Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 603 Wood working

Year 11, Week 29, Day One (week 603) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-30-11 Saturday

90 degrees when I finally got outside, 96 degrees when I left. A good breeze that got better as the day wore on, moving sawdust around nicely. Blue skies with puffs and low towers, sunny all day long. Because of the wind, the humidity was passably low.

I painted linseed oil on the face vase and the wood soaked the oil up farther than I had hoped. I just started to soak the face vase in linseed oil and leave it at that. I am not bothering to have light areas and dark areas. I will go with the pretty wood.

We went yard sailing today...
I picked up a SUNBEAM stand mixer, with standard beaters and bread hooks for three bucks. Two commercially made quilts for five bucks, and a laptop with no charger for five bucks.

Patriotic quilt.

medallion quilt

five buck laptop.

I stopped to check on getting a universal charger and found that it uses one more powerful than common now. Most laptops now use 90 watt chargers, the most powerful he had was 120. On line it said that these use 150 watt chargers. I have one computer shop to check on. If I don't find a charger there, I will consider my options. One is to yard sale it, and the other is to pull the hard drive and put it into a laptop that I have that is not working. It will likely go into a yard sale as is.
I had picked up a hand mixer last week, but at this price, a mixer on a stand is something to grab. I just checked something. It comes off the base, and it has a thing on top to power accessories. I am going to have to do some on-line research as to what this machine can all use.
In late evening research on the mixer, I found that the shaft sticking up on the machine is a power take-off for a grinding attachment. I stuck a beater in there and turned the machine on and it spun.
I found out that the motor comes off the base so it can be used as a hand mixer also.
In my research for manuals for the machine, I found they are fairly expensive and free manuals set my anti-virus off as a phishing web site.

Mixer with dough hooks locked upright

Mixer in lower position. Note the shaft sticking up on top. that is a power take-off for a meat grinding attachment.

The beast of the back yard is acting like a cat. I spent about two hours combined, petting him or with him sleeping at my feet. I can basically pet him everywhere and he complains little.
Scarface was there this morning and he had been fighting again. I assume he wins most of his fights, but he has lots of pin scabs all over his neck, top of head and shoulders.

I finished the body of my crochet "oddball" bag. I decided I would use a button-loop closure system. I can make my own buttons.
Later in the day, I stitched up the corners of the crochet bag and also the center of the sides. I am not sure how I did it, but I found they curved and it did not stand up and stay square the way I intended. I have to remove all the stitching I did and do them over. I may let it flop, I will see.
I am thinking I need to find a box about the size of the bag and use that as a guide to get everything straight and square. I have made boxes out of sheet cardboard, which I have so if I got desperate, I could make a box to fit. better to find one, though.

Oddball bag with my seams stitched in. All sorts of errors that were not obvious when doing it

I selected a slash pine branch that looked good. One end had lots of bug trails in it, but the end I chose seemed good and it had a knot in it so that would add to the beauty of the first couple buttons.
I had the basic button made and took sandpaper to the back of the button and it broke apart. That wood went into the garbage. The tree had died a long time before it was cut down and bugs did a number on it. It had lots of checks in the wood. I ended up tossing the pieces of log I had. I did not realize this branch was also from that tree but it had the same nature as the logs.
I dug up a two by two piece of wood. It is a common lumber I keep forgetting the name of. I mounted it in the chuck which was able to clamp down directly on the square wood, not having to make a tenon. I then rounded part of the end, and then shaped my button, cutting behind the disk of the button until there was a shaft. I then shaped the disk and cut a series of rings into the face. I sanded and then drilled a hole into the side of the shaft for the thread. I then parted the button off. I made five buttons from the piece of wood I had cut. I figured five buttons will allow for a set to be left over if I gift these or sell them.

I talked to an out-of-town friend on the cell phone and she suggested that I make some barrel style buttons for loop and barrel buttons. I had a short piece of six inch log that was split in half. It had some checks in it and I had split it at the checks.
I took a hatchet and hammer and split it at a big check, then knocked off the corners of the pieces. I took one piece and mounted it in the lathe. I had a devil of a time trying to smooth out the piece. I kept getting bounces. I then made the wood even smaller in diameter. I ended up about twice the diameter of a pencil.
I used a pointed parting tool to cut in grooves, then tapered the first and third groove, of each set of three. After sanding, I drilled through the piece so thread could be run through it. the drill broke out the back in several pieces.
I finally parted them off at the bandsaw and touched the ends with the disk sander and the broken out part of the drill holes so there is a flat spot. I made five of these barrels.

