Monday, July 4, 2011

Week 599 Wood Working

Year 11, Week 25, Day One (week 599) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-02-11 Saturday

85 degrees in the morning with broken clouds. They got the clouds fixed in the afternoon with 89 degrees. There was a light breeze that got stronger in the afternoon. Most of this week, the weather has built up sometime after noon. I saw the report for that today, but it did not build up at all while I was outside. We are essentially in our summer mode, but the humidity has not set in yet so the days have been pretty good considering the temps.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I worked on Friday again. The company was starting the day like a normal day since we are off Monday. I normally open the office during the week and the boss wanted me to do so on Friday so he did not have to do it. I only worked till mid morning then left.

I went down to the Antique shop to check in on what was going on down there. The building he was in when I first started visiting him at, is now gone. The big hotel on the corner should be gone when I come there next month as they had the heavy machinery there.
I took a lot of pictures this time. I drooled over several items while I was there.


I had picked up some Sea Grape during the week from a friend. I hauled it around all week long in the back of my truck. I unloaded the pieces and put two pieces in my wood pile. I took the wedge piece and started cutting it up. I learned how dull my chain saw was. I tried cutting the wood, whish is hard, and the blade was scorching the wood rather than cutting. I got Mom's chain saw and it ate through the wood fast.

Chunks of Sea grape trunk. I cut up the middle piece

I got one slab off of it and used the band saw to cut it into a block that I started turning. I am mainly dealing with the end grain spinning around and lots of shrinkage cracks. I am not exactly sure what I will make, but will see what the wood tells me it wants to be.
I then tried to cut a disk out of the other slab and I guess I cut wrong as the cut side was not parallel to the side I was trying to follow. I am not sure what happened. I now have two wedges instead of a wedge and disk.

Mom said she wanted to get some mulch. the then saw an advertizement that Home Depot had some cheap. We ended up getting 18 bags of mulch. She is going to spread it around the walkways later.
She was going to pull a bunch of plants out from the fence, lay cardboard and then lay down some mulch, but found that several pots did not want to move, a couple had plants that went into the ground. She decided to do it easy and just mulch around them. I was making sawdust at the time.
While we were getting the mulch, I took back the brad nailer and got my money back. I had high hopes for that thing but it just would not drive the nail through wood. The electric hammer in it was not strong enough. It left nails really proud. I guess I have to go with air power. Now I have to figure out what I can use that gift card to get.

I dragged out the biggest piece of Norfolk I got. This U shaped piece was really heavier than I could handle. got it to the work bench, and using boards, wagon and wheel barrow, I lifted it onto the work bench. I then took several minutes finish cutting it in half. It was a lot of work because, as I learned later, my little electric chain saw was dull. I worried my way through the wood until there was just a little holding the two pieces together. I aimed it at the ground so it would fall on one side and the force would cause the limited among of wood holding the two pieces together, to break. It worked like a charm. I can handle two individual pieces easily.

Partly cut through slab of Norfolk Island Pine.
This was really bigger than I could move around

Two halves of big piece. I can now carry them.

I took the squared chunk of sea grape and rounded it, cut a tenon on it, then cut it in half, leaving a tenon at the cut. The shrinkage cracks are giving me fits on getting the outside smooth.
I figure I will start hollowing it. I seem to see a goblet in it, but have to see how deep the shrinkage cracks go into it. I might work around it, possibly doing some off center turning on the stem. I will see tomorrow as to what the wood tells me.

I was cleaning up to move everything under cover to take a break and My cleaning up ended up putting everything away. I took a short nap and then got ready and left.

I realized I had a sears card. I have two Craftsman drills where the charger died. found a charger on line a month or two ago. After much searching and not noticing a note on the web pages after a search, I found the charger again. I went through the steps to order the part and then found I could not put in a gift card purchase. I even called the sears service number to verify it. Tomorrow I will go to the store and see if I can order the part there.

I have a number of projects to work on. It will depend a lot on the weather. I have projects that will have me outside in whatever weather we might get. I have projects to work under the cover. I also have projects that I can work on inside the house.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 25, Day Two (week 599) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-03-11 Sunday

80 degrees in the morning with loads of broken clouds, little wind and high humidity. That cleared up into high feathers with lots of blue sky and sun and 86 degrees stronger breeze and dryer air. The weather report was all wrong.

We started the morning by moving a few plants around. re-potting a palm tree. We then worked edging along the side walk. This was tough as the ground was imbedded gravel. We had to move our new gravel out of the way, pull up the fabric, then clear the dirt away from the sidewalk a fair distance down, before we could slip in the edging. I am not used to working on my knees so it was not an easy task. We got that done and cleaned up in time for mom to go to her meeting.

I sat down with the cat and started carving on the torch. The natural torn wood is the flame. Last week I had mis-made the handle on the lathe. I corrected it some with the disk sander, and now have done some more corrections.
I carved on the flame, cutting deep so some of the red heart wood of the branch shows. I had carved a ball on the base of the handle just because it seemed to need something there. I am now soaking it in linseed oil, bringing out the color of the wood. I an already see different shades in the flame. I will take it out of the oil likely Tuesday and let it dry a week before I start finishing it.

Norfolk Island Pine torch Branch heart wood shown.

Norfolk Island Pine torch, showing natural torn wood I added carving to to make it a flame.

Norfolk Island Pine torch, showing natural torn wood I added carving to to make it a flame.

