Year 13, Week 20, Day 0ne (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
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.
DURING THE WEEK
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.)
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.