Sunday, June 30, 2013

Year 13, Week 23, Day 0ne (week 699)(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-29-13 Saturday
    Early morning dribbles, then blue skies. The normal winds out of the west brought clouds marching east to the ocean. The off-ocean breezes would knock down and dissipate the western clouds so few or none got past over head my location. It was not until around four that Thunder heads built up. Around five, the thunder heads finally forced their through the off-shore wind blockade and crossed over  us, wetting the ground, and headed off into the ocean. The temperature started at 86 and got up to 96, but a strong brisk breeze kept things comfortable, even though I had a fan on. Once in a great while, a gust of wind would blow the fine sawdust from the mini lathe into my face. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    There were two yard sales but they had nothing I could not live without. One did have a hand held band saw but I did not have that kind of money on me.
    We fed the momma kitty and the baby kitties came out. Momma kitty decided that she liked me and let me pet her. She hung around close by most of the day. I also got to pet all three kitties, but one is very spooked and most of the time was in another part of the yard. I am guessing that it is depending mostly on Momma for food right now. Mom said momma kitty over ate, then spit it up for the baby kitties to eat once.
    During the last few weeks, I've experimented with hair bands as belts for my UNIMAT machine lathe. I decided to have a look on line for real belts, to see what kind of price I was needing to put out.
    I located this site, as my first place to look, and reading through it, gave me a lot of good information. The price of available belts were not bad either.
    Things soak into the brain when you do not realize it. I needed to know exactly what model lathe I had so I was not ready to order.
    I settled at my lathe and it was making some noise. The thought hit me that maybe I put the case together wrong when I assembled it last. The web site said that one should mark the case before disassembling as it must go together the same way. I turned off the lathe, removed the pulley and realized the front of the case was on upside down. There is a hole above the bearing where oil can be added to the bearing. I took it apart, flipped the case and put it back together. It was quieter.
    I then remembered that the basic belts came in two sizes and the small belt was really small. I took the belts that came with the lathe, which were braided rayon, and put them on the lathe. I was really surprised that the little belt actually stretched to go from the motor to the idler pulley. The big belt went to between the idler pulley to the drive pulley. Then the other big belt went nicely to the screw drive (just a shade big but that is not a big problem). It all ran nicely. I don't need new belts at all. I may well get some later, but not right now.
    I did go to the Dollar store to get more hair bands and the ones that worked were completely out. I got some small fabric ones. They did work after a fashion, but being cloth, they did slip on some pulleys. The ones that had glitter on them worked best. They likely won't be used at all because I now know the original pulleys still work.
    I looked at the sticks of oak I wanted to round. It dawned on me that if I could remove the corners, I could save myself a number of time consuming passes in removing corners using the lathe. I quick search located a spoke-shave that has bouncing between tool boxes for a while. I had a close look and removed the blade, sharpened it and put it back together. I tried it and it gummed up with wood chips. Looking at it again, I realized that the "chip breaker" that holds the blade in place was catching the chips. I backed the chip breaker so it was at the start of the angle of the blade. It worked better. I adjusted the depth of the blade, and suddenly it was kicking out nice strings of cuttings.
    With the stick in the vise with the corner sticking up and the vice clamping on the two side corners, I shaved the top corner flat. I then flipped it and did the bottom corner. I then turned it and clamped the top and bottom in the vice with one side corner sticking up and removed that corner, flipped it to get the final corner. In the time to remove the corners off a stick with the lathe, I learned how to use the spoke-shave and removed the corners off five sticks.
    Turning the sticks went faster than it has. there was now eight corners to remove but they were not sticking way out. I ended up with five rods that will eventually become handles for my crochet hooks. I also rounded two other small pieces of wood, without using the spoke shave, to be used later also. I will have ten crochet hooks and these five oak sticks will be cut in half to become two handles. They will also be smaller in diameter but are a good start.

 Original stick in the vice with the corner up.
 Same stick with the corner planed off.

  Three stages of the stick, square, corners cut off and machined round. The spoke shave is shown at the base of the rods.
 Completed oak rods that will eventually become handles for crochet hooks.

  I was asked to make a stirring stick for liquid fertilizer. The length needed was a problem for finding something commercial to use. I took a whitewood two by two and decided to cut the top and bottom corners off so the width of the spatula end would be from corner to corner of the two by two.
    I cut a small bit off the end of the stick, then cut that in half corner to corner, and that became my guide for cutting the corner off. I set the angled block near the blade, set the wood against that and it held the stick at a forty five degree angle while I sliced off the corner. I flipped it and did the other side. I then cut down the length to make a rough square handle and shape the spatula.
    I finally mounted it on the lathe, the spatula in the drive spur at the motor and the handle at the tail stock. I then slowly rounded the handle. there was a lot of bouncing as the wood flexed. I got it rounded and even sanded it. There was a bit of tear out but not really bad. I evened up the neck of the spatula on the lathe.
    I finally used the spoke shave on the edges and to plane down the spatula, and finally used the grinder to cup out one side of the spatula, sort of like a spoon, to push the liquid around better.
    My results look rough. I hope to clean it up tomorrow. 

