Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 608 Wood Working

Year 11, Week 34, Day One (week 608) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 09-03-11 Saturday

85 degrees. Blue sky half filled with a wide variety of puffs. Liquid sunshine started dripping onto the ground. Light the first couple times. After a half hour pause, it really came down and stayed. The weather radar, earlier, showed a tiny line of Liquid Sunshine cells appearing over our area and fading out before they got far. later, the sky opened up and the radar showed a cell with red and yellow just sitting over us. I decided the downpour was enough to not bother working outside. I got wet just getting into the truck to head home. Two off ramps on the highway and I was on dry pavement and when I got home, there was a cell just west of me that was nice and black, but I only saw one or two drops on the windshield. This was one of those days where it would say 100% rain, but many areas of the county would get nothing for most of the day.
This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of tourism.


I started the morning by testing all the yarns I have. I wanted to know what was acrylic and what was cotton or wool. I cut pieces of yarn I knew the origin, and held them over a flame. Cotton's flame went out almost immediately when taken out of the fire. Wool did burn a little. Acrylic shriveled when held above the fire or when it caught fire, the ash end would stick to the candle jar for a long moment and would stretch. It acted just like plastic.
I spent a couple hours clipping pieces of yarn and holding them over the fire, then tossing the ball into the proper container or pile.
I have them mostly sorted, but a few acrylic may have ended up in my cotton pile later.
In the afternoon, I finished my second granny square where I started with a smaller square someone made. I then took a granny square that was one row too small, located the yarn used and brought it to the size I needed. I then started my fourth square to enlarge.
I am using wooden hooks I made and have made adjustments as I worked. A bit of emery board, such as one would use on finger nails to touch up a surface, dull a sharp edge, shape it slightly. As I use them, the hooks are getting better. Also, by being used, they are getting polished by the yarn making them work better too.

Finished modified granny squares. The dark green is what I am matching for size. The gray had one more row added to it. The other two started with the center squares made by others.

I left my place early and needed to kill some time. I went to the local HARBOR FREIGHT store. This was a drool stop. I was looking at each item, picturing how I can make use of it. I ended up walking out without spending a dime, but I do have a wish list now. I learned long ago that if you want to avoid impulse buying, go to the TOY store first and just look around. Look at all the neat stuff you had not seen before or not known they were available. Don't take notes. Then go back a few days or a week later. You will have forgotten most of what was exciting and when you see the stuff again, you won't have the excitement of newness. You will get only the things you can actually use because the impulse was reduced. It does not matter if this is a tool store, a clothing shop, a grocery store or kitchen store. whatever really excites you.

I went to a Walmart store and drooled all over the crafts section. I saw several things I could use. they had some yarn colors that would be nice to have. I did get some off brand coffee at half the price of name brand coffee. Unless the coffee is horrible, I won't tell the difference.

I still had to kill some time so I went to a shell shop and picked up a lobster made of cut and carved coconut shell glued together for my mom. It had a good design to it and was well done. I handed it to Mom and she was excited about it. It was exactly what she wanted. It is for a joke for a friend. I would not complain if one ended up in my collection.

I finally got to the antique shop and dropped off a few more of my pieces. I could have sworn I had made four face vases but I only made three. My latest face vase was so much better than the other two. My first one, I had turned the entire vase first, then surface carved the faces on it. Not great. My second one I planned it from the start to be a face vase. It is good, but I could see some distortion in one face. My newest face vase is really good. I priced it accordingly.

The left side of my display My newest face vase is in the picture next to the previous two

Right side of my display

Center of my display


We went yard sailing. At one yard sale, I picked up a little cast iron pan which is 4 inches across at the rim, 3 inches on the bottom. Raised on the inside bottom is the name GREEN'S MiddlesBoro, Ky. This is decorative but I could have used it in cooking earlier this week where I wanted to heat some butter extract in oil. I had to use a pan that was really too big. I will have to fully clean this pan and then season it before It can be used. Even if it were not to be used, it is cute.

Mine pan

At a different yard sale, I picked up a zipper bag that looks like it is insulated. It is about the size for a six pack. I had a good use for that.

