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.    


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