Year 11, Week 31, Day One (week 605) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 08-13-11 Saturday
90 degrees at ten, 98 degrees by one. light breeze all day, enough to move some light sawdust. Clouds moved nicely and changed often, high wisps, puffs and towers at various times in the West and East, and then disappear. Some clouds passed over head, giving temporary shade only for the sun to come out again and deep blue skies.
During the week, we had unseasonably frigid temperatures. It was in the high 70s at night several days. It was almost cold enough to light the fireplaces.... This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
DURING THE WEEK
I started the process of varnishing the face vase and various goblets. I have soaked them a couple times in wipe on varnish. I do that to get the varnish into every nook and cranny and fiber. I will then use spray varnish for remaining coats.
Here is a tip: If you get varnish on your hands, rub some oil all over your hands, and then wash with soap and water. The oil picks up the varnish, and the soap and water picks up the oil. At Mom's house, I generally use motor oil as that is what is available. At home, I have some vegetable oil that was past its date years ago and work some of that into my hands. If you are worried about chemicals, any cooking oil will work. Use the cheap stuff. Anyway, when done, the varnish is gone.
I started on the handle for the yarn bag in the truck. I got an idea on the bag and will test it out Saturday.
At home, while waiting for pages to load and other things, I took some small granny squares and am expanding them. I came up with the idea that since I have some I made and that others made, I might as well make them all the same size and make new ones and make some form of blanket to get rid of a lot of my yarn stock.
During breakfast, we saw in a city paper that red mulch was on sale. we went home and got my truck. We got fifteen bags of mulch. This was the main reason I got my truck in the first place. It is easier for mom to go with me to get stuff, than to make arrangements with my brother, or try to fit them in her van.
Before we got the mulch, we went yard sailing. I ended up with two stock pots without lids for three bucks. I know I will have a use for them, but don't know what yet. I might even use them for cooking.
The two pots side by side, the big one was dollar fifty, the small was was a dollar.
The small pot inside the big one to show the sizes.
After a few quick relocation of potted plants for Mom, I got my equipment out of the truck and unloaded the mulch. I dug out my two pieces of Norfolk slabs and examined them. I put the larger of the two back.
Two pieces of Norfolk Island Pine slabs. The one on the right is the dragon wood. That branch at the bottom contains the head.
The slab I left out has a dragon hiding inside there. I have to figure out exactly where it is, and then figure out how to get it out of the wood. I don't know whether the dragon is curled around or straight. The wood is too thick to really tell. I think I know where the head is but have to look at the wood more to be sure. This will be chain saw work to get close to the dragon.
I dragged the lathe out and mounted a small stick of wood in it. This was either pine or basswood. I noticed a crack in one end but ignored it. I was making balls-beads- for a project. I made six beads and cut them apart at the band saw. Two fell in half at the band saw. another came apart as I was about to sand the end.
I sanded the ends of the last three. Three was not going to work for this project so I took a piece of mahogany or black walnut. I did not look carefully as to which. I am pretty sure it is black walnut. I cut a length of it and then knocked off the corners like I did the first stick, and then measured off for the balls to be roughly even in length. I added a tiny bit for the space between.
I then cut in the beads with a pointed parting tool. when u sed right, it acts like a skew to peel off the wood forming the balls.
I am not very accurate and they were not exactly round. they were close enough for this project though. I think I made ten or twelve of the balls when done.
I cut them apart on the band saw and sanded the rough ends to round them slightly. I took out a drill press- a hand drill mounted in a drill press type arrangement. I drilled each of the beads, though some were not exactly centered.
The yarn bag with skewers and balls. I have a set inside on the bottom too.
I took the yarn bag I had made and wove a skewer through the top edge. I measured several times and then adjusted the position of the weave a little. After cutting off the points of the skewers, I glued a ball on each end. I then did the second side getting it roughly in line. Again I glued beads to the ends.
When I made the bag, I had set the walls in a stitch or two on the base. I ran a skewer through the exposed edge on each side, having the balls glued on. I then turned it inside out.
This setup works nicely. One can grab the edge and it holds it closed, and the skewer=ball design helps the bag keep its shape. Now all I have to do is to finish making the handle, which I am now a quarter of the way on, and then make the loop to fit on one of the buttons I made and I can call it done.
While the beast of the back yard slept at my feet, I worked on the handle of the bag, making it longer. I am using bits and pieces of yarn and it is, right now, made up of blocks of colors. It is coming along nicely.
I have several pieces that need inlay added. I never got to them.
A little tip that will save you a lot of money. Store your ACC glue in the fridge. The cold keeps it good for years, while if you leave it out at room temperature, especially in hot weather, they will go bad, dry up, become unusable.