We almost missed a yard sale where I picked up two MAKIDA battery powered drills. they had several batteries and they all worked. I have a battery powered circular saw where one battery does not work. Tomorrow, I will test how the batteries and chargers work together.

Two drills I got. With my battery powered circular saw, I now have 7 batteries.

At the final yard sale, I picked up a woven basket with metal closures. It was decorated and had MEXICO on the top. I grabbed that as I knew I could put some of my yarn in it. This will keep my yarns separated. Some acrylic yarn may have gotten into my cotton yarn while messing with the baskets.

Six pack cooler bag, in use to hold my yarn in the truck for when I start working on adding the strap to the yarn bag.

Mexico Basket now filled with yarn.

I finally got out back and went over my purchases, taking pictures, and plugging in the chargers and then plugging in the batteries.
I settled down to pet the cat and read a magazine I had for a month and had not even looked at. the liquid sunshine started coming down off and on. I sort of decided not to dig my lathe out to work or dig out the dremmel to grind on the dragon. It was already sort of late in the day. The drizzles kept coming down just enough to prevent me from being energetic to get to work. When the serious downpour finally started, I was mentally done for the day. The heaviness of the downpour told me not to bother getting the stuff into the truck. When I finally left, I got very wet getting the things going home with me into the truck and then getting into the driver's seat.
I did not get any work done today but did read a wood working magazine and also worked a bit more on my strap for my yarn bag. I did figure out that the bag I purchased was the size I intended this yarn bag to be. It grew and stretched that much while being made. I know how to solve that but I am not starting over.

Tomorrow, I plan to work on the dragon, may finish rounding the face vase, and may put together a couple more crochet hooks. I have some playing around with batteries and tools, and have a few other projects looking at me. I have a metal working lathe that I have not touched in a couple months. I have no idea if my brother will be coming up. Him being there or me being alone effects what I work on.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 34, Day Two (week 608) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 09-04-11 Sunday

84 degrees in the morning, sunny, a wispy haze over the entire sky with a anvil tower south of Miami. The haze consolidated into puffs which got heavier as the day went on. Grey showery skies showed up over the Everglades. about the time I cleaned up to go home. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning with petting Scar Face and the Beast of the Back yard. Scar face has been fighting again. He has a lot of pin scabs all over the sides of his head. He seemed extra loving today. the beast was his normal self, except he was pretending to be a kitty cat. He is getting good at pretending. It is almost real.

I brought my Makita circular saw with me and tested all my batteries in it and to each other. I have five of the nine volt batteries, and two 18 volt batteries. the 18 volt drill can use every single one of my batteries, and that charger will charge all the batteries. I have a charger that will only take some of the batteries. A couple of my batteries won't fit into the small drill. Their batteries have a raised guide that fits into a slot. What they did was to increase the width of the slot on the later models so they won't fit in early equipment. The interesting thing was that a battery that had always given me a signal that it was dead, charged up on a different charger. I need to number the batteries like I did with the harbor Freight drill set.

I ground a little on the dragon Other than grinding two lines down the back to show where the edge of the back runs, I mainly worked on the head around the chin. I am getting a better picture of this dragon's position. It is tipped on its side, I figured the low side leg will be either aiming backwards or under it on some way. it has sort of a playful look. the thought crossed my mind to turn a ball to fit into the mouth. I won't do that until near the last thing.

I finished rounding the ten knot Norfolk Island Pine log I have. I marked which pair of eyes are together by drawing a line where the nose will be. I now have to figure out which is the top and bottom. I have to put a tenon on the bottom so the chuck can hold it. I will cut in where the eye are, cut un beneath where the nose is, and slope the bridge of the nose and then do some shapes for the mouth and forehead. Finally, I will at least rough hollow the piece, leaving the sides thick. Then it will be mainly grinding, removing wood on each side of the noses and forming the faces. The carving is the hard part. I would love to do female faces, but doubt I am good enough to do that.

I mounted the tea pot onto the lathe. I decided to make it as thin enough so the natural edges disappear. I will choose a piece of wood far bigger than I need and drill the center, and make a spout by mounting it in the lathe on different angles to get the sweep expected of a tea pot spout.

