year 11, Week 15, Day One (week 589) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-23-11 Saturday
78 degrees early morning, 90 in afternoon, some hazy blue sky, some patchy clouds, a brisk breeze to make it all nice and comfortable and to blow fine sawdust everywhere. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism, Florida's Warm Welcome.
Went to the turning club meeting. I had my little cannon and my Tababulia bark bowl. The members were pushing the limit on quality. My stuff was, by the best description, Rustic, compared to theirs. I also had pictures of my table displays.
One piece I really liked was really two pieces. The guy turned a piece that was open at both ends. He had two tall ribs around the outside. When done, he cut it in half length ways so he had two pieces. He then ground down the ribs so that there was feet on the bottom of the piece. He removed the ribs entirely on the first one he worked and realized he liked some ribs showing so he corrected it in the second piece. It was an excellent effect. It will be something I will have to try sometime.
They are going to have a club challenge in making tops. They demonstrated making tops, and had some very expensive tops also on display. One top was pierced, and the upper part opened up. Another was hollow and the upper part opened. One was wood burned with feathers all over it. A couple had a bunch of really tiny tops inside.
The demonstration was simple and easy and effectively showed the process of making tops. I should be able to make something.
With the challenge, they simply give people a ticket and they draw a ticket to find the winner. It is not a competition, but mainly a way to get people to make something they normally won't make.
Me holding my Tababulia bark bowl
Me holding the toy cannon
I had one main project in mind. I figured I would gain a lot out of doing this project.
My metal working lathe is designed to cut metal long ways, or across the bed, but to do angles, the head itself has to be turned. The problem with that is if you are working with a really long piece, one cannot reach the tail stock end. One also cannot hold the piece with the tail stock when one is working angles either.
My brother and I talked about making a tool rest that will move the cutting bit in and out, at whatever angle it might be. I started drawing up concepts of what the part would look like and after about eight attempts, I came up with a basic design.
Over the week, I worked out the process for doing the job, figuring out the steps to do each thing that needed to be done. I was excited.
Today, I got out the machine lathe and got it set up. I had to remove the motor from the base and put it on the milling stand so it works like a drill press.
A few weeks ago, I had cut some Orange tree wood into fairly square blocks. They were not exactly square.
The clamps used to hold the work are a bit of a challenge to use. It uses friction to keep the work in place. It is really designed for pieces less than an inch high and the wood I am working on was about two inches tall. I was using high bolts and had to make sure the chuck was not going to hit them. it was close. I have two chucks, one is like a drill would have and another is like used in wood turning. the drill style was too small to hold the router bit I was working with. I found out that it took some extra care to hold the bit in place. After about six times the bit started slipping out, I figured out how to make it hold.
starting setup for machining the block of wood
I flushed one face, which was end grain. I then worked down one side. I found a little problem. the wood was splitting out as I worked. I also got to a point and it would stop as if the wood got hard. After several attempts, It dawned on me that the chuck was hitting a tall bolt.
I machined the top, then flipped it over and machined the bottom, then used the disk sander to fix the ragged side.
I then took an existing tool holder to get a measurement for the slot I needed. I milled that in to the right depth and width. I then set the piece down upside down and started machining the inside. I miscalculated on part of it and changed my design as I worked. I was supposed to have a flange stick up on one end, but because the piece was too narrow, I left that off. Later, I glued a piece on as a replacement for the piece that would have been on there. I did not have enough material for that.
I dovetailed a slot on the bottom, and then decided to make my job easier and make the project stronger by machining one side straight, since it was up against a piece that stuck up high.
That piece done, I turned to the bottom. My choice on the dovetail made the bottom easier to make. I had less to fiddle with to get the angles right.
I did have some problems of the material rotating as I worked so my dovetail was not straight. When I tried to fit the two pieces together, I found I needed to do some filing and sanding to get them to slide across each other.
The two finished machined parts separated
Two machined parts mounted together.
After eight hours of work, I had pretty good results and it is a nice mock-up for the part I want to make. I need to drill some holes for screws. That might show that I will have to make the piece wider to give all the room I need. It is better to work this all out in wood than in metal which is more expensive and harder to work with.
The beast of the backyard was annoyed with me. He wanted me to sit there quietly and pet him, but instead I was using the machine and he always left when I turned that on.
Last week, I got home and found a wing had come off one of my fairies. I glued it back on today. It needs some touch up paint, but otherwise looks good.
Tomorrow, I will add dowels to the toy canon so it will be child proof and I can fix a couple things that bug me about it. I have a couple other pieces I need to work on, and if my brother comes up, I want him to look at my dremmels and see if he can figure out why they stopped working.
I have my FORDUM so I will be able to do some grinding and cutting and such. If the dremmels are toast, I might move all their bits and stuff to the Fordum box. I do have to fix the switch on it, I just remembered.
I will see what actually happens tomorrow.
year 11, Week 15, Day Two (week 589) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-24-11 Sunday
78 degrees when I arrived in the morning, 89 at the last time I looked. blue sky with patchy clouds. I never saw the sun dim so either they never crossed in front of the sun or they were too thin to make a difference. A good brisk breeze made the temps comfortable.
