Sunday, April 27, 2014

Year 15, Week 14, Day One (week 711)

Year 15, Week 14, Day One (week 711)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-26-14 Saturday

75 in the morning 90 in the afternoon, Partly cloudy sky, clearing as the day went on, nice breeze to keep it cool with a low humidty. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

My new dad had to do a speech and it was early in the morning, so we went to that before breakfast. He did great and the people received him well. 
We went for breakfast afterwards.
It was kind of late but we did a little bit of yard sailing before heading home. We were disappointed that there was nothing we just had to have. I later did a run to a store and checked a yard sale on the way back. While I was there, they just started packing up. I did not ask for the price of the one thing that was of interest as I could easily live without it, a popcorn popper that you turn a crank to move the corn around inside the pan to keep them from burning. These people will do another yard sale some time in the next month or so and I can always pick that up next time. They had a little crock pot that might have held half a quart. I have a bigger one that is still small that I don’t use. I decided against this one.
When we got home, I fed and petted the kitties and then we all napped for a couple hours. 

Last week, I had picked up a sandwich grill that had plates for grilling, sandwich press, and waffles. They were completely out of them so I got the floor model. During the week, I decided to make waffles. It was not smelling good as it heated up. I cooked the first batch of waffles and then added the second and it stopped working. It was dead. It really stank up the office.
Electronic devices are packed with a magic smoke that makes them work. If the magic smoke escapes, the device stops working (usually described as burnt out). The idea is to get a device where the magic smoke stays inside it. 
Well, Today, I went to return my unit. I was given a sales slip that I could take to the cashier and get my money back. The clerk told me that I should go look to see if there was something else I wanted instead, and use my slip to pay for it. I was not going to, knowing that last time, they had nothing else, but I decided to look anyway.
They had the unit back in stock and a lot of boxes of it. I got it and, since I got the floor model last week at half price, I had to pay about the same amount this time. My deal last week wasn’t but I got a band new unit.

I went outside and had a look at the platter I made last week. I decided that when it is done, I will put inlay into the shrinkage cracks. It will strengthen them and also make it look like that was what I intended to do. I looked at my big log. The shrinkage cracking is through the piece. I am thinking to cut a chunk to make a vase or bowl and epoxy the shrinkage cracks so they stay together when turning. 

A couple of the pieces are drying, and turning the rich brown color. Others are too thick to show the color yet.

I laid down and napped again and that pretty much ended my day.

I do hope to do something tomorrow, but I am not sure what. I will have to see what happens tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 14, Day Two (week 711)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-27-14 Sunday

90 degrees, blue sky, nice breeze to carry away the heat, with little if any humidity. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

I tested out the sandwich unit this morning for breakfast. It smelled a little bad for a short time, then that went away. It worked nice. I used it again in the afternoon and it worked excellent. It is going to work tomorrow so that if I want toasted cheese sandwiches, or cook a sausage patty, or have waffles, I can with no problem. It adds one more thing to my lunch or breakfast menu. I had wanted a unit like this for years and now I have one and it finally works.

I got to Mom’s house and my back was bothering me, so I dug out the little lathe so I could sit and work, rather than use the big lathe where I would be standing, twisting and turning to work. 
I had made some chop sticks into roughly rounded rods. I took one of them and started rounding it more. there is one little problem I ran into. These chop sticks are longer than my lathe. I had already made them so they will go through the shaft of the headstock, which is hollow. I did as much of the stick as I could, then turned it around and did as much as I could again, and there is about an inch section in the middle that is untouched. I have to decide whether to work the center bit manually, or cut it in half and make two sticks. I did a couple short pieces. One I did was of the Sea grape I was splitting last week. I had a sliver and after cutting it to length, I used my knife to give it a rough round, and then worked it with the lathe. It is going to have to dry some more before I can finish it. 
Lunch interrupted me. When I got back out, I did just a bit more and then decided to end my day. 

I accomplished very little this weekend, but did enjoy myself. I have a lot of projects to work on, but just did not get any of it done. I have no idea what will be done next weekend. I don’t see my day interrupted by a meeting. I think it will be a good weather weekend too, though updates during the week changes by the day. 