Post buttons and barrel buttons.

While talking to my friend, I was looking at my lathe and one piece of Osage Orange caught my eye. It splits into two trunks and then is cut off. I decided I am making a dress vase out of it. It is going to be more like a flowing pantsuit.
It had a tenon on the "top" but I needed one on the bottom. the two halves make it rather interesting, but I made a tenon for the bottom. I mounted it into the chuck and then decided I had better pack it up.
I think I need to figure out how far I have to cut into the wood to round it at the waste. I really should drill it out first and work using that as my guide. A couple measurements should take care of getting the hole right.
I am not exactly sure what design top I will do. I have done two strap, one strap, no strap. around the neck with open back. I should examine the wood tomorrow and see if I can be imaginative by having sleeves or something like that. I am going to use the wood to tell me the design I need to have.

side one showing the split in the trunk well.

back side with less slit showing

I have loads of projects I can work on tomorrow. I can make buttons, the dress vase, I have tea pot to make a spout and handle, I have a vase I am supposed to carve flowers on, I will be bringing the goblets I made a couple weeks ago with me and need to clean them up for finishing. I have a number of Christmas ornaments to carve and a few figurines to carve. I would love to carve another dragon. I have all that Norfolk Island Pine and a piece of slab would make for a great adult dragon. So many projects!!!

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 29, Day Two (week 603) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-31-11 Sunday

95 degrees. light breeze that was just enough to scatter the lighter saw dust. Scattered puffs and feathers filled the sky all around but blue sky directly above. More clouds were over the everglades than anywhere else. The sun dimmed when a high shield passed, but the sky went blue again within an hour. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The cats met me at the door when I went out. I gave them plenty of food and attention. Over the day, the beast was rather irritated at him because I was working and ignoring him, and when I did sit down, I did not give him the attention he felt he truly deserved. He purrs a lot more than he used to I was running my hand from the top of his head, down the side, around to under his chin, down his chest and then down his side. I felt his purr with each stroke.

I dragged the lathe out and saw that the dress vase was still mounted to the lathe. I made sure it was tight and I shaped the top slightly, then put the drill into the tail stock and took a spade bit. I bored out the dress with a smaller bit, then mounted my largest spade bit in place and hollowed it out about a third of the way in.
One problem of the spade bits that it will tip and twist which can throw your hole slightly off center. A Forsner bit is a bit more resistant to such forces since it tends to cut all the way around because of the ring.
The larger bit was more centered than the first one since it did not have the center spike guiding it wrong. I used my bowl gouge to smooth the transition between the two sized holes. I did not go all the way through as I will be going fairly deep on the outside and need the room the smaller bore will give me.
While I was touching it up the grip on the end of the vase, it gave and wobbled all over the place. I stopped to correct it, which is never perfect, then it happened again. I decided to give up for now. I need to touch up the tenon to give the chuck a little better grip. I was too lazy to deal with that at the moment.

Dress vase with top worked.

I decided to make some more barrel buttons. I looked at various pieces of wood I could make it from. One piece of log had a short branch section on it. I was looking at that. It then dawned on me that I have some branches laying around. I had gathered several for carving. I was about to get one of the long pieces in the shed, then remembered I had some cut pieces in the work area. I cut a short section off a piece of branch and mounted it between centers on the lathe.
Norfolk island branches are rarely two inches in diameter including bark. They have to be really old branches to get that thick. The branches are flexible and brittle, designed to break off during high winds to save the tree. the top of the tree is soft and hollow and can break off if the wind is strong, but because it will bend, they tend to remain on the tree even if the rest of the branches are lost.
The branch piece I selected was about inch and a half with the bark. With it on the lathe, I sliced off the bark. While evening it out, I realized I have a bowl gouge I have not used more than twice since I got it.

