Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week 638 Woodworking

Year 12, Week 12, Day One (week 638) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 03-31-12 Saturday

76 Degrees early morning, 86 in the afternoon. Blue sky over the ocean all day long, clouds over the Everglades. Once or twice the sun got far enough east to block the sun, but it was mostly sunshine until noon when the Everglades clouds started moving east. The wind was very calm in the morning but as the clouds approached, the wind picked up. When I got south and east, in another city, I ran through a cell of Liquid Sunshine that was so hard that it was almost like a fog, but drove out of that within a quarter of a mile. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

During the week.

Mom told me on Wednesday that the beast of the back yard had not shown up for two days. He had done that before so I was not worried at that time. Today, the beast never showed. Scarface showed up late, but no beast. Now is when one worries if something happened to him.


I hit four yard sales today. A church yard sale we go to regularly had nothing I could not live without. A second yard sale also had nothing. the third I got a pair of muffin tins and a cheese slicer. The muffin tins will go to my brother to store his purified aluminum. whenever he melts aluminum for a project, he always melts more than he needs. He puts the excess into steel muffin tins. the metal cools and solidifies into muffin shape chunks that can easily re-melted for the next project.

Two muffin tins are now at my brother's house so when he melts aluminum, he can put the excess in the muffin tins to cool. they make for a nice size blocks for re-melting aluminum.
the adjustable cheese cutter is at home now.

At the forth yard sale, which I hit in the afternoon on the way home, I got a rasp, and two big files, a wooden handled square, and a carpenter's folding rule. The guy gave me a chunk of heavy wood who's name he could never remember. He suggested that it was not for food.

The guy said the piece of wood is an exotic wood he could never pronounce. It was being used for dock work and he said it should not be used for food stuffs. I gave my brother the three files, the folding rule in in with my tools and I kept the square. The sharpening stone is home for use in sharpening my kitchen knives.


Several weeks ago, I got a pair of doggy brushes. I had heard of a method of preparing fiber such as cotton or wool for spinning called carding. Two brushes working in opposite directions make the fibers parallel. I tested my brushes with cotton. It will work but a finer spacing of the wire bristles would be better. These brushes would work great for wool.
I decided that since I could now card fibers, I needed a way to spin them. Today I made some drop spinners.
Drop spinners are sort of like tops with a hook on the top. A bit of thread is tied to the drop spinner, and wrapped onto the hook and then you start feeding your fiber to the thread as you spin the top. You slowly draw your hand away from the spun materials, slowly dropping the top toward the ground. You stop when it stops spinning and you remove the thread from the hook, and then wrap it around the shaft of the top, re-hook the thread to the hook, and then drop spin again. That, in theory, is how it works.
From what I saw on line, the design is simple. It is a disk on a shaft.
I took a chunk of Mahogany and drilled a hole in the center. Since I was using a screw to hold it onto the lathe, I had to drill a bigger hole for the threads to dig into which only went in a short distance.
I mounted the screw into it, and then knocked off the corners to speed up my rounding of it. you can buy wood wheels at some hobby shops that would do the same thing. it was my basic design anyway.

The block of wood with the screw in place. I will knock off the corners on the band saw and then mount it in the lathe to shape it.

I On my first one, the wood had a crack in it so I made the wheel, the weight, was a little past half as thick as the two inch wood. the screw I was using was positioned wrong so the chuck did not grab onto the head. the tail stock kept it pressed tightly against the chuck and centered. When I had one side finished, I parted part way into the disk and did shaping, then parted farther and shaped the back side, and then parted it off. I also sanded as I was going through the wood.
I glued in a dowel with a point sticking a short distance into the bottom. I went back to the drill press, which I used to drill the first hole, and drilled some big holes around the rim for decoration. My brother explained a book he had and the weight around the parameter is what is really important. the flange can be made thin and like spokes without effecting the spin of the disk by very much.

The completed first drop spindle. Except for the hook, it would make for a good spin top.

