Sunday, May 25, 2014

Year 15, Week 18, Day One (week 715)

Year 15, Week 18, Day One (week 715)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-24-14 Saturday

Temps in the mid 80s, light breeze, blue sky with bright sun. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After breakfast, we went yard sailing. We hit several yard sales. Most had good stuff, but nothing we were after. I ended up picking up a cooking book. The guy said it was the course book for the culinary school he went to. He paid $75 for the book. I paid $2. When I had flipped through it quickly, I thought I saw a couple things that were of interest so I got it. 
I also got a plumbing fitting I was thinking about getting anyway. It would show me if that was the actual problem or not cheeply.

When we finally got back, like at ten or eleven, we laid down for a very quick nap. Well, it was supposed to be quick. I woke at one! 

We went out to a Chinese Buffet and that took a while, and then we went to Brandsmart where my mom got me an early birthday present, a camera to replace the one I had lost two weeks ago. It does not have as high a zoom range and it a little simpler, but it will work perfectly for our needs. 

When we got back it was too late to do anything other than go outside to feed and pet the kitty. The sun was shining on the thermometer at that time so I could not get a useful reading. 

I do hope to get something done tomorrow. I will definitely do something in wood.

Year 15, Week 18, Day Two (week 715)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-25-14 Sunday

Mid 80s, blue sky with feathers and spilt milk, the very lightest of breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I went out back immediately after I arrived. I had several projects in mind. I went out to the bin that is filled with cuttings from a furniture shop. Most is mahogany but there are other woods. I could turn every day, eight hours a day for about three months just with what is in there. I do have years worth of wood in my stash. Mom uses the top of it for storage of pots and planting stuff so it took a bit of effort to get to open it. 
After some digging and examining, reminding myself of all that is in there, I drew out a two by six by nine piece of Mahogany out. My plan is to make a ladle out of it. 
I closed up the bin and stacked the stuff back where it was. That was a project. When I got back to the work area, I noticed a piece of wood I had taken out last month. I had to move a couple things to get to it, but it looks like it might be even better for this project. I can get two ladles out of it by cutting the length in half. I am not planning on having as long a handle as I had made before and the bowl does not have to be quite as big. 

I am finding that Mahogany does not make for good drum sticks. It splits off easier than I expected. What happens is that the wood rings feathers as you taper to the narrowest point. Those feathers start splitting. I have a couple drum sticks that has little chips on the sides. These are drum sticks that are used very easy, not like what the “professional” drummer does to his sticks(dents them pretty bad), or what the really loud drummer in another meeting does to his drum sticks (chewed up badly on the symbols).  Mahogany look good but are not good drum sticks.

I then noticed a piece of sea grape I had rough rounded. I dragged out the lathe, which required moving several things. This had to be done to get to the band saw anyway as there was some stuff mom put there that would be harder to move. These are supposed to be drum sticks.

I drug the lathe and equipment out. Again that was a project. I seem to put more effort in setting up and putting things away than I ever do in the biggest projects I ever try.

I mounted the sea grape on the lathe and started turning on it. When I turned it green, one end started splitting. A little bit of rounding showed that was going to still be a problem. I had rounded it a whole lot more, making a better surface. About then, my brother showed up. He was going inside to watch the race. I decided to pack up, which till a bit of time, and go in to be with him. The race was mostly done, we had lunch in between (glazed ham) and Mom and my new dad were going to take a nap. I decided to get going home rather than go outside and work. 

I did humiliate a piece of wood today and picked out some wood for another project (like I need another project!!!! I don’t need more projects. I have a face vase that will have five vases that has been waiting for me to dig into it, for about three years. I have a dragon I’ve worked on, off and on, for about the same amount of time. I have a whole bunch of other projects 

I don’t expect to do anything tomorrow, other than sweep the house with a glance, so I will see if I actually accomplish something next weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Year 15, Week 17, Day One (week 714)

Year 15, Week 17, Day One (week 714)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-17-14 Saturday

A frosty 67 degrees in the morning. I saw my breath on the air. It got up to a comfortable 82 degrees but with strong winds, gust enough to blow a loose hat off. It was sunny all day long with blue sky,  swishes and waves of white lace and diluted milk. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I went yard sailing and the mocking birds were singing with all their might everywhere I went. It was wonderful. Those are my favorite of all song birds. 

