Year 12, Week 2, Day One (week 628) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-21-12 Saturday
57 degrees early morning, 80 degrees around noon. Blue skies with some puffs here and there. A light breeze that was barely noticeable. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Oakland Park Department of Tourism.
During the week, I sanded and finished the bird I made a few weeks ago. I added about ten coats of varnish and came up with a gloss, even though it really needed to have a lot more sanding that it did not get. I dug out one of the bird ornaments I made that was similar to the big one I made.
My stylized birds the small one was an ornament I made this year.
The turning club meeting happened. Other than remembering to bring something to show off, bringing my camera, and myself, I forgot a whole bunch of things. We had gone two years without a newsletter and want to get it started again. I needed to make a list so the guys could write down what they brought and what it was made of, and we would put it into the newsletter. I forgot about the list.
One guy made a chess set. That was something I had considered doing several times. He worded it perfectly. “The first piece is fun. The other 31 pieces are a lot of work.”
The demonstration was on finishing, using wipe-on poly. he did it differently than what I do. It was good to see. One big thing is I don't sit and sand. The only thing I do is sit and play on the computer. If it is not fully sanded when it comes off the lathe (which is unlikely), it barely gets sanded again. I break a whole bunch of other rules when it comes to finishing and that is just where my lack of quality starts.
We did a little bit of yard sailing. at one yard sale, I picked up a pair of toaster oven pans.
pans for the toaster oven.
At another, I picked up an unopened package of DRAGON NATURALLY SPEAKING. This is a speech-to-text program. I had an much older version of the program and had difficulty remembering the editing commands. It really won't help me too much as I type faster than I talk. It does read back to you and that is sometimes useful in editing.
DRAGON NATURALLY SPEAKING voice to text software.
I did no woodworking today. We heard about a "city wide" yard sale and an art show at the same place. We went down there. The yard sale was not spectacular, not big. There were about ten or twelve booths.
We then went in to the art show. All I can say is,,,, WOW! It was fantastic.
It was the art of the HIGHWAYMEN, which were Black Florida artists who in the 50s, could not get into galleries to sell their work. They would set up on the side of the road and sell their paintings of the Florida landscapes. A reporter gave them the name of highwaymen.
Robert L Lewis, one of the highwaymen artists, with the painting he did while we were watching.
About the highwaymen
for pictures of their work,
One of the men painted a scene of a BALD CYPRESS pond scene. While watching him work, I realized I did everything wrong in my last attempt to paint. From the time he started applying his colors for the sky, to the moment he put his signature on it, it was a pretty painting and needed nothing more. It was impressive to watch him work. Of course, my camera was in the car.
Someone wanted to purchase the painting before he was done. He had a fun banter, told stories, joked around while he worked. His shoulder was bothering him so lifting his arm for the high corners was tough on him.
I ended up purchasing a mouse pad and had him sign it. He had paintings that were extremely impressive with the colors he had, but I decided on a more muted colored mouse pad.
Robert L Lewis painting printed on a mouse pad, autographed to me
After he finished the painting, we went directly back to mom's house and after I took pictures of my stuff, I went home. I needed to recover from being up well past my bed time on Thursday.
Tomorrow, I MUST work on the dragon. I now know how I want it to be. I now have to remove the wood to show everybody else the dragon inside it. Besides the face vase, I have four other projects I really want to work on, and about ten others in mind.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 12, Week 2, Day two (week 628) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-22-12 Sunday
64 degrees early morning, 75 degrees when I got out back, 80 degrees when I left at two. Skies were feathers and mesh beneath a blue sky, but puffs showed up and got heavier and heavier as the day went on. it was mostly sunny though. The breeze was not really noticeable until it gusted, sending sawdust all around. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
I had every intention to work on my dragon. I kept looking at it, planning on painting where the limbs and tail was going to go. I just had to take care of a few things first.
The beast of the back yard has been flighty as of late. today, He decided to want attention, and I decided to give him quite a bit, though not as much as he really wanted. he showed his beast-hood by swatting at me a couple times later in the morning when I was giving him attention when all he wanted was company.
I decided to quickly modify that ring I made last week when I made my sanding disk. Since the disk was smaller than the blank I had, I had cut through the wood to release a ring, saving the wood.
Today, I decided the ring was way too thick on the circumference so I wanted to remount it on the lathe. I got the bright idea of taking a disk I had that had a glued on tenon, and trued it up and then tape my ring to it.
The original form of the dream catcher ring.
I worked on the front of the disk and got it nice and flat, though I had some ripples in it, and I trued up the wobble on the edge, and was cleaning up the back a little. the glue was not really well done which was why it was wobbly. I applied some extra pressure on the back side and it popped off and went flying. The glued on tenon was still in the chuck.