The difference between now and summer, is that in the summer, it is 85 at night, and second, the humidity is high in the summer, making it feel so much more hot. Right now, the earth has a chance to cool down some and takes time to heat up so while the air is hot it does not feel quite like it is hot (Those who live in air conditioning will feel it and suffer).
This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism, Florida's Warm welcome.
I took today as sort of a lazy day. I had a folding TV table that was missing a screw. I first had to search for a screw that was long enough to go through the necessary parts. I then had to search for one that would fit the imbedded screw. I could not find any, but had a screw with a nut. I tried to drill out the thread and the imbedded nut came out. I put in the screw and tightened the nut. I tried closing the thing and found the long bolt was in the way. I saw that the nut was not in the way. I took a hacksaw, and stood there cutting the piece off. My Dremmels were not working and a little motor tool I had, had no guts. to cut it. That is now fixed.
I tried to drill some holes in the pieces I made yesterday. the drill broke one piece of wood rather than drill it. I glued the piece on twice. What I had was good enough to show how it was designed even though I never added the screw like I planned on adding.
I figured I would remove the wheels from my cannon, add decorative and strengthening dowels into the cannon, and fix the wheels. I found I could not get them off. My brother later told me that the end caps are of a type that does not come off. I found I bent the wheels and marred one wheel. I may touch it up during the week with a grinder.
I have a cart where my spare turning tools are piled. I emptied it out and separated the spare metal from the tools and sorted things. I found several items I had thought I lost. It had not been too long ago that I had sorted it.
What I had was rod stock I thought would go good for making tools, and some pipes and fittings that would be good for ferrules around tool handles. With the little lathe and milling machine, I am looking at that metal with a slightly different eye. It dawned on me that absolutely nothing is barred from me in designing and making tools as long as I can fit it into my machines.
I looked at the metal pieces my brother gave me and compared it to the wood tool holder pattern I made and saw that I would have to learn welding to make use of that stuff for that project.
My brother fixed my FORDUM. It only went backwards. It took some doing and searching for tools, but we found out that it was mis-wired in the factory. The wires are supposed to cross, left to right, right to left. What they did was twist the wires around each other so they ended up not actually crossing. Now I have forward and backwards. Dremmel tools that screw on will no longer unscrew themselves.
My battery powered dremmel and my electric dremmel are dead. I guess I killed the battery and my plug-in has had a long life. We decided not to deal with either one for now. My brother said that we have a lot of Dremmels laying around so building one from the parts would not be too big a problem. Since the Fordum is working, I am not in a big hurry. I will swap out the tool boxes so I have all my favorite bits in one place.
I stopped at a box store looking for battery powered Dremmels and batteries but that one did not have it. I know each store has different selections. Maybe in a few weeks I will go to a store that I know has them.
I showed my brother the machining project I did yesterday. He was impressed and said that the design would work. I would have to make certain places thicker, but it would work. We discussed design differences we could do. He showed his design. Mine is flat while his is upright. He had me figure out how big the stock metal would have to be if I were to make mine. Mine would be two pieces of two inch by two inch by one inch stock. I probably should make something in metal from my stock just so I can see how it would be really like to work metal. I am already giving it some thought.
One rule of working with a lathe is that you check for wrenches and tightening bars before you turn a machine on. One of those flying can do damage, to the machine, to things around you or to yourself, and it is a royal bother to have to search for the or make new ones.
I forgot about one of the tightening bars for the chuck. It was still in the hole in the chuck. I flicked it on and heard the metal hit near one of the potted plants. I never found it. I then made a new bar since I had some rod the right diameter on hand. I was then working on a project and one of the rods disappeared. I made two more.
Without a dremmel and a cut-off disk, cutting metal is a bit time consuming. I used a hack saw and then broke one off half way. I did dig out a small motor tool, but it had no guts. It nibbled at the metal and I decided the hacksaw was likely faster.
I did not bother making a few extra bars. I later found the second one. I think it rolled through a hole inside the lathe box where I was working at the time, and then onto the table. I moved the box and found the rod.
One project I had yesterday was to figure out what thread that lathe used for the tools and parts. I figured out that it is metric. It is M-12, but has machine thread. The Ace Hardware I went to did not have machine thread that big. My brother wants to make a part for the lathe and wants it to screw on.
Of future projects I want to work on, I want to make the tool holder like the wood one I made. I want to make a taper that will fit into the shaft of the lathe. There are some tools and parts that can be made to slip on to work. I cannot do threads yet.
I have to make a replacement box for the lathe. I figured out that I will make the box closed up, top, bottom and sides, then saw the lid off. The box I have now has a metal plate to hold the lip in place and piano hinges on the back. otherwise the top and bottom just meet.
I want to make a steady rest for my big lathe. when working with long projects, it is nice to have something to hold a piece steady. I have a number of designs I can do.
I need to start working on Christmas ornaments. I have ones I made over the past few years that I am short on, and need to come up with some new ones for this year. Now is the best time to start.
I want to make a tiny toy cannon to match the trucks and cars that my brother is making for his grandson.
we have a club challenge next month so I want to make a few tops for the challenge.
that is a good start for now.
I will be returning a bunch of my work off at the antique shop I have my stuff on display at. Beyond that, I will have to see what comes to mind between now and then, and see what is the most exciting project to work on. I do have a family get-together.
I will see what I will do next weekend.