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

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