I will see what I actually do next weekend.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Year 15, Week 13, Day One (week 710)

Year 15, Week 13, Day One (week 710)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-19-14 Saturday

Early morning tornado warnings heading East. That broke up as it crossed the Everglades. The worst of it broke up before it arrived while we were having breakfast. The wet stopped coming down by around ten, but that ended any concept of going out yard sailing. The temps got up to 84 degrees and the sky became blue from horizon to horizon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


We had a wood turning club meeting Thursday night. They had their normal wood INSTANT GALLERY, where you set your pieces out and people can examine them carefully, and then later you tell about the pieces, what you did, how you did it, and any particulars such as type of wood and type of finish.
We also had a turning club challenge. This is where the club demonstrates a technique, and then everybody who wants to participate, will try to make something using the technique. They give out tickets to all people who brought something and then draws a ticket and the winner gets a gift certificate. The main purpose of this is to get people to make something different than they normally do.
Finally, they also had a tool sale. Many members makes tools, others have extra tools or tools they don’t ever use. Those who are interested in the tools can buy them. We have beginners who don’t have many tools and this is a way to get something they would not get at that price. This time, not only were there the normal turning tools, there was also a strip sander, a scroll saw, a chipper (looks something like a dremmel but the chisel vibrates, making it slide through wood). There was also a tenoning clamp and a dovetail set.
I never did anything for the turning challenge. I never had the time. I brought the six plates I finished up last time. I described how I had made a disk sander for the lathe, and then how I used it to set the plates against when sanding. I heard two people say “I never thought of that.” The sand paper holds the piece firmly so it does not slide, and it does not mar the work. One then only has to think about the marks the tail stock might make.
One of my friends got some Sea Grape wood. Sea Grape grows like a vine most of the time and naturally grows near the beach. The highway department plants it along side the road at the cloverleafs as a barrier.  They can also be trained into a tree and can get two feet in diameter. I was given two logs about two foot long. One was about a foot in diameter, the other was about nine inches.
Someone brought a scroll saw to the tool sale. They were from out of town. They said that there were a couple pieces missing from it and would give it away. When no one showed interest, I said I would take it. I dropped it off to my brother the next day and he said it was the top of the line Craftsman saw, with an extra wide throat. It was missing two levers to hold the blade and the plate that goes over the hole.
I looked at all the tools and there were three pieces I almost got. I just could not bring myself to get them.  It looked like everybody enjoyed themselves.


Because of the early morning storm, I napped until the wetness nearly finished. The smaller of the Sea Grape log had some center checks. I wanted to make some drum sticks making use of the grain so I dug out a hatchet and a big hammer. I pounded on back of the hatchet, driving it into the wood like a wedge or fro. The wood split fairly easily. I split the log in half, then started splitting one half in all sorts of sizes. I was shocked at how easy it split. I had never tried splitting a log before.
At one point, the hammer hit right at the edge of the ax head. Something bit onto my hand at the base of the thumb. I looked and a piece of metal was sticking out of my skin and I was bleeding. I pulled the metal out, put a Band-aid on it and went back to work. It bled nicely and I had to replace the bandage a bit later, but then it stopped. It also hurt every time I bumped it and every move seemed to be aimed at that spot. It took me a bit of looking to figure out where the piece of metal came off the edge of the hatchet head. I just hit it right to knock a chip off. I was more careful with my pounding after that, making sure I hit on the solid surface.
A FRO looks like a sickle, but the cutting edge is on the top- outside, rather than the bottom- inside of a sickle. You set that on the wood and you pound on the blade, which usually sticks out both sides of the log to give you places to hit, and then pry the handle to guide the cracking. I cannot remember which way you pry, but you can guide the cracking so it is straight and true.
I am used to dry Sea Grape where it is slightly brittle and very hard. I found out that fresh green wood is soft, easy to work. I could even carve it, though it is not the absolute best wood for that. The dry stuff is not something one wants to carve. When fresh, the wood is white, but it oxidizes quickly to a wine brown. When dry, the color is dark and consistent all the way through.
I was done playing around by a late lunch time and had cleaned up.

I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. I do have the larger log and might try something in that. I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 13, Day Two (week 710)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-20-14 Sunday

70s early morning, 84 in afternoon. Some idiot broke the solid clouds of the early morning so they split up into half blue sky in the afternoon. I don’t remember any sun at all during the day.

I stopped at Brandsmart to get a grill set (3 different heating plate sets). The only one they ended up having was the display model. I got it at half price and I was really happy. I saw my first one about five years ago and kicked myself for not getting it. At the time I was short on money and could not get the other stuff I was getting and that too. I almost got one for Christmas but decided to hold off. The money and opportunity came up so I went to get it. It is without the box and has an extra waffle plate, but otherwise is perfect. It was at a price I could well have spent at a yard sale so I am really happy. That is the only “yard sailing” I did this weekend.

