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