Wood turners use different grinds on their bowl gouges. each has different effects, strengths and weaknesses. I use what is called a classic or standard grind, where the bowl gouge is rotated all the way around on the grinder. The circumference of the tip has the same angle.
I use this grind simply because it is very easy for me to make. I simply set the tool against the grind stone and spin it back and forth. It is also very controllable when cutting as it is not very aggressive.
One really popular grind is the FINGERNAIL GRIND. The sides of the end is cut flat on each side, then the part between them is rounded to meet the two flat sides. There are variations of this, but this is the main design of the grind. It is aggressive, removing wood fast. It is much more difficult to form properly and evenly.
The new bowl gouge has a fingernail grind on it and I figured I would change it to a standard grind.
I have had several good catches with the tool so I held off using it, even though the two bowl gouges I am using is getting near the time they will have to be retired as I have sharpened them so much I ground off several inches of the shaft. when learning to grind, one has to re-grind to correct mistakes.
I decided I needed to learn to use that fingernail grind and grabbed the gouge and got to work. I set the sharpening stone flat on each wing and gave it a few strokes. The grinder causes a slight cove so the stone touches just the edge and heal of the surface, making it very sharp fast.

Bowl gouges note the flat sides of the finger nail gouge on top, while the continuous taper on the standard grind below. Also note how short the flute, the groove down the center, is on the shaft below.

Because of the slight shape of the stick and the way I centered the wood, there was a spot that was set in slightly once I rounded the rest of the wood. The flat of the gouge sheered the wood nicely and I got it round all the way down. I then made a few other adjustments. I stopped the lathe and took out the rule and marked on the wood, dividing it into thirds. I used a pointed parting tool to turn a groove at each of those marks. I then turned the lathe off and divided the spaces in thirds and cut in more grooves.
My pointed parting took can also be used as a skew, using the point to cut. It is only good on small things. I sheered the side thirds of each section on an angle, going smaller on the ends, making barrels. I amplified the grooves, going a lot deeper into the end grooves of each barrel and then sanded them really well, I removed the piece and separated the barrels in the band saw, then disk sanded their ends.
The second set I made, I did not have to do as much sheering to get it even, These barrels are much bigger than the first set. I made two sets of three barrels.

Barrel buttons. I think I will use eye hooks for these

I had brought my goblets from a couple weeks ago back with me. I corrected some of the pieces, the Sea Grape goblet bowl had broke on me last time so I carefully mounted it into the lathe and shaved the surface to get rid of any problems. I could not quite figure out the best way to mount it on the lathe so I could work on the inside, so I used the dremmel with a grinding bit to touch up the inside. I drilled the bowl and the Norfolk stem I made for it and glued the stem and bowl together with a skewer through the drill hole. I set that to the side to dry.

Sea grape bowl, Norfolk base.

On the Norfolk Branch bowl, where I have bits o branches sticking out, I mounted it in the lathe and was spinning it, sanding the inside. It had a slight wobble. I started correcting the inside of the piece and the stem broke. I should run a dowel all the way through it to reinforce it. After it glued for a while, I took the dremmel and ground the inside to correct the shape inside. It is not perfect but good enough. This is a decorative goblet, not really something that should be used.

Norfolk island pine goblet with branches

I had another goblet in Norfolk. this one was made more normally. I had run a dowel through the pith. there is a spot where the pith came to the surface of the stem and so did the dowel. I mounted that in the lathe and learned that the stem has a curve to it. I ran the lathe slowly and sanded outside of the bowl. I really needed to correct the inside but that needed to be with the dremmel. There is a ridge part way down. the thin part is very thin. I mainly need to remove the edge of the transition. The wobble of the bowl because of the bent stem made that impossible to correct on the lathe. I need to use the grinding bit to do that. I sanded the piece all over. I never sand enough, but it is looking better.

I had a cut-off of Norfolk that had the bark still on it. the bark, when went is thick. when it dries, the bark thins out. In this case, the bark separated from the wood as the outer bark was stronger. I found I could slip the bark off and it was strong enough to not break. I took the wood that was from the inside and made it a thin disk which became a new bottom. the piece is wider on the top than the bottom. I almost made a mistake of going too small on the piece to be the bottom. It wanted to slip out the bottom. I made it so it sticks down below the bark with a rim around the bottom. After it was well glued on, I mounted it on the lathe just hanging onto the rim on the bottom and I touched up the top and a light sanding on the inside. It is a useless piece but looks interesting.

bark cup. the base is wood the cup itself is just bark

Yesterday I had stitched the corners of the Odd Ball bag I made. I found all sorts of errors in my stitching. Today I pulled it all out. I am giving some thought on what I should do for the shape. I am going to start working on the handle and decide how to do the shaping later.
The yarn I removed had basically untwisted itself, so I tied the lengths together with another bit of the yarn, stuck one end into the vice and the other in the chuck of my drill. I pulled it straight and stood there spinning it. this was about thirty feet of yarn. It took some time to spin enough to get the kind of wrapping I was after. I made it far more twisted than one would get from the store. It will untwist some when I work with it. When I let the tension off and let it fall to the ground, it started coiling together. I wound it into a ball and put it away. since I combined two bits of yarn, it made one nice long bit of yarn to work with. There are knots in it but for the oddball work I am doing right now, that is not a problem.

