Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 617 Woodworking

Year 11, Week 43, Day One (week 617) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-05-11 Saturday
59 degrees on the computer when I woke, 57 degrees on the computer when I left my house with a predicted 56 degrees), 60 degrees when I finally got out back, 78 degrees when I left at two with a predicted 80 degrees as the high.
the sky was blue all morning except for some tiny puffs over the ocean. A few clouds showed up in the afternoon but they were far away. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I have been working on Fridays the past month, which is something I had not done during the past three years. I went to work and was busy. at around noon, I decided I could now leave, as I had it planned to visit the Antique shop.
I arrived there and after talking for a while, I re-arranged the display, mainly just to change things up so if someone saw it, they might think there was something new and look. I took home two pencil cups as I needed them for my crochet hooks. Actually, one was a really short one and I stuck my nail clippers, which I use to cut yarn, in that, and use d one of the cups I already had as one of the pencil cups for my hooks.
I visited a thrift shop down there but did not buy anything this time.

My display at the Antique shop


I stopped at three yard sales. I had my hands on several items but found I decided I could live without them. I am looking at unloading some stuff I already have.

Someone suggest this week that I might do seals for Christmas ornaments. At the antique shop, I took pictures of a walrus figurine for ideas.
One idea I had for making them was to have the tails of the seals overlap to save wood. I made two that way. I messed up on one and that got tossed. The other came out all right but I was not satisfied with the position. the tail ended up on the ground rather than up high.
I then made one out of a single block of the same size. this seal came out bigger and had better shape. I then made a second one and really messed up when cutting out the blank.
I am cutting away the waste wood on the band saw. The blade I have on the band saw is a big one that does not do curves very well. I ended up having to cut relief slots into the wood so the blade would cut off a section and then be able to turn better to continue. I had cut slots on each side of the flippers. I mistook the slots as relief cuts and cut the flippers off.
To fix the missing flippers, I tried to drill in some dowels which I will shape. my drill bit wandered badly and dug in at the wrong places. I finally got the dowels glued in, but had to use filler to fix the mess. the filler is old, but should work. I do not know if I will paint the other seals, but this one will have to be painted.
I am doing the blanks for the seals one at a time at this moment, carving it then making another one. I ended up with three of them, which is a quarter of what I would need of them. They need to be cleaned up a bit more before I do any finishing on them.

Two of the three seals I made. The lower one was my first one. I destroyed the mate to it. The second one was made separately.

I carved two cats, a seated snow man and a standing snow man also. I have more blanks of each of them to carve. This gives me three seated snow men, three cats, and a standing snow man. all of them need final clean up, but right now getting them made is the main concern.

The day's work, the bottom seal is a repair and might not survive my repair attempt.

I still need three more brand new carved ornaments. I have some turned and carved ornaments I want to make, specifically spinners, but there are other ornaments that Need to be made also just so I have a good selection of types.

Two weekend's worth of carving

I will drill seven holes into the aluminum disk we made last week and tap them for screws. I will machine the screws so their ends will be points. Other than the center hole, Each pair of holes will be a across from each other, at a different spacing from the center.
I saw an advertizement for a drive spur that has a center screw that is pointed, and two pointed screws farther out. Their drive spurs had a number two taper and came in three sizes. Mine will have all three sizes on one face plate and will be held in place by the chuck rather than screwing on or riding on a taper.

Tomorrow, I will carve some more ornaments, but will set up the little lathe and get prepared to make a new drive spur for the big lathe. I will use the metal disk my nephew and I machined last week. I plan to cut a groove and a relief on the back so my big chuck will grip onto it. I will then turn some grooves in the front as markings for holes. I will also, if my brother does not bring up a special tool, will scratch lines across the face of the piece.

I will see what else I will actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 43, Day two (week 617) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-06-11 Sunday

68 degrees when I got outback, 76 degrees as the high. There were some low grey puffs and a couple dropped some liquid sunshine on me as I drove, but there was none once I got to Mom's house. Lots of low clouds moving by at a leisurely clip, high thin shield early in the day, sunny later in the day in spite the clouds, good breeze slowed down after the dots of grey clouds left. This weather report was brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Last night was the time change from Daylight Savings time over to Standard time. I always wake with the alarm clock, even on weekends. If I am not going anywhere, or anywhere immediately, I can lay back down and go back to sleep. That has saved me a couple times where I had the day wrong. I have had a couple days wrong the other way but that is not a problem either. I woke with my alarm clock at my normal time, changed the clocks, then went back to bed for a while. Even so, I ended up with a lot of extra time in the morning.
I got to Mom's house at the time I am usually leaving, about a half hour early. After tending the cats, I got my equipment out. I knew my brother was coming so I set out the little lathe. It still had the aluminum disk in the jaws. I removed the disk and checked some measurements on my big lathe. My idea was to make it so my big lathe's chuck would hold onto it firmly.
I then re-mounted it in the little lathe. First I measured and cut a few grooves in the face, I then made a few passes on the side, cutting in on the back end of the disk to make a reveal. About that time, My brother showed up. He almost never shows up that early. With him watching, I cut in about an eighth of an inch and then cut in a groove where the diameter changed. I then checked with my big lathe and it holds the disk firmly.

The little lathe has a hole in the shaft that you can stick a rod in to hold it in place when removing face plates that screw on. I stuck a rod into the hole to hold the work in one position, and then dragged the cutting bit across the face of my disk to mark a straight line with the center. I rotated the piece and put the rod in the same place and finished the line. I then changed the rod's position and did a second line.

We had to search to find the right sized screws, then the right sized taps to thread a hole, and then the right sized drill bit. Since there is a tenon on the back of the piece so it would not lay flat when drilling the holes. I took a face plate I had made that screws onto my big lathe. the hole in the back had plenty of room for the tenon to hang down in and the area around the hole held the piece firmly. I used a small drill press we have that my brother uses to place hold for scroll sawing. I drill holes where the lines across the face met the lines around the face. I planned on three sets of holes but quickly figured out that the disk was too small for more than two sets of holes. I then tapped the holes so my screws would go all the way through. I refinished the face of the chuck to remove scratches and cuts.

My drive spur face plate assembled

I mounted the screws into the lathe one at a time. First I measured at how long the screws needed to be, then removed the threads for how far I figured I would need points to be.
I then turned the lathe head on an angle and cut points on the screws. I changed the angle with each screw until I got an angle I needed. I put them into the aluminum disk which was now a face plate, and mounted it on my lathe in the chuck. Doing some tests, I found I needed to make the screws a little shorter. I changed the angle of the head some more and worked the points. I found that one screw was longer than the other and corrected for that.

My drive spur face plate in place. Screws have to go into the gap of the chuck or it won't fit.

It was a bit later than I realized I had made a sophisticated tool for the lathe. Other than the screws, it was basically made from scratch. Even the screws were modified.

face plate drive spur in use on a piece of wood. The outer screws can be extended to reach the curve of the wood.

My brother brought a large chunk of aluminum he and my nephew cast. they cast it in an electrical box and then found that it angled the wrong way so he had to cut the box up to get the metal out. taking some measurements, we decided that the cross slide I've been trying to make, should be made out of aluminum and this block appears to be the right size. I will know when I start machining it.

block of aluminum that will become a tool a bit later.

My brother also brought a rotary table he purchased long ago and never used. It is the right size for my lathe.
The rotary table is for projects that require a piece to be turned at specific degrees for drilling or cutting. With t his one, it has an accuracy of about a quarter of a degree if one reads it right. for most of my projects, that will be more than enough. I set it up so I would fully understand how it would be used.

Rotary table and box.

Rotary table in place

Rotary table in use. It rotates the work in precise degrees under the cutting bits.

My brother saw a "lathe dog" I have and decided to use that design to make ones for himself. He drew and then cut some wood to the exact shape of the pieces he needed. He mounted the wood on his scroll saw and tipped the saw table to five degrees.
For sand casting, there has to be a slight angle from top to bottom so that when one places the mold into the sand and pack it, one can pull the piece out without disturbing the sand. then when one pours the metal in, the cavity will have the shape of the material being made.
He made one of each size. He will be able to make as many copies of the wooden form as he needs. He will then machine the metal to the exact sizes he needs.

wood patterns for lathe dogs. Screws will go through the stub on the big curve, the dowels will become sprues for the metal to be poured into it, and that goes into a slot in to the face plate when done.

While I was cleaning up my lathe, my brother remembered that one can get an extension for my lathe that will raise the head up a little bit so you can turn larger diameter pieces. We took measurements and then selected a piece of two by four that was near the right size. He will cast an aluminum block the approximate size of the wood marks he placed on it, but with a five degree taper on the sides.
My project will then be to machine it so it will be a spacer to raise the head up about two centimeters, which will open up possibilities of larger projects I can work.

I did not carve any ornaments as I planned, but did get something done that will help in wood turning when I get back to it.

Next weekend, I have Christmas ornaments to make. I have loads of previous year's blanks to carve and have to make more seals. I have some ideas for another ornament but will have to make it to see if it will even be worth the effort.
I still should trim Mom's tree. Conditions have to be right to do that. I can also machine some aluminum but that will be of very low priority as the ornaments are very important.

ornament blanks that have to be carved

This is where I got my idea for my face plate drive spur

See a live demo on YouTube:

Now available in three sizes and are black zinc coated.
Available for immediate shipping at:

I will see what I do next week.

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