 Two by two stick shown with guide block.

paddle on the lathe.

   The stirring stick with a tape measure to show the length of nearly two feet long. I need to clean up the grinding of the spatula.

 I cleaned up for the day with a feeling of really accomplishing a whole lot. that is a day to savor.
    Tomorrow I will do some more turning on the mini lathe and plan to clean up the spatula.
Year 13, Week 23, Day Two (week 699)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-30-13 Sunday
    95 degrees, Sunny but lots of clouds heading quickly to the north. One cloud went potty over us for a minute right after I got out there. It just got the ground a tiny bit wet and was gone. The sky cleared for the most part later in the day. the wind was gusty and strong but not as bad as yesterday, and was coming from a different direction so it did not effect me. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I stopped at a yard sale on the way to Mom's house. I force myself to ignore the bread maker he had. I never even asked the price. If I got one, I would soon not be able to fit through the door.
    I did end up with an oscillating sander. No, I did not need it. I already have one but decided I could keep one at home now.
    I set up the mini lathe first thing after arriving and started machining a piece of oak I found untouched. It was small so it did not take long.
    My brother came over and watched while I machined some black walnut into sticks I needed at the specific sizes needed. I first only had to clean up the diameter of one to make it fit as it was a large sized hook I was making. I then machined two more to be really small. The results were over a third less in diameter.
    The big problem I had was that the rod flexed away from the cutting bit. It got pretty bad on one rod. I ended up with the middle being two sizes too big to fit through the gauge.
    I solved the problem by using sandpaper to cut the diameter down until it fit through the gauge, indicating that it was the right size. It just barely fit. It will fit better through that when I do some finish sanding on it.
    I ended the day with one more rod to do, also very small. That will complete the set of black walnut for the set of crochet hooks I am doing. I then will have to do mahogany hooks to complete that set.
    The momma kitty and two of the babies laid just a short distance away from me the whole day. I guess they accepted me to be around. I was able to pet a couple of them once or twice. The third kitty stayed out of sight most of the time. 

Two of the baby kitties sleeping, one using the other as a pillow.

    We had a drill that stopped working. I figured it was because of the weather. My brother watched me as I opened it up. It turned out that the brushes were wore out completely and the plastic case was cracking apart. I could not get it back in the case, so I took the parts out and stuck them in a baggy. There will be a time where gearing would be nice to have. We have had projects like that before. Some never got done because we did not have what it took. The plastic body went into the garbage.
    next week, I plan to work on some more rods. I also need to finish the stirring stick I made. I should go to the antique shop and see what is going on. Mom wants me to turn some disks to replace the plastic of the wheels on one of her wagons. the plastic is rotted and breaking. the wood disks would replace the plastic. I should dig into clearing off the work bench and sorting through the thick accumulation there. I have a face vase to carve and a dragon to work on.
    I will see what I actually do next week.    


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Year 13, Week 22, Day 0ne (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-22-13 Saturday
    95 degrees, baby milk blue skies to the east, hazy blue above. Puffs seemed to form directly above us and march west all day long. with a brisk wind all day long. The puffs built up as the day wore on and I did drive through a drizzle on the way home. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of tourism.

    We hit a couple yard sales but I ended up with a couple computer parts that I could have lived without. Yard sales is slow right now. The questionable weather makes it tough.
    We got outside and fed the kitties. The babies are now eating cat food. Mom has the momma cat somewhat tamed, at least when she is alone. One kitten is really skittish and will bolt at the slightest provocation.
    Later in the day, I went out for a project and was "attacked" by all five cats. Momma cat and her three babies, and Scarface, which I don't get to see too much. They were all eating nicely, me petting Scarface. A short time later, I moved wrong and one kitty bolted to safety. I needed to do some projects and the cats blinked out of site when I started the disk sander. Momma kitty returned but blinked out when I started the palm sander.

    The project I was working on when feeding the kitties was to repair a very old cutting board. It was given to my by my mom, I think, and had it for a number of decades. It hung next to my stove the entire time. I completely forgot it was there when I was looking for cutting boards.
    Anyway, the surface was extremely rough from use and the wood was deeply soaked with oil. I decided I wanted to refresh the surface. I first used the disk sander and the sand paper started clogging up. I then used the palm sander and again the sandpaper clogged up. I resorted to hand sanding with sand paper. I used some 32 grit sand paper to even out the surface to remove all but the deepest score marks on the wood. I then went to successive finer sand paper until I decided I was not going to get much farther with this.
    This was a project that a cabinet scraper would have been perfect. I don't have one that I know of and have never used one, but do know the theory on sharpening it. Now I could have also used a plane, but never thought of that.
    The problem I was dealing with was that the oily wood stuck and clogged sandpaper easily. This cutting board was  heavily used. I needed to scrape away the soft wood first before I started thinking of sanding, if at all.