Oddball bag upside down with no stitches in corners (actually shot before I added and then removed the corner stitches).

I am going to the Antique shop next Friday. I will check on what is going on down there.
For the weekend, I do have a number of projects to work on. it will mostly depend on what mood I am in when I get to work. I have loads of wood to use up, lots of half done projects to finish, new projects in mind. I have not used the metal lathe in over a month and have some projects there too. New projects appear all the time.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Did You Write? July 25, 2011

Did You Write? July 25, 2011

Got the date right this time!

This note is a prompt to get people to write with more regularity than they normally would. The idea is that you post here and tell about what is going on in your life. You also tell about your writing accomplishments or lack thereof. Next week, you will see this note coming and realize "I have not written yet!" You don't want to say that you fluffed off, so you open something, any thing, just so you can say you wrote.

How much is done does not matter. Word count is wonderful to rack up, but there are times where you might actually go backwards and possibly even on purpose such as to fit into a publication or to correct a horrible plot line. Fixing one word can be called writing, if it is the right word.

What you write is unimportant. New writing is writing. Editing is also writing, even if it is the work of others. Critiquing is also writing. Poetry, technical writing, writing assignments, articles, blogging, world or character creation are all writing. so is E-mails if it is wordy and pertains to story or writing. In essence, if you have to ask if it is writing, the answer is always yes.

As for me, I did horrible. One page #@&^*!!! I added a page and that was a good start on a great idea. Everything I would start to do would take me to bedtime. Really frustrating. This is a fun story and I am just plotting the piece out. I figure when I actually finish writing it, it will be double the length. I might have a maximum of five scenes to plot out before I can get to serious writing.

I did get some ideas, but used up my new ones. I have 33 story ideas in my compost pile. I never like digging deep into the pile. I do have the option of going back through the years of these notes and developing a bit more the ideas I had used as an example and call it a story idea. Since most concern my hobbies, they don't offer much variety.

As for me, I can honestly say,



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 602 Woodworking

Year 11, Week 28, Day One (week 602) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-23-11 Saturday

89 degrees early morning and 95 degrees in the afternoon. A bit of liquid sunshine when I was about to go outside first thing, but that was gone after five minutes. Sunny, blue sky above, puffs closer to the Everglades. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of tourism.


I took my torch to work so I could have it for when I went to the Turning Club Meeting. At work someone said it looked like a cartoon paint brush. I saw what they were talking about. It looked like the bristles of a brush, rather than a flame. Of course it also looked like a torch too.
I took it to the turning club meeting. I got several good reviews about it. One person asked what I brought and I said the torch. they said that was impressive. Big head happy...

closeup of torch - or cartoon paint brush.

They were showing examples of goblets. he had several that were extremely tiny, thimble sized, one that had was about a foot tall and had a stem thinner than a skewer.

The demonstration was on making goblets. He showed how HE DOES IT, which is not the only way. One thing I found out is that my tools are not sharp enough. I use a different grind on my bowl gouges. I have one with that ground but don't use it much.
He showed a finishing method that was interesting. He is extremely good with his tool work which gives him a better finish from the start.

One trick I saw was that he jammed paper towels into the bowl of the goblet and then stuck the tail stock into the paper before he started on his stem. This eliminated wobble when he got thin.

someone else had a goblet with a natural stick as the stem. It was made out of one piece of wood, a burl the goblet itself was made from and a second one that became the base. He said that he made a box for it to fit into with the bowl sticking out. He only had to do some filing to make the match to the stick it was attached to.

The work on display was impressive. Every time I go there, I bring my best work and am disappointed at how much better other people's work is. I have to work on the finish.

A picture of me with the torch. Yes, I gained ten pounds this year.

