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.

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