Monday, January 6, 2014

Year 14, Week 50, Day One (week 696)

Year 14, Week 50, Day One (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-04-14 Saturday
    68 degrees early morning 84 degrees in the afternoon, threatening in the morning with some wetness in the afternoon. Brisk winds moved sawdust around. The storms heard they could make things more miserable up north so the clouds were racing past us at full speed heading North. The heaviest clouds were over the Everglades, as usual. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    It dawned on me that I promised some people some cards and items at our Wednesday dinner meetings. I only have two cards to give out from what I made (out of a total of 48 I made). I decided I had better get to work. I am in the process of making ten cards. I am taking my time on the artwork to make them a little better than the previous batches.
    I had started on a scarf and decided I would rush to get it made. It came out pretty good.
    I then ran across a scarf I had made earlier in the year and lost, so I decided to widen it. As I started to work on it, I saw that I made a little mistake. What I was doing was I would work on each side of a center colored yarn to make them even. In this case, I accidentally worked one side, then instead of flipping the piece, I worked again on that side. I was out of that yarn, but did find a yarn that was in the Ombre pattern and did two rows on the short side with that color. I then edged the whole thing with a dark blue that was in the center strip. I like the effect.
    I found that many skeins of yarn are only long enough to do one or two rows on a scarf. I found I love the look of striping, a different color down the center than next to it or on the outside edge. It makes is a bit more interesting and uses up yarn that might never get used.
    We hit two yard sales, one of them we returned to as Mom saw something she wanted to get but missed the first time. I saw one thing that was of interest but at half again the price I cared to pay.
    AS the weather was not looking great, I decided not to take out the lathe like I was planning. After petting and feeding the cat a couple times, and searching for my scorp kit which I still have not found, I took on the ladle I am making. I worked on making the shape at the edge look symmetrical with even curves. I then cleaned up the inside a bit more, using the chisel very lightly to remove ridges and tear out, and then using it "wrong" scraping backwards with the edge to smooth things out. It is better.
Because of the speed of the clouds, the weather changed rapidly and back again. I stayed inside rather than go out to work again.
    Tomorrow, I hope to get some work done. it will still depend on the weather.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 14, Week 50, Day Two (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-05-14 Sunday
    76 degrees early morning. 84 degrees in the afternoon. Clouds still racing north to make things miserable for those in the colder climates. Being fast movers, the weather could be sunny one minute, then wet the next, and back to sunny again. Of course, the heaviest clouds are over the Everglades and bled over into us. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    I started the morning by making fresh pasta. While I have mixed grain flour I made last week, I chose to use Semolina flour for these noodles.
    During the week, I finished up some frozen Lasagna and it tasted so good that I picked up the makings of more Lasagna. I did not get noodles, figuring that if I did not make my own noodles, I would cook up some standard flat soup noodles and layer them. I then found out that I did not have enough usable noodles.
    This morning, I made a double batch, figuring that I will refrigerate or freeze the rest for other uses.
    Now making noodles is a whole lot harder than making bread. With Bread, you mix it, kneed it and then let it set for a couple hours or more. No work at all. With noodles, you mix the batter, then you have to do something with it quickly == roll it out, cut it etc.
    I have a crank pasta roller. It has thickness settings from one, the largest, to seven, the thinnest. I will work the dough in one until it stays together smoothly, then step to three, five and finally seven. There, I decide whether I keep the sheets whole for Lasagna, or put it through one of the two sizes of slicers that came with the pasta roller.
    I decided my first sheets would remain whole for Lasagna. I hung the sheets on the drying racks I had made last year to dry.
    The rest of the dough I made into the finest noodles. I learned long ago that if I ran too thick dough through the cutter, it would end up being Spaghetti. That tells you how wide the smallest size is.
    It is a lot of hard work to make the noodles. Standing, cranking, swapping hands to hold the sheets going in, then holding them to going out. With long sheets, one almost needs another hand to hold both ends so it does not crumple coming out or stretch while going in.
    I do like the results of making fresh pasta, though. It is not very expensive for something of good quality, since you know what is in it.
    Last week, I had dropped off my old cook book that I got my Past and bread recipes from. Today, we found out that other than the cover design, the cook book my dad had, that my mom learned to cook from when they got married, and my book are the exact same book, published 1940, 1942. That is a wow moment. I have several dozen cook books but this is the only one I look at. One thing I love is that absolutely everything is from scratch. There is no "Open this package and."
    I dug out my drill and stuck a rotary rasp on it and worked the inside of the ladle to get rid of the tear out and rough spots. It also allowed me to clean up the shape of the top edge a bit more. I had hoped to do this ladle all by hand but my lack of experience forced me to "cheat." I have sanding to do on the inside but it looks better.
    Satisfied with the inside shape, I decided to start shaping the outside of the ladle.  I used the bandsaw to remove the corners of the square block I started with. I had kept it square so I could put it into the vice to work. Now that the inside was close to being right, it was time to remove the excess wood, especially on the corners.
    I took my carving knife and sat out in the sun where I could also watch the clouds coming in, and shaped the outside. Since I had a long handle to hang onto, my left wrist did not have to work hard. My carving hand had to work as I was dealing with a lot of end grain.
    I kept feeling the thickness of the wood between my fingers to tell me where I was too thick and where I am just right. Of course, the end of the bowl, which is all end grain, resisted the knife with all its might.
    I am close to having the bowl the right thickness and shape all around. I then have to work on the handle. I decided it was a good time to stop for the day.
    Someone gave me a drum stick that was a little bit chewed up. I slipped the handle inside the jaws of the lathe, all the way in and then closed the jaws on it. It was actually the base of the jaws holding it, not the jaws themselves.
    I used a coarse sand paper and while it was spinning in the lathe, I removed the broken fibers, giving it a rough smooth finish. I then shifted to a finer sand paper and cleaned up the marks added by the heavy sand paper. I did a third sand paper and decided to call it smooth enough. I gave it a shot of spray varnish. There are dents still in the surface, noticeable as they are darker than the surrounding wood. I chose to leave them for now. I can decide to sand it more next weekend, but will see how things work then.
    I cleaned up when I saw dark clouds to the south. When I left Mom's there were a few drips but they were gone quickly. I later drove through some more on the way home but it lasted about two minutes as I was going the opposite direct ion.
    I hoped to get more woodworking done, but his front made it tough. I was not about to bring a bunch of electrical equipment out into the open just to have it rained on. I have a number of projects to work on but will have to see what comes up next week.
    I did get an invitation to do the LIGHT HOUSE POINT YACHT CLUB ART SHOW on March 9th. A whole number of things are going on between now and then and I have to figure out this week whether I will have the chance to do the show.  I likely will but want to check to make sure.
    I will see what I actually do next week.

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