 Pineapple shaped cutting board. It has a leather loop to hang it with on the bottom of the picture. It could have used more sanding but it is good enough for now.

    Last week, my mini lathe was acting up. I decided to take a chance and see if I could find the cause of the problem. I am one of those people who are well known for taking pieces apart and never getting them back together. I was taking a real chance considering my reputation.
    After a short test, where the motor started bogging down again, I dismounted the motor from the lathe, and then opened the motor. I removed the armature, wiped most surfaces and then put it back together. It ran well for a while, then started acting up. I did get several rods made before I gave up at around lunch time and put everything away.
    I now have eight general rods of black walnut made. They will need to be machined down to the actual size of the crochet hooks I need.
    I had decided to spend my time just rounding the square cut pieces of wood until I had all I needed, and then concentrate on making them the right size. The way I look at it, rounding is a different operation than machining to size.
    Those hair bands I picked up last week show that they are not up to the challenge of the lathe. After a short time, they stretch out, unable to handle to forces applied on them for too long. They will do in a pinch, though.

    I might play with the lathe motor some more tomorrow. I might get more rods made in spite the motor problem.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 13, Week 22, Day Two (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-23-13 Sunday
    94 degrees, larger puffs filling the western sky in the morning. They moved off, riding a brisk wind to the west a bit later in the morning. There were still puffs in the west, but the east cleared up and stayed that way over us most of the time.
    During the week I made some lasagna using my own home made noodles, crock potted pork and my own sauce, along with cheeses. It came out good. I took some in a small loaf pan to work and ate a third of what I brought for breakfast, and then accidentally ate the rest for lunch, which was overeating. It was that good.
    I took a larger loaf pan with me to a meeting last night. One woman brought her own lasagna, which gave everybody a chance to compare them. I liked her lasagna a tiny bet better. Several people said mine was better, mom liked mine better, and several people could not tell the difference, they were both that good. I am not complaining. I think I did well. It was the best I have ever made.
    On the way to Mom's I stopped at a yard sale. He had a pasta maker, extruder. I walked past it three times and then decided to pay the guy for it. It was one of those things that you know you are going to kick yourself if you don't get it when you had the chance, and you will kick yourself if you get it. You don't win either way.
    I did test it out when I got home and found that the finest of the 10 orifices clogs easily and are hard to clean. I also don't have the consistency right. I will have to download the instructions later.
    I don't use all the kinds of pasta it is designed to make. My crank pasta maker is going to be what I will use the most.

 Pasta maker with drying rack and ten different dies for extruding the noodles.

