Year 15, Week 01, Day One (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
49 degrees early morning, 69 degrees late afternoon, high fine feather clouds early morning, blue sky later in the morning and all day. Brisk breeze took away any heat you developed and gusts caused sawdust to dance around. Because it was below the 56 degree frost temperature here in South Florida, which is part of the subtropics, I drove on the ice covered canals as short cuts to Mom's house. I am lucky my truck has heat. I did not run the heat in my house and it was 66 degrees inside. An electric blanket made sleeping nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
Before the year 2000, I would go to my mom's house and read, write on a lap top, build tiny wooden structures for my model railroad. We would also eat dinner together.
January 17th 2000, It dawned on me that my dad was in his 80s, I decided I did not want that "I wish I had said, I wish I had done, kind of situation when his time came, so I decided to take up his hobby.
My dad was challenged by an art teacher neighbor to try carving and he did well. He later traveled the country each summer, going to carving conventions and learning from the masters. Until this day, My dad and brother would work on projects outside, and I would sit inside all day long. One day, I borrowed one of his knives, and a stick of wood and started carving.
I remembered that when my dad started carving, he had a difficulty in getting "out of the square" of the wood. He would essentially relief carve the surfaces but not get deep.
I chose to dig deep into the wood. I had drawing and sketching lessons. I had painting lessons. But I had no carving lessons. I simply dug into the wood. My carving was supposed to have a brim all the way around the head, but it kept breaking off. I finally got it stable and shaped like a bill cap. I had made the nose stick out far and I stopped at about the waist. It had a resemblance of Charles DeGaul.
My second and third carvings were from some boards I found, a sailor in cedar, and a man walking. My fourth carving was based on my kneeling with my hands across my knee. I sanded this carving and learned I did not like sanding. It was well done except for the arms. My fifth carving was based on a painting I saw, an angel sitting on a rock.
I kid that the way my dad taught me how to carve was to pat my on the head and say "Do another one."
We had a lot of good time together, I learned a lot from him, especially making my own knives, along with wood turning, scroll saw, power carving, to name just a tiny bit of what I learned though his help and on my own.
Before I tried carving, my dad would show up for a short time, mainly to cool down and rest a little, sitting to be with me a sort while, and then head back out to work. In his last years, (I realized later) I would come in to cool off, and rest a little, be with him a little, and then go back out to work.
Dad got me into a wonderful hobby and I am thankful for it. Since the 17th was Friday, This weekend is the official start of my carving year (I messed up on the weeks sometime last year)
I went to the GOLD COAST WOOD TURNING CLUB meeting on Thursday. Other than locking myself out of my truck on the way there, and losing a cane, It was an excellent evening.
The demonstration was on wood turning jewelry. He took walnuts, cashews, and sliced them, and also used palm nuts. He made a shallow cup from waste wood he had left from making bracelets, and tacked the sliced shells inside. He then used an enlace -- epoxy filled with turquoise - and filled the voids. the demonstration batch he did had to sit to harden so he took something he did earlier and mounted it into the lathe. He shaped and finished the exposed surface, causing a light dome. He then sliced it off the waste wood. He had a Jam chuck and had adjusted the piece to fit it.
The cut off piece was fit into the jam chuck and he finished the back side, doming it slightly. He explained how he would finish it. He also explained that on the back side, one might have to touch up small pin holes and such.
If he sliced it thin, he could get several nearly matching disks from one piece, and those would be ear rings. The thick one he made would be a necklace.
It had been many months since I had been able to make it to a club meeting. It was well worth going extra early Friday to make up for some lost sleep.
mixer in up postion
I got out back and decided to play around with a cute idea. I have a doctor that has a great sense of humor. He has joke books all over the place in his office. I decided to make little three legged stools. I will give him a few and tell him those are my STOOL SAMPLES. Everybody I told that to laughed.
I started with a twelve inch length of two by two. I mounted it in the lathe and rounded it over the entire length, and then sanded it. Then I took my thinnest parting tool and cut in to create a whole bunch of disks. WHITE WOOD, the wood of this two by two, is brittle. It chips out easily. I had a few disks that had chips along the edge missing, deep enough to not sand out. I sanded them the best I could.
partially parted disks on rod.