For tomorrow, I need to work with that dragon wood. when soaked in linseed oil, Norfolk Island pine gets some great colors running through it. that was one reason I chose this slab for the dragon. One problem is that the grain of the wood will run top to bottom, not running through the body lengthways. It will be comparatively fragile.
I have a number of projects that need to be finished. I have loads of wood that needs to be worked. I have cats to pet and lizards to feed.
The turning club meeting is this week and will be on Wednesday rather than Thursday. That changes my plans a little for the week. I may bring some of my goblets with me tomorrow to give the a light sanding before I varnish them some more.
I will see what I do tomorrow.
Year 11, Week 31, Day two (week 605) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 08-14-11 Sunday
80 degrees early morning over 90 in the afternoon. The ground wet, the air felt wet. Blue skies with some bits of white on the east and west horizon. That disappeared quickly and had a deep blue sky. Later, puffs started showing up and a haze developed between them. it was still mostly sunny all day long. The breeze was very light all day long but the air dried out so it did not feel as hot as it could have. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
My first project was to feed and pet the cats. Scarface did not look like he was limping today. He had been fighting as of late. Last week he was in pretty bad condition. I do not know if he fought this past week. It is hard to tell new from old wounds.
The beast was acting so much like a cat that I had to check several times to see if an imposter had slipped in his place.
It dawned on me that I can show off my yarn bag at the turning club meeting since I do have wood working on it. I sat and made a button loop to hold the bag closed. I have sewn the loop and button on. I had added a barrel button with an eye screw but that kept slipping out, so I screwed the eye hook into the back of the Popular wood button I made and that works better.
On the handle, I have it where it goes down the side, across the bottom and back up the side and a little bit more. I need to do twice that length, and then the loop for the handle,
Mom said the skewers I was using were not strong enough. I found out that she was right. I have bigger skewers and will replace them. I may have to turn new balls for the ends. will see next week.
This is a quick mock-up of the strap and loop. The strap would loop up the same way on the other side.
I picked up the piece of wood I thought a dragon was in, and examined it carefully. I did find a dragon. I decided exactly where it was. the tail went along side a split-inclusion. I tried splitting it with a hatchet and hammer but did not do too much to it. I then took out some hand saws from my truck and tried cutting with that. I then remembered why power was created.
original block of wood. (actually already cut in half). If you look carefully, you might see a bit of the drawing of the dragon
I dug out my electric chain saw and started cutting. Part way in, I saw smoke coming from the wood and stopped. the dull blades were scorching the wood. I guess I had either find a saw sharpener or buy one.
I dug out Mom's chain saw and it ate the wood like nothing, cutting it most of the way down. I decided to save some wood and stopped. I turned the wood on end and cut down from outside, missing part of the cut. I turned it back and finished the cut.
wood pieces separated
I then decided to remove the bark, using a screw driver and hammer to pry the bark away. I saw a few worms already in the wood. they got in there fast. I really need to remove the bark from the other piece too.
Once I had the bark removed, I worried that there was not enough wood for the dragon.
finished cut and cleaned wood. The branch is where the head is.
I turned it all around, studying it from every angle. Yes the dragon is fully in there and the shape of the wood will help in the carving. I drew some lines on it as to where certain parts were, but will wait a week or two before I start freeing the dragon from the wood.
I will attach the wings to the body after I have the body mostly carved.
A piece of bark that I might carve after it has dried for bark carving.
I took a bunch of pieces that I plan to take to the turning club meeting and gave them a light sanding and then applied several coats of spray varnish. I will have to sand and varnish them several times more, but they are getting close to presentable.
Pieces I am varnishing for the turning club meeting.
I have a turning club meeting on Wednesday. The school where we meet has an event for Thursday, so we were bumped to the day before. It happens that I am the only one in my company not working on Fridays. Not enough work. When the club meeting is on Thursday, I get to sleep in on Friday to recover. With it on Wednesday, I will suffer through Thursday.
The turning club meeting will be interesting. We will have a turning club challenge where they get people to make things that they normally don't do. This month it is goblets. I will have mine on display.
The club demonstration is in making rolling pins. That should be really good. I have threatened, in my mind anyway, to make some rolling pins. I hope to learn something.
For next weekend, I will look at the dragon a little more. I will likely weave in larger dowels and make new balls for the yarn bag. I have several items that need to be finished, including two vases that need to be carved and a tea pot. I have loads of wood waiting for me to make into sawdust. I have a metal working lathe that has not been taken out of the box in a couple months. Mom is going to want me to trim the palm trees. They really need it.
I will see what I actually do next week.