Year 11, Week 45, Day One (week 619) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-19-11 Saturday
80 degrees when I got out back at around nine, 84 degrees as a high. Strong breezes to move and hide saw dust to be found days later when blown back into view. tall puffs racing across the sky from the ocean, dropping Liquid Sunshine in places farther south, but the weather where I was, was excellent all day long.
The turning club meeting was Thursday. We had an excellent turnout, though the number of people displaying to the Instant Gallery was not as extensive as other years. It was excellent anyway.
The demonstration was of making a bird house ornament. The only hard part for me would be making the roof and body fit nicely. He likes a friction fit. It is not necessary, but it makes for better gluing.
I displayed the ornaments I made last weekend, and had some of my other ornaments on display elsewhere in the room to show how turning can be used for ornaments, even if it is just making a blank for carving.
old ornaments shown to show what can be done with wood turning as a start
finished ornaments made recently The uncarved block in back shows what the trees started as.
I also displayed the drive spur I made. two people said they have them, one won it at a show and another had purchased it. I explained about how my brother melted it and I machined it based on the one I had seen in the advertizement.
I won the BRING BACK prize. This is a prize where the winner this month, has to bring back a piece for the next winner to take home. It had been a while since I had won one. I received a tool handle the guy made. It was a thick metal pipe with a padded cover. One end has a reduced fitting inside and set screws. When one inserts a tool which is a rod some form of cutting bit in the end, the set screws lock it in place.
This tool handle is really heavy. When in use, one is not really carrying the tool. One end with the cutting bit in it, is on the tool rest. The other end is against your body. The mass of the handle reduces vibration when cutting into the wood.
Me receiving the bring back prize from the man who made it.
The tool handle. The bare end has set screws to hold the actual tool in place.
I looked at myself in the mirror last night and realized I did not look like I pictured myself to be. I then realized that my face used to be round and now the sides are flat, my head is rectangular. Now if I can flatten my tummy, I would really be doing well...
I was also given a glass etching kit. I looked at it this morning when I took pictures. It has two cans of air, a sprayer and a bottle of etching medium. I don't know if there is air in the cans, but there are ways of making it useable. I would just need a project.
glass etching kit
I went yard sailing!!! I hit several yard sales and got a number of things very cheap.
I picked up a pair of clamp on high chairs. They clamp onto the table leaving the floor space open. The yard sale was a fund raiser for a children's program. the man said that the children of the woman who donated it were now big enough to sit in a regular chair.
clamp on high chairs. One set up to show how it works and the other shows how it is made
I picked up a MATCHBOX carry truck and a fishing lure box. the fishing lure box will be used for my paints at home. it is the right size.
The planar tackle box has a lower area that should hold most if not all my tubes of paint I use at home. The truck folds open if desired.
I picked up a couple blankets. She suggested that they be used for padding things when moving them. Once they go through the wash, I will put them to use. We are getting close to our cold period.
A pair of small but soft blankets. needs washing.
I found a pair of craft books. One has the project and the other has the patterns.
Craft books, one has the project and the other has the plans.
I found a folding easel for working on site. One fitting is missing but otherwise is a good one. The guy said he was selling it because he got something better.
The easel set up for painting on site. It folds up into the box for easy transportation. It is high quality. Only one part is missing, a brass hook, and I can make that with little problem.
I also got a folding sports chair for children. It is child size and folds up nicely. I have a couple adult versions in my truck. I sat on it and it held me well.
folding children's sport chair and a small camo bag
After petting the cat, taking pictures and petting the cat again, I finally started woodworking. Last week, I came up with seals and palm trees as my Christmas ornaments. The palm trees need work. I had several people say it was a mushroom. I added far too many beads on top to hide the fronds.
Wednesday, I had seen a figurine of a polar bear in a popular position I have seen pictures of them, laying flat and straight with their legs under it. I gave it some thought and decided to try making a couple. One needs to test a design before committing to it.
My first two by two by four inch wood for the bear was simply set off center to a flat side and spun, turned into almost a cone with a round big end. I had left a part where the rear legs to be with some flats. I then realized I did not quite do it right.
I stood the second piece of two by two, four inches long, upright in the band saw and sliced off one corner. I did this after I had marked the center of the piece. I then mounted it in the lathe according to my center mark and essentially made one end a cone, and the other end a ball, with a high point left kind of square with the corners knocked off. this gave a little better result.
I then carved them, forming the head. I kept lopping off the ears on both of them. When both carvings were done, I painted them so there was less question as to what they were. I did sand the bottom so the wood shows and will take a good signature.
