Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 622 Wood Working

Year 11, Week 48, Day One (week 622) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-09-11 Saturday

76 degrees, heavy clouds moving fairly quickly. The wet morning ground dried out quickly. The clouds thinned out a little as the day wore on, with some blue sky showing, more to the north. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I caught a cold. It started with my waking with a sore throat on Monday. I started treating it with the over-the-counter medicines that I had found to have worked somewhat before. That and lots of broth and soups. This cold never got to the sloppy mess most colds get to. I am now in the "clean up" stage of the cold, not having hit a peak. I do half expect to get blasted by it a short time later.

I sold four of my ornaments. My price has not changed since I started in 2003. Ten bucks a piece, four for thirty bucks. My boss picked out a dangle which is an ornament simply designed to dangle, a polar bear, a palm tree, and one of my spinners which I made for a spinning competition in the club. This one was hollowed out and then pierced. I now can buy some more tools!!!!. I am actually way behind on my hobby paying for itself. Over the past three years, I have made far less than what it cost me.

My ornament display at work


We went yard sailing. When I got up in the morning, it looked like it might not be great for yard sales. Once I hit the road, I decided it would actually be a good yard sale day.
We hit quite a few yard sales, but really only purchased at a couple of them. At one yard sale, I got a set of seven bar clamps. The price was excellent. I now have another item in my Christmas list filled. I then picked up a meat pounder for a dollar. I am thinking of a use for it.

bar clamps and meat pounder picked up at yard sales

At another yard sale, I picked up some toy soldiers. when I got home, I dug out all the others I have. I am thinking of making a display using them. I thought I would take something I turned and use it like an amphitheater for them. I will give it some thought. I have a bowl that I have considered for this before. I think I can fill in another space in my present list.

ornaments picked up at yard sale

I had to leave early so I was not planning to get involved in something spectacular.
I photographed my findings and my ornaments. I petted and fed the beast of the back yard. He was not being of good behavior and actually swatted at me twice. He did, though, sleep at my feet later in the day which I always love. I read recently that cats are vulnerable when asleep so when they sleep with you, they are trusting you to protect them while they sleep.

all my ornaments laid out on display

I decided to carve a couple more turkeys, which I carved an experimental form last week. I decided to see if I could do better this week. My first one came out pretty good. The head needs a tiny bit of work.
On the second one, I accidentally lopped off the top of the head. Instead of the head "riding high", his head had to be reaching out. Of course I had to cut back the shoulders more to make it work. I was at the last part of shaping the head and made a cut with the grain rather than against it and it split the wood. I tried to glue the head back together while it was still attached, but the glue seemed to squeezed all out of it each time. then the top of the head came off and I was able to re-locate it among the shavings and glue it back on. I will have to finish both heads before I can paint and finish them up.

Two carved turkeys. A little touch-ups and they are ready for painting.

I left early and got nothing else done other than cleaning up. I did grab a piece of wood that I can cut the wings for my dragon out of. I have to do some heavy cutting to get to the blocks that hold the wings. Even then there will be a whole lot of cutting to free the wings out of the wood.

I have a couple more projects to finish to fill in spaces in my Christmas list. They won't be the way I had planned on finishing them, but they will be fixed up nicely if I get to them.
I have more ornaments to finish or make. I plan to gift a bunch of them so I need a few more made.
Since I have more projects than time, I will do my work on what catches my attention at the moment.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 11, Week 48, Day Two (week 622) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-10-11 Sunday

A cool 78 degrees in the morning, a scorching 80 degrees in the afternoon. A steady breeze with some gusts, clouds moved quickly. One sad cloud wept on me in the morning but it had stopped before I got all my equipment under cover. The rest of the day was patchy clouds of several levels and styles and lots of blue sky and some nice sunshine. the sun being to the south of us made it more difficult to give us long periods of sunshine because of the clouds in the way.
This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