Torch after a night of linseed oil

I did little else during the day, just feeling like taking it easy. It was a perfect day for doing some real work.

The beast of the back yard was so much like a cat I forgot myself. He wanted company and attention. I sat there for him but did not give him the attention he really desired. He let me rub his tummy which was something he would never do before this year. yesterday, I picked him up and set him on my lap. He lasted about three seconds, about the time to get off my lap. He then settled at my feet again. He is not a lap cat. He is a pet cat. He likes me to pet him.

I left early as I had a few stops to make.

I went to Sears to see if I can order my charger for my two craftsman drills. We found out that to order it, I must use a credit card. there is no way to use a gift card to buy it. I now have to figure out what I want there that will take the gift card. I will decide whether I want to get the charger and order it on line from home.
Last time I was at this Sears, they had grinder accessories on display and some metal cutting bits for them. I searched about four times this time and could not find them. they would be perfect for my metal lathe. Not able to find them, I left without making that purchase either.

I am off tomorrow so I will go to Mom's house at least for a short while. If I get into a project, I will stay longer, but likely will leave after lunch.

I will see what I will actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 25, Day Two (week 599) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 07-04-11 Monday

85 degrees, nice breeze, early morning weather coming off the ocean, but none was seen by the time I hit the road. Mostly high feathers and shield clouds and some sun, though it got thicker as the day bore on. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Mom had me move a plant in a concrete planter, and then told about what she was planning to replant. She has some cacti in some pots and she is going to toss them and plant desert rose in those pots instead. She has been weeding out her cacti little by little. I guess she got tired of getting stuck by them every time she turned around.

I started my wood working by cutting a piece of Norfolk Island pine, about four inches in diameter with the bark. I mounted it between centers, then turned off the bark before I cut a tenon on the tail stock end so the chuck could hold the wood.
I then flipped it around, mounted it in the chuck. removed the tail stock bearing assembly and slipped in the Jacobs chuck, which is simply a drill chuck mounted on a taper so it can simply slide into either the head stock or tail stock as needed.
I used my inch and a half spade bit to cut out the wood in the center of the wood for a goblet. I stopped, planning on the long point of the spade bit.
I then used my turning tools to remove wood until the point hole of the spade bit disappeared, and had rounded and shaped the inside so the bottom of the bowl was bigger than the mouth.
I then worked on the outside. I did not quite get it right, but have the knots on the bottom of the bowl. My plan was to have the wood of the knots follow the shape of the bottom of the bowl to the stem. Instead they are circles.
I worked the wood in to the stem. The wood this is from had a slight bend in it so I cut into the pith a little at one point. I then tapered the stem ever so slightly to stay away from the pith down to the base of the goblet. Finally I parted it off. I forgot that I need to touch up the bottom of the base a little. I will have to do that later.

Norfolk Island Pine goblet

I took the sea grape I had prepared yesterday and used the spade bit to bore out some of the wood on the inside before I shaped it with the turning tools.
I then shaped the outside. One problem I was watching, was shrinkage cracks in part of the wood. I was able to get them in the bowl of the goblet and not in the stem. I did not part the goblet off the waste wood. I am going to use inlay in the shrinkage cracks as additional decoration. I will re-mount it in the lathe and finish it up before I part it off the waste wood. I think this will look good.

"back side of the sea grape goblet

front side of the sea grape goblet showing shrinkage cracks

I left Mom's house and went to my brother's house. I turned out that I have a leak in my radiator. I will have to make sure it is topped off, but will get a radiator and my brother will help me replace it next weekend.

My brother was showing me how to work sheet metal on a project. We used his bender to make some flanges, and then we hammered them over. He showed me all his different types of sheet metal cutters. The one I like best is an electric one that removes a thin strip in the center of the cutter.
He told me that he worked with people who never told you anything about the job so that you were just as useless after the job is over as you were when you started. He tends to teach people how to do the work so that he can later sit back and just help when they run into problems. It was kind of fun to be shown how to work sheet metal.
We then went out back and I sat and watched him cut some metal for our new base for the anvil. We are going to use a design where it will have a box filled with sand, and the anvil will set on a plant on top the sand. We can raise and lower the anvil by the amount of sand that is in it, and the sand should dampen any vibrations.

Next week, I have to get my truck fixed. I will then dig into my wood pile and make some more sawdust. During the week, I will soak the Norfolk goblet in linseed oil and will sit down and add inlay to the sea grape goblet.

I will see what I actually do next week.


JBS said...

Sea grape is the best red wood!
I got a piece of it in the Florida Keys in 1995, and it was white. I sawed it into thin boards on my bandsaw and years later, when it was dry, it had turned red!
I use it very sparingly, since I don't know when or where I will get more.
Do you know of a source?

Roger Stegman said...


Sea Grape is a native plant here in Florida. In the natural state, it grows like a vine or mangrove. In Broward County, many of the off and on ramps have sea grape as a barrier.
Many homes grew it as part of their landscape and will grow into a very large tree. The thing to do is to contact some tree services and see if they will let you know if they are trimming any Sea grape.
Also get in touch with the local Wood turning clubs. they have tree trimming contacts and many members have Sea Grape in their wood piles.

I will say that Old Sea grape is brittle. I have also carved sea grape with a knife and it is not a good carving wood.

I think I will look in my wood pile next week and see if I still have any left.