Monday, December 30, 2013

Year 14, Week 49, Day One (week 695)

Year 14, Week 49, Day One (week 695)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-28-13 Saturday
    80 degrees at ten, 84 degrees at noon, 81 degrees at three. The morning started out looking like it might give some weather, but after ab

out ten, the heavy stuff moved out and left high plates and feathers overhead for most of the day. Around two, heavy stuff started showing up in the area of the sun and the temps dropped once the sun was behind them. The breeze was good and strong, but the house blocked the worst of it where I was working. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    I had work off on Thursday so I spent most of the day packing up a gift to be mailed to a friend, trying to figure out why my main computer would not start, and my secondary and laptop refused to talk to the modem.
    One thing was I had borrowed a scarf from the package I was mailing, so I had to concentrate on finishing another scarf before I could mail it out. It looks good.
    I also rearranged the lower part of my fridge. That is hard as I did not have anything low enough to sit down on to work properly.

    We saw signs for three yard sales, but only found one. It did not have a lot of stuff I don't have, but I did find a little folding seat. That is perfect for the fridge project I worked on. It was cheep enough.



  Last weekend, I gifted a pair of drum sticks I made a few weeks ago. I decided I wanted to make a couple more of them. I dug into my "Mahogany bin". Years ago, I got hold of a whole bunch of Mahogany cuttings someone got from a furniture shop. There is other wood in there but much of it is Mahogany. A friend asked me to make a wooden ladle. I had two projects to look for acceptable wood for. While digging, I ended up finding plenty of wood for both projects. I decided to make more than one set of drum sticks.
    The piece of wood for the ladle was long enough to where I was able to also get two drum stick blanks from where I trimmed the excess wood from the sides of the handle. Two other board were split in half to make pairs of blanks for drum sticks.
    I saw a WOODWRIGHT SHOP program where he had someone who made spoons and ladles and he showed his carving methods. I got some good ideas from the program.
    I marked the ends of two drum stick blanks, and then used my carving knife and techniques from the show to remove the worst of the corners of the wood. I then dragged out the lathe and started working. I was careful to work lightly with the wood since I broke some oak last weekend. I removed the remains of the corners, got the stick round, and then carefully started shaping the stick. I really need to sharpen my tools. I should be able to get a surface so clean it really does not need to be sanded. That is not what I was getting. I was getting a lot of vibration which added ribbing to the surface. I got out some 32 grit sandpaper and cut down the surface so it was clean, and then went to finer sand paper to clean up the surface till it was smooth.
    The second one went faster, but since I was trying to make them the same, I had to work with a bit more care to get the diameter right, the taper to the end right, and the ball on the end right. I was not measuring diameters, angles or distances, but going by the look of it. It is close, but not absolutely perfect.
    I used the disk sander to clean up the ends, added a little bit of hand sanding, and then used spray varnish with light sanding between coats. The sanding after the first coat was heavy, but after that it was more to just clean up the surface.
    They look good. These are lighter than normal drum sticks and I doubt the wood is as hard. At the meeting I go to, our drummer is gentle with the sticks and drums, but the drummer next morning breaks sticks and has damaged a cymbal. These would not last more than half a session with him.
    I finished my turning put everything away as my legs were wore out. I tend to stop work when my legs are tired, and then there is the project of putting everything away. That wears me out. I went inside to rest and watched the second of a two DVD set I gifted to my mom's husband. it was very good. While that was going on, I crocheted three rows on a six foot long scarf.
    Later in the day, I headed back outside to feed and pet the cat. I decided to work on my ladle project. I looked around, but could not find my SCORP kit. A scorp is basically a chisel that works side to side rather than down the end. I saw it a few weeks ago, but cannot find it. I decided to use regular chisels. There are a whole bunch of them in the garage, but a whole lot of stuff has to be moved to get to them. I have made it a point to NOT learn how to use chisels till now. I figured it was a lot of work to learn which chisel to use when. I have used knives or power tools except for just a couple projects.
    I do have two chisels in my carving basket, one is a straight blade and another is a curved blade. I started with the straight bladed chisel. It is not for what I was using it for as ut us a thick blade, sharp angle and not really sharp, but it mostly got things started, breaking the surface. It has a wide flat end for being hit by a hammer so that was why I started with it. As I got wood away, I shifted to the curved bladed chisel. This one can be pushed by the hand, but I used the hammer gently on it to dig into the wood and start gaining depth. I had made good depth and pushed it by hand along the surfaces to clean the shape. I made for good depth on the bowl
    The outside has remained square which allowed the vice to hold it. I won't touch the outside in any way until I get the inside of the bowl exactly the way I want it. Then I will shape the outside to match the inside.
    I had to stop after about an hour because my left wrist did not like how it was being used on holding the tools at various angles and the pounding. My legs were just starting to complain also.
    I was happy to get some work done on the ladle.



    I tested out the drum sticks at a meeting and they worked nicely. Being a little lighter than the oak sticks I used before. They worked better for me. I am more tapping that really drumming so they will last a long time.
    I brought the cards I made over the years and photographed them. These are samples I kept for myself so I could see what I had done before. None of them are high quality but most are not too bad. I do always intend to have better pictures but I am always rushed to get them done.
    Tomorrow I hope to work on the ladle some more.

    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 14, Week 49, Day Two (week 695)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-29-13 Sunday
    84 degrees, brisk wind, lots of clouds. Radar showed a blob of weather coming from the west coast so I had to try to get some work done before the weather turned. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got a real late start as I was updating my secondary computer to work comfortably. I had to add links I usually use and sites I visit but did not have since I last used this computer regularly.
    I stopped at a yard sale on the way to Mom's. These people have had yard sales before and it is all tools. I ended up getting a set of router bits, a Stanley plane, a medium sized metal square, a small pipe cutter and a clamp. The router bits are for wood, but will work with aluminum. they will fit in my UniMat metal working  lathe when set up like a milling machine. I do have several routers and will work with them too. With the rest of the stuff, I really don't need them but got them anyway since they were available.

    I arrived quite late compared to when I normally get to Mom's. We went out to CRACKER BARREL restaurant. That was a cool place. In the store part of the place, the ceiling is hung with all sorts of antique tools and parts. We were identifying all sorts of things up there, and discussing their use. There were a few things we were not quite sure of. Several of the things I would love to have. I really don't need them or would use them but they would be cool to have. One was to remove dried corn from the cobs. It was simple in design but looked quite effective.

    I had brought up my 1949 cook book and was handed a FOOD TIPS AND COOKING TRICKS book. I just went through a couple pages. It is cool.
    I finally got outside and after petting the kitty for a while, I got to work on the ladle. This piece of wood is a over two inches deep. I was only about half the depth I was after. Using the curved chisel, I dug into the middle of the bowl to nearly double the depth and worked my way out.  I did get the sides with my knife, cleaning the shape, and rough smoothed the bottom. Other than some fine smoothing, the inside of the ladle is about right. I really need to find the scorp set so I an finish the inside properly.

    It dawned on me that I had a Wednesday gathering with some friends before Christmas and did not have any cards even close to being finished at the time. It dawned on me that I only have two cards left from this year to give out and there are like eight of them! I have started painting another ten cards. I will use the same image, with little corrections. Since we are not meeting this Wednesday as it is the first, I have time to get the cards finished.
Our waitress is really special and it dawned on me that she should have gotten a gift. I have started a scarf yesterday and have time, especially since I have a day or so off this week, to get the scarf finished really nice.
    I will finish the scarf and the cards, and hope to find my Scorp set so I can finish the ladle, and will see what else I might accomplish next weekend.

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