This morning started with finishing up some projects that had to be done now.
I brought all my collection of circus / parade / mini ornament sets and a bowl I had that really needed something. The first project was to mount a two by two into the lathe and make a tall Christmas tree. The corners were not going to let the wood fit where I wanted it to go, but I would round the corners of the base so it would fit. I really wanted a bigger piece of wood but decided to go what I grabbed first which was an over-long two by two.
I mounted the base end in the chuck of the lathe, and the point of the tail stock in the center of the other end. I then cut in creating a Christmas tree effect with the rows of bows getting bigger as they went down the tree.
When I had that, I sanded well and touched up some errors. Then I mounted the piece, with the point of the tree going inside the shaft of the head stock and gently clamped down the chuck onto it.
The way the chuck is designed, is that the jaws fit onto plates that slide in a slot when you rotate screw. The inside of the plates close down almost but not quite, completely. When you put the jaws of the chuck on, the design of the jaw prevents it from closing quite as far. When you slip something inside the tubular shaft of the lathe, the bottom of those plates will close down on smaller pieces.
I had the base sticking out and held firmly enough not to wobble but not enough to damage the wood, and I was cupping the bottom slightly to fit the suface it was to mate with. I then was trying to slope the top of the base so it would not stick up like a big block the way it did. I got a catch and almost the entire base blew off the trunk of the tree. I cleaned up the trunk and then hand sanded the marks of metal touching wood at the jaws. I touched up the bottom of the trunk so it sat flat which it now had to do, and then drilled a hole for a dowel.
I painted the tree a dark green. I then hit the bottom part of the bows with white to represent snow. Finally dabbed different color dots all over to represent lights and decorations. I had decided not to wait to add beads to the tree.
The bowl I brought with me today was a natural edged bowl that did not come out right. I turned it on the side and did not mount it quite center so where the interior cut through the bark, it came out wrong. the bowl was both nice looking and ugly. I fished it out of my junk bowl box twice, a box where junky pieces go to be finished or tossed later.
I drilled a hole in the center of the bowl and stuck a skewer through and glued the tree over the skewer with the top fo the tree sticking out the top of the bowl.
I had laid out my "little people" which are ornaments for tiny trees, decoration figurines and such, and after taking pictures, put all the big pieces away. I then added the tiny figures around the base of the tree, looking out and looking at the tree. Everyone in the family I showed it to said it really maid a big difference. I had thought of doing this many times over the years and never had the gumption enough to do it. This month, I had acquired several baggies of these figures and now was a good time to make use of them. It sure saves the bowl.

Bowl I saved by adding Christmas tree and figures

I touched up several ornament carvings so they are now ready to paint. I will paint them this week.

A friend sent me a plunger for a kitchen device and was asked me to copy it but in one piece of wood. I dug out the ones I made, two in Mahogany and one in Oak, and touched up some "boo-boos" they had. They are now ready to send back. When I made them earlier this year, the problems seemed too difficult to fix. today, fixing them seemed so easy. Sometimes when you are having a problem with something, give it a few weeks and it will suddenly be solvable.

My nephew came up and wanted to work on something, so I dug out my little lathe, helped him set it up as a milling machine, and then had him mill the bottom fairly flat, a whole lot flatter than it was anyway. It is good experience for him. He eventually wants to have a whole machine shop and now is a good time for him to learn how to do it. It helps me as I have not had time to get to that project because of the Christmas Rush.

My nephew Machined the bottom of the aluminum block that will be used for a tool I am making

I had a couple pieces that needed sanding. Usually, I will take my drill out, mount the sanding disks on that, and move the drill while holding the work in place.
I got an idea. I mounted my Jacobs chuck (drill chuck with a taper attached) into the lathe and put my flap sander on it. I then moved my piece around as the lathe did the sanding. I could adjust the speed of the lathe as needed, slow or fast. At fast, it was not too fast either.
I then put a two inch sanding disk and sanded other places on the pieces to clean them up. It actually made short work of bringing two pieces up to something of a standard.
I had thought of making a big sanding disk to fit on the lathe, but it was only today that I thought of using the drill chuck for this. It sure did a great job

Jacobs chuck mounted in lathe with sanding disk

I had a Norfolk Island Pine vase I made a while back that had chips on the mouth. I had planned on carving it so the knots would be the centers of flowers. I just had not come up with a design I really liked. One thought was to pierce it all the way through with the design. It is one of the few pieces I have made that was thin enough for that. carving or piercing would hide the missing chips in the edge.
Looking at it, I decided to take the easy way out. I mounted the piece in the lathe, with the sanding pad still in place and centered the piece the best I could, and then cut the rim off just below the lowest chip. I went about a third of the way through and the piece seemed to be wandering in my arrangement. I took it off and used my carving knife to deepen the groove I already made until I could pop the damaged part of the rim off. I then used the disk sander and some hand sanding to finish off the edge. I actually like this look a bit better than with the taller, wider, mouth it had before.
I Can still carve and pierce this piece, but except for a few more coats of varnish, it is done for now.

I have a turning club meeting on Thursday. That was one reason I rushed to get some pieces done today. I like to have work to show off, and one of the pieces I worked on is a Bring Back Prize. I won the Prize last month, receiving a tool handle someone made. I need to have something to give out this month.
I will be running the video camera again this month. The guy who does it is not going to make the meeting. The video camera shows details of the demonstration that the audience cannot see from where they are seated. Of course I also take pictures for the club web site.
In the next couple days, I will paint the three ornaments I have done, and add them to my ornament display which I have set up in my office at work.
I will add more finish and touch-ups to the pieces for the club meeting. I always take them to work to show off before I take them to the meeting.
I MUST get started on my Christmas Cards. They are due weekend after next and I generally have to make up two dozen. These cards are hand painted and lettered on white card stock. I have a design in mind and the process thought out. It is just finding time to get started on it.
Next week, I will still have to make some more ornaments and have a couple pieces that I need to finish up that might be gifted. I have several things that need to be packed up and mailed out. I also need to start wrapping items. I may need more boxes.

I will see what I actually do next week.

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