I hit several yard sales with my mom and new dad and found nothing, and then headed out on my own. I got a couple books. Mrs. Fixit PANTRY POWER (clean it and repair it faster for less. And also I got Yankee Magazine VINEGAR, DUCT TAPE, MILK JUGS AND MORE. (1001 ingenious ways to use common household items to repair, restore, revive, or replace just about everything in your life). Mom looked at these and said they are very good. They give tips and techniques or replacing or repairing things with materials you have on hand.
I got a pair of mugs one has a beagle on it. On the back side it tells where the beagle developed. The other has the Boston Terrier. I know one is going to be a gift to someone at work. 
My biggest purchase was a little drafting board with a drafting real machine that keeps the blade square to the table as you work. I remembered last year needing something like this and I am trying to remember why. I might attach it to a larger drafting board. I will have to give it a close look. Right now, it is a size for working with typing paper. 
My final purchase is one of those stones you stick into your drill and sharpen knives. I have that cleaver I got last week and could not quite get the angle right. I want to sharpen it properly and this stone  will be perfect to get the angles. 

While I was yard sailing, I went and gassed up. A woman was leaving and had a big bag she had put a case of beer in. I held the door for her and she appreciated it. I like holding doors for people.  Later, I ended up at a yard sale and there she was. It was her yard sail. She remembered me. 
At that yard sail, there was an interesting thing. I am positive I had seen it before but just could not quite figure out what it was. The guy said that he had a lot of those “what is it?” items. He said he might have things that are quite valuable if he knew what they were.
I attached a drawing of what I saw. The spindle on top spins, and the disk adds momentum to it. There was a metal rod sticking out which I think had a crank. The bottom was an angled box. It was all made out of one by wood. There was a lot of mess around the disk which may have been started spinning by hand. 

My drawing of the "What is it?" not to any scale. it is about two foot long. The dowel and disk are likely much longer than shown. The dowel is likely 1 1/2" diameter. The disk was at least two inches diameter and might have been a little bigger. 

When I got home, I took a longer nap than I planned. Other than petting and feeding the cat, I did not go outside again until it was time to leave. 

I have no idea what I plan to do tomorrow. I do know I will bother some piece of wood. 

We will see what happens tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 17, Day Two (week 714)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-18-14 Sunday

Low 80s, blue skies, light breeze, sunny all day long. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

I made myself drag out the lathe today. I took that Sea Grape Plate I started several weeks back and put some effort in trying to finish it. 
I had to adjust it to get it as centered as possible. While it had dried after I originally made it, it warped. I did not make it thick enough to allow me to just remove wood to straighten it out so I had to work with the warp. 
I used the tools to get the center on both sides as clean and flat as possible, then I nibbled off the high points of the rest of the disk with the tools, leaving the lowest point alone on both sides. I finally took some aggressive sand paper and scraped the whole surface with the lathe running really slow so my hand could follow the warp of the platter. My tooling had added some chatter, where the tool vibrated against the wood and left high and low marks. Many people have special tools to create that effect, but I decided not to leave the pattern. 
After I sanded both sides really good with a finer sand paper, I used a dremmel to remove the center nibs on both sides. I used heavy and light sanding to remove most of the dremmel marks. 
I still have more to do on sanding and finishing this platter. It still has the bark around the outside, though the bark did take a bit of a beating in the process. It is looking good. I don’t like sanding and that is basically what I have to concentrate on now.  I gave it a coat of varnish just so it looks all right for now. When I sand it, the varnish will show where it needs more sanding, as the varnish will remain in the low spots. 

I cannot find my camera right now. I looked everywhere and it is gone. Darn. I will have to use my old low grade camera until I can figure out what happened to it.

I mounted that grind stone I got yesterday and mounted it into the drill and ground on the blade of the cleaver I got last week. The stone is softer than I expected, and wore away faster than I thought it would,  but it got the blade shaped right. I will use a stone to grind the blade finely, strop it and it should be able to slice tomatoes. The key was to get the shape of the blade right, which was something I could not do by hand.