The first thing I did after I got set up was to drag out the electric chain saw and the 100 foot cord and set up at the back of the property to saw a slice off the large sea grape log. I first intended to slice a bunch of plate blanks off, but when I got ready to cut, I decided to slice only a two inch slice off the end.
Even with the good blade on the chain saw, it took some time to slice through the log. I am working on the ground so it is a bit tougher than it could be. I finally got the slice off, then went to the lathe.
The fresh cut side was a bit better than the raw edge so I found the approximate center of both sides of the disk. Because the wood was not exactly round, it was approximate. I set the fresh cut side against the sand paper and the tail stock in the center of the disk, and cinched it up.
It took some time to get rid of the wedge, and get the back flat. I then started shaping the inside of the platter. When I got that just right, I had to remove most of the center post where the tail stock was attached. This wood was showing shrinkage checks already. Sea Grape checks from the center and they radiate over time to the outside. An old log might look solid, but when you cut into it, you find it is well checked on the inside. I most likely will split this log in half.
I took the disk off the lathe, replaced my chuck for the sanding disk, and opened the chuck as wide as possible. I then placed the tail stock about center, which was fairly close to what it was for the front, and then shaped the bottom.
When I was done, because it is wet, I worked glue into the checks, which had a little give, gave it a spray coat of varnish, and then set it to dry completely. I will finish it after it has dried a while. I have some thickness left to work with over most of it.

I took one of the splits I had created yesterday, and rounded it. It is not exactly round, but close. I decided to let that dry before I do anything else with it also.

By the time my brother arrived, I was cleaning up. I was also hurting. My legs, my back, my shoulder and elbow let me know I was not used to doing that much work. I was doing some things I had not done in a while. That may well have been my longest turning session in at least months.

I will see what I actually do next month.

I have no idea what I will do next week. I most likely will do something with the sea grape wood. I have loads of other projects.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Year 15, Week 12, Day One (week 709)

sorry this is posted so late. I was trying to add pictures and ran into problems. 

Year 15, Week 12, Day One (week 709)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-05-14 Saturday
    72 degrees early morning, 87 degrees, good breeze to take the heat away, sky mostly filled with really high spilled cream and feathers. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    After Breakfast, we went yard sailing. I picked up a present for a friend, an aluminum rolling pin designed to be filled with ice water or even frozen with water in it, so that you can roll out puff pastry while keeping the butter cold. It was missing a handle.
    We stopped at home to pet and feed the kitties. Scarface is looking healthy again, last week and the week before, he had a bad cold. He was also very hungry, both for food and for attention.
    We went back out for yard sailing. We ran across one yard sale that had tools. I got a crank powered drill press. It is like a hobby drill press. I saw it, and just  had to have it. The price was good enough too. I also got a pair of wood clamps. I don’t really need more wooden clamps but they just jumped into my arms.
    We had hit about six yard sales. My new dad got a couple things too.

    A little after we finished yard sailing, we went out for lunch and ended up talking for an hour and a half. I had not talked that much in the whole month.
    Back at home, I cleaned up my drum sticks and gave them a new finish. One is not quite done and needs a little more work. I mounted each one on the lathe and sanded them almost down to the wood. I used a technique of cleaning them up that is not safe and not totally recommended, but I think I did it in a safe way. At least it has been safe so far.
    When working with anything that is spinning, one should not have fibers around one’s hand. It is not really even wise to have them near your skin. This goes for burning wires, gloves, stainless-steel wool, even sanding strips. You make sure nothing is wrapped around fingers or anything else. Even the weakest five will cut flesh when grabbed by something spinning.
    I got some stainless steel scouring pads. These are long strands of thin stainless steel essentially woven into a pad. I was not about to just use my hands to hold it to the wood. I might be a fool, I am not totally stupid.
    I had some 32 grit sand paper on hand. Yes, I am THAT bad a turner that 32 grit sandpaper is used on some projects. If one sands enough with higher grits, one can hide the starting point of your sanding. I put the scouring pad onto the 32 grit sandpaper and then set it against the wood. The big grit of the paper grabbed the fibers to keep them, MOST OF THE TIME, from slipping off. Three times, I had to stop the lathe to unwrap the scouring pad from the wood because the fibers caught it. This was on a damaged drum stick I was trying to fix.
    The scouring fibers act like little scrapers to remove the dry varnish. I would just turn it and start working with it again. The fibers clean themselves of the varnish scrapings rather than gunking up like the sandpaper does. Only the hollows remain with the varnish. I then sanded the drum stick with finer sand paper, to give it a clean surface.
    For varnishing, I did what is known as a rubbed varnish. While the lathe was still spinning, I took a small wad of cloth and wetted it with varnish. I then moved the cloth over the wood surface. I kept working it back and forth over the wood. The varnish dries beneath the cloth. You keep rubbing it until the surface is dry, past the sticky stage. I have gotten good results of doing this by hand to, not just on the lathe. With this method, one does not get any drips, nibs, or other flaws one might get if you spray it or just “paint” the varnish on. It is not as glossy a surface but it is even and clean.
    One drum stick had a split because the grain was not running completely down the length. That was the one that loved the scouring fibers. I still have more to do to that to finish it up.

