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.

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