I then took the rod and sliced the disks off, then went to the disk sander to remove finger prints == I mean sand the disks flat on both sides. With a fast spinning disk of sand paper within half an inch of one's fingers, a tiny bit of tear out from the parting tool was to removed from some of the disks.
sliced off disks after sanding
I cut a wedge from the end of another two by two and sat down with a portable drill press. With the disks on an angle, I drilled three holes in each disk a size that will take some thick skewers I had. I had to ream out each hole a little to make sure the skewers would fit.
I cut the first skewer in thirds, about 4 mm long. I was lazy so I marked my length, and set my carving knife on the mark, and rolled the skewer beneath the edge of the blade. When I cut through deep enough, I simply broke it the rest of the way.
I then inserted them into one of the disks. As I was adding the last leg of the stool, part of the disk broke off. I removed the skewers and tried again. After they were glued in, I saw that the legs needed to be longer. I cut the rest of them at five MM and liked the result much better. I really should have been cutting them at six MM as that would give me two legs with little waste.
I drilled all the disks then. I did not measure, just eyeballing the placement. The wedge gave the legs the splayed angle out.
I started adding the legs to the disks I ended up stopping at making five st stools. Once the glue dried, I sanded the seats of the stools so the skewers, which I allowed to just stick out a little from the surface, was sanded down to the surface. I also corrected a few seats that needed extra sanding. I then touched the legs to the sanding disk to put the right angle on them and clean up the bottom surface since I broke them rather than cut all the way through and left fibers sticking out.
I touched them with some hand sanding along the edges and then gave them a couple coats of varnish, calling them done.
I have a lot of projects to work on, but will see what catches my interest tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 01, Day Two (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
43 degrees early morning, 68 degrees late afternoon, blue sky all day long, almost no wind in the morning, getting stronger as the day wore on. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
I got up at about four, which I normally do for work. I played on the computer till five, and then went back to sleep with the radio on. I woke at seven and the place was silent. I then noticed an emergency light on in the bathroom. We had a power out. The Power crews were working just south of me with a few of their trucks parked within view when I glanced out the door. We got power back on at about 9:30.
Someone said it was a transformer that went out. Since it was 43 degrees out this morning, well below the 56 degree frost temperature here in South Florida, I have decided that the thick ice brought a power line down. That is my story and I will stick to it...
I made some multi grain bread dough. I used my new mixer with the bread hooks and while the machine bounced badly, it did a wonderful job. I have found one little problem. It is 64 degrees in here and that is not warm enough for bread dough to rise properly. A common tactic for raising bread in cold climates is to set the oven to 200 degrees, shut it off and then put the bread dough in there so it can rise in the remaining warmth. Since I am using a toaster oven for my baking, I don't have room to put the bowl in to raise the dough. I just thought of something to try. I won't know if it will work until tomorrow.
I got to Mom's house and had to take care of some things on my truck. I had to pump up one tire, and don't trust gas station gauges. I have a little air pump that plugs into the power outlet of the truck. To get it, I decided to empty out the cab completely, and clean up a little bit. This allowed me to re-pack the truck and make a little more room. I found some stuff I lost and cleaned up some messes.
After lunch, I sat out in the sun and worked on the handle of the ladle. The grain of the wood in the handle is on a slight angle. side to side. It makes for fun carving away the wood as one way it splits, and the other way is hard to carve. I got the handle near where it needs to be but it needs to be flattened a bit more and cleaned up.
I knocked a chip out of the bowl and figured I would never find it. I searched the area I was carving and could not see anything that had any resemblance to the chip. Because I was in an area with wood mulch on both sides of me. I figured there was no way to find the chip. I had put the carving stuff away and walked out to get the chair and decided to look one more time at the shavings laying around. Instead of in front of where I was working, right there on the side of the chair was the chip!!!
I don't have the right glue. I drilled two holes in the chip on angles opposite each other. I then set the chip exactly in place and drilled through them into the body the chip came off of. I drove some dowels (thin skewers) into the holes to hold the chip in place for now. I don't want to lose it. I have to get the right kind of "cement" to glue it in place. It has to be oil and water proof and food safe. I will remove the dowels, glue the chip in place, glue the dowels in and then clean it up.
I have no idea what I will be doing next week. I have loads of projects to work on. I have more of those disks prepared for stools and they would not be hard to finish up. I have several carvings in process that really needs to be worked on.
I will see what I actually do next week.