Sunday, June 29, 2014

Year 15, Week 23, Day One (week 720)

Year 15, Week 23, Day One (week 720)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-28-14 Saturday

85 real early morning, 90 around noon. Good breeze, but the lulls made it hot. Blue sky early morning, becoming feathers, puffs and finally thunder boomers that headed west. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

We hit quite a few yard sales. Most had interesting things I did not need. An example is that  one church yard-sale had a wooden bread box with the rolling slat front. It was only two bucks. Oh I wanted it, but have absolutely no use for it. I just hated walking away without it, but I did. The other yard sales had items that was easier to walk away from. I did look closely though. 
We were on our way home and ran across a yard sale that had some sewing machine supplies. I purchased three sewing machine foot peddles. When I got home to examine them better, one was exactly what I was after, with a socket in the middle of the cord you can plug something into and it controls the speed of the motor.  The other two had the two pin-prong plugs. I went back and she had some other cords, but they were three pin-prong sockets that plug directly into the machine. They were not going to help me. 
I decided to keep the two peddles and stopped at Ace hardware to see if I could jury rig something together. After some careful looking, I got what I thought was needed.
The peddle that was exactly what I was after was marked SINGER. 
One of the other peddles was also SINGER, and had the molded rubberized plastic end. I was not going to change that unless I really felt it was worth it. 
The other was marked MERCURY and had a end that one could unscrew. I removed that end and added a normal two prong socket. I plugged it into the outlet, pressed on the peddle with my hand and it seemed all right. I then put one of those in-line sockets on it. This is one where you just close it on the wire and it puts little holes through the insulation. I then found that my Dremmel would not go into it as the dremmel has polarity ends. I took one of those Three-to-two prong adapters and ground the wide prong to match the narrow one. I plugged that into the cord, plugged the dremmel into that, and then plugged in the cord to the socket. The dremmel ran. When I pushed down on the peddle, it slowed the dremmel a little, and then the peddle started smoking. I pulled it instantly. I removed the socket in the middle of the cord and it still smoked. I do not know if I did permanent damage to it. I have to get with my brother and see his opinion of what has to be done to make it work. I think I have to just tap into one line rather than both. The one with the plug already in the middle will be home and my single speed dremmel will be used with that as the speed control.

The left sewing machine peddle is by Singer and has the outlet mid cord. 
The middle peddle is also by Singer and has molded two prong plug
The right peddle is by mercury and has an un-screw-able  end on the cord.

Last week, the neighbor had his tree trimmed and they removed the lower branches that had all the mangoes on them. Mom has permission to gather the mangoes that land on the ground. The tree is about done producing. The mangos are good and had some with dinner. 
While I am not good at using up the wood I have, I would have loved to have gotten some of those branches as they were a nice size. 

All I did today was the electrical stuff. No woodworking. Hopefully, I will do something tomorrow and make up for today’s lack of production.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 23, Day Two (week 720)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-29-14 Sunday

85 in the morning, 94 in the afternoon. Light breeze, lots of sun. The breeze picked up in the later afternoon and clouds started building up in thickness and size. There were a few drops coming down as I drove away to go home. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Yesterday, just as I was about to leave, I grabbed the old brace I broke several months ago and took it home. This morning, I removed the straps, padding and velcro so just the frames were left. The straps really took a beating and were fraying on the sides and the buckles were wrapped with stray strands. I took the brace itself back to Mom’s as I am sure there is a use for the joints and other things. I just have to wait for an idea to come. 

I was looking around for something to work on. I already decided to turn something. I had a cut-off of Mahogany. A can of varnish leaked on it and the can left a circle on it. I decided that I would round that. I was thinking more of a platter. On the band saw, I knocked off the corners to make it an octagon to make turning easier. 
Usually, when one turns something, you mount it in a chuck, or screw it to the face plate. After I marked the center on both sides, I simply placed the point of the tail-stock on the center, and forced it against the closed jaws of the chuck. I was strictly using friction to hold it in place. 
Using a gentle touch, I first rounded the outside. Because this is a full two inch thick, platter was out and bowl came to mind. I got the outside close to the way I wanted it, and then started hollowing it, leaving a post in the center than the tail stock was connected to. Once I got the inside hollowed out, cleaned up the way I wanted it, I adjusted and cleaned up the outside. I sanded my work and thinned the base of the post to make it easier to remove later.
I then turned it around and the chuck just fit inside it. Again I just used the pressure of the tail-stock to hold it in place and I worked the bottom.  I sanded the bottom, leaving a little post in the center.  I sanded the outside again since it was turning the opposite the direction I had it before so the grain that laid down when sanding before, got stood up and sanded flat again. 
Done on the lathe, I used my knife to remove the worst of the post on the inside, then the dremmel grinding wheel to flatten and even the surface. I also removed the post on the bottom too. I then used a flap sander to smooth everything out and remove any signs of the dremmel work. 
I need to sand it some more with progressively finer grit, varnish and sand it several times to get the kind of finish it should have. I am not in a rush to do that. It will be a cup for change or like that, more than anything. At least I got a project done.

