Year 12, Week 3, Day One (week 629) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-28-12 Saturday
64 degrees early morning, 76 degrees when I got outside. I forgot to check the temps when I left. The morning sky could be described as pebble puffs, spreading net and sand. The clouds got a bit heavier mid morning and then it mostly cleared up except sporadic patches of puffs more to the west, along with feathers and mesh up high. The breeze was mostly not noticeable, except a short period where it moved some sawdust and papers around. While there was a lot of sun, there was clouds in front of the sun often, though there was not much substantial clouds in the sky. This weather report is brought to you by the city Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
We went yard sailing. One condo had a yard sail. they have them maybe twice a year. There is always good stuff there. We went in as they opened and I made one walk around the place to see what they had, then picked up a good number of things. A popcorn popper for five bucks, a whole bunch of knitting needles for five bucks, then a bunch of odds and ends for a buck or so.
At another yard sail, I got a game, a basket and some books. On the books, I wanted the herb book and they had three for a buck, or fifty cents each, so I got two other books that I might have a chance of reading I skipped the cooking books entirely otherwise.
knitting needles. Crochet hooks are by scissors.
Popcorn air popper. Chess and checker game
Tupperware bowls and lids Cookie cutters. The one in the upper left rolls
Fish hook sharpening stone. assemble heroes game
would be good for some of my gouges
Ice Cream Scoop. books.
Basket that will have crochet materials in it soon.
I finally got out back. I accidentally scared off the beast of the back yard when I had got out front to load the wagon with tools in the truck and I came out back he spooked when I showed up. He only ate just a little bit.
I had made an owl last week and the head was way too small for the body, and the body was the wrong kind for an owl. I removed the head and then took a piece of wood and turned a new head. this head has him looking more down his chest than my normal bird. I showed it to several people and they liked it.
bird with new head.
Mom had me cut a few branches off a tree. She said that it will grow just by sticking it in the ground. I filled a pot and stuck one branch into it and took it home. I will see how long it takes to kill it.
a piece of the tree mom had me trim. I will see if I can get it to grow.
I painted on the dragon carving where the limbs and tail would go. This gave me an unquestioningly visible clue. I painted one leg with one color, then painted over it with another color to move it to where I like it.
While the paint dried, I started untangling and untwisting some steel wire I picked up. They were cutting from some project or another. I came up with a great way to straighten the wire. It does not get it perfectly straight, but straight enough, and it is very easy.
I opened the jaws of the vise so it is about twice as wide as the wire. I stick the wire in to the first bend and apply pressure to the wire in a straightening direction. When you have multiple bends or even twists, you can shift the wire in and out slightly, and use the front and back jaws to hold the start of the bend to straighten it. I did quite a few before I realized I needed to get back to the dragon.
Painting the limbs and tail on the dragon. the left side view gave me more information on how I wanted the tail to to so I did not paint it on the right side.
My first project was to drill the hole in the center of the loop that the dragoon's tail makes. I used a half inch drill bit I quickly found that tomorrow, I need to do a battery charging marathon. None of my batteries have power. I had enough juice to get three holes drilled.
I used the dremmel to join the holes and expand the space. In my grinding, I found that the bark inclusion was causing problems, so I used the bandsaw to remove a bit of it. I also ground away a lot.
I ground away the wood between the front and rear leg on both sides, but have to do more.
I also drilled a hole above the rear leg and in the space between the body and the tail curling down. I ran out of juice with my battery powered drill (all five batteries) so I dragged out an electric drill to finish the job. I had the angle slightly wrong and nicked the leg, but since the leg will be heading a bit more inside, I will get all the leg thickness I am after. I ground some around the hole before I decided I was done for the day.
Looking at it, The dragon made big headway on coming out. Having made my decisions and committed to them, Wood should disappear quickly now.
Carving around the painted details to give the dragon form.