I did some crochet while petting the cats. I have about three more rows and I can start the finishing process on the yarn bag strap I have been making. I will fold it in half and stitch this strap together, then I will attach it to the bag.

After my brother arrived, he got out the scroll saw. He is making parts for a clock. I read a story I am writing to him while he worked. the story and action sound good, but I need to change a couple names, and my sentences are all the same. can you say rewrite?

Because of Labor day, I will be off work tomorrow. I decided to go to Mom's house tomorrow at least for a little while. I have loads of different projects to work on. I will have to see which excites me the most. I may well work on several.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 34, Day Three (week 608) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 09-05-11 Monday

84 degrees early morning with a breeze that could only move leaves. The clouds were streaks, ripples and haze. Later, the streaks and ripples became puffs that strongly tended to remain on the western half of the sky. Some clouds wandered over into the eastern sky, but the eastern sky remained blue most of the day. The breezes picked up to make things a bit more comfortable.
One can tell fall is approaching. Driving to Mom's house, the sun was not yet directly in front of me, but It sure made heading into it very miserable. I never deal with it in my normal life as I am to work before dawn. There were some tiny showers after I left but they were apparently spotty.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning petting the cats. they needed it. I then got my tools out to do some work. Mom mentioned about the palm tree needing a hair cut. I decided I was in the mood and wanted it out of my hair so I dug out the long extension cord, the ladder, and the SAWS-ALL. I removed the leaves within easy reach of the front of the tree, concentrating on the leaves laying on top the shed. Mom was happy with that, but mentioned I needed to work more on the other side and to remove the seed stalks.
In another session, I worked around the tree and really removed the stalks. It was a real number on the tree.

trimmed tree

The other tree, showing something of what the untrimmed tree looked like.

The brush pile created from the tree

The SAWS-ALL works great for this project. I did get the blade caught twice as I keep cutting from the side that the stalk is leaning towards. I get past half way and it just leans that much more and pinches the blade. Other than that, I was able to get the thin, narrow blade in between obstructions and make nice clean cuts. this is going to be my palm tree trimming tool from now on.
Mom has another tree that needs trimming. We skipped trimming it when we trimmed this first tree the last time. I don't think I will be tackling it for a while, but the mood might have me do some work over the next couple weekends.

I decided to do a little bit of turning. Since I had mounted the body of my tea pot yesterday, I decided to work on that, making the walls thinner but cutting down the outside. I have some natural edge showing on it, since I mounted the piece of wood sideways with the center spinning around. the natural edge is the surface inside the bark.
I decided that the natural edge is not interesting enough to keep a lot of, so I cut down a lot of the outside, and then sanded it. I have more to do on the outside, but it is better.
I had made a lid out of pine before, but don't like it. this tea pot is made of Florida Mahogany. I am going to make the lid, the handle and the spout out of Honduras Mahogany - commercial Mahogany. it will be a contrast in wood.

I discussed with mom about the dragon. I had a question about one leg position. What I found out was that we have a different image of what the dragon is going to look like. She was thinking a Chinese dragon. They are snaky with small legs widely spread out down the body. I am thinking more European dragon where the body is more robust.

Mom's projects tend to take the energy out of me for my work. Today was that way. I spent quite a bit of time finishing the strap of my yarn bag. I folded it over and stitched the edge. My next step is to stitch it to the bag itself, a project I don't look forward to. It is not the fun part of the project. Until I get some time to work on that, I will work on a granny square as it is easy to do between traffic lights. Someone is going to have a new baby so I decided that the squares I have been making will be part of a gift I will be giving for the baby.

the inside of the handle, this is the half I did first.

The outside of the handle, I did this after I knew the length.

Showing both sides of the handle

For Next week, I have a number of projects to work on. I am not sure what they will be. I have the tea pot, the dragon, a flower vase, lots of fresh wood that needs to be used up, lots of old wood that needs to be used up. I have Christmas ornaments from last year that I need more made, and new ones to come up with. I also have to look at gifts for this next year. Of course, the cat will need a lot of love.

I will see what happens next week.

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