The bowl / cup upright view
The cup / bowl upside down
Next weekend is the 4 th of July. I don’t plan on doing anything on that day, which is Friday. Saturday and Sunday should pretty much be normal. 
I would love to get some real work done next weekend. I have no idea what I will work on though. Turning wood into sawdust does give one a good sense of accomplishment. I have more than enough wood begging to become sawdust. 

I will have to see what I actually do next weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Year 15, Week 22, Day One (week 719)

Year 15, Week 22, Day One (week 719)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-21-14 Saturday

80 degrees mid morning, 85 as the high. A soft blue sky in the morning, with puffs building as the day went on. Thunder boomers built up in the early afternoon in the west, over the Everglades, like around one and held off other than a little bit of wind blown drips. Around three, They decided to make a rush to the ocean and dumped their load early, wetting down everything. Mom was really happy as she did not have to water her plants for another day. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism. 

During the week, I was working on a scarf that was turquoise and pink. I was doing a final row of pink around the outside and ran short about ten inches from finishing. A light search of my stock, I found I don’t have any more pink yarn. I had been doing a double crochet stitch on the sides of the scarf, and single crochet on the end. As a last minute decision, I frogged (rip it, rip it out) the pink out to the start, and then used single crochet around the whole thing. It still looks good and it looks finished. I still have a small ball of that pink left. 
I don’t see buying any more pink yarn unless it is at a yarn sale. Of course, I have more yarn than I can ever use, if I am satisfied with the yarn I have for the project. 
This week, I started a scarf in dark orange, and will have yellow orange and a dark red also in the scarf and I am doing a post stitch, which will give it ribbing. I have no idea how it is going to look when done but I decided to try this stitch a while back and this project is where I was ready to give it a try.

We hit a couple yard sales right after breakfast. They had some interesting things, but all I found was a large rasp and a small metal bladed wooden square used in woodworking. I really did not need either one, but got them anyway. There was a dragon candle stick with seven candle holders on the back but I held off on that. I also saw something else that tickled my mind and I forced myself to ignore it too. I did well at those two yard sales.
After we went to an event, we were heading to go for lunch, and found a church yard sale. I found a square cast iron pot with lid. It was more than I really wanted to spend, but I felt I dared not leave it. Late in the evening, I showed that pot to a friend who went to culinary school and she drooled over it. I guess I got a good find.

We went to a meeting where an archeologist gave a talk about some research he did on a historical period. It was excellent. I learned some things. Of course, the meeting eliminated most of the yard sailing we would do and any woodworking I would do. 

After lunch, we were all weary and laid down. The thunder boomers rushed over us while we napped and woke us. By then, though it was really too late to go outside anyway to do any work. 

I am positive I will do some wood working tomorrow, but have no idea what it will be.
So I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 22, Day Two (week 719)