    I decided to cut some oak staves I have into pieces that will be handles for my black walnut crochet hooks. I learned my brother was coming up so while getting ready to cut them up, I also dug out my mini lathe and got that set up.
    I have to make a decision on the oak staves. I can either use the big lathe to round them, or cut them a little shorter and use the mini lathe as they are longer than the little lathe can handle. It is hard to be precise with the big lathe as I would love to have them all the same diameter, and as big as possible. Cutting off a piece to make them shorter is just a bit of a waste of wood. I did not think about the length when I cut them in half. If I planned ahead, I could have had a useable piece left on the second cut, rather than a bunch of small pieces I will end up with now.
    I ran the little lathe before my brother arrived and came up with a hypotheses. When I spin the motor by the pulley, I sort of move it out a little. I took a point of my mini lathe and when it started bogging down, I pushed in on the end of the shaft and the motor picked up again.
    My brother sat down with me and directed me in taking apart the motor for the lathe. I showed him the push on the end of the shaft. He took some shims and swapped them around to move the motor in a little. We gave it a test and it was working a bit better but still not right. We took it apart a couple more times and then my brother noticed that there was a lot of play with the end bearing. It would shift side to side. He has one of those plyers designed to remove those ring springs, which was holding the bearing in. For me, those things tend to go "ping" and flash into the future where it will never be found again.
    He disassembled the bearing system, and found that the bearing stay was backwards. He swapped it around and put it back together. We reassembled the motor and gave it a test. It ran perfectly.
    I ended up running it for a while, finishing up the black walnut rods I had sticks for, and making some small oak rods I had also cut. I have a few more of them to do.
    I am going to get some more of those hair bands and give them a test with a motor that is working right. I hope to go on line and find the proper belts for the lathe. I may well look later this week.
    I am glad the motor is fixed.
    The kitties did come out several times today, but really only when Mom showed up. My sister-in-law wanted to see the kitties and they stayed hidden for most of the time that she was there. Mom finally did coax them out to be seen.
    My plans for next week is to make the oak rods for the handles, and start machining the black walnut to the needed diameters.
    I will see what I actually do next week.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Year 13, Week 21, Day 0ne (week 697)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-15-13 Saturday
    92 degrees, blue skies with high feathers and mid level puffs, nice breeze. Some towers built over the Everglades but they marched west and almost out of sight.
    We had a continuing week of wet weather all week. It was not constant as it was last week, but you knew you were going to get some weather in some areas of the county during the day. It was not predictable when it would come. Today was the first clear day all week. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    Last Sunday, I picked up four large pork roast at a good price. Monday and Tuesday, I sliced steaks out of the meat. I took the poorly cut steaks, and carved the meat off the bone and ground them into burger meat using the meat grinder I got last month.
    I mixed seasoning and filler and other stuff into the burger meat and made patties that I froze.
    Wednesday, I started the bones cooking in the crock pot. Thursday, I removed the meat from the bones, stuck into the broth some other pork pieces and bones I froze up. On Friday, I took the meat off the bones and put all the bones into the crock pot and broth and cooked them over night, taking them out on Saturday. The broth is super thick with flavor. The best I have made. If I wanted to, I could have eaten some of the bones too.
    I am well stocked with pork. I will have to ignore sales on all meat for about a month before I make enough room in the freezer, and ignore sales on pork for several months.
    I am planning next week to make Lasagna, using my pasta maker, and using the cooked meat from the crock pot. Since I always modify sauces that come out of a can, this lasagna will be completely home made.
    My uncle from Washington State visited for a couple days. We got together Friday night to visit with him. I visited his home back in the 90s and he has acreage with a machine shop and big equipment. He retired from building trucks, and went into a lawnmower repair business. I was fun to listen to my brother and him talk about machining, employees, and the region up there. We got some ideas on how to solve some little problems. It sent us into design mode.
    At work, I have some plastic shelving above my monitor where I clip plans on. I have a clip with a bunch of rubber bands on it. I knocked one down and I remembered that one of the "belts" that came with the lathe was a really tiny rubber ring. That got me thinking about the idea of using a rubber band for a belt for the lathe. I selected several wide ones that looked like they might fit the lathe.
    On the way home, I stopped at the dollar store and picked up some head bands, and two kinds of hair bands, with the idea they might be stretchy enough to work with the lathe as belts. I could not remember how much room I would have to work with so I got several different sizes.
    We saw just a couple yard sales and they had nothing I could not live without. That meant we got back fairly soon.
    I set up the mini lathe to test the items I wanted to test. I saw instantly that the hair bands I got were way too big. The rubber bands, even the stiffest ones were too stretchy. I would have to use really tiny diameter to even have a chance for them to work.
    The thin hair ties had no grip. They just spun in place with no pull on the pulley. There might be something that could be done to the surface to get a grip, or even stacking a bunch of them together on the same pulleys.
    The second type of hair band did not work when attached to the motor. Too much friction, I guess. I killed two of the bands connected to the motor. They worked nicely with the other pulleys though.
    The reason these bands work is that they have exposed rubber dots showing in the weave. They grab on the metal pulleys giving traction.
    No, these do not a great replacement for real belts. You do get a pack of twelve for a dollar and if they only last a few sessions before going bad, I am not going to complain about that price.

 to the right are head bands. They were too long. On the left were hair bands that are too thin and slick to use as belts. In the center are the bands I used that work.


 The bands in place on the lathe. the one to the pulley on the left broke after a bit of a test as that is the motor and it provides too much tension or something else and the band could not take it.

    My motor started acting up again. It would run, then bog down and stop. While off, it turns nicely, but with the power on, it locks. I could get it spinning after some work but it hated working under tension after a very short while. It worked long enough to give my new belts a test, then I gave up.
    A kitty cat had kittens in Mom's yard,  back in the corner of the awning area. She was with her babies out by the well, so Mom and I carefully pulled everything out from beneath the awning. we swept the area out completely, then she sprayed bug spray over the entire area. We then put the equipment back. Some stuff got re-stacked or put away so we ended up with a little more room.
    Mom hopes that the bug spray might kill some of the fleas on the kittens, or that the smell bothers momma kitty and she relocates them, possibly out by the wood pile.

    Momma kitty with kittens nursing, taken last weekend.

    Since the lathe was not working, I dug out the dremmel. My plan was on waiting until I had all the rods I needed made, before cutting the hooks into the wood. I decided that since it might be a bit before I can get the lathe running properly again, I decided to add hooks to the rods, making them into crochet hooks. 


