Monday, February 11, 2013

Year 13, Week 4, Day One (week 681)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-09-13 Saturday
    75 degrees, lots of blue sky and quite a bit of sun. There was some fog early morning. I learned a weird thing. My apartment is on the 4th floor. I looked out the windows and it was foggy. I got to ground level and it was somewhat clear. The fog was hanging at about street light level!. I did drive through some fog on the way to Mom's house. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
Not having done these posts for a very long time, I am trying to get the week dates right. It takes a bit. I may be a week off on the over all week count, but am getting there. I think I had done when I first started posting was to not count the time I was out of commission. I've decided to count those weeks anyway, making the count the total number of weeks that has passed since I started.
    We hit a number of yard sales. I did not spend much but got the right things. I picked up a pie plate and paper plate holder. I then picked up a turnover maker for ten cents.
    I also picked up some children rattles. I donated them to a church. They can use them as rhythmic noise makers when they go to nursing homes. It happened that there was a one year old at the meeting and he ended up playing with the rattles for part of the meeting.
    In the late morning, we went to a meeting and that precluded any woodworking. I did finish another scarf, my third this year. It came out pretty good. I have more of that yarn and may make something else later. I will start a new scarf in a Navy colored yarn next. Changing things up, even it if is just the color, helps.

The scarf I finished this weekend. It is nearly six foot long, and the fringe makes it a bit longer.

The previous scarf I made. I decided to show it again. It is also six foot long.l   

Year 13, Week 4, Day two (week 681)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-10-13 Sunday
    72 degrees when I got outside, 75 later on. A few patches of early rain eliminated the chance of any Sunday yard sales. No rain fell when I arrived at Mom's house, and we got some blue sky between the clouds. There were some grey clouds to the west, over the Everglades that might have wept. It is hard to tell. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
plumbago flowers on my screen porch. I don't get many blossoms there.

    Half expecting some more rain, I set up under the awning. I put up a folding table, got out my dremmel kits, grabbed my dragon carving, a cup of coffee, and my shop apron.
    I dug out two burs, one called a saw, the other is tear drop shaped and put them in the Dremmel. I swap Dremmel depending on what I am doing at the moment, whether the dremmel gets hot, and how the wood is reacting to the different burs. sometimes one bur eats portions of the wood better than the other.
    My dragon which is about the size of a small to medium cat, was a carving I started in 2010. I had cut a piece of Norfolk Island Pine and the result resembled a dragon, with some imagination.
    When I was working on the dragon previously, I was afraid to make a mistake, not wanting to remove too much wood. I did make a few mistakes, such as drill holes that were miss aimed. they will eventually be filled. There are some bug holes that will also be filled later. Last weekend and this weekend, I have been able to go full bore, removing wood decisively.
    Last weekend, I worked only on the tail. That was easy to figure out what had to be done.
    Today I worked all over the body, quite a bit on the tail again, but I also tackled parts of the body. The dragon has a ridge that runs down the neck, up the back and onto the tail. These are supposed to be the spike plates that run down the back, but I don't have enough wood as this is based on the shape of the wood I started with. I amplified the ridge down the back, removing wood on both sides, then smoothing down the transition with the rest of the back. I saw that I have plenty of room to remove wood from the sides of the body so I spent a lot of time running the grinding bits back and forth on the sides to wear them down.
    A family member said that it looked like a dragon. That is a good start.......
Top view of the dragon, showing the back ridge I am developing.

    I am in a wood turning club where we make vases, platters, and other turned wood projects. I got word that the club has a club challenge. The main purpose of the challenges is to get members to make something that they normally would never make. This challenge is to make a spin top. It can be the type that uses a string, or just spin with fingers. They can be decorated, carved, painted, of any design. Usually what they do is to give out gift cards to someone at random who brought something to the challenge. A couple years ago, they had a spin top challenge and they had each person spin their top to see how long they would spin, and to see how well they spin.
    I decided I had worked on the dragon enough fo the day, and chose to drag out the lathe equipment. I have a rolling cart with lots of tools and parts for the lathe. I pulled it out and there was a whole bunch of stuff that had fallen out. I put them back first.
    I then searched for a piece of wood that would make the rim of a top. The type of spin top I chose to make has a ring, which is the weight to make it spin, and then a shaft with a point on the bottom.
    In my search, I found a cut-off blank of Osage Orange that had a reveal for the chuck to hold on. I did not need all of the piece of wood but decided to cut away the excess wood and not save it.
    I used a parting tool to cut behind the ring so that I had the right thickness. I had not quite decided on the method to shape the backside of the disk, but I parted down quite a ways to give enough reveal.
    I put the bowl gouge to the front of the center where the previous project was parted off, and because of where I put the reveal, the disk slipped in the chuck. I went to "Plan B" and pushed the disk up against the back of the chuck, with the jaws of the chuck sticking into the gap I had created. I made sure it was seated, and then removed the torn wood and made a conical pit.
    I then ran a drill bit through the piece. I have some three foot long drill bits (needs sharpening). I run it through the tail stock and hold it with a pair of vice grips to keep it from spinning. I then work it in and out manually until I get to the depth I need, or all the way through.
    Once the hole was drilled, I put the point of the tail stock into the drill hole to hold the work in place while I shaped the front surface.
    Once the front was done, I needed to do the back. I decided to turn the disk around and close the jaws some so the disk was flat up against the ends of the jaws, and the point of the tail stock applied the force to hold it in place.
    A couple times I had a small catch and the disk got off center. Where the catch was small, I backed off the tail stock and tightened it again, making it centered again. Of course, if it was worse, I would stop the lathe and adjust it manually. I then would have it spinning, back off the tail stock and tighten it to center it again.
    I cut away the part the chuck once held, and made a cone that blended into the disk. For good tops, all the weight should be at the edge of the ring. the less weight between the shaft and ring, the better it will spin. I coved the disk, but left it thicker than it could be.
    There was little effort to do a perfect job on this as it was more an excuse to make sawdust. I did sand it pretty good while on the lathe. I did have to turn the disk back around and sand the front, which later became the bottom of the spin top, because slippage on the chuck left a mark.
    I had chosen the drill bit for the skewer I was using as the shaft. The drill bit turned out to be slightly smaller than the skewer. I hand sanded the skewer to reduce the diameter until it slid into the hole. I had worked with the whole skewer and the extra length caused the top to fall over. The top spun well as long as I held the skewer up. I cut the skewer so it was about three inches longer than needed to fit through the disk and have the point sticking out the bottom. A test then showed it would work nicely. I glued the skewer in place. This is the best spinning top I have ever made. It really goes a long time on a hard smooth surface.

    Next Saturday, I have planned a visit to the local Renaissance fair that is going on. I love going to the fair and this is also a test of my ability to walk distances. I might have to crawl back to the truck at the end of the day. I will see.
    I will have to see my condition on Sunday as to whether I do wood working or sit back, or even stay home. I do know from experience that my leg will hurt, but how badly is what I need to see. I have a tendency to get going and keep going, not stopping to rest until I am worn out. I will be taking a cane that I can sit on and expect to make it most of a full day.
    I will see what I actually do next weekend.

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