(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-22-14 Sunday

80 degrees, up to 85 in the afternoon. An even sprinkling of thick white but tall puffs in the late morning, thickening as the day went on. Weather developed in mid afternoon. This weather report is provided by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I was determined to do some wood working today. I got to Mom’s house later than I planned. I looked through my easy to reach supplies and eliminated many of the possible projects as being too complex or will take too long. 
I had pulled my lathe equipment out, put it back as I changed my mind, and pulled it back out again as I changed my mind again. I had a project and the lathe would involve one step of the project.
I had a one by four piece of Mahogany. I marked up for a ladle and bandsawed the wood from the handle. Those will be short drum sticks or magic wands. 
After some more measuring, I mounted the wood on the lathe with the bowl part of the ladle was at the head stock, spun by the drive spur.  I had set the center of the project so the ladle handle would be rounded so the top would remain flat.  I rounded the rest of the handle and shaped slightly the sides of the bowl so that it would be centered on the handle. 
After I took it off the lathe, I decided that the handle was just to big so I was going to sacrifice the flat top of the handle by rounding it to a smaller diameter. I just got started when the handle broke not far from the end. 
That was when I noticed that the grain ran through the wood on an angle. That is actually common on sawn boards, especially in even colored woods. The grain is not a serious consideration for furniture. The grain is not a design feature of the wood and is a lot of times hidden. Having a slight angle of the grain to the surface is not even given a thought. 
For  “structural” pieces like drum sticks, crochet hooks, ladle handles, table legs and so on, the direction of grain does make a difference. It can make or literally break a project. That is where splitting the wood makes a difference in getting the grain going right. 
I cut off the broken wood on the end, and then sat down with my knife and chisel and started working on the bowl of the ladle. My knifes look like I broke the end of the knife off so it is sort of a wedge shape on the end. I learned long ago that flat ends like that do not poke as deep into flesh as a fine point like what my dad used to make. I scored the line around the bowl and then cut chips out at that point, working my way deeper. The chisel is really for when it gets deeper and the sides need to be cleaned up.
While I did some sanding on the outside with the disk sander, I will not touch the outside until I get the inside bowl done and then copy the curvature of the inside with the outside at that time. For now, I am wearing down the inside little by little. 
While I did not accomplish a whole lot, I got another project started and fairly well along. The handle is heavier than I wanted but it will do for this one. I should have the center of the turning a lot closer to the top of the wood to get the effect I was actually after. I mis judged how thick it was going to end up. I will finish this one and might do another. I have the wood for it. 

I hope to do some wood working next weekend. I have no idea what is planned for me, so I don’t know what will happen.

I will see what I do next weekend.

cast iron baking pan

cast iron baking pan with lid off 

starting to turn ladel
 broken handle
started bowl with shorter handle.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Okay folks, when I'm not working on writing my own books, I have read a lot more of other authors' books than I have posted reviews for, so it's time to do something about the backlog...

As a fan of the Rizzoli and Isles television series on TNT, I became curious of their literary origins, and so checked out the first book in their series from my local public library.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen is a complex and intense thriller about a serial killer apparently picking up where he left off after resettling to Boston, especially considering that the only survivor of his previous rampage has relocated there herself.

The book is a real page turner. There were times when I was almost too scared to read any more, yet anxious to find out what happened next. Gerritsen herself has a strong medical background that is well displayed within her writing. I freely admit that there were times when I didn't quite understand all the science, but that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel.

However, while fans of the aforementioned television series might be disappointed that only the Jane Rizzoli character (and some of the supporting cast) is established in this book, they can take heart in the fact that she is accurately portrayed as presented here. It is my understanding that Doctor Maura Isles debuts in The Apprentice, a direct sequel to this novel, which I hope to read and review at a future date.

I do recommend this novel, although I also humbly suggest taking a break and reading something in a different genre to relax and destress with afterwards.

Lee Houston, Junior, one of the founders of this fine blog, is the Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine and the writer/creator of Hugh Monn, Private Detective and Alpha the superhero.
When not busy writing, in what he laughingly calls his "spare" time, he wishes he had more spare time.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Year 15, Week 21, Day One (week 718)

Year 15, Week 21, Day One (week 718)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-14-14 Saturday

88 degrees, mostly sunny with high haze and feathers, no breeze in the morning, Everglades storms built up in afternoon and then headed West. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Weston Department of Tourism.

We hit a couple yard sales on the way home from breakfast. They had some interesting stuff, but nothing I could not live without. Nothing I really wanted well enough to ask the price of, if it was not marked. I was hoping to find something good, but didn’t. Maybe next weekend.

My brother’s daughter got married this week. Early in the week, they went to get the licence and had a justice of the peace marry them. Then this weekend, they had a reception with an official ceremony.