 Completed rods photographed last weekend.
    I dropped the dremmel and very slightly bent the metal cutting blade I was using. I tried correcting it but the wobble was enough to make too big a gap. I went to a regular cutting disk. The metal disk had a sanding surface on the face. I use the disk to sand the ends round or to shape before I start cutting. The regular cutting disk does not sand as well as the metal disk.
    On a couple thin Mahogany rods, I went a little deep with the hook so it was too weak. I tested them and they broke with no effort. On one I actually had to cut it three times before I got a useable hook, which is why it is a whole lot shorter than the others.

finished crochet hooks. Left side  are Mahogany, right side are black walnut. Center ones are bamboo skewers. The short skewer took many attempts to get the hook right. The short Mahogany hooks also required several attempts to get the hook the right.

    I am not sure what I will be doing tomorrow. My brother is supposed to be up to haul away some sand. I would like him to look at the lathe motor and see if something simple can be done about it.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 13, Week 21, Day Two (week 697)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-16-13 Sunday
    94 degrees, nice wind with strong gusts, blue hazy sky with some feathers. A few distant puffs showed on the far horizon over the Everglades but wonderful weather otherwise. A perfect day for celebrating Father's Day. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    I got a late start today. I got to Mom's house later than I normally do. When I arrived, Mom was talking to my brother. He was on a job and was not going to make it up there.
    I set up outside, bringing the metal lathe out to have a look at it.
    Mom found a small fishing box with some tools in it when she was digging stuff out of the corner of the awning area. I decided to have a look at it a bit closer.
    The box was in bad condition. One side of the shelving mechanism that makes them open and close when you lift the top shelf, was broken off the box.
    I removed everything from the box and found that these were router bits, parts and tools. There were a couple wooden rods with beads glued into them. I instantly recognized that this went to Dad's duplicator.
    The duplicator was a frame that had a movable attachment that the router fitted into. What you did was to put the work you wanted to copy onto one side, and then the block of wood you were working from into the other. you put a router bit into the router, and there was a follower rod that had an end matching the size and shape of the router bit. As you ran the follower rod over the existing work, the router cut away the excess wood of the work. When one side was done, you rotated the both pieces 90 degrees and did it again. When both pieces had been turned completely around with one bit, you then went to a smaller bit, with a matching follower. One could, if you wanted, to go down to pin sized router bits to get into the fine detail.
    Usually what My dad did was to use the duplicator to horse off the worst of the wood and get the shape and proportions right, then he would hand carve the surface and details after that. It was a great tool to do several of the same piece.
    Since the tackle box was shot, I dug out another box that I had, removing the screws and hardware stored in it. It started as a carving box, then became a parts box, then I had my dremmel in it for a few years, and then it became a parts box again.
    The router box had a board on the bottom that had holes drilled into it for the router bits to slip into, holding them upright and apart. It was held in by two small screws. I drilled two holes in the bottom of the new box and screwed the board into place. A couple bits were too tall for this so they went into the tray.
    Dad had a foam mat in some of the tray sections to protect the edges of the bits from the plastic. That was rotted, tore easily. I should do that for the new box but that can happen some time later.
    The bits are protected again and in a safe place for now. I would use the duplicator to make something but I have nothing I care to duplicate right now.
    I had made some crochet hooks out of skewers. One really thin one had lost the hook, broke off. I took a bit of time to replace it, going too deep several times. the trick is to not go too much over half way deep. it is an easy mistake to make. I went with a thinner cutting disk and finally got it right.
    I gave all my new crochet hooks a spray of varnish, a sanding with finer sand paper and another coat of varnish. I did that mainly to bring out their different colors.
    I now have to test these hooks to see if I got them made right or have to modify them to make them work perfectly.
    I have a bug deflector on the front of my truck. During the repair process we did, I found out that it was cracked. I gave a temporary test with tape, but weather  rotted the plastic of the tape.
    This week, I took some LIQUID NAILS small project tube, and globbed that along the crack to see if it would hold it in place. It did. Today I dug out some acrylic paint I had and blended it with the black plastic. I then gave it a couple quick coats of spray varnish, mainly to give it the same gloss as the plastic. I should have shaved the lumps of glue a bit before painting it, to improve the looks of it, but the black paint helps it blend in some. it is not sticking out bad.
    Liquid nails is sort of rubbery and I have used it to repair some rubber slippers. I have used it for some other quick repairs.
    I am not sure what I will be doing next week. If the weather is nice like it is today, I will have loads of work to do. If it is poor, I have other projects in mind.
    Of course, I have loads of other projects that need to be done and won't be.
    I will see what happens next week.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Year 13, Week 20, Day 0ne (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-08-13 Saturday
    86 degrees, loads of clouds, threatening dribbles in the morning, clearing mostly in the afternoon. The past several weeks, Andrea has been sending love letters over us, rain bands streaming up at us while she sat Near Mexico. It got worse as she came up. She never came near to hit our area, but it made for unpleasant weather after she passed as we were then in her feeder bands. Yesterday, I was on the 18th floor of one of the Fort Lauderdale towers and the weather came down so hard that the buildings across the street faded. Today, I heard that the weather was quite wet in other parts of the county, but not over us. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I tried my new pasta maker twice this week. Both times I used some of my home made flour, where I ran mixed grain -- Bulgur wheat, white rice, Sorghum, Barley, Quinoa, steel cut oats -- with regular white flour. My first try this week was an utter failure. I could not get it to roll out properly at all. I later learned I needed more egg. Before this, I would use extra large or jumbo eggs. Now I have large eggs. Big difference in egg volume.
    My second attempt used more egg and less of my flour. After getting it to the right consistency, it came together wonderfully. I made nice long flat sheets, then I ran them through the smallest of the two settings on my pasta cutter. I made a mistake, letting the noodles bunch right under the cutter so it gobbed together. I re ran them through to flatten them, and held them out as they came out.
    I was expecting them to be tiny flat noodles. Instead what I got was Spaghetti noodles. The cutters sort of extruded the overly thick sheets of dough.
I cooked them up soon after. I added oil and seasonings and they were very good.
    To tell the truth, I cannot really tell the difference between these and commercial noodles, but I know exactly what I put into them. I will try these again.