While putting up the lathe, the wheels caught on a ridge in the stone patios. My lathe base is designed so I can drop the wheels onto wood blocks so it will not move. There are levers that allow the wheels to be pushed down to the ground and lift the blocks back up off the ground.  There are sticks of wood set so they swing into position to lock the lifting bars in place so the wheels will be locked in the down position. 
While pushing the lathe, the locking block slipped and one end of the wheels (a set on each end) lifted up and the lathe dropped down to the ground. This would not be a problem, but in order to push the lever back down to lift the lathe back up onto the wheels, I had to use my bad leg in order to be in position to slip the locking block back into place. There is a bunch of pieces of wood in the bottom shelf and while they looked like they were not in the way, they blocked my foot from going down far enough. I ended up having to try to lift the lathe several times before I got it in place. I had to move some pieces of wood out of the way before I finally got it up and locked in place to roll the lathe into the storage position. 
I have a whole lot of weight on that lathe cart. I have it heavy so that when I am working with a piece of wood that is badly out of balance, the lathe is not going to walk all over the place. If the wood is really bad, you drop the lathe down onto the wood blocks by lifting the wheels. I have some weight lifter weights, and lots of wood on the shelving, along with most of my turning tools mounted on the lathe. It is heavy. All that weight made shoving the bar down to lift the cart back on the wheels really hard. 
Since I was using my bad leg, when I got the cart back on the wheels and pushed it into the “parking spot”, my leg hurt. I finished getting the tools and equipment put away, but I knew I was not going to do much more today, even if I was not cleaning up.

The wheel assembly drawing showing how the wheel is is locked in place to roll, or lifted to sit on the support blocks. 

I have no idea what I will be doing next weekend. The weather at the moment looks fairly good. We shall see what happens when the weekend comes.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Year 15, Week 16, Day One (week 713)

Year 15, Week 16, Day One (week 713)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-11-14 Saturday

For the past 14 years, I have done the LIGHT HOUSE POINT YACHT CLUB ART SHOW. It had gone on for twenty years. Dad did it many years before I was involved. I got notice that they decided that they are no longer doing the art show. Sad. 

85 degrees early morning, 92 degrees in the afternoon, high feathers and streaks, with lower puffs filling the sky, mostly sunny (though it might have been filtered sun) all day long. Low humidity.  A light breeze with periodic puffs took away the heat. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

The morning started interesting. I was driving to Mom’s and ran out of gas. While I sat there, I calculated my miles per gallon, and then figured out my distances I travel. I figured out that I MUST gas up each week. A tank of gas is not enough to handle all the driving I do beyond a week. Mom got a couple gas cans out and filled them, and came down to rescue me. I stopped and added some more gas before I headed to her house. Then we went for breakfast.

On Yard sailing, we hit a few yard sales. The only thing I found was a cleaver that had seen much better days. The blade was rusted and it had been used at least once to stir paint, so Because the knife had good heft, I knew it could be, and should be saved. 
I saw a few things that were interesting, but nothing that I had to have. Usually, they were things I now know I have no use for, and no one to give them to. A few things were “pretty but no place for them” and also “I already have several of them.” It would be great to be just starting out and have the money to get all the wonderful things. There were a few racks for things but I have no place for the racks, let alone for the stuff that would go in them.

After we got back, I first scraped the surface of the knife, and then took a sanding disk to the blade. The metal was pitted, and I got rid of the worst of that. The wood of the handle should be replaced. Not today. 

My New Dad and I went out to a couple stores. At the local Grocery store chain, we picked up some live flowers, and a bouquet of cut flowers. 
We went to one of the super chain stores and he got mom a chain and a really nice card. I would never have seen that card. It was perfect. I tend towards humourous cards, myself, if I am not painting it myself.
I picked up a boom box for myself.  One of my radios at home died on me quite a few months ago and I finally decided it was time to replace it. 

Mom really enjoyed the flowers. The card was perfect. She was excited about what we got. After we sat to eat, Dad gave mom her chain and she loved it. 
Mom absolutely loves live plants. 

I had to move some stuff to get to the grinder and started grinding on the knife in an attempt to sharpen it. I quickly found that I do not have the fittings to hold the knife right to sharpen it properly. The knife shifted up and down as I was sliding it side to side. A bit later, I sat at my sharpening stone and worked it.  After a while I gave up. It was better than it was, but not close to being sharp.

I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. 