I did not have much else to do, so I took pictures. I had both my cameras with me. I did some test video with my old camera and it took images like two per second, really jerky. I decided to use that for stills. I then used my other camera and got good video with it. I filmed the ceremony, where they got married by a minister.  The camera started with fifteen minutes and it was really close when they finished.
I also got films of people dancing. Most people watched. Just a core group danced. Other than the official dances of the bride with the father, the groom with his mother, and a couple others, most of the dances was line dancing. Cute.
I did not know it, but the camera recorded sound. There is a lot of clicking of my hands on the camera as I changed positions, and comments with people behind the scene while I was shooting, assuming there was no sound. It is noticeable, but I don’t think it really detracts from it.
Quite a few people were taking pictures and videos. Mom’s pictures did not come out great. Her flash pictures did not reach far enough, and her natural light pictures came out worse. I got some good ones. My videos came out really good. Hopefully, all the images will be gathered together in one place. All my shots from both cameras took three DVDs to hold it. One for stills, and two for the video. The ceremony took a gig by itself.

When we got back, we had just enough time to nap, pet the cat before the day was done.

I hope to do something in wood tomorrow. I have no clue what it will be.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 21, Day Two Week 718)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-15-14 Sunday

88 degrees when I got outside. 93 degrees when I went in for the day. Splashed milk and feathers, along with random puffs in the sky. The puffs built up and solidified into the normal Everglades showers that headed west. There was a nice breeze but I turned on a fan anyway, which helped.

My first project was to dig in the shed. I wanted to find a charger to see if it would work on a battery powered vacuum we picked up. I had to dig deep to get to the stuff. The drill I was after, turned out to use a smaller center pin than the sweeper. I then located another battery powered drill and it fit. It looked like it was charging, the little light seemed to be on, though it was too bright to see it well. I left it for Mom to check out and test.
With chargers, one has to get the right end, and then the right polarity. Sometimes the center post is positive, sometimes it is negative. I have no idea if the polarity is right, but it fit and that was something to try anyway. I did find a couple things I forgot all about. I put them up front where I can see them each time I am in the shed.

I was in the mood to do something in wood, but not really in the mood to do anything at all. I looked at some of my knives. The salt air is getting to the blades. I sharpened and stropped each of them (5 knives), I used one of them to try carving on the Sea Grape mouse I am trying to carve. It reminded me that it is not a great carving wood. I sort of thought it might be that my knife was not sharp enough. I stropped this knife till it could shave the hair on my arm. Not perfectly but did remove hair. I was right. That is just not a wood to carve.
Tired of that, I dug out some rods I machined out of Chop Sticks, and cut in hooks to make them crochet hooks. Each of these needed a little more work and I did sand them by hand.
While cutting in the hook on the first one, I went a bit deep. When I checked to see how strong it was, it broke easily. I did the other end to the same result. I got the third try right. I then did three other rods. The biggest one has hooks on both ends.
I still have to test them out and see how they work. There is usually little problems with them at first. An emery board used for finger nails sometimes solves that problem. Also, how the point is makes a difference too. I might need to shorten the point, but won’t know for sure until I test them out.
I have worked on these rods over the past month or so. Rounding them with various means such as the knife, or driving them through a hole in a piece of steel, machining them on the little lathe. So cutting the hook into them in is a big step in the process. It is actually a completed project. That is something to celebrate.

After lunch, we sat and viewed some pictures. I had not used my DVD hardly at all. Mine could not be seen on the TV DVD player. It should be viewable on Mom’s computer. She will put them on new disks and be able to make something that will be used everywhere.

I have to learn more of the features of my cameras so I can get more consistent results. I really need to do some serious woodworking. I will have to see what the weather will be like next weekend. I have plenty of wood.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Year 15, Week 20, Day One (week 717)

Year 15, Week 20, Day One (week 717)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-07-14 Saturday
95 degrees, blue sky all morning, slowly building up west of us as the afternoon arrived. By about two, Thunder boomers roared out to the west, then headed west over the Everglades. There was a breeze but it was coming in on an angle that did not help the awning area too much. The clouds started blocking the sun and the temps dropped down to 85. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

Yard Sale Find, Dremmel Model 280 Series 66-3.

Visual Illusions book. The picture of the man on the cover there, is also two knights on horses. 

On the way to breakfast, we noticed that the sun is way to the north of us now in the morning. It seemed only a short time ago, we were facing the sun in the morning, and only a while before that, the sun was in the south. The year is going fast.