One of my yard sale finds is a aluminum rolling pin that you screw off the end and fill it with water to refrigerate or freeze. It was missing one wood handle. I paid a whole ten cents for it!!! I went to Ace Hardware and picked up the right size bolt, which cost a lot more than ten cents, and turned a new handle for it.
    I first made a handle out of whitewood and the surface was rough. It would take a lot of sanding to get it right. I also I did not drill it all the way through.
    I have some three foot long drill bits. These are small enough to fit through the tail stock which is hollow. I have a ball bearing unit on mounted on the tail stock that one can change the points for a particular purpose. One of them has a hole through it to allow the drill bit slip through it.
    One problem with drill bits is that they don’t always go straight. If they start even slightly off center, they will wobble around as the wood spins and come out the other end off center. The usual solution for this is to drill the whole first and then mount the piece centered on the hole and work the outside. I did not drill all away through the whitewood stick. When I parted it off after shaping it, the hole was slightly off center. I then took my hand drill and drilled the hole to the proper size and again it was off center. This try showed that the concept was right.
    I then tried it again with some Mahogany and this time drilled it all the way through. I did not, though, center the piece on the hole when I turned the outside so at the far end, it was not quite centered.
    I stuck the bolt into my wooden handle and screwed it fairly tight. The head of the bolt was sticking out the end of the handle and one could not turn the handle without the bolt also turning.
    It was getting late so I decided to stop.
    Tomorrow, I might cut a slot in the head, which the original bolt is, and round the head and machine the bottom of the head into an angle to set in flush.
    I have other projects I also want to do.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 12, Day Two (week 709)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-06-14 Sunday
    87 degrees, blue sky good breeze to carry the heat away. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got to Mom’s house and set up to work on the rolling pin handle. I had taken out the little metal working lathe. My plan was to machine the head of the bolt so it would fit nicely into the handle. I also had planned on making a new, better made wooden handle. There was a plan for fixing the last drum stick.
    Just after I got the little lathe was set up, it was time for lunch. We talked for a long time during and after lunch. I finally got outside and it was much later in the day. I decided to drill an access hole, for the head to sit inside the handle. I found a bit that was the same size as the head, but had a reduced shaft end for the drill to hold it.
    After I drilled out the space deep enough, I had to widen the hole a little more so the handle will spin on the bolt without messing with the head.
    I took a cutting bit on the dremmel and cut a slot across the head of the bolt. It cut easily and took just a minute.
    I assembled the handle screwing the bolt in. The wood turns stiffly, like the original side, and looks good. I decided to leave it as that. It was nice repairing the rolling pin like that.
    It was getting late so I cleaned up, which took longer than getting all those tools out.
    I have no idea what I will work on next week. I have a lot of options and will have to see what the time and weather looks like. Yard sailing takes a big chunk of the morning, which reduces the amount of time one can work during the day.
    I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Today, independent researchers and developers announced the new Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device, to be henceforth known as BOOK.

Introducing the BOOK!
The BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: No wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected, switched on, or recharged. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover! 

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere-even sitting in an armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a flash drive.
Here's how it works... 

Each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. 

Sample BOOK interior featuring OPT
Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs in half. 

Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKS with more information simply use more pages. This makes them thicker and harder to carry, and has drawn some criticism from the mobile computing crowd. 

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. 

The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The BOOK never crashes and never needs rebooting though, like other display devices, it can become unusable if dropped overboard. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. 
Sample BOOKmark

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open the BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session-even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarks can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK. 

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS). 

Scientists are even developing the PENCIL in ALTERNATE COLORS! More on this development soon!

Portable, durable, and affordable, the BOOK is being hailed as the entertainment wave of the future. The BOOK's appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform. 
Look for a flood of new titles soon!