Someone brought in some thin sheets of South American Ash. I guess he was using it as siding or something. They are nice thin sheets. We were waiting for someone with the key to arrive. I looked at the sheets and said, "Scroll saw material." He handed them to me and said, "I am not even taking them in." We can do a lot with that stuff. It will just depend on who gets to it first.

South American Ash sheets. Will likely use them for scroll sawing.

I got tired of the yellow of my teddy bear dress and decided to re-do it in tan. I am in my fifth attempt of getting the stitch right. I think this will be the last attempt as it looks like everything will line up to blend fairly well. It is a learning experience. Luckily, I had found the end of the yellow yarn I had used and I don't have too much bother in undoing things if it will make a big difference.
I am making headway on my Odd Ball bag. when I ran across a long ball of yarn, I have cut it after a couple times around. I am half way in the second half of the bag. Once this is done the bag will be as big as it needs to be. Then I can work on the closure system and a handle. I could make my own buttons to fit on it. I will have to see what I come up with when I get to that point.


I forgot to get a picture of the thread cutter. It also has a needle threader on it. I am looking at possibly making them out of wood. The hook is a tiny metal one i also got last week.

The City Of Pompano Beach had the second weekend of the tree give-aways.
Last year, Mom got a Red Maple and it has gone into the ground. she was going to get a second one in case she killed the first one when she uprooted it, but she changed her mind once she got into the place.
Mom got a third Red Crape Myrtle (she thinks)

Crape Myrtle

and a Tropical tree I cannot remember. The name started with a B and the leaves are filled with a whole bunch of little leaflets and when the leaves are messed with, they close up. There was a large one in the parking lot and we liked the look of it. It is so tropical.

Don't remember the name of this tree. The leaves close when touched.

Mom found out that they purchase seedlings and raise and care for them until they are big enough to give away.

We stopped at a couple yard sales today. At one, I picked up a hand mixer. The plastic switch on mine came apart, otherwise it works. I have some crank beaters but I found at least one operation they were not good at. This one was cheap so I thought it was a good thing to get. I have a dead battery powered mixer with five different specialty beaters. I found out that they fit this machine, that is great. It allows me more options.

Mixer I got for three bucks as I got it.

Mixer with other beaters from another machine that also fits.

The second thing I got was ANCIENT INVENTIONS By Peter James and Nick Thorpe. Including the index, it is 672 pages. It is not as detailed as I hoped, but is interesting. I only looked at pictures and captions so far but will go into more detail on going through it.

Book I also got at a yard sale.

I finally got outside to work. I got the grinding tools out and set up. I decided I was going to finish the face vase I started months and months ago. This is a Norfolk Island Pine vase with three faces on it, the knots around it are the eyes. When I turned it, I roughed out the shape of the faces, creating a ridge where the nose was, going in with a few ripples for the mouth, coming out slightly for the chin. I had the forehead part out as wide as I could.
I then decided which pairs of knots would make the best faces. Between those knots, I left the nose, and ground back everything between the noses.
Once the main part of the face was ground back, I shaped the facial features. One face is bare faced, one has a mustache, and one has a beard and mustache. I tried to make them look different ages. the bare faced is young, with the narrowest chin, the bearded one is the oldest with the widest chin. I did not carve in wrinkles, though. I decided it was not worth the effort this time.
Today, I finished the last faces, and then sanded everything. I re-hollowed the inside now that I knew how thin I could go and cut down on the forehead. I also trimmed the bottom so it is clean. I have a couple holes to fill, but will do that a bit later. I need to find out the final color of the vase before I get to that.
I showed it to mom and she looked it over carefully. She said it was better than anything I had done so far. I do admit it is good. I know what I was after and it missed.
I will try something new when it comes to finishing. I am going to paint it with Linseed Oil. Linseed oil darkens the wood and brings out colors that do not show when simply varnished. I am going to try to make some areas lighter than others. I know from tests that the linseed oil will bleed into other areas. I am going to see how this works, see if it comes out anything like I hope. If it fails, not giving me the contrast I am after, I will just soak the whole thing. It is worth the experiment.

Middle aged face and side view. I remembered to carve in the mustache after I took this picture.

Old face and side

young face and side

Looking inside the face vase.

I spent a lot of time petting the purr of the back yard who was beasting, I mean petting the beast of the back yard who was purring. I remember when I first started taming him. He would let me pet him six times before he would swat at me with full claws. Now he lets me pet him everywhere. One problem with teaching a beast to be petted, is that they start insisting that you do it.