On yard sailing, we hit quite a few yard sales. Many had items that I would love to bring home, but have no place to put them. Or, I have several of them, or I know I really never have a use for them. An example of the last one was a push mower one place had. I live in a condo and they have yard maintenance people. Mom's only grass in her yard is the swale, between the road and her side walk, and someone already mows that.
At one yard sale, I found a book on optical illusions. You see some of these illusions in E-mails and on the web. I flipped through the book on the way home. Mom went through the book and wants to show it to her art classes. Some are paintings full of perspective mistakes. In the back, they made physical examples of impossible illusions. I got it not because I needed the book, but it was something to own. I might not look at it again for a couple years (after I get it back from mom) but I have a copy of them.
At another yard sale, the stuff was unimpressive, mostly like junk. I was about to leave. There was a dremmel there and decided to have a look at it. I asked the price, which was good, and after making sure it ran, I took it home. It is a really old model based on the design. It had a bunch of bits which is nice.

I did get out to to a little wood working. I partially pulled out the lathe from its hiding place, mainly because I was not going to make a big mess and it was hot in the sun. I took my Sea Grape drum sticks I made last week and gave them a good sanding, removing some flaws I had and did a little shaping. This time, I used four different sanding grades.
I know all about sanding techniques and don't use them. I could be a master at sanding, but I don't like sanding, so I will take short cuts and my work generally shows it.
Sand paper can be made with many different qualities and are generally made specifically for the use they are intended. The strength of the glue, the hardness of the grains, the spacing between the grades, the differences in the screens used to size the grains, the quality of backing, all make a difference in how a particular brand of sand paper will work.
You should use the same brand sand paper for all grades of sanding, and never skip a sand paper grade. Some sand paper companies have more steps than others. The more steps, the better the quality of the final result.
I used four grades of sand paper, with big steps between them, and only the first and last were the same manufacturer. For what I was doing, I wasn't after a pristine finish and I was really the only one who would see it. I started with 32 grit sand paper, which I used to reshape some parts and clean others. The drum sticks had some wobble and I figured it would be easier to do what I wanted with sanding than cutting. My cutting skills are not there.
I got the sticks shaped to where I wanted, then went to 100 grit emery cloth and sanded until I got rid of the 32 grit marks. I went to two more grits that I have no idea what they were, but they were finer than 100. They were not as fine as some 400 grit I had.
I nipped the end of the longer of the two sticks with the band saw to make them the same size, and then used the disk sander to clean up the ends.
I gave them a quick spray of varnish, along with drips. It needs sanding for the varnish, and more coats of “carefully applied” varnish.
The drum sticks are serviceable. One is slightly larger than the other and one has a natural flaw that I think adds character, showing it is not a commercial set. The shapes are not quite right and not quite the same. I doubt I will improve on them.
One thing was there was a tiny bit of patina color developing. I saw it disappear when I sanded it. These will take a while to develop that dark orange-brown color Sea grape is well known for.

I am not sure if I am coming up tomorrow. I have some stuff that HAVE to be done and am not sure how the day will go for those. If things actually go as planned, I will go to Mom's tomorrow. If not, Sunday won't be much of a post, if at all.

I will see how I do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 20, Day One (week 717)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-08-14 Sunday

85 degrees, The thin milk sky thickened up as the day went on. South of us a big heavy thunder boomer built and flooded the area with Liquid Sunshine. It did not reach here and it disappeared to the west and we just had a medium high level thick cover of dark clouds after that. It did make it nice to have the cooler air to work under.This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