Finished polar bears.
Early this morning, I got another idea. I should make a cornucopia. I had to see if it would even work. I took a two by two by four inch piece and marked my centers. I centered the piece and turned one end fairly round. Not exactly but close. I then put the tail stock near one corner, and the drive center near the opposite corner on the other end. I then turned the tail stock end to nearly a cone.
This design gives me a rough curve I need for the cornucopia. I then carved the piece. I had done some carving work and realized that some fruit should stick out on the bottom. I put the piece in the bandsaw. Only the bottom was flat, so what I did was hold the bottom against a piece of wood and cut the top of the spilled fruit and then cut the surface back to provide the spilled fruit some room to be spilled.
I carved what amounts to a bunch of different sized balls in the surface. My wedge shaped knife made it somewhat easy.
After I had the thing carved enough, I painted the different balls different colors to represent varieties of fruits and vegetables. It is instantly recognizable for what it is. I do like this.
First finished Cornucopia. Just needs varnish and a signature.
The design of the palm tree needs a lot of work. I think the top needs to be a whole lot thicker, and maybe to some layered circles underneath. I can then carve fronds at different elevations. I will play with that tomorrow.
I carved one of the blanks I made Sunday based on what I learned seals are supposed to look like. I made a small mistake in the carving but one can tell what it is. I have another blank to carve. I like this new design a lot more. Maybe some year, I will make Whales or Dolphin.
The day's results.
Tomorrow, I have to prepare for the Thanksgiving Weekend. I will have a four day holiday and will be carving ornaments like crazy. I will make blanks for the various ornaments. The cornucopia might be easier to do on the band saw. I will give it a try. Otherwise I will do it on the lathe. The bears are a lathe project. Of course I could do it on the band saw but it is hard to make it centered the way it is supposed to be. The seals are a band saw project.
The Palm trees will need a bit more work. I think I need the fronds to be nearly a third of the tree. I will undercut them near the trunk as much as possible. This will require two turning centers. One is to put the curve into the center of the trunk. the other is to center up the trunk when it gets to the ends.
Now I might do things like place the wood on an angle to make the top and base angled to the trunk. there are many options to do. Of course, there will be loads of carving to make it into a tree.
I need ten bears, ten trees, eleven cornucopia, eleven seals (I gave one away today). Plus I have a number of blanks for older carving designs I need to work on.
I will make a whole bunch of blanks and get my carving basket together to take with me when I go to my brother's house next week.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 11, Week 45, Day Two (week 619) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-20-11 Sunday
78 degrees at eight, 83 degrees at two. Fast moving big puffs of clouds properly spaced to give you shade when you needed it and sun when you wanted it, a really brisk breeze early morning that died down in the afternoon. There was weather to the south of us, but none around us. I would call it the perfect conditions to work. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
After petting the cat, I grabbed a whole bunch of four inch two by twos and set up at the band saw. I first made some blanks for the cornucopia. I decided that the band saw would be easier than the lathe, and would not require THAT much more carving to make it work. I later carved a couple and it was just as easy as the turned one to carve, and far easier to make than on the lathe. It is much like the seals I carve.
I finished carving one and have the fruit on another to carve. I like these. They are far more enjoyable to carve than others I have made.
The stages of carving the Cornucopia, from blank to finished piece
I turned a few polar bear blanks. These are easy to make and does not take too much time to carve if I can avoid lopping off the ears several times like on the first ones I made.
I was trying to make palm trees. I did get one made, but I had two break, splitting down the length since the angled trunk causes the grain to run on an angle through it, not strong. They got tossed. It dawned on me after I left Mom's house that I realized that I would be better off to make the palm trees on the band saw. The lathe tail stock applies force through the wood and when the grain of the wood gets too thin, it can break with turning force is applied.
I touched up a cat blank I had started and for some reason stopped on making it. that should be enough cats for now.
I also made a couple more seal blanks.
In making blanks, I was mainly out to make sure I had at least six of each to work with. I can always adjust the design in later ones if I think of a correction to make. the seals is one where I can see I can do them better.
All the blanks I need to carve Some might not be carved this year.
Thursday is Thanksgiving. I will go to my brother's house. I have my carving basket and all my carving blanks with me now. I can go directly to his house from home. I will sit and carve out back until it is time to either eat or work metal.
I will likely go up to Mom's house Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will carve there too. I hope to have most of the blanks carved this weekend. I will have one more weekend to get all these ornaments done before I take them to work to display and, if things really go good, possibly sell.
I will see what I actually do next weekend.