    Pasta maker. The crank handle is on the noodle cutter. The main body is for rolling out the dough into sheets. In the bowl is my first attempt this time on the noodles. I flattened them back into a sheet and cut them again.

 Finished un-cooked spaghetti noodles. 2/3rs white flour, 1/3rd mixed grain flour.

I figured out that I have an addiction to kitchen gadgets. I will do something about it if I decide it is a problem......

    Mom has made head ways in making the momma cat compliant. Yesterday, Mom had petted the cat's tail as she walked around her legs. Today, while the cat rubbed herself on Mom's legs, Mom was rubbing the tail, and then was rubbing the cat's back. The cat at first would shy if she was looking when Mom was rubbing her. Soon, the momma cat was letting her rub the back of her head.
    Later in the day, the kittens came out and we were able to pet and pick up two of them. the third did not want to get very close yet. The kittens are full of fleas. The momma cat really wanted attention, but was so skittish. Later in the day, mom would try to walk and Momma cat would place herself in front of Mom's legs, rubbing herself. It was hard for mom to walk that way without tripping.

 Momma kitty eating

 Baby kitties nursing on Momma kitty.

  Because the morning weather was threatening, there were no yard sales. I dug out my mini lathe and decided to make some more rods for crochet hooks.
    I needed to cut some wood at the band saw. It happens to be where the kittens are nesting. Two of the kittens were on top of some things in the corner. I started the band saw and they dove down under the debris. It was a giggle. I quickly finished my cuts and put everything I had to move to get to the band saw, back.

    I started with one of my cut sticks and was machining it. I noticed that the lathe motor was bogging down really bad. After a while, I did some tests, removing the belt from the motor itself. It speed up to full speed. I put the belt back on, but only had the belt to the idler pulley. It bogged down again. I am not sure why I did it, but I lifted the motor slightly and it got going faster. I did it again and saw slight movement on one of the nuts holding the motor together.
    I then searched for the socket that goes to that nut. When we got the motor, we needed to open it up to solve a problem. We found that a socket that would fit the nut, would not fit into the enclosure also. I took a socket the right size and machined away some of the metal on the outside of the nut. It now slides into the hole and onto the nut nicely.
    I found the socket was sitting next to me. I found I did not have the ratchet to fit it with me, so I was able to use a flat head screwdriver to turn the socket. It worked well enough. After that, the lathe ran much faster.
    After making one rod, I learned that we could go to a picnic, so I packed up the mini lathe and after about an hour rest, We headed to the site. I spent a lot of my time playing chess. I learned long ago, that when up against someone who is nowhere near as good as I am, that I should play more for a draw, and hold off from blasting them to smithereens. It makes it much more fun for both of use. It is frustrating to get stuffed in each and every game. By holding off and trying to avoid a win by either of you, it comes out to be a really challenging game for both of us.
    There are a number of projects to do. I have to see what excites me first.
    I will see what I will do tomorrow.
    Year 13, Week 20, Day Two (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-09-13 Sunday
    86 degrees in the morning, 90 degrees in the afternoon. The air was drier than yesterday moved by a nice breeze, blue skies with high feathers, puffs appearing later in the day rushing west, A few dots on the radar but not where we were.
    I settled in on the mini lathe. I decided to do a different tact on the work I was going to do. Rather than machine each stick of wood into a round and then down to size, I decided I would just round each one and leave them at that. I can make them the right size later. The sticks are not square, and they are not even thickness or height all the way down. One end might be a big square, while the other end is a small sided rectangle. I was not careful about how I cut them. Only a few would remain large so that does not matter.
    As soon as I got one rod and the same dimension all they way down the length, I would add another stick. I thought that I had all the sticks I cut out, but while packing up, I ran across a bunch more.
    I did quite well, five rods this weekend. I would have had six, I got a catch and one split out. I will have to cut off some of the length to get to something that can be made round on that end.