My home-work was done earlier than expected. Somehow it went right, and as planned. Pure miracle.
In the morning, I thought of a project to try out while I had the opportunity. I also had purchased a dremmel chuck for the dremmel I purchased yesterday and found that the shaft did not have enough threads to make the chuck close all the way down. Just a bit farther and the chuck would have met the plastic housing. The dremmel chuck clamps down on thing by you screwing it farther and farther down the shaft. It basically pushes on the backs of the jaws and they are forced to the center as they are pushed out. The threads of the shaft were not long enough to force the jaws all the way to the center. It was enough to clamp a standard shaft but that was it.
I decided I needed to dig out my collection of collet jaws I have accumulated. A collet jaw is a two piece system. There is the outer ring that screws onto the shaft, and an inner jaw that clamps the bit. These come with a set of jaws, each jaw can only hold a small difference in shaft sizes before you have to go to a different jaw. Each jaw has a diameter hole in it, and the metal is split across both ways so there is a gap between the four created jaws. When you tighten the ring, the jaws are forced closed and can go until the gap is closed.
The Jaw system works well, but if you have to find the right sized jaw for the shaft you need to hold and change it. It is really a bother if you are changing between two different sized bits quite often.
I arrived at Moms and set up the folding table. I got out my carving basket for one project along with all my dremmel stuff. I opened the metal case that has my main dremmel stuff and started pulling out. A while back, I had sorted my bits and had all the collet stuff in one baggy. If I had put my hand on it first thing, I would have stopped digging. Instead, I started pulling all the things out. I had the case 2/3ds empty when I found the right baggy but now I was on a new project. I pulled everything out of the box and even turned it upside down and tapped it on the ground to knock out some sawdust. My next project was to sort everything that was in there, which was more than I ever thought could fit in there. I stacked my emery cloths and pieces of sand paper in one spot. All my wood in a different spot and slowly separated bits parts, utensils, knives pliers and such so I could get a good look at what I actually had.
At this point I stopped and checked to see what would fit this dremmel and what would not. From what I can tell, other than the chick, everything I own will fit on this dremmel. My flexible shaft, my chain saw sharpening jig, my tile cutting gig all work. I was happy to know that.
On my flexible shaft, it has a bit that holds the square drive rod that is within the housing. I was looking in baggies for the fitting and could not find it. After I set it to the side, I then remembered that I put it on the working end of the shaft so it would not get lost. There it was. I made sure it was back on there after the test. It will not get lost that way.
One thing I found in the box was a dremmel I had forgotten totally about. It is actually a CRAFTSMAN but there is no observable difference from a dremmel. As I am typing this, I remembered that when I purchased it, the lock button to hold the shaft still while adding and removing collets and bits was corroded and locked in the open position. Some careful sanding and lubrication got that free and make it workable. That happens to be a variable speed motor. I decided this one needed to come home, along with the dremmel I got yesterday.
When I was done putting everything away, everything was in a better order and easier to find. The only real difference in what was in there, was the second dremmel is no longer in there.
By taking the dremmel home, I now have a single speed and a multiple speed at home and at mom's.

Dremmel box and contents

Another view of the Dremmel box and contents.

Now the project I wanted to try was to carve some wet Sea Grape wood while it was wet. It was not fun to carve when it was dry. The best description of carving dry Sea Grape was that it was sticky to the knife and a bit rubbery.
I dug into the garbage bin where I put the split pieces of wood and grabbed the second smallest one. I sliced off the largest end of the piece.
Because I never cleaned the wood after splitting, there were long splinters that needed to be shaved off. I then knocked off the two long corners of the triangle piece. While not wearing carving gloves (not wise but this time I got away with it), I started carving on it. The shape had a feint resemblance to a mouse so that was what I started working towards.
Here Is what I learned while trying to carve that wood. It is not quite as sticky as the dry stuff, but just as stubborn. One can split it but it does not like knife carving. One has to work hard to get the wood off. I did not take a picture, but the piece of wood put up a good fight. In the about an hour I worked it, one could not tell what I was carving. Some directions carved better than others. I eventually cleaned up everything and put it all away. Whether the piece of wood gets attacked again will have to be seen. It will be drying over the week in the mean time. From what I seen of the drum sticks which are thinner, there won't be much drying yet.
Power tools would make shorter work of this carving project, but I wanted to see how it would knife carve.
There is a wedding I have to go to next Saturday. I have no clue what is going on. I do know there isn't going to be any yard sailing. I have no idea if anything else will happen.

I will have to see what happens next weekend.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Year 15, Week 19, Day One (week 716)

Year 15, Week 19, Day One (week 716)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-31-14 Saturday

85 to 88 degrees, nice wind to keep things cook. The weather report said that we would be getting a lot of rain, at 20% chance. We saw none in our area at all, though the roads were wet as I drove up early in the morning. Thunder boomers grew over the Everglades, but they headed west rather than bother us more than blocking the sun enough to make things kind of dark. Mostly the sky was ultra high grid of feathers. Except for the period mentioned, we had sunlight nearly all day long. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

We hit two church yard sales. And could not find one at a school that was advertised.  One was right near our house and was to fund a children’s summer camp. I got a french style rolling pin. I sort of wanted one of these and even gave thought to make it myself. It is not the dimensions I would have thought it would be. 
At the other church yard sale, which was also near us, A snare drum was sitting there. This is one of those things where you really don’t have a great use for it, but it is something you don’t want to let go as it was such a good deal. I had been looking for lap sized  bongos for a while and figured I would go as high as thirty bucks for one set. I stared at it for about ten minutes, kind of hoping someone else would grab it. It was getting near time to leave so I decided it had to come home with me. It was only ten bucks, which was why I could not resist it. Now I have to figure out what to do with it....

