(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
90 degrees at nine O'clock, 92 at ten, 95 at noon and 96 at three. Blue skies, lightened by dust from Africa, some puffs over the Everglades in the morning and I don't remember seeing them in the afternoon. There was a good breeze off the ocean and that was what likely drove the Everglades clouds out of sight. I did sit in front of the fan quite a bit during the day, though. I am not as heat tolerant as I used to be. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano department of Tourism.
Last week, one of Mom's preachers said he finally got permission to open a church in a store front. I told him "I cannot make any promises, but I will see about making some crosses. No promises though." My first project today was to see what it would take to make some crosses.
I first had to find appropriate wood. I looked in the shed and the only stick long enough was some black walnut. While it might be good wood for such a project. It was too valuable for me to use. I had no source for more. My next choice was a stick of two by two whitewood that I purchased for making Christmas ornaments. I decided it was perfect for the project. I measured it half way and sawed it with a handsaw designed for cutting small trees down. It did the job. I then measured for the arms. I decided that a third the length (14 inches) might look good. I marked it on one and placed it over the other and decided it was right. I went to the bandsaw and noticed that the throat could only handle a little over twelve inches and went with it.
I then measured half way on the arms and a third of the way down on the uprights, and CAREFULLY measured for the thickness of the wood. I also measured down CAREFULLY half the depth of the wood between those marks. I then CAREFULLY cut the waste wood away so I would have a half-lap joint, which is SUPPOSED to be like the two pieces are one, with CAREFUL measuring and careful cutting, the surfaces should end up flush with no excess gaps on each side of the wood. Between the main cuts, I sawed in some relief cuts and then used a chisel to break out the waste wood. I hit all surfaces with a disk sander to clean up the surfaces a little. With the knots and such in the wood, they were not going to be perfect.
I had never done this before in my life and in spite of my care, I ended up with nice gaps when I was done. I first glued the cross members together to make my assembly project easier, having them stay in place while I put in screws. It did help, though I did not let it set long enough.
In searching for screws, The ones in the shed came in two sizes, too short and too long. I went with the too long screws and they went all the way through. I put two screws on the cross-members and then used a Dremmel cutting disk to remove the ends.
Now I needed to deal with the gaps. I went to my disk sander and filled a baggy with the dust. I then took a cap and added water and white glue, mixed them up, then added a whole bunch of the sawdust to make a paste. I then pressed it into the gaps like a filler putty. After the crosses dried for a couple hours, I took a orbiting sander to my filler to smooth it and to knock down some edges,
I then grabbed some black paint and started painting the crosses. I finished a second coat before it ran out of paint. It needed more. I then found some brown paint and sprayed with that. On the second coat, I ran out of gas while the can still had lots of paint in it. I gave up and set the crosses out to dry. I was giving them away in whatever condition they were in.
That night, I delivered the crosses. The preacher was really happy to get them, saying I saved him $170. I apologized that they were not as good as I intended. He said that they were absolutely perfect, since what they were supposed to represent was not made perfectly.
My second project involved an aluminum tool rest for my machine lathe. My brother gave me a block of aluminum that he had melted down. I cut some blocks of wood exactly to the size and shape of the metal block. I then cut the two blocks in half, one length way and the other across the middle. There is a good reason to make wooden prototypes before one deals with the "expensive" metal. I saw that the pieces cut length wise was not going to work. They were too narrow for everything they needed to have.
I had made a model- a prototype last year out of wood just to see if my design was even possible. I found that the block cut across, was the exact size as the model. There are a number of changes I am making based on that model's experience. I drew lines showing where material will be removed and what will stay. I had set up my machine lathe as a milling machine, thinking I might remove some wood, but realized I did not have the time or gumption by then. I packed up the back yard and called it a day.
I was on my feet quite a bit Saturday, visiting yard sales including another community one, and running around at various places. In the evening, I had danced a jig, showing off. while I did not feel anything wrong when I did it, about ten minutes later, I learned it was a big mistake. My knee did not like it.
Sunday, I was on my feet for a good portion of the morning. By evening, Tylonal was not enough to handle the discomfort.
I have flat feet and wore orthotics, Medical shoe inserts to correct for the flat feet. I am missing one boot from the accident, but the one I do have is for my good foot, which was bothering me. I slipped the orthotic into my shoe and it helped greatly. I will have to try out the over-the-counter ones and see if they will help me, otherwise I will have to pay $400 for a new pair of medical ones.
I do sometimes forget the cane when I am moving around and will get a distance away before I notice I did not take it with me. Most of the time though, I have to use the cane as My balance is not the greatest or my leg does not want to work right.
All in all, it was a very good weekend for wood working.
I will see what I do next week.
Some yard sale finds
hand powered grinder