Beast of the back yard has me trapped while he sleeps.

Eye level with curly tail

Tomorrow, I have no idea what I will work on. I know my brother will not be coming up. he is on the other side of the state as his son has a concert. He has a heavy metal band and they are better than anything they have battle of the band matches with. My brother is seeing the concert tonight, stay over the night, and then come home tomorrow afternoon.

I have lots of wood, lots of partly worked projects, and lots of projects I really need to get onto. I just have to see what is exciting to me when I get there. Getting the face vase done was a big thing. I did not expect it to be that easy. I figured I had a lot more grinding to get it to look good. It took less than expected. I have a vase I want to carve that will have flowers all over it. I have not decided exactly how I want to do that. I have a tea pot I need to finish. I have a box of stuff that either needs work or needs finishing or is partly started.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 28, Day Two (week 602) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-24-11 Sunday

93 degrees, a few thin sprinkles very early morning to the south, blue skies, thin puffs moving through, heavier puffs to the west over the Everglades, lots of sun with only minor blockages by the puffs. A nice breeze that was light early morning but late morning was quite strong. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I started the morning, after petting the beast, digging out a block of Sea grape. It had a bowl inside it, I just had to get to it. This piece was at all angles. I measured, and re-measured, and measured again. I then decided to save myself some effort by eliminating some of the angles. By removing unnecessary wood, I ended up with a piece of wood that was half the size of the big block, with loads of chunks that might not be usable. I tried. I worked it in three sessions, taking breaks in between.
I had already selected the surface everything would be square and parallel to. I drew the square and then trimmed off some wood that stuck out. I then trimmed the other surface which was on a sharp angle. Finally, I nipped off the corners so I had less wood to remove on the lathe.
It did not feel that hot, but my shirt got wet and the sawdust stuck to it like glue. It was only after I sat in the shade and cooled down a little that I could remove the dust from my shirt. I made myself heat tolerant just because of this kind of weather. If I was not, I would never be able to do wood working during the summer.

Sea grape bowl showing shrinkage cracks.

The bowl took all my time today, especially since I left early. I will have to use my knife to clean up some shrinkage cracks and then add inlay into them. The bowl is heavier than it really should be, but it looks pretty good. As it was spinning, it moved because of the shrinkage cracks and I was not really interested in it coming apart so I left it thicker than it needed to be.

I started painting linseed oil on the face vase. I am not quite sure if this is going to work. I will continue to add controlled coats and see how the wood reacts. I may just soak it and get it over with. but will do this painting for a short while anyway to see the effect.
The dry wood looks white and when varnished remains light. Linseed oil brings out all the colors within the wood of Norfolk Island Pine and makes it translucent. When made thin, it is common to make lamp shades with Norfolk where the light will come through the oiled wood. It is dark, but passes through.

I have no idea what I will be working on next weekend. I want to go to the Antique Shop but because of work, I might have to wait until the following week. I have loads of wood and loads of projects. I just have to see what will excite me when I get to Mom's house.

I will see what I actually will work on next week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 Did You Write?

July 18, 2011 Did You Write?

I am running really late so have to make this a short post.
This note is an attempt to entice those of us who write only occasionally, to write regularly. The way it is supposed to work is that you post here, whether you write or not, telling about what is going on in your life. You will feel guilty about saying that you did not write, so the next week, you will open some work in progress so you can report positively. Keep doing that every week and you end up with a good habit of writing every week.

The rules of writing is that if you have to ask if it is writing, the answer is always yes. We don't care how much is written as long as the work is opened up.

As for me, I added ONLY 4 pages to my Waxy Dragon 4 story. Time got in the way. This weekend, my writing partner suggested something that would help the story and thinking about what she said, I came up with a cute solution. I just checked with her and it is a go. The only thing I have to do is to solve the details. I think it will be fun to write about.

I had gone the past couple weeks without coming up with more than a couple story ideas. I have had to dig deeply into the compost pile for something to post. While there were a few gems, several stank as one would expect when one pulls something from a compost pile.
Sunday, in a half hour period, I came up with five story ideas! that is always a heady experience. I end up with a compost pile of 35 story ideas in the pile. The top four are fresh.