Year 15, Week 16, Day Two (week 713)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-12-14 Sunday

92 degrees, partly cloudy (high feathers and spilt milk, and low puffs) skies but sunny all day long. A constant light breeze with a few stronger puffs cooled things down. The lack of humidity made it nice. I almost dread when the summer showers start rolling in and the humidity reaches 80%. You cannot get dry then. Here, the wind kept you cool if you were just sitting. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

During the morning, it dawned on me that I have some files designed for sharpening and shaping metal. I set up in back and took out my metal working files. I sat down and worked the cutting edge of the cleaver blade on both sides for quite a while. That gave it a consistent angle on both sides rather than being rounded. I then used the sharpening stone on it. It needs a whole lot more work, likely with the file, but I made good headway on getting it sharper. I had stopped on the way to Mom’s and got some rivets and washers with the idea of making new handles for it. The tang of the knife handle goes in the middle of two pieces of wood which are riveted in place with brass rivets and washers. A couple of the washers are missing. Looking at the knife, I decided to hold off on replacing the handle for now. I can always do that later. The store did not have brass rivets that were long enough so I went with a soft steel. They are too long but I can cut them before I pound them flat. That will be a future project.
On Christmas, I gave my nephew an electric knife sharpener. That would be perfect to get this blade where it needs to be. I might have to work out how to visit and get a chance to use the thing sometime....

My brother came up and was showing me in a British machining magazine where a guy took a lathe much like mine and built gears all around it so he could do easy threading. Looking at all the work he did adding shafts and gears and power take-offs, I can only ask, Why didn’t he go a little farther and build a new lathe to go with the equipment he already made? The only thing the lathe really does, is keep the head stock and tail stock in line with each other. The head stock can take different types of gripping equipment such as chucks, face plates, centers, etc. The tail stock can take different points and can be advanced for distance between tail stock and head stock and can take different fittings like drill chucks. Between them is the tool rest. In this case he used the same threaded one that is built into this lathe. That is an easy design when you look at it. The bed keeps everything in line all the time. With the work he did with other appliances he added to the lathe, making a new lathe would have been easy. 
Of course, I know some people are not ready for that little step forward. Years ago, I visited a Model Railroad club show and one guy was doing what is called “kit-bashing”. That is where you take a kit for one building, and modify it to become a different building. The guy was moving windows, changing wall surfaces. I asked him if he tried his hands at “scratch building” where you buy the stock materials in sheet and stick form and create something “from scratch.” I had done a tiny bit of this years ago. He said he was not ready to do it. I think what he was doing was harder than starting from raw materials and making them the way you want them. 
I think the guy making the attachment for the lathe was likely not quite ready to take the step to make his own lathe. Of course, metal working lathes are much more accurate in design than a wood working lathe. One cannot have much play in the bearings and shafts if one is doing accurate metal working. Wood is much forgiving in comparison. 

I took out the platter I started in Sea Grape a few weeks ago. It looked like it dried quite a bit. I mounted it in the lathe and “marred the surface” with my tools before I got sidetracked on other stuff and put it away. In drying, it has developed a lot of wobble, which was expected. I think it is more than the amount of wood I had allotted for in the drying. I might shift to “plan B” and use power grinders to finish it up. This platter has the bark on the outside yet and was never “round.  I cleaned up the area for the most part.

We all came out and talked for about an hour. It was nice to get together like that. 

I have no idea what I will do next weekend. I will just have to see what happens.

 Right side of cleaver as I got it. Notice the paint and rust.
 Left side of cleaver, notice the paint and rust.
 Right side of mostly cleaned up cleaver
 left side of mostly cleaned up cleaver
 live Flowers my new dad got Mom.
 Cut flowers we got together
 live flowers I got Mom

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Year 15, Week 15, Day One (week 712)

Year 15, Week 15, Day One (week 712)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-03-14 Saturday

80 degrees late morning, 85 late afternoon, good breeze, fully cloudy all day long, late afternoon showers that tempted me to build an Ark. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

We went yard sailing. Together we hit a few yard sales and I picked up three stainless steel bowls with a plastic coating on the bottom. I also got a stainless steel strainer. I decided I like metal in my kitchen and will eventually weed out the plastic stuff (Knowing me, I likely will hang onto them “just in case”).
I later went out on my own and hit over half a dozen yard sales. At one, I got a whole bunch of pieces for THE MAGIC  BULLET food processor. This is one of those “AS SEEN ON TV” products. The commercials showed them making everything in just a minute. It is basically a small blender. I got a Magic Bullet years ago with two containers, two blade sets, and two caps for the containers. This set has dozens of containers, caps, and rings that go over the threads so you can use them for drinking out of. One of the containers is a pitcher and has a sieve that goes inside. When you process the food, the juices are thrown through the sieve and one can then pour out the juices from the rest of the pitcher. It came with a plunger too. I don’t think it is for veggies like carrots. I also did not have the jar on right on the blade unit. I will give this a real test some time later.  Right now, I have to figure out a place for all the pieces so they are available and yet out of the way.
I saw a push lawn mower. I did not ask what it cost. It was wider than most I’ve see. The only grass my mom has is a city swale between her circular drive way, between the sidewalk and the road. That push lawn mower could cut that grass in two passes.  No, I did not get it, but it was fun seeing. It was in new condition.