I still wanted to mount the ring. I did not have another blank with a tenon on it, so I went to plan be. Since I had flattened the face of the board, and I saw the crossed lines that I had drawn when it was still a square twelve by twelve board, I opened my chuck wide, and stuck the point of the tail stock on the center of the crossed line. After I slipped the ring over the tail stock and moved it so it was out of the way, I cranked the tail stock in as hard as possible so there would be little or slippage or movement of the blank. I then trued up what was once the back side, and then held the ring to the blank while drawing lines to indicate where the ring needed to sit and be centered.
I messed up slightly on the alignment but not enough to see when holding the ring. I used double sided foam tape to hold it in place. the squares were a bit old but tacky enough.
I cut in on the inner edge of the ring, creating an inset from the front. I just about had it the way I wanted. I needed to make the inset a bit thinner front to back.
Dream catcher ring mounted on the lathe with some of the reveal already cut away.
All the sudden, the ring flew apart. I had noticed a shrinkage crack across the center of the disk I was using and half expected it to be what broke, but it was spinning nicely on the lathe.
I picked up the visible pieces and laid them on the work bench to glue them together, then had to go get one more piece to make it round. It had broken into five pieces. two long side pieces, one medium piece on the bottom, and two short pieces on top.
I glued them together as straight as possible and placed weights against it on the sides to clamp them together since regular clamps would not work without gluing it in sections first.
I later filled the gaps with sawdust and glue. I then drilled little holes around the inner rim that I will slip thread through. this will need a lot of sanding before it will be ready to finish up.
After it is finished, I will string a spider web and dangle some carved leaves that came from a carved bowl I broke. it will be sort of like a stylized dream catcher.
Dream catcher ring, glued back together, drilled fr string, with the possible arrangement of the pieces of leaf bowl set in it. The rest of the bowl is outside the ring.
A friend suggested that I try that stylized bird but as an owl. I decided to test the idea. I had a yellow pine four by four and cut a piece off. I first made the cone that would become the tail. I then shaped the body. I almost had the body and made it smaller as it was just too big.
When I started the head, I cut it way down as it felt way too big. I made it a horned owl so I did a partial cone to create the horns.. Once I took that off the lathe, I used my disk sander that happened to have 60 grit to cut away the bottom of the cone. It is a lot safer than the band saw. I then shaped the head on the disk sander.
I drilled the head and body for a skewer to hold them together and that was when I saw that the head was really a bit too small. I glued the head on anyway. I then decided it needed a different base. Digging through my wood pile, I found an old piece of weathered wood, I am not sure what it was. I trimmed off the end with a few knots from broken branches and since it was a splitting, I cut the wedge off to create a flat bottom.
I decided to have two legs rather than the one leg of the original design, so I drilled into the base of the body and added bamboo skewers. I then drilled matching holes in the base and glued it in place. The head is really too small and I really need to add a beak.
It is not bad, but I may well replace the head, making it bigger. I will see.
Owl. Needs a beak I may make a bigger head also.
I have a metal hammer with brass insert pounding surfaces. I use that on my lathe to tighten the tail stock since the handle broke. I pound on the side of the remains of the handle to tighten or loosen.
The brass heads were always unscrewing themselves. I had the waxed paper from the double sided foam squares, so I stuck a piece of that into the threads of the heads and screwed them on. I had to clamp the head on one and twist the hammer around to tighten it. they are not going to want to come off any more.
I received some coal for Christmas and decided to experiment. I took two pieces and soaked them in varnish. I did not know how deep it would soak into the coal but was worth the try.
I intended to place it on the mini lathe and machine it. Since I had the dremmel out, I placed a cutting disk on it and cut some pieces off it to make it easier to work with.
While coal looks pretty, it is a soft material. the black powder that came off the cutting disk stuck to everything. The varnish did not soak in very much by the looks of it. Soaking it in super glue might be better.
After I shape it, I would give it some hard finish to protect it. I will have to see how it works on the mini lathe later. I know I will be cleaning up a mess.
Original pieces of coal with varnish on it
coal after I cut up one piece.
I really needed to do SOMETHING on the dragon. the day was late and I was having to make a couple stops on the way home, so I cleaned up and left without touching the dragon. I did not touch the face vase either. My only excuse I can claim is that the ring is all work to be done at home and the bird was a test and will be home finishing also.
Next week, I MUST do work on the dragon. I don't have very many weekends left and it has to get close to looking finished long before time so I can get the finish exactly the way it needs to be. The finish I am planning is going to take about a month.
The face vase also needs to be done the same time. Faces are not really easy to do for me so it is going to take some time to get that done.
I must not procrastinate any more.
I will see what I actually do next weekend.