I then decided to make another drop spinner. This piece was cut from the opposite side of the board and when I lopped off the corners, there was no crack. I decided to make two spinners out of this blank. I shaped the first side, then parted it off. The screw holding it was deeper into the wood and the chuck was able to hold it better. When I parted the first disk off, It was right at the end of the screw.
I turned the surface of the one still on the chuck, then removed it from the screw, turned it around and used the tail stock to hold it in place while I did the second side. I then turned the back side of the first piece.
Since the piece with the screw had a bigger hole, I had to use a bigger dowel to fit the hole. I had to use a much larger dowel and used the disk sander while spinning it in my hand to reduce the diameter to fit the hole. I think I rounded the dowel off center. It has a slight wobble. just a little bit makes a big difference.
I added glue to the first disk and started working it in. the glue was just enough to make it stick and not move. I ended up breaking the dowel. I cut it off and tried to drill it The drill bit shifted so the shaft ended up slightly off center. I sanded the dowel a tiny bit before driving it in. that was all that was needed.
Even with the wobble, these seem to have a very good spin.

All three drop spindles The one with holes is the first one I made. That was one of those where the first one went perfectly and the other two made the mistakes not made in the first.

I have not decided what I will work on. I really need to do some carving on either the face vase or the dragon. I am still in recovery from the art show and simply wanting to work on something fun. I could make another drop spinner, but this time make it really good, artistic, something someone would want to show off. I have loads of wood to use up and really should get to work on them. I also would like to make some more standing dragons like I did many years ago. Back then, I had some with arms, holding a globe and some without arms. I also would like to make another baby dragon. Those can be quick carving projects or take some time.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 12, Week 12, Day Two (week 638) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 04-01-12 Sunday

76 degrees at nine, 83 degrees at noon, blue sky with smears of spilled milk very high up. A very light breeze, almost unnoticeable. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach and The City of Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism.


in the afternoon, I ran across several yard sales. I purchased a few things I really should not have gotten, but they seemed to be a good idea at the time.
I picked up a set of three pots. two are metal one ceramic. Knowing how mom buys pots, I paid more than I should have, but they were big, the type she likes. I took them back to Mom's house

Pots for Mom. the two brown ones are metal, the green one is ceramic.

I also picked up a commercial food warmer. It is one of those where you put water in the lower section and let the water get hot. Then you place the big pan of food over heated water. The steam and heat to keep the food hot, without any chance of burning while serving or waiting to serve the food. The price was real low and it looked too good to let go. Afterwards, I've asked myself a couple dozen times what I am going to do with it. It might work for family gatherings. I just don't know. I have to store it until then anyway.

Food warmer. has lid, pan and heating unit. I plugged it in for a few minutes and it was heating the water. I need to clean it up. I still don't know what to really do with it.


The beast of the back yard did not show again today. I am worried. there is a number of things that could have happened to him, some not good. I can always hope for the best.

I started the day not being at the top of my form. I was not really in the mood to do anything but wanted to do something.
A couple weeks ago, I started a natural edged bowl in Osage orange and mounted that in the lathe to continue to hollow it out.
I turned the lathe on to see that it was spinning free. After picking out the tool I wanted, I flipped the switch and the lathe would not start. I flipped it several more times, checked the plugs, flipped it some more, fiddled with the switch. Nothing. I have had problems with that switch before, but it would only do it once in a while.

