies only marred by some ocean puffs early morning. A light breeze developed as the morning progressed. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. Florida's Warm welcome.

Yard sails were sparse and the couple I stopped at, had nothing I wanted.

After feeding and petting the beasts, I drug out all my boxes of stuff. I then had to figure out how to set up the tables for a three foot by eight foot mock-up. One table I have is three by three, the other is two by six, and they are different heights. I put the three by three on blocks so it was the same height, and then spanned the two by table with some wire racks and then laid a sheet of plywood on top. the plywood was four foot, so I put the excess wood on the back side, and then placed a two by two board to mark where the table ended.
Once that was done, I started unloading boxes. I stacked stuff on the table in any empty space. once the boxes were empty, I sorted my work by types. I dug out my shaving flowers and filled some vases with them. I then started pricing my pieces, and found that some of my signatures were fading, written by Stabillo. I re-signed quite a few.

I picked out some pieces that needed new finishes and a few needed sanding too. I had several flowers with broken stems, and a couple new flowers, so I added new stems to them, then gave them, especially the new flowers, a coat of varnish. A couple flowers, goblets that broke, really should be shaped, but that won't happen this month. I still have to work on pricing. I need to see if they are price according to their quality.
I have a special pricing system. I decide what one piece is worth, and then decide if I like the next piece more or less than the first. The more I like it, the higher the price. The less I like it, the lower the price. My thought is that if I really like the piece, I will be more than happy to take it home. If I don't care as much about the piece, I won't cry if it disappears.

The local Woodcrafts Store is closing Friday. I went there and nearly everything is 40% off. I picked up two router bits, normally $17.99 each, together was $22. One was a straight cutting bit, and the other was a dovetail bit. I will see if they have anything on Friday that is of interest before they shut the doors.

I found some pieces that need to be finished. While it would be nice to get them finished this weekend, it won't happen so they are going to sit until later.

I finally decided I was wore out and packed up the display. I will have to put all that stuff back out again to see what is not going on display. That will likely be next week as tomorrow, my main project is my carvings. I need to see what all I have and what condition they are in. Some may need repairs, others may be good enough. I will first set up the tables and then drag out all the carvings and see what I have. Like my wood turnings, it will be a bit of fun to see what I have.
I do know that I don't have a big supply of carvings. I more than expect to have room on the table once I get it all out.
Part of the project is to box everything up so they don't get damaged. I might take a moment and change boxes the turnings are in. I have a big box and can stack the turnings in there since they are not as fragile as the carvings are.

Turnings table shown from both ends of the table

I have a box of turnings that need work, or need completion. Many were early work that are just too thick. I do have a lot of carvings I started and abandoned. At most, the two of them would fill a quarter table.

I never got around to making the carriage for the canon. I was tired with all the time on my feet. If things go quickly tomorrow, I will dig out the table saw and cut the wood.
In my digging, I found the plywood for making a new box for the mini lathe. The box it is in has seen better days. It must have sat in water as the wood on the bottom is in horrible shape. I don't have to do anything with it right now as I had attached pegboard to make it stronger, but it would be nice to give it a brand new home. That will be an after art show project. I doubt I will work on the latest face vase until after the art show.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 13, Day Three (week 587) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-10-11 Sunday

74 early morning, 94 in afternoon as sun started sneaking under the awning. No breeze early morning, light breeze in the afternoon. Thin puffs of clouds sprinkled a blue sky and sunshine all day. It was a nice day even at these temperatures because there was no humidity. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism, Florida's Warm Welcome.

I had left most of my tools and equipment out yesterday so getting started today was faster and easier.
I started by setting up the tables, then setting out my carvings. I found I have made eight fairies. The two by the same blank, have the same body position, but don't look like sisters.
I see one thing after eleven years of wood working, is that two three foot by eight foot tables holds all my work nicely. That is sort of a surprise. I won't put all that out at the art show. I will allow more space between the work.
I had to repair a couple Christmas Ornaments. damage always happens. I need to do more large carvings like the fairies, but not fairies. looking at my stuff, I can see types of projects I should make more of, relief carvings, carving golf balls, humorous scenes, wood jewelry, etc. I only get eight hours of work time each weekend so there is a limit to what can be done with that little bit of time.
When dealing with one three foot by eight foot table, picking the carvings and turnings that are worthy of being on the table is tough as I have so much stuff. What I see now, I only have a table worth of carvings, and a table worth of turnings. I now have to figure out how I want to arrange my display. I don't have the room to do so at Mom's house so I will make a lot of those decisions next week.

Carvings table

I put all that stuff away, and then set up for when my brother would show up. I cut pieces for the carriage for the toy cannon I am making. I decided to use the bandsaw rather than dig out the table saw. It took a little more effort to get it straight. Before I left, I glued it together. I will add dowels to hold it together, and will do some corrections, leveling and filling. before I get to adding the barrel. I won't finish it next weekend. I also need to make wheels for it. I want to turn them out of thicker stock, coming in for the rim, and then scroll saw it so it has spokes. That will take some time to do.

Toy cannon will be a tralier

I picked up some wood router bits yesterday. Today, my brother and I did some testing. We had a jam that nicked the blade, but what little cutting we did showed that we can machine mild steel. We decided we should machine the shafts of the router bits so the lathe can hold it properly. The chuck I was using did not hold the bit quite tight enough. I have a drill chuck that can hold them if the shafts were smaller. I have some little fun projects to do that will make full use of the power of the little lathe. I have some planning to do for them. time is the number one need. I know someone who will be selling tools. I am going to put in an order for the router bits. We have a lot of routers anyway so getting a bunch of bits at less than store price would be nice.

We decided we need a few more T-bolts for our parts holder on the little metal lathe. We picked up some screws with the right thread. the problem was that they were hex head bolts. I took one bolt and ground the head to be thin enough to fit into the slot, but the nut was not big enough to keep the bolt from rotating. We took another nut and heated the head until it was read, and then flattened it to stretch it out the other direction. I then ground the head to the right thickness. It would hold, but if it turns slightly, it will come out. My brother is going to make a head for them, If I understand what he said he was gong to do.

I have next weekend to get things finished up and ready for display. I should go there Friday, but will have to see how things work out in my schedule.
I will do more work on the cannon, and might carve on the face vase that will be ready in a month or two. I have some machining projects in the work. I have some wood that is begging to be made into something. I can see the shape inside the pieces, but just don't have the time to get to them.
My big thing is my Art show Sunday. I wish I could afford to take Monday off, but I cannot. It is nice to have a day of rest. I have a series of "I'll be happy if I sell $_______ of my work. It starts with being happy to get my entry fee out of it and goes up from there. A really good art show is one where all you go home with is empty boxes, but that never happens.
I need to charge up a bunch of batteries so I can have power for work when I am at the art show. drills and dremmels are used many times during the day.

I will see what actually happens next week.

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