I am trying to crochet a pig toy. I am starting at the nose and it I cannot seem to get it flat. The way to look at this, is someone trying to create a new creature, possibly from the genetic level, that cannot get the details right on the first step for the whole thing to come out right. Once this first part gets going good, the rest of the creation will flow from there.

As to the question of the week,
I can honestly say,



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 601 wood working

Year 11, Week 27, Day One (week 601) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-16-11 Saturday

90 degrees at nine, 96 degrees in the afternoon, air thick in the morning, drying out as the wind picked up in the afternoon. Blue skies with thin feathers up high, puffs on the horizon over the everglades, getting taller as the day wore on. sunny all day long.
This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I had started working on a Stuffy, a stuffed animal. I was simply working in the round. After I had made a tube a given length, I decided to make this a head of something, the tube the muzzle. I was working it closed and stuffed it with fiber-fill, when I realized that some little errors showed big. I set some button eyes on it and took some pictures, then pulled it completely out. I will start over again with a smaller hook later.
Stuffy head with eyes set in place. This no longer exists.

I worked on my ODD BALL bag more. I got to a point where I decided will either be half way or a third of the way. I have a broad green band at that point. I will double the height and decide if it needs to be taller for the kind of bag and closure I am thinking of.

This is the Odd Ball bag. The bright green band that goes all the way around is half way.


Our city has a program where they start different kinds of trees and have residents, proven with their driver's licences, come and pick up two free trees. the idea is to fill the city with trees over the next years. They will have it also next weekend.
When going to the restaurant, Mom was saying she saw a red blossomed Crape Myrtle somewhere and was talking about buying a couple should they become available at any of the plant departments of the stores.
We went to the plant program this morning and Mom got all excited. they had the red Crape Myrtle, so she got two of them.
The city sort of expects people to plant the trees in the ground so they become big. Mom keeps hers in pots so they stay small and works hard to make sure they do not go into the ground. When they do, she hacks up the wayward roots and puts something between them and the ground. She has trees many years old that are not too much bigger than they were when she got them.

After I fed and petted the beast of the back yard and Scar face,

Beggar, The beast of the back yard, pretending to be a cat

I cut a piece of Sea Grape and started making a goblet. I had the bowl done. I had the stem of the goblet well made, thicker than I normally do but quite acceptable. I took some sandpaper to clean up the stem one more time and the bowl fell off. I picked up the bowl and saw that a natural crack in the wood gave.
All right.
I finished the base of the goblet and was parting it off when another chunk came off the base. I took it out of the chuck and tossed the base. I then mounted the bowl of the goblet into the chuck and shaved off the remains of the stem with the idea of this now becoming a flower. I just have to carve the petals in it. I told mom about that and she said to give it a different colored stem and base. I have ideas. I will let them stew until I get around to working on it again. I might carve it like a flower and add a base to it too. Will see.

Later, I took a piece of Norfolk Island Pine. It was a section with the branches sticking out yet. I decided I would leave them and the bark for something strange. I cut the end flat, then hollowed it out for the bowl of the goblet. I then started working on the stem. While I was parting it off below the base, the base broke, sliding up the stem. It later broke into several pieces.
I then found that there was a crack just below the bowl. I have glued it but it was not glued well. There are some gaps. I will figure out the best way to deal with that tomorrow. I might add inlay. I will have to see.

Branch goblet

I went to Home depot and got a bunch of cans of varnish. I needed some at Mom's house and at home. It did a good dent in the gift card I am carrying.

I stopped at Jo Ann's cloth world and after walking half the isles, I picked up two tiny metal crochet hooks and a sewing thread cutter. I am thinking of coming up with something that can be carried on planes and not be taken away. I am going to test the thread cutter and I might make something on that idea using wood instead of plastic to contain the blade. It is something to explore anyway. Wear it on a necklace or just have it in your bag and it should pass through security.

Tomorrow I have plenty of projects to work on and lots of wood to humiliate. It will really all depend on what project I happen to get excited about. Some projects really need to be done and have been looking at me for months.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 27, Day Two (week 601) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-17-11 Sunday

96 degrees, blue sky with feathers and cream real high, and puffs over the everglades that sometimes got kind of close during the day. Some towers developed late in the day. It was mostly sunny until towards noon when the feathers and cream got thick enough to block the sun. More towers developed over the Everglades and to the south. this weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Yesterday, I got some tiny metal hooks for a crochet project and a thread cutter/ needle threader for sewing. This is a thumbnail sized piece of plastic with a tiny blade in it. I am thinking that I can make these out of wood. I can take some razor blades and break or cut off little bits of it, and then take two slices of wood that I shaped and glue them together over the blade so the blade shows. I can sand them thin and have a thread cutter that could be used on the plane. I can make the wood in all sorts of great designs that people would love to get. One thing I like about this concept is that it would use small trimmings of wood for the whole project.