Tomorrow, I will straighten some more of the wire. I will carve heavily on the dragon to give it more shape and design. My brother is coming up so I might end up doing some metal work after he arrives.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 12, Week 3, Day Two (week 629) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 01-29-12 Sunday
65 degrees early morning, 76 degrees by ten and stayed there. The weathermen had fixed the cloud cover as there was no break in them all day long. The clouds got a bit heavier at a few points in the day to the west, which made us wonder if it might rain, but all the clouds brought was themselves. There was a nice breeze which did gust a few times during the day. Otherwise, the weather was uneventful. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
The beast of the back yard was out this morning and I got to pet him while he fed heavily. After I while, I took my wagon out to my truck to get some tools and when I got back, he was gone. I did not see him again during the day. I wish I knew what had spooked him.
I got all my equipment out, and settled down with my dragon. Using my dremmel to grind away wood. I used my drill to open up spaces to be hollowed out, the band saw and hand saw to cut away pieces of wood to save me grinding time.
There are people who are purists when it comes to carving. The master carvers from Austria have certification on their carvings that no power tool was used on it.
I am not a purist. I will use anything to get the job done. for me, removing wood is not the key to carving. Of course, with this dragon, the object is to avoid removing the wrong wood. Hand tools slow the process so it is easier to stop before a big mistake is made. Power tools make mistakes very fast.
The tools I use depends on the size and kind of carving I am doing. My fairies, which would stand twelve inches if they stood straight, is a combination of power and knife carving. My carved vases are all carved with power tools, generally the dremmel. This dragon is all power tools at least until I get near the final surface.
My plan is to give it a fairly glossy finish and leave it at that for the March Art show. After that I may decide to texture the surface to add scales and other things to it. For now, getting a really good looking shape is the aim.
I found out that I started on this back in August. I have pictures of where I made cuts on the original slab of wood to free up the dragon.
Left side view of the dragon
Front view of the dragon
Right side view of the dragon
My brother came and since I did not want to shower him with sawdust. I put my grinding tools away and then while we were talking, he was reading, I took out the little lathe.
I mounted a piece of bamboo into it and machined it down about half the diameter. I was only seeing if it would machine, not make it a particular diameter. I ran a file over it while it was spinning at the end to clean up the final surface.
I can see that I need more types of points for the tail stock. One idea is to have an inside cone with a point sticking out the center. That would keep the material centered and prevent it from splitting out so much as the cone would hold it in. I really need to come up with a live center, a ball bearing type system for the tail stock so the point would spin with the material.
When I got home, I decided to repair a wind-up flash light. I used one of those flashlights during hurricane Wilma were we went without power for about a week. Since I was alone, one crank light was perfect. I could crank it up and it would give me enough light to be able to do whatever I needed to do.
Later I tried to repair one and found it had a little battery in it. The battery was charged up when you cranked it, and then it discharged the power over time.
I found long ago that if I keep my batteries in the freezer, they will stay good for years. Since my crank light has a battery, I have kept it in the freezer door of my fridge.
Over the past few weeks, it somehow has slipped out and hit the floor. The knob of the crank broke off.
I tried to drill out the plastic of the knob. I found out after basically spinning it a while, that a patch on the top of the knob came off and there hid a screw. The handle had a shaft that went into the knob and the screw held it in place.
I found a screw head that was bigger than the hole at the top, just long enough, and a tiny bit smaller than my drill bit I was using. I first drilled a pilot hole with a tapered grinding bit. I was using a mini motor tool. I had gone all the way through with the point of the grinding bit. I then drilled for the screw. I did not go all the way through, but close. After a test start of the screw, I slipped it into the knob and screwed it into place until it was pushing on the plastic on the bottom. I figure I can reinstall the screw and go deeper into fresh plastic if I had to.
It works. I found a better place in the door for it to park. The big reason It was not staying in place was that when that bracket broke, I pulled everything out and got rid of a few things. It never packed together the same again.
Next week, I need to work a whole lot more on the dragon. I also should start on the face vase. For the face vase, I will decide which eyes will go together as the spacing is different all the way around, and then cut down below the eyes to leave a nose in between. I have learned that making a good, visible start on a project makes the whole project seem to go faster.
I will see what I actually do next week.