I’ve been sneezing and sniffling. We went to a couple stores so I got a few cold products I like. 

I had dropped my wood cutting board. It was glued up and it broke at one of the joints. I sanded the separated edges as there was a bit of wood hair of one board that went with the other. It was interesting to see how the oil I used on the board to protect it, had seaped about a third of the way down the wood along the joint there. I think it may have been through the whole thing. 
I used a lot of white glue (cannot figure out what I did with the yellow glue I have) on the joint, and then clamped it. I used a pair of clamps on the faces to keep the joint in line that way, and then a clamp end to end to hold the joint tight. I was going to use a clamp to keep the joint in line side to side but decided not to. I then set it up to dry overnight. 

It was around noon and I decided to lay down for a while. I woke at three and it was pouring out, outside and my cold flared up so I was getting sloppy. Woodworking was out, both because of the weather and because of my condition. 
The drive home was mostly slow highway driving for about eight miles before I was able to get out of the heavy stuff. 

How I feel will dictate what I do tomorrow. I do want to retrieve my cutting board and it will require some cleanup. 
I will see what I actually do tomorrow. 

Year 15, Week 15, Day Two (week 712)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-04-14 Sunday
84 degrees late morning, all blue skies, sunny, light breeze, Just a wonderful day. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department Of Tourism.

I got to Mom’s house and went out back. Something smelt dead under the awning. I first walked around  the back of Mom’s yard to see if the smell was coming from there. I then walked in the neighbor’s back yard to see if it was there. It was only under the awning. I did not want to know that. 
The equipment under the awing is aligned where I have a cart with the mini lathe and a whole bunch of junk. Then a wagon with stuff on it. Then a cart that has lathe tools and materials. Then the lathe, the drill press, then mom’s stuff. To get to anything, other things have to be moved out. 
I could not see the source of the smell just by looking, so I had to start moving stuff. I pulled the wagon out and saw the flies. I was worried that it might be Scarface as he is getting a little old and is always getting beaten up.
I then pulled out the cart and saw the source. A great big opossum died there. It looked like it got in there to hide and just died. I happened to have a new, unused garbage bag among my stuff so I bagged him up. Flies were everywhere. 
I pulled the lathe out so I could have better access to the area and I watered down the spot to dilute and hopefully wash away the mess. It really did not do a good job. When mom got home a bit later, she took out some bleach and splashed the spot and the flies then finally left.

I took the clamps off the cutting board, after I almost dropped it on the ground, and I found that I should have put the clamp for side to side as it was off about a sixteenth of an inch, which is gigantic when one wants to even it out. The top and bottom basically needed sanding and it was ready. I took the knife and shaved a bit of the transition of the “high” part of the offset and then sanded well on both edges. I worked both surfaces and the edges to clean it up a little. When I got it home, I washed it, scrubbed it with steel wool, and then oiled it. It is now ready to use again. 

I sat out in the sun for quite a while and it felt really good. I don’t get much sun during the week and really not a lot even on the weekends. I only took my shirt off for fifteen minutes. I am so white beneath the shirt that the reflection brightened the area under the awning.... I was not about to get sunburned so it was only that short time. Usually, the only tanning I ever get is on the arms and around the head and neck. 

The whole time I was outside, I felt nearly no effects of the cold. 

I looked at the platter I had made a few weeks ago and the sticks I rounded. They are drying nicely. It might be next weekend that I will remount them on the lathe and finish them up. I should cut disks off the big sea grape log so I can turn more platters out of that also. 

Because I was sick, I decided only to stay a short time, which amounted to be about two and a half hours. 
Tomorrow, I hope I will be in better condition and the weather will be nice. ‘

I just realized I should have taken a picture of the Opossum before I bagged it up. Darn. 

I will see if I can actually get some work done next weekend.