Sunday, July 27, 2014

Year 15, Week 27, Day One (week 724)

Year 15, Week 27, Day One (week 724)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-26-14 Saturday

Blue sky in the morning with puffs all around the horizon. 94 degrees at ten, clouds built up quickly after noon and temps dropped down to 86. A bit of moisture was observed dripping off the eaves of the roof so there may have been some liquid sunshine. The rest of the day remained cloudy and mid 80s. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Mom and my new dad were wore out from the previous day. He remained in bed when Mom and I went out to breakfast. We stopped at one yard sale and other than some nice ceramic dishes, it had nothing I desired, and I got nothing. Mom got glass dish she says might be an antique from the depression era. Even if it is not, it looks pretty anyway.
We got back and we all napped. I had a long day before.

The only times I went outside was to feed and pet the cat. I was a bit out of energy. Mom, my new dad, and I talked quite a bit as our schedules kept us from seeing each other the past couple weeks. We watched some slides and also watched TV. 
Not much to say on the woodworking front, or any other front to say the least.

I hope to do something woodworking tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 27, Day Two (week 724)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-27-14 Sunday

Sunny, small white puffy clouds over the Everglades slowly worked their way east to fade out. The very light breeze gusted to almost tolerable in the 94 degree weather.  I turned on the stand fan under the awning. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I hit two yard sales. One had some rather interesting things I gave a thought to. A Oriental Katana sword. A metal wagon with sides and inflatable tires. A bunch of tools, and we found something we could not identify. It is exceedingly rare that I see anything I cannot figure out what it was. It was some sort of tool, though. I did not think to take any pictures of it. I did buy a very large Crescent wrench. This was like four or five inches bite. My brother ended up buying it from me. 
At another yard sale, I got some electric elements for my stove. I really did not need them but I decided to get them anyway. 

At Mom’s, I set up in back. My first project was to find one of a pair of small vices I intended to mount on a rolling cart I have. Instead I just have them on a shelf below where they were to be found. I don’t have the strength I once had. I had a devil of a time getting a good hold of it once I pulled it out part way. After I had a good hold on it, it was easy to carry. I also dug out some rasps I had on that shelf. They were actually easier to find and get. 

My wood working project for the day was to take some Mahogany drum sticks I made and turn them into magic wands. I figured out that Mahogany is too brittle for drum sticks. You need something like Ash or some fruit wood to have good drum sticks. 
What I did was to mount the drum stick in the vice just sitting on my folding work table and use the rasp to build into the stick a wobbling curve. I figured I would rasp the flats to get the basic shape and then shape them and sand them to look good. 
On the first stick I did, I got the basic spiral of the flats right. I then was going to do the second plane to make it wobble better. I made several mistakes, choosing the wrong side to work with and after several more mistakes, I set it to the side. 
I tried again with the second one and the first spiral worked well. Then I was doing the underside of the planes I rasped flat and realized that was not what I wanted either. 
ON the third one, I just did the spiral flats down the length. I stopped after I got the shape, but I will work that one down till the flats are half way through the wood, and then blend them on the edges. 
I will fix the others. My plan is that after I have the planes and transitions worked into the pieces, I will mount them in the lathe with strip sand paper and sand them until they look good. I will then finish them.
When done, I will have Genuine Magic Wands (Magic Not Included)

I hope to do more yard sailing and get some real wood working done next weekend. This wood working diary is not amounting to too much as of late.

Side view of Vice, humiliated drum sticks and tools. None of these are close to be done. All will be fixable. Hopefully, they will end up looking good.

Stick on left is the first one I tried and really messed up based on my plan. The middle one is the last one and will be usable if my mind has it planned out right. the right one is where Left side stick is where I did the top and bottom of both planes. Again, not my plan but should be fixable.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Year 15, Week 26, Day One (week 723)

Year 15, Week 26, Day One (week 723)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-19-14 Saturday
90 degrees in the late morning, rising to 95 in the late afternoon. Lighter breeze than I would like at these temps. Sunny and clear to the East. A few clouds over the Everglades that tended to shift West. Good Beach day or sitting beneath the shade and relaxing. The tourist department finally got the weather machine fixed and we were scheduled for the summer weather pattern for a while. For here, the summer weather pattern is where the mornings are almost clear always to the east . Some clouds will build up over the Everglades and then in the later afternoon, like towards two to four O’clock, the prevailing western wind will overwhelm the off-shore Eastern winds and come by to water the plants for the next day. The off shore winds won today and the clouds stayed away. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.
I started out yard sailing after Breakfast. The first sale had some decorator/entertaining type things. Cute, interesting, but have absolutely no use for them or places to put them. I was heading south so I used what usually is the end of my path as my start. There was nothing in that area which was a real surprise.
Since I was not too far because of the route I was on, I stopped at the Walmart Grocery store (Some Walmarts are grocery only) for a pit stop. I got a few things I needed at.
Near Walmart is a dangerous store for me. Jo-Ann’s Cloth world is a craft and hobby store aimed at the homemaker. Half the store is devoted to sewing. The rest is crafts and hobbies. It is a very dangerous place to visit when the mood is right. They have yarn along with stuff for most projects I could think of doing. Well not all.. Luckily, it was not open yet.

I then continued on my search for yard sails since I was not too far from one end of our paths. There were very few yard sails out and it was known to be a clear and clean morning. 
I found one yard sale where the woman dabbled a tiny bit in various crafts. From the look of it, she was not big into crafts but just did a little bit of this and that and likely lost interest quickly. I saw some color and started drooling. Two little baggies, one had several small balls of yarn of various colors. Another had a bunch of knitting needles with one project still on the needles. These were 11, 15 and 17 sized aluminum needles. The project on the needles started in one type of yarn which was not a high quality stitch but not too badly done. Another color yarn was added and the spacing and stitch was pretty bad. It looked like it was knitted with no tension and I looked at it closely, thinking it was dropped stitches. 
I have never knitted before. What I am thinking is that the first color was done with someone helping, watching, and the second color may have been done on her own. I left the needles in the yarn just in case I decided to experiment with knitting. It is already started and set up. I figure I will see if I can do better later. The strip was about four inches wide and each color was about nine inches long. It shows me what can go wrong and a little bit of what can be done right. 
Those small balls are colors I like. They were likely given to this crafter to get her started. I stuck them into my crochet bag just in case I decide to dabble in something else while I am working on my present scarf. It is nice to have options to grab and work instantly. 
I kept the needles and that started project in my truck in case I decide to give knitting a try. 
Of course, I didn’t need more yarn and I definitely don’t need needles. II have a whole bunch of needles sitting in my yarn stash area that have never used since I got them.  This is one of those times, which happens now and then, where if I knew someone else was going to grab them, I would have left the yarn and needles for them. I was not sure and just had to get them so nothing bad would happen to them.
I think I saw one other yard sale. For such a good weather report, it is strange no one had yard sales. 

After a short nap, I went outside and worked on the ladle I am making. I had started hollowing out the bowl with one of my knives. It was doing all right but thin slices are not like what you get with a chisel. Using a slightly rounded gouge, I hollowed