(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
86 in the morning, with humidity and a light breeze. 94 in the afternoon, drier with a slightly stronger breeze. Clouds were mixed with high feathers plates and haze, and some lower puffs around the horizon. Thunder puffs built up over the Everglades and the edge of civilization late in the day. One thing I notice about this time a year is that in the past month, Dawn is arriving later. I remember not long ago that I was driving to work with the sky even to the west being light. Now, when I arrive at Mom's house at about 6:30 in the morning, there is a very slight glow on the horizon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
On Thursday, I made some home made noodles. I made four batches of noodles. Each batch is about two servings. The mixing of the dough takes the same amount of time, whether it is a single batch or ten batches. The time consuming part is rolling the dough out in sheets so it can be cut. I ended up with a good number of noodles.
Since I was going to a meeting where it is basically pot luck meals, I cooked up the noodles at Mom house with hamburger and seasoning, and took it with us. I ended up at the end of the night with a healthy single serving of noodles left. It was popular.
We hit several yard sales, but I only spent a dollar. I picked up a paper towel holder. It is wood with a metal rod to help tear the towels. I could live without it, but I have a roll of paper towels floating in my kitchen and this gives it a place to sit where it is not getting buried.
I walked out side, wanting to do something but not knowing what. I pulled out the little lathe and settled down with a stick of oak. I don't need another oak rod but decided to make one anyway. I had to cut it to length to fit on the lathe, and then made it round.
I had the cut-off sitting next to me. I decided I would make something called a banana bowl, but this one would be about an inch across.
I quickly found that since it was about half an inch thick, I could not reach the piece with my tail stock to hold it in place. I needed to extend the point of my tail stock. I now had a project to do.
The first thing I did was to dig into my chowder box. In metal working, the chowder box is a box of bits and pieces of metal that might be used for some project. In this case, I found a rod that was slightly larger than I needed. This rod had part of the end cut out so it would eventually become a cutting tool. For this project, that had to go.
I placed a cutting bit in the tool rest, with most of the rod inside the tube that the chuck is attached to. I started cutting the rod and had a nice groove, then got an idea that would work better since the cutting tool was a whole lot wider than I needed. I took a hacksaw and started the part turning. I simply held the saw against the metal, moving it in and out until it felt like it was digging in and then waited. It took a little bit but it sliced the rod in half nicely.
I measured a couple times, and then started removing metal from the sides of the rod. I wanted it to go all the way into the tail stock to help keep it straight, and I did not want it much smaller than needed. Just barely slip in was the idea. I measured with the calipers several times, and also took it out of the chuck and put it to the tail stock several times. I was surprised when it slipped in the last time. I was likely a heavy sanding too narrow. that, for my purposes, was good enough.
I then swapped ends on the rod and turned the head stock onto an angle. I tried to make a conical point, but I could not get the angle I was after. I ended up making it a stepped cone with a really fine point. It would do.
Finally, I was able to try my banana bowl. My new point reached over the tool rest so I could do a little work. I then ran across a problem I had before and had not gotten around to solving. I was using a bit of pipe to hold the wood slightly away from the chuck. I found that it had no grip, it slipped the instant the cutting tool met the wood.
I guess I had better get around to making a drive spur for this little lathe. I roughed up the edge of the pipe but there still was no friction or bite.
I did make the extended point for the tail stock and that should come in handy on other projects. I have no idea how it will work with metal.
It was hot, even with the fan, and I had done enough, so I packed up my projects and called it a day.
I have no idea what I will do tomorrow. The weather is not supposed to be quite as good.
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 14, Week 31, Day Two (week 677)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
High interlocked feathers and plates, medium grey puffs that appear to be so pregnant that they were dropping liquid sunshine. It was almost reminiscent of Seattle weather, except that you could see blue sky and it was 84 degrees. It got up to 86 degrees after the dripping stopped. The sky did not look any different the rest of the day. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
The weather eliminated any chance of a Sunday yard sale. It also eliminated any idea of using my big lathe, which has to be out in the open to be used. I did not feel like using the little lathe today since that was what I did yesterday.
I decided to test my wrist by doing a carving with the knife. The last time I did this, my wrist bothered me the rest of the day.
I have ideas for a Christmas ornament but needed to make a test carving first. it required me to make a "go by" to see if I had the design right and could even make them. The earlier I start my Christmas ornaments, the better. I can come up with more designs and get more of them done. I am also not so rushed that it is all I work on towards the end of November.
I cut some two by two lengths, my band saw allows about twelve inch long max, and then drew the design on the wood. I veered from the drawn design almost from the fifth cut. the design did not look like it was working for a very long time. I instantly knew I had made some mistakes but went with it anyway. it really wasn't until I was almost deep enough in the wood that I could see that this would actually look like something.
My original design was supposed to be a penguin skating. I showed it to my mom and she said it did not look like a penguin. I carved the face to look more like a duck and she said it still does not look right.
Since I had the basic form right, I decided to leave it like that for now and work on it some other weekend. I can now see what my original design was supposed to be. I will likely finish this carving and try it again. My intended design can be assisted by the lathe. I just have to get the first successful result to see what is needed to be done.
As for my wrist, It was not bad while carving, not as bad as it was last time. It bothers me some as I type this but again, not as bad as last time. I will have to see if strengthening it more will help.
I did find that I don't have any callouses on my hand and ended up with sore spots on my hand from working the knife. This always happens when I pick up knife carving after a long period of not carving at all.
After over a year of not carving by knife, I think I did fairly well both in the act of carving and the results.
I didn't do too bad this weekend. I would have loved to work on other projects but that is not happening right now. Have lots of projects to work on, but physical complications, weather, time and other projects are not allowing me to get to them.
I have no idea what I will do next weekend, so I will have to see what happens.
left side of skater carving