Sunday, December 8, 2013

Year 14, Week 46, Day One (week 692)

 My ornament display as I have it at work.
 Griddle side of cast aluminum grill/griddle.

 griddle side of cast aluminum griddle/grill

 Carved soldiers and finished penguin.
almost finished soldiers with penguin Tall soldiers were carved Sunday.

Year 14, Week 46, Day One (week 692)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-07-13 Saturday
84 degrees, strong breeze, blue sky overhead all day long, thin puffs of various sizes all around the horizon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    A cold showed up Thursday and bothered me all Friday. While working outside today, I only had a few signs of the cold. It showed up strong when I would go inside, especially when I napped in the afternoon.
    We hit four Yard Sales. Mom's new husband is hooked. He went on and on about how much fun it was. I think he is going to be an addict soon.
    I picked up a cast aluminum griddle/grill that spans two burners on your stove. It is in mostly good condition. There is one spot where the non-stick coating on the griddle side has come off, but that, I think, is totally ignorable. BRANDSMART had a cast iron griddle/grill for like twenty bucks. this one is three. I will not complain at all.
    Later in the evening, Mom picked up a trumpet for five bucks. It is not a type I am used to. The valves have to be turned just right for them to work. I have some ability still to play something after not playing the trumpet more than about five times since high school, and only to make a little noise in one.
    I showed off my ornaments this week at work. I got a lot of "cute" but that was it. People will think about them for a while before they buy. Many times they have to collect the money first.
    Friday Night, I got an idea for a quick Christmas Ornament. Today, I tackled the project with full gusto. The big difference between this and the penguins or leaping fish, is that the actual carving on this is minimal.
    I got the idea of tin soldiers. I started with a twelve inch stick of two by two. I measured for three pieces out of it and put the spacings for the brim of the hat and the top of the hat and the base.
    I tried to be careful used thin parting tool to cut in at each point, top and bottom of the brim, the top of the hat, the top of the base. I then used my bowl gouge to whittle down the corners of the wood in between before shaping the form. I went in deep at the head, high at the shoulder, then tapered in to the feet.
    Whitewood 2x2 is a brittle wood. One big problem was the brim of the hats would shatter when I caught it wrong. The brims were cut down a lot, but many kept breaking off. I even glued one piece back on to keep from removing too much.
    I had one piece, because of a "slight error" split in half. I cut that off and finished the rest of the pieces, which were pretty close to being finished turned.
    After I had the pieces turned, I sat down with the knife and shaped them, flattening the front and back, cutting in the arms, and then cutting in the cross belts.
    After I had these made, It dawned on me that they would be better if they were taller. Tin soldiers tend to be shown really tall and thin. Mine are not tall nor thin.
    I made these a bit more detailed than I intended. It is just the carver in me.
    I had Momma Kitty on my lap twice during the carving session. She melted under my hands as I gave her the attention she thrives on. The first time, I set her down because I had to do something. She was not too happy about that. The second time she finally decided to get down. It is very hard to do anything else when one is petting a cat!
    Tomorrow, I intend to make taller tin soldiers. The ones I made today are four inches tall. I want to make six inch tall soldiers and see if I can make them better.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 14, Week 46, Day Two (week 692)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-08-13 Sunday
    84 degrees, blue sky, brisk breeze, soft puffs around the horizon. This Weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I arrived and without even getting coffee, I dragged out the lathe and started on my six inch tall tin soldiers. I used the disk sander to erase my pencil marks from yesterday, then re-measure and mark the wood. I mounted them in the lathe and started turning. I used the same shape idea as I used yesterday, but I stretched it out a bit more.
    On my second stick, I bumped the base end of one, which was at the tail stock (I was doing these head to head, where the tops of the hats were together) and the wood shattered. There was very little left. I worked on the rest of the two pieces, and then was trying to round the bottom. It popped off and fell to the ground. I was "finished" turning them.
    If I make any more, I will go even thinner than I have. They are still too stocky.
    I carved them and got them done. I then started painting them. My plan was to make the pants blue, then I remembered that they were black pants with a white stripe up the side, red shirts, and black hats. I remembered the hats after I painted a couple hats orange.
    I have one with a blue shirt, all the rest have orange shirts (red is too dark and blends too much with the black). I was using the wrong brush at first and then had to go back and correct my mistakes.
    While I am writing today's woodworking diary post, I am correcting little errors and adding eye hooks. I will have them on display tomorrow at work, and then, maybe, correct them next weekend.
    I have three scarves in process and each is making headway. One scarf I work on in the truck is now over two foot long. It is worked side to side and the length is determined by when I decide to stop. A carry scarf I work on when I am out, is coming along nicely. It has several rows on it. It is being done end to end where the length was determined by the starting chain, and the width is decided by when I choose to stop.
    I third scarf Is what I am working on at home. I started on it when I could not sleep one night. I am working in fluorescent orange right now. I am in a race between getting to the end of the five foot scarf, and running out of yarn. I will finish the row, if necessary with another orange, and then go with a dark red on both sides.
    I figure I will get two of the scarves done by Christmas if things go well.
    I have no idea what I will work on next weekend. Unless I come up with an idea, I doubt I will be carving ornaments. If I sell some, I might make more. I will have to see.
    I do need to start making my Christmas cards. I have a whole lot to make as I have some fifty people to give them out to. I will do them in batches. Hopefully I won't be painting cards on Christmas Eve. I still have no idea what I will be painting. Ideas tend to come on the spur of the moment, usually when there is no chance to get them done on time.
    I will see what I actually do next weekend.

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