We got back home with enough time, I decided I had to do some woodworking. I took the two Sea Grape drum sticks I was making. I had basically rounded them and let the wood dry. I mounted each one in the lathe and started shaping them. I got them down to the right diameter, the same diameter for the most part, and then tapered them at the striking end and gave them the drum-stick shape. I sanded them and gave them a spray varnish coat. They need more work, more sanding and finishing. 
I tested them by played them last night on the new drum, quietly. They seemed to do well. The real drummer said they were light. They do need more finishing, and be made the same length, but I think they will be quite usable.
I should remind you that I had split a sea grape log until I had pieces near the size I needed, then rounded the pieces so the grain would run straight down the length. This reduces the chances of it splitting. Sea grape is a wood that when fully dry, is a strong, hard wood. I think these should be pretty good once they finished and the wood has fully dried.

Mom found my lost camera this week while dusting. She was thinking my camera was red instead of dark blue and did not realize it was the camera I lost. I was doing something and looked at where she put it and picked it up. The battery was dead and needed charging. Once I charged it, it worked nice. Now I have two cameras. They each have advantages over the other. The only thing that is interchangeable between them is the memory card. The charger connection and battery are different sizes. They both use USB to charge. 

  I do want to do some woodworking tomorrow. Friday was my brother’s birthday and mine is this week. I dug out my brother’s present from the shed, a fireplace fire poker set. The stand has a sailing ship on top. 

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 19, Day One (week 716)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-01-14 Sunday

88 degrees, mostly cloudy with blue sky overhead filled with spilled milk and fine feathers. A nice wind kept the temps down and moved the humidity around. One small cloud did not get to the bathroom in time. It sprinkled lightly for about a minute, enough for water to drip down off the awning onto the table I was working on. Then it came down in big drops for about fifteen seconds and stopped. It was literally stopping when we realized it was coming down.  Half an hour later, you would never know there was any weather. The weather was good for the rest of the day. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I decided that I was not going to dig out the big lathe. I set up the table and dug out the little lathe. It is actually more work than bringing out the big lathe as there is stuff on top the box that has to be moved first then the stuff that one needs to run the lathe has to be brought out of the box before and after the lathe is removed. 
I had some chop sticks I had rough rounded to become crochet hooks. I decided to mess with them. The chop sticks are much longer than the working lathe length is. 
The lathe is designed so that you can slip a chuck into the shaft of the head stock, and you need to run a bar in from the other end to drive it out when you are done, so the shaft is an empty pipe instead of a solid rod. 
I had four rods where I rough rounded them (these chop sticks are square on one half and round at the other half. I had removed the square edges previously). One was to big to fit into the shaft. These rods are just short of being twice the working length of the lathe. Being just less than twice allowed me to work one end, then swap them around and work the other end, with the ability to reach the finished part of the first side so I can get both ends the same diameter. 
Because of the length of the work and the width of the tool carriage. I would have to move the tool holder from one side of the carriage and work as far as I could reach, then move the tool to the other side of the carriage and finish the exposed rod. 
Crochet hook sizes are listed by letters, with a number Seven in the middle of the G and H hook sizes. I had two H hooks and one I hook. One of the H hooks is almost able to go through the hole in the gauge for the 7 hook. It would take a little bit of sanding over the length to make it thin enough. 
These rods are long enough to be good knitting needles if I point both ends. I could easily cut them in half and make two crochet hooks each. I will decide how to use them later. 

I gave my brother his birthday present. Today. I told him he could use it for blacksmithing or metal casting. He asked if it was contagious. I told him it definitely is. He was happy to get it. He and my nephew does blacksmithing once in a while and these tools, which are designed for fireplaces, is very good for blacksmithing also. 

I have no idea what will happen next weekend. I do hope to do some serious wood working. Much will depend on the weather. I need yard sailing weather to do big woodworking. It is hard to do both at the same time. 

I will see what happens next weekend.

My brother's birthday present -- fire place poker set.

Snare drum

French style rolling pin.
Some fallen mangoes from the neighbor's tree. Mom is letting them ripen, and then will cut out the bad parts and use them. Many fall at night and have the bad spots on them when they land.

my sea grape drum sticks, not finished, on top the new drum.