Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 630 Wood Working

Year 12, Week 4, Day One (week 630) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 02-04-12 Saturday 72 Degrees, solid boulders of cloud puffs. At one point in the morning, I was trying to determine which way the clouds were going and it looked like they were going in opposite directions. One batch was likely a lot higher than the other. Some of the clouds were sad and wept on us. None of it was hard enough in our area to warrant our wipers. In other areas on the way to mom's house and leaving her house, I did have to run wipers. Early morning, the sun did peek beneath the clouds for a long moment, but then the clouds ganged up and snuffed it out. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

We went yard sailing. There was a rummage sale at a church that we go to regularly. Sometimes they have craft sails. This one is like a yard sale. I tried to use control but opportunity took over. I picked up five cook books. One that I was really interested in was THE PERFECT HOSTESS COOK BOOK By Mildred O Knopf. It was originally published in 1950 and this is the sixth printing at 1958. Old books are always a dream. They are before "open a can of..."'

The books I got. The cover of the family circle book was just plain red except for on the spline so I opened it to show the cover page

I also got a insulated carafe and a 42 cup coffee maker. The coffee maker even has a paper that tells how much coffee to use. I plugged it in and it works.

42 cup coffee pot and insulated caraf

Later in the day, I stopped at a thrift store and picked up a box of knitting needles and yarn.
During the week, I counted out all my knitting needles and came up with 92 of them (I also got six metal crochet needles) Today I got seven with this batch of yarn so that gives me ninety nine needles.
Another time during the week I decided I would try to make a set of knitting needles. Except for like two gaps, I have all sizes of knitting needles from zero to 13in just my long needles. I have a number of needles in original packages and I have a bunch of small needles too.
Along with my knitting stuff was a beginner's book on knitting. There is a two hook method for casting on where it starts from a slip knot. That is fairly close to crochet and eliminates a lot of guesswork so when I get to start on trying knitting, that will be the method I will use. I have to wait a while as I have some crochet projects that have priority.

Yarn and knitting needles. The bin at the top of the picture was what they were in, and that plastic package on the bottom is a cross stitch kit.

I sanded on the bird I made last week and gave it some varnish. That helped the way it looked.

I gave the beast of the back yard a lot of attention, but we had to go after about an hour so he left disappointed. I will have to give him attention tomorrow.

I went down to the antique shop. I did a minor re-arranging of my display, and let him know that I was going to retrieve my stuff next month for the art show. I had both birds with me and the head of my first big bird broke off. I need to make a cleaner bearing surface between the body and the head so the dowel is not all that is holds the head on.

My camera uses mini-CDs as the film. They are a good permanent copy of the images and can be read in any CD player. There is a problem in that since there are moving parts, things can go wrong.
I got home, took a picture of something and then plugged the camera into the computer to get the pictures I had taken. the CD had an error and refused to be read. Luckily, Today's pictures were the only ones I lost. Even so, I pull pictures off the camera each day and put them on the computer so if a CD fails like it did today, I would not lose too much.
The only pictures I lost were the ones I shot at the Antique shop and a couple shots of my dragon and face vase I shot just to show the owner of the antique shop.
The only change of my display was there were from the pictures I took last month was that I moved a few items around and retrieved two more pencil cups. I am finding they are quite useful. I will make a whole bunch more of them after the art show.
One project I did this week was to make "emergency" pencil cups. I had some pill bottles that are about two and a half inches in diameter and about for inches high. I happened to have a fine tooth saw in the house and I cut off the top at the shoulder so it ended up near three and a half inches tall. It is tall enough to handle regular pens and do-dads, freeing up one of my taller pencil cups for taller items. I also made one for at work since I had emptied another of those bottles. Other kinds of plastic containers work nicely too.

Tomorrow, my main project is to carve on the dragon. I need to have visible advancement from where it is. I likely will work the tail quite a bit. I will cut in for the plates, or fins, on the spine of the tail. The back of the dragon won't have spines unless I make them small. I also need to undercut his belly quite a bit to free his legs and tail, make his position more understandable.
I could make headway on the face vase very quickly by cutting some wood away directly below the eyes. That would pinpoint where the noses are. I would then simply have to cut the ridge between the two faces to define the face fully.
What all I do will depend on my moods. I plan to leave fairly early in the day so I won't get a whole lot done.


Year 12, Week 4, Day Two (week 630) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 02-05-12 Sunday

74 degrees, nice breeze, sky had a high haze that filtered the sun, with sporadic large puffs. The sun brightened some as the day went on but the haze remained, giving the sky a milky blue tint. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I sat down with a book and petting the beast of the back yard for nearly an hour. He slunk off to the back fence when he was done and I finished my chapter a bit later. He was happy for the attention I gave him.

On the stylized bird, I had broke the head off accidentally yesterday. Today I drilled out the dowels and then cut a new dowel. I glued the head back on and hopefully, this one will not break soon.

I had a broken plastic knitting needle. I had decided to make it a pair of crochet hooks. I put a cutting disk into the dremmel. I then shaped the hook of the first one. I went a bit too deep on my first attempt and was able to break that off easily. I cut the broken end off and made a new hook. It was strong and looked good I then made the second hook from the other part of the needle. I hand sanded the cut. I have not tested the hooks so I do not know what corrections I will have to make.

The front hook was too short so I added a handle. The back hook has the #10 end cap that the knitting needle originally had.

I put the grinding bit, referred to as a saw, into the dremmel and started grinding wood between the hind legs of the dragon. I finally day-lighted some wood at the tail. Getting the grinding bit into the space is kind of tough, but I tackled it from three different directions.
I also used my strip sander on the project to level out some of my cuts. The strip sander is about an inch across and an inch high and has a sanding strip powered by the angle grinder that the strip sander is attached to.
I worked until I became a little uneasy about the wood I was going to need to remove.
I learned long ago that if it feels like I am about to make a mistake, I stop for the day and tackle it on another day when I am starting fresh. This is a safety thing where I don't remove the wrong material or make the wrong cut or gouge.
This dragon is at a peculiar position. It is tilted and twisted. Thinking about it, I need to work on the legs as their position is key to getting the form right. Thinking about it, I think I have one leg wrong. What I think I have is the knees of each leg bending in opposite directions. It was something I worried about but did not see how it was wrong. It would have helped if I put my body in the right position. One knee should have been going up, then down to the foot. Instead I have both knees going down to the ground. One knee bends to the front like a horse and the foot is forward. The other knee bends like our knee and the leg goes backwards.
This is known as 20-20 hindsight. I will have to look at the leg next week and see if I can work out how to save it. I might not be able to make it right, but I might be able to make it look good.

Left side and right side of dragon. Not really a lot of visible differences from last week. The left side shows the back of the head and you are looking at the tail and rear leg.

The bottom of the dragon. The head is to the right and the tail is to the left. You can see the gap between the two rear legs where I was shaping the belly and bottom.

I did as much as I wanted to do on the dragon and decided to call it a day. I should have done a whole lot more. I have that face vase I could have removed some wood on. I also have the dream catcher I could have worked on. I have plenty of wood that could have been turned and small carving projects. I could spend eight hours a day woodworking if I had the time and gumption.
The renaissance fair is starting down here next week. It goes for five weekends. I would love to go early just in case I can go twice. If I do go next weekend, that will cut heavily into any woodworking time I might have for getting ready for the art show. I might forgo that next weekend, especially if the weather is wrong.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

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