 Existing rods. The lighter rods on the left are Mahogany. The darker rods on the right are Black walnut. The four rods on the farthest right are rough rods, not made to the finished diameter yet.

I was reminded of something today. I knew it but sort of forgot about it.
    There are three stepped pulleys to the lathe. One can increase or decrease the speed of the work by changing the order of where the belts contact the pulleys.
    There are trade-offs when using the different settings of the lathe. When you use the slow settings, going from the smallest pulley on the motor to the largest pulley on the idler pulley, then smallest on the idler to the largest on the lathe shaft, one does not get a lot of speed in comparison, but you can really take deep cuts as it will horse the material off. It will take some time in comparison to the fastest setting, but the motor will bog down the least.
    When you go with the largest pulley on the motor, to the smallest pulley on the idler, then the largest on the idler to the smallest on the lathe shaft, you get the lathe to spin the work faster than the motor is going. It really hums. the problem is that there is no power. This setting is for finishing the work, polishing. You dig deep with a cutting tool and it will stop the motor if you are not careful.
    What I was reminded about was that while working fast is nice, it is not always the best choice. I am working with wood, which is not as hard as steel. I was still bogging down the lathe with my cuts while at the highest speed setting. I was trying to work fast. I changed the pulley settings and slowed the lathe down fairly close to the slowest setting and, while it was spinning a whole lot slower than before, it was not bogging down from the loads. It ended up just about the same speed and was easier on the motor.
    I was also reminded that wood is messier than metal. the wind was blowing today and was moving the fine sawdust everywhere. Sawdust also sticks wonderfully to anything that has oil on it, such as the moving parts of the lathe.
    I use a tooth brush (get a pack of them at the dollar store) to clean the lathe. you will be surprised at where the sawdust gets to. I just dumped the loose sawdust off the lathe yesterday. Today, I had to brush it with the tooth brush. It is still not clean, but much better than it has been. It really needs to be disassembled to be cleaned properly.
    My big lathe needs to be disassembled, the "Ways" The surfaces the tail stock and tool holder slide on, needs to be cleaned of the thin surface rust and waxed really good. I need to dig out all the wood on the shelves beneath the lathe and remove all the sawdust. The wood needs to be looked at to see if bugs have been having fun with any of it. It is also good to be reminded about what is under there. The motor housing needs to be cleaned and the tail stock should be lubricated.
    It is a big project With my back and my leg, I am not sure when I will be in the mood to tackle that project.