I got to Mom's house at my normal early time. After I fed and petted the beast of the back yard, I dragged out my lathe. I re-mounted a natural branch goblet I made yesterday where the stem broke. I got it spinning and sanded it. I then found that the break in the stem had not healed so I re-glued it and used the lathe to clamp it in line. I let it set for an hour or so. I later sanded it again.

I tried to fix the sea grape goblet that I broke the stem and base on. I made a new stem out of Bougainvillea, which appears fairly dry, and then was touching up the bottom of the goblet when there was a very slight catch which sent it flying. There were two pieces on the ground when it stopped. I glued the two parts together. I can see where my tool had ran up the goblet bowl with a pretty score. It is going to take some effort to hide that.

I took the goblets I made last week and sanded them while on the lathe. I got rid of some bothersome fibers on the sea grape inlay goblet. the Norfolk goblet is still a little green and does not want to sand properly.

I put some wipe-on varnish in a baggy and soaked the torch, and the three goblets a couple times. After the goblets set for a day or so, I will sand them some more since the varnish will lock the fibers in place.
The torch needs to be sanded and varnished as I need that for the turning club meeting this week.

Pieces with first coat of varnish - branch goblet, torch, Norfolk goblet, Sea Grape Inlay goblet

I took a piece of Norfolk branch and started carving a pixy. I decided to leave bark as the brim of the hat. I have it too thick, but will deal with that when I get it mostly carved. I can always make it thinner, but cannot make it thicker. I got a good start on the face but that was all the farther I wanted to go today.

the start of a Pixy on a Norfolk Island Pine Branch

I was just about cleaned up when my brother arrived. We ate and then sat and talked for a while. He was worn out from several jobs he did so he was not in the mood to do anything besides talk either.

I realized that the reason I have not worked on my face vase is that I had not wanted to get as gritty as the grinding would get me. I have to try to get over that if I am to finish that project. I have a couple other projects that will also get me messy like this.

I have a turning club meeting Thursday. All I have to bring is my torch. My goblets are for next month. That will be good as it will take me that long to get them ready.
I have more than enough projects to work on. Not enough time to work on them.

I will see what all I do next week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend Catch-Up on the Farm

I have a lot of pictures to post from that weekend, where I spent Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon at the farm. I will try to get through them briefly, but you know me, I love to write and explain things...

The garden was doing well!
It was the kind of hot weekend warm weather veggies love.

Tomatoes are doing super this year, lots of sunshine.

Summer Squash has really grown well too.

Winter squash and pumpkins are really spreading now.

Finally getting blossoms on my melons.

Cucumbers climbing the trellis.

I started corn in pots (actually empty pudding cups) and left them under cover in the office, which stays warm and has a sunny window.

Lots of wildlife shots that weekend too. Being there around the clock gives you a better idea of what is really out there.



Bunny antics and 2fers...

I'm the best looking Robin on this place!

Cedar Waxwings...

An Eastern Kingbird...

Male Red Wing Blackbirds...

Unidentified Flying Object (likely a house sparrow)

More 'bunny business' (nom, nom, nom, weeds good!)

The catbird seat is apparently on the cucumber trellis...

Ready the taxiway! Coming in for a landing!

Shh! I iz 'neakin' upz on sum klowverz!

A doe came calling at sunset. Shot from the landing by the house...

More bunny tails... er... tales...

Baby barn swallows in the garage. They learned to fly the following week and are now gone. :(

An unexpected visitor, a coyote came calling around 8 AM Saturday morning. It did not run off when I stepped outdoors to take pictures in my bathrobe! 

We moved my dual fuel, double oven range over, and it is partially connected. I can use the gas burners. The kitchen now looks occupied. The black fridge is a temporary and will be going to the kids when we bring over my big one.

Last of all, I leave you with some sky drama...


I always wonder where people are going!

Why would I want to leave this? I don't!

The end of another perfect weekend, at the farm.