I was not in the mood to grind on the dragon or the face vase. I looked at my tool cart. I am missing one of the points to my tail stock so I decided I would dig into the baskets on top to see if it was in there. I emptied the baskets, cleaned the top of saw dust, and then carefully went through the stuff there and put them back in the baskets. I have lots of PVC, copper, brass and steel, pipe pieces and fittings. Many of these will be the ferrules on the ends of tools, some of the PVC will be used to hold tools onto the lathe, and a few pieces will end up being cutting bits or some other kind of tool.
I also have rods of various materials and diameters that may end up being tools also. there are also handles with nothing in them. All these "stock" things went in one basket.
I have a lot of actual tools also, some will never be used while some might need a little repair, such as a bent parting tool that got caught in the wood when I went too deep without a relief space.
I have a couple pieces of metal of tool steel that are intended to be used as tools. A couple are already to be used while a couple need some shaping to be used. I was looking at my wood, thinking about making a handle. Then it dawned on me that the tool handle I received as a bring-back prize a few months back would solve the problem. I checked and it holds them easily. Now all I have to do is shape the ends for use. It takes only a minute or so to swap from one tool to another. I will make handles for some tools, but this is a good option.
I was looking at one tool and could not figure out what it was. It looked like a tool holder as it had a set screw. It took about five minutes for it to dawn on me that it was an extension my brother made for me to drill with a Forsner bit really deep such as in cannon barrels. I had totally forgot about that. I remember one time last year where that would have come in handy.

I cut the lines on the dream catcher and was weaving the lines to see the best design for running the lines. For some reason, it was not working. I will have to try it again to see if my idea of where my mistakes were, is correct. This new line I got, which is hemp, is about the right diameter. I had planned on getting a darker color, but now realize that the light color will be much better. I think that was part of the reason the yarn I used looked too heavy. It was catching too much of the eye. I have ideas on how to add the black and white duck feathers I got yesterday also. I chose not to get really bright colored feathers as they were just to gaudy, even if I liked the colors. What I might do is use brightly colored threads to bind the feathers. I will see when I get to that point. The first thing is to get the weave of the lines right first.

I called my brother and found out that he and my nephew was going to be working today. I exhausted my interest at Mom's house today so I went to my brother's house, stopping at several yard sales along the way.

My brother and nephew were building a brand new forge. This one is going to be for making a sword. It will have three air inlets and is from a portion of water heater that was cut down to size. At the moment, there are no ends on it.
My brother set my nephew up with the welder to weld some pipes together for the inlets. One pipe of the inlet had a "bird's mouth" on one end so it fits the curve of the pipe it was mating to, while the other has a hole. They lined up the bird's mouth with the hole, and then welded the two pipes together, filling the space all the way around. This was my nephew's first time welding and he did pretty good. It was not a fluid tight weld but it was a good strong weld. they could have ground the welds but instead just brushed the weld clean and left it at that.
They also welded a piece of threaded rod to the end of the pipe with the hole. What they will have when done is the air will come from the blower into the pipe with the bird's mouth. A plate will be attached, and held with a nut on the screw and will block the end of the pipe with the hole. the plate will allow the ash from the fire to be cleaned out of the pipe by moving the plate out of the way letting the ash fall to the ground or into a bucket.
When I left, they were about to weld the pipe to the bottom of the forge.

This is the underside of the sword forge. My nephew is holding the air fitting to the underside of the forge where it will be welded in place.

I gave my brother the files and rasps I got and showed him my square. I also showed him the food warmer and he did not want to store it at his house.

I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up some flourescent lights for my kitchen. I think only one is lit now and I can see the difference. I also got some packing tape to send a care package to a friend, which includes a couple pieces of my wood working along with some thrifting I have done.
When I got home, I loaded up and headed over to the laundry mat to do some wash. It had been so long since I did laundry that I was almost at that stage where I would have got to work in seersucker leisure suits and bell-bottoms.......

Next week I really need to get to work on some projects. I don't need to get to some serious work. I have the dragon and the face vase to carve. I want to make a few more drop spindles, but do them right this time. I also want to make some more pencil cups. I have a number of pieces of wood just waiting to become crochet hooks. I just have to sit down at the mini lathe and turn. I have some ideas for some small dragons I would like to make and could get them roughed out fairly quickly once I decide to work on them. I should make some more of the Christmas ornaments I am out of and there are some other little carvings I should do. Of course, I have a life-time worth of wood to turn into something to look at, and sawdust.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

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