    I am not sure what will happen next week. I do plan to work more on the crochet hooks. I will likely spend my time and round the rest of my sticks and then machine them down to the needed sizes.
    I have the urge to cut the hooks into the rod, but want to hold off until I have all the rods I need in the sizes I need and then cut the hooks. I will try to make them all the same length (mistakes happen and sometimes a new end have to be re-cut so the rod ends up shorter).
    I will have to see what I do next weekend.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Year 13, Week 19, Day 0ne (week 695)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-01-13 Saturday
    86 degrees, grey skies with some blue peaking through, a couple early morning drips dissuaded yard sailing, nice breeze all day long, A shock wave of hard downpour found while driving home around noon. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    Mom has kittens! A delicate cat has hung around for quite a while. Mom has not fed it as she really does not want to take care of another cat. Last week I moved some equipment and heard a kitten. This week she saw the cat and she had three black kittens following her.
    Today we went out to feed scar face and after he was done, we sat down and placed the food on the ground. The female came out hesitantly and started eating. Her three kittens came out and played a short distance away. She was flighty and if we moved with any speed, she spooked. A bit later, she settled beneath the chairs, in view and nursed her kittens. Mom is "so happy" to have kittens among our equipment under the awning.
    Last week I received a pasta maker as a birthday Present. During the week I decided to give it a test and made some regular thin noodles which were pretty good, and some Lasagna pasta.
    Later in the week I made some Lasagna using my noodles. I used my meat grinder to grind some pork into hamburger and did not have enough tomato sauce so I boiled some tomatoes I had on hand in the sauce. I put it together with Ricotta cheese, which was the first time I had ever purchased it, and some cheddar cheese I grated. It turned out to be the very best Lasagna I had ever made. It was slightly below what I get on average by other people. I made two loaf pans full, and ate one whole one for breakfast one day, and the other loaf pan lasted two days and three meals only because I forced myself to.
Later in the week, I put a bunch of different kinds of grains in my coffee grinder to make a multi grain flour. That will be for my next test of the pasta maker.
    I am digging through my kitchen to see what I have and what I can get rid of so I have room for something else. This week I found some things I forgot I had, and located some items that were not where I thought they were. I have a lot of "Tupperware" kinds of containers and need to get them all out in one place and see what I might use and what will never be used.
    One problem I am seeing was I purchased a bunch of stuff for one kind of cooking, and then I changed my cooking style. there is that nagging thought that if I change, the stuff I get rid of could be stuff I should have kept.
    I've been using small plastic plates usually used by children for dinner. It keeps my food volume low as if it does not fit on the plate, it is too much. I noticed that my ceramic saucers are only slightly smaller and they do not score when a steak is cut in them. I found a use for something I was not using at all.
    During the week, I picked up a spare tire for my truck. I have never had one for this truck. There is always that nagging worry about what if I have a flat tire that cannot be fixed on the spot. With a spare, I am not so worried. Since the cable is broke on the crank that lifts the tire beneath the truck, I picked up a lock a while ago and a cable Saturday and locked the tire in place. I did find that I could not lock it the way I wanted so I had to use bungy cords to make sure it stays in position. I will work out something better later or get the tire crank replaced.
    I decided I would go to the antique shop and check on my work on display down there. I made a quick stop at home to get some things and then headed farther south.
    At the antique shop, I swapped out some pieces. I needed to take my carved vases with me to show someone what I used to always do. I laid tissue paper down which improved the display. I really needed to add a couple boxes to the display to place some pieces at a higher level. I have some pieces on a table, and some on the floor. It would be better to have a third level. It would improve the display quite a bit. I forgot to take pictures of the display. It is kind of hard to get a good picture as there is a giant display window directly behind it and this camera has no controls.
    After the antique shop, I stopped at a local thrift shop. I saw several things I could get in the kitchenware section, but did not get them. It was then that I saw I have an addiction to kitchen equipment. Knowing I have an addiction and solving it are two different things. I have not decided it is a problem yet......
    Back home, I gathered my laundry. I was at that point in my laundry where I HAD to do it. It was not I would like to do laundry, or I should do laundry, I was at HAD TO DO laundry. My condo has washing machines but you have to buy tokens. I go to a laundry mat as the machines are bigger, better maintained, and seldom are you unable to find enough machines to do your laundry. 
    I am not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I do hope to do some sort of wood working.
    I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 13, Week 19, Day Two (week 695)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-02-13 Sunday
    86 degrees at around 10, 88 degrees around noon and stayed there at two. Blue skies, sun, with high feathers. Thunder bumpers developed over the Everglades early but drifted west and out of sight. At two, thunder bumpers developed over the Everglades, the anvil covered us and the sun, and it was time to pack up. Here in South Florida, Interstate 95 (I-95) tends to be a border for a lot of the thunder boomers. They will stop around the interstate and drift back west. In the evening when the off short winds die down, the thunder boomers then rush to the sea and on out. I drove through a portion of the thunder boomers while driving home but was past them by a long way by the time I got home. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I arrived early at Mom's house and immediately set up in back. I got the folding table from the garage and set it up, dug out my mini metal working lathe and the tools I needed. I settled down to making another rod for crochet hooks. It was a challenge. Last time, I made a quarter milometer mistake and made a rod that was supposed to be an E size into one that was a D size. Today I wanted to make a new rod the right size of E.
    This was a rectangular piece so I drew on one end a square and placed a hole in the center of that, then did the same on the other end. I then slowly whittled down the excess wood until I had a round rod. It fit into the G hole of the template but not the F. I then made a few more passes with the cutting tools until it fit into the F hole but not the E. Finally, I used sand paper to reduce the size down till it fit through the E hole. I had better luck on the bowing of the rod. It behaved better.
    I do see one little problem. Some of the rods look like they might be mahogany rather than black walnut. I was using cut pieces I already had, It is sometimes tell two kinds of wood apart when they have a slight aging on the surface. That is how the mistake may have happened. I will have to cut up some black walnut and make rods out of that now to make up for the mahogany rods. I will make more mahogany rods so that will end up a full set also.
    I have no idea what will be happening next weekend. I mean I have no clue. I figure Saturday will be taken up with non-woodworking projects. Sunday I hope to do wood working, even if it is just making more rods on the mini lathe.
    I will see what I do next weekend.