year 11, Week 16, Day One (week 590)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
85 degrees early morning, I forgot to check the high temps. Mostly and partly cloudy, with one pregnant cloud to the south in the afternoon leaving wet streets to drive on when I went home. A good wind blew light sawdust around and made things very comfortable. This weather report was brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
I brought my stuff to the antique shop. I took just about everything I had in turning.
He had taken over the store front next door and moved half his stuff over there. It made for easy walking and great looking. I drooled all over the place for stuff he had. One guy rented some space and had some tools I loved. some planes, some blacksmith tongs, cooking implements, and even an old time soldering iron where you stuck it in the fire to heat it up.
My table was in use. We decided to take a section of wall for my stuff. I laid out my stuff and it just looked junky. I decided to use two of the boxes to give some of my stuff separation. I came up with a pretty good display after some work. I also displayed nearly everything I brought. I could well have put it all out, but decided they were not needed.
My antique shop display
It was getting light when I got to my mom's house at 8:30. It was dark just a couple weeks ago.
We checked on two yard sales and neither were out. That gave me more time to work.
The cats wanted extra attention. Scar Face has been fighting again. He is in good shape but has some pin scabs everywhere. I assume he wins most of his fights.
The beast acted so much like a cat for much of the day. He did pat at me with closed claws when I did something he did not like, but basically wanted attention and got quite a bit.
I have a box of pieces that desperately need work. I took a Sea Grape bowl I made in 2004. It was thick and clunky. When I turned it, one part of the original under-bark wood surface still showed. One of the points for my tail stock has a ring with a sharp point in the center. I had a tiny hole near where the original center was so I put that center point into the hole. It was not exactly centered but that did not bother me.
I flattened the bottom, then reshaped the outside. I got rid of all but a tiny bit of that original surface and sanded the outside quite a bit. I still had some tool marks but really could not get rid of them.
I flipped the bowl around and worked the inside, reaching in with the tool next to the center which was now deep inside at the bottom. I cleaned up the inside and changed its shape to match the outside more. The bowl is not really much smaller than it was, but it feels and looks smaller. It is much nicer.
I filled some tiny shrinkage cracks and bark inclusions and then after that sanded the surface filler away. It needs hand sanding and then finishing. It looks a lot better.
What I am doing is fitting the chuck into the interior of the bowl, and simply using the pressure of the tail stock and friction of the chuck against the inside wood to hold the piece in place while I work. When I turned the piece around, I had a "foot" around the rim of the bottom and the bottom was inset. I opened the jaws of the chuck to apply outward pressure on that ridge to spin the piece, and then used the tail stock to push into the bottom of the bowl. Simple holding and pressure kept the work in place.
After I was finished, I used a grinder to remove the nub on the bottom and flatten the inside bottom so they were both flat.
The original bowl. Notice how thick the edge is. It was thicker inside.
Inside of the remade sea grape bowl
Bottom of remade sea grape bowl
During the week, I came up with a great design for a part holder for my milling machine operations on my little lathe. This was a holder to stop slippage for side to side motion. The design was essentially a cross shape, one part had two slot screws to hold it in place, and the other was a sliding piece that went across it. I figured a dovetail joint would work perfectly here.
The idea was that the two screws could be in the same T slot or separate slots. The arm would stick out and touch the work piece to prevent twisting or sliding, depending on where I put it.
I looked at my work and had some pieces I really did not want to cut up, partly because I did not want to take the time to cut them, and then there was the fact that I could use them for something else.
Looking at my pieces, I got the idea that I could use some metal disks, like washers, my brother created when he used a hole saw to cut some sheet metal. I could simply put a T nut through the hole and bolt it in place. It would simply add extra friction to prevent movement.
I needed some T bolts so I took a piece of rod bigger than I needed and set up the milling machine. I changed my design several times and worked out the best way to work. I did make several mistakes which I worked out after the fact. Every one of them can be easily solved.
I used the milling machine to cut the sides of the rod until they were narrow enough to fit into the T-slots. Before I had done anything, I should have used the lathe to find the center of both ends. One end had a bit of metal machined out of it and that created problems in getting it centered.
I milled the sides of the bar for a short length and but did not mill the end square which would have been a good idea too.
The machined end was useful in placing one of my clamps to hold it in place firmly. It just would have been nice to know where the center was first.
After I had the end machined for the T slot, I mounted it in the lathe (taking the motor off the upright shaft and placing it in the base) I could not quite get it centered on either end because my chuck is a three jaw chuck and the milled sides required it to be held in a four jaw chuck. I did not have the exact center of the other end so I had to guess. the piece was just not quite centered. I figured I could make adjustments in the end.
I started reducing the diameter of the bar. I have to do it in two steps. I did not have enough room to machine the entire length.
What I wanted to do is to reduce the diameter down to that of a standard nut, and then thread it over the entire length so I would have my own machined T bolt. Until this week, I never considered being able to make my own screws and nuts. I now know I can, but have to plan ahead a bit better.
I took the day easy beyond that. I have a large number of projects to work on but did not get to them.
My brother had fixed my FORDUM last week. the switch was mis-wired in the factory. The wires were supposed to cross and instead they twisted them so they did not cross. He got the wires right and it works great.
A FORDUM is a motor connected to a shaft. Dremmels have such shafts available, but the FORDUM is much more powerful. They also come with a foot switch where you can control the speed of the tool easily. It costs about four times that of the Dremmel.
I used it today and it worked perfectly. My dad used FORDUMS all the time. He has hooks along the workbench so you can hang the Fordum motor so it is out of the way. this is the first time I used the hooks since he died.
I stopped at ACE HARDWARE. I was looking for square headed nuts or square headed bolts. They had what are called SIDEWALK BOLTS. These are bolts that have like a one inch diameter slotted heads. I am thinking they are used to fill the screw holes that your shutters bolt into. That is a guess anyway.
I decided it would be much easier to machine those heads to fit my slots, than it was to make my own bolts. the bolts and a nut was cheap enough for an experiment.
A few weeks ago, I picked up a microwave at a yard sale, from a friend. Because the cord was about two feet too short, I plugged it into what looked like a very strong power strip. I found that when I ran it for longer than ten minutes, it would flip the strips breaker because it was heating it up. While I was at ace, I picked up a three foot cord designed for heavy appliances like air conditioning. I won't worry about this extension cord.
I am not sure what will be happening tomorrow. I have a large number of projects to do but will have to see what I am in the mood for. I do not know whether my brother will be coming up. What I do may change if he shows up or not.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
year 11, Week 16, Day Two (week 590)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
90 degrees, good breeze lots of patchy clouds with a good mix of sun and shade. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism, Florida's Warm Welcome.
On the way home yesterday, I picked up some "sidewalk bolts." I am not exactly sure what they are used for, but one guess is to fill in the screw holes used for hurricane shutters. These have really big heads with a slot all the way across and a Phillips socket in the very center. I have a need for some slot screws. Yesterday, I was making one by scratch and made a few planning errors. It was a good test of concepts. Yesterday, I was looking for square headed screws and nuts and the ACE HARDWARE did not have those. I saw the usefulness of the sidewalk screws so I picked up for of them.
Today, I mounted the sidewalk screw under the milling machine. I took time to get the screw lined up square and straight. I decided that the slot should be running corner to corner so there would be less chance of the piece splitting in the center of the slot.
I then sat and machined the sides of the head, measuring often, until I got the head the size of the slot. I then machined the top. It fought me tooth and nail going across the top. There was some fight when working on the sides, besides the fact that the bit kept slipping out of the chuck when I bore down hard.
I found out that there is a big difference in the cutting power of the bit as one comes across it. I was working with the piece left to right and back on bed. I would have the bit working in front or behind the bit as I worked. There was trailing and leading forces, along with side to side forces. When machining along the top, there was all sorts of movement, slop. Part of learning machining is to know the best direction to address the bit.
I wanted to slide the work in one of the T-slots once I got it to fit, but found the shaft a bit too long. It would interfere with the chuck of the lathe. I should have been using the drill chuck but the lathe chuck needed more force to come off than I was willing to give it at the time.
I flipped the piece over and eyeballed the square and machined the last side of the square head. I had to do some filing to get rid of burs to get it to fit. I decided to mount it in the machine as a lathe and thin down the piece by flattening the face. A bit more filing and the piece fits nicely in the T-slots.
I showed it to my brother and he said it was an excellent job. I need to make a bunch more of them and cut them at different lengths to match the work I will be doing.
I figured out that I could get the job faster by using the grinder to rough out the square, and then machine it to fit into the slot. I will be making more of these and speed is important. I spent a few hours making this square head. I would rather spend a few minutes to do the job instead.
What I loved about this project, in spite of the fact that It is my first finished project, is that I was able to figure out how to do it on my own.
The T-slot screw experiment.
First screw is the original sidewalk screw
The second is my finished T-slot screw
The third was the original T-slot screw I copied.
My toy cannon was taken to the Antique shop. I decided to make a new cannon for my grandnephew. I had used a tool handle for the barrel of the toy cannon I already made, and had cut it short. I took the remaining piece of barrel and used that for the new cannon. It ended up thinner than I ever planned. I wanted it big in diameter. Instead it somehow kept getting smaller and smaller.
Over the next few weeks, I should make the carriage for it. I will not get it done for his birthday next weekend. I could, but doubt it. It does need sanding as it is.
The new toy cannon barrel
My brother and I sat and talked, looked at books and magazines. I had picked up a 1954 Popular Mechanics encyclopedia. My brother kept showing me tools and projects they had there. A lot of their stuff will work today, though some parts, like a Ford Truck axle to make a tractor powered post hole digger might be a bit more difficult to do as they are not designed the same way, but much of the projects are "make do" and can be made even today.
Next week, I have the cannon to build. I have a face vase and another vase that is supposed to be carved into flowers to do. I have some ornaments from the past years that I should carve so I can get caught up on what I need. I have some wood that needs to be turned. I have a few pieces of work that I can clean up with little problem or effort. I have more of the flat head screws to make. I should be thinking about new ornaments, I could make more shaving flowers and more turned and carved flowers. I had decided that replacing the lathe box is lower on the priority list as it is holding up now. I saw a new design for a steady rest for the lathe and may make that design for practice.
I will have more ideas between now and then.
I have a birthday party Saturday afternoon so I will likely only work till noon.
I will have to see what happens next weekend.