Year 11, Week 44, Day One (week 618) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-12-11 Saturday
66 degrees early morning, 76 degrees in the afternoon, nice breeze, blue sky filled with cotton puffs, loads of sunshine. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
After breakfast, I went yard sailing. On my way to one yard sale, I missed my turn and saw what looked like a giant yard sale at an antique mall. I turned around and looked around. There were lots of stuff I would have gotten if I had the money and storage place including a pair of blacksmith tongs and an old time iron that you sat on the stove to heat up. I left empty handed.
I went to one yard sale that had a little bit of yarn, and some knitting needles. I picked that up. I don't need it but did not want to leave without it.
knitting collection I picked up. I have no idea what I will do with it since I don't knit, but will make use of it in some way.
At another yard sale, I picked up a coffee pump dispenser. It is a bigger one than the last one I broke. I got home and the elevator was out because they were doing pavement work in front of it. I lifted my wheeled basket that I carry stuff in and the coffee pump dispenser fell off and cracked the top. I glued it together but used the wrong glue. It will work, if the glue sets hard enough to be like plastic. I am not sure. I will see tomorrow.
coffee pump dispenser. Holds two pots of coffee. I broke and repaired it, I have some more work to do on the repair to make it presentable.
A friend picked up a cheap computer and needs a couple cables. I happen to have the cables. their computer came in a storage tub without a lid so she gave the tub to me.
I think I ended up hitting five yard sales and only spent four bucks. That is not bad.
A bin given to me
After petting the cat, which I petted about five times during the day, I dug out my stuff and got to work. I carved on three of my pole cats, cleaning up the cuts so they look somewhat finished. I then carved a fourth cat. Later, I painted the eyes, chest and paws. When I got home, I gave them a coat of varnish but will have a bit more detailing to do on them.
My pole cats as I had painted them.
I emptied out my carving basket and re-arranged it so I MIGHT be able to find things a bit easier. I now see that half the basket is filled with paint. There are a lot of pencils for pencil heads. I have several carving knives and a few chisels. A lot of what is left is just things that is nice to have once in a while, if I remember I have it.
My carvin basket. The whole left side is mostly paint.
I decided to test out an idea of making palm trees as ornaments. I mounted some two by twos on the lathe. I set them off center toward a corner and turned the center part round. I then did different things with each one, one I simply centered and worked the ends, another I set it off center to the opposite corner. that one had a weak spot and broke. I glued it together again. another I left the ends square except where the corners broke off because I did not use my parting tool to set a stop on the corners.\
blanks for palm trees, the center one broke on me
Because they are going to be carved, they don't have to be nice and clean. No surface will be left as it is.
I later sat down and carved on the two palm trees while the third dried. They came out pretty good. I made the top leaves sort of like a mushroom with the center indented a little, then carved lines between the fronds. I also worked the underside. Since the trunk was not rounded, I had a lot of carving to do, but the lathe removed enough wood to make it easy.
I then cut into the base to make it sort of like a rock. I painted the rock brown.
I put black paint in the grooves between the fronds, then painted the fronds green. I should add a light green on top but I don't think so on these.
I won't be able to do it this week, which is the turning club meeting, but I will glue beads on it to act as lights or ornaments on a Christmas tree. I picked up some eye hooks that I will add to them. I likely have several dozen packages worth of the hooks but am not sure where they are. they are at one of a dozen places. I will eventually find them when I need them most. I think I know where they are and just have to dig into it, which I will be doing soon to consolidate and store away that stuff.
Palm Tree ornaments
Last week, I had added some old filler into a seal blank I really messed up. the filler came apart and did not stick so I threw that blank away as I did not have time to mess with it. it would be easier to make a new blank than to save that one.
The main reason carvers make a blank is that it takes effort to remove the excess wood to get down to the basic shape. That can tire out one's hands very quickly. Using a machine of some kind to get the wood off saves time. When you are doing a good number of pieces such as with my ornaments, you don't want to spend time removing excess wood when you could be producing finished pieces.
Tomorrow, I need to make more seals and palm tree blanks. I found that my seals are not quite the right design, but the ones I did are good enough. I will make a bunch more of them with the right kind of tail. I might also make some walruses.
I hope to clean up some more carvings I already made and possibly carve a couple more. I don't have much time to get all these done. They are supposed to be ready for display at the end of the month. I still need to come up with two more brand new ornaments. I have no idea what they will be.
My brother might come up. That is sort of up in the air. If he does, I will do some machining on a block of aluminum he gave me last week. I will have the UniMat out to do that just in case I decide to do a little bit of that.
I had purchased two eight foot sticks of two by two white-wood. I am going to have to cut up the second stick. I might even stop and pick up a couple more sticks while they still have that batch of wood. it is really good, softer than other two by twos they get in.
I have two seals and two palm trees made. I have ten more of each to do, along with a bunch of other ornaments that I made last year that I am out of. I still need to make twelve each of ornaments I have not come up with.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 11, Week 44, Day Two (week 618) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-13-11 Sunday
80 degrees, light breeze, more clouds than yesterday and they were a bit heavier. This weather report was brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of tourism.
On the way to Mom's house, I stopped and picked up two more sticks of eight foot long two by twos. I cut one up into sections. My band saw can cut twelve inch long maximum, so I cut the stick into eight pieces.
I saw two yard sales across from each other and I ended up picking up a pump/air tank assembly for air tools and a nail gun came with it for twenty five bucks. My brother checked it out later in the day and the pump was shot. He said we should come up with something to use the air tanks for. I will likely yard sail it. I will keep the nail gun and sell it for what I purchased it for.
air powered tool set. Pump is shot which was why they were selling it so cheap
I did some touch-up paint on the Palm trees and did some touch-up carving on the snow men. They are ready to paint. It dawned on me later that I forgot to carve the scarves on them. For these, I will just paint the scarves on.
I cut two blanks for seals. These are curved with the smaller tails of real seals.
Seal blanks to be carved next weekend.
Since my brother was coming up, I dug out the little lathe and set it up as a milling machine. I put that aluminum block on it and clamped it down. I then started machining the top surface flat.
My plan was to machine the top surface, and then flip it over and machine the bottom so that is flat. that will give me the true size of the block of metal as the bottom cups in. That was actually the top of the metal when it was poured, but since it is fairly even all the way around, I used that as the bottom to give me something to become parallel to.
Aluminum blank as I got it
The aluminum did not cut quite as easy as I expected. I found that spraying with WD-40 kept the bottom of the bit from sticking to the metal. I had other metal cutting bits but they were smaller in diameter than the one I was using.
Something I found was that I would cut one way, and then cut the opposite way and it would cut differently. the first few passes I ended up with uneven cuts. I found that I had to cut one way, then come back the other way to get a smooth clean surface.
I will work on this piece some other weekend. I will machine the bottom flat, then decide exactly how big the piece needs to be. The size of my cross slide is up in the air in reality. I would love to have it really long so I can make really long cuts. I will really make that decision once I get the work squared up and flat.
aluminum blank mounted in milling machine setup, you can see by the surface where I machined it. that is enough flat to work the bottom.
I will paint the carvings I have done during the week for the turning club meeting on Thursday. I have to dig out some seed-beads I have to glue them onto the palm trees.
Tree and cat ornaments after a coat of varnish.
Thursday I have the turning club meeting. I really don't have much to show that is actually turned but will show off what I have.
For the weekend, I must concentrate on making ornaments. I need to get the palm trees and seals done. I only have a few weekends left before I have to show them off. I need to come up with two more types of ornaments. I will have to explore some ideas on that. I will have even less time to get them ready.
I really need to get to that palm tree in my mom's back yard and trim it. It would only take an hour or two to do. Mom would be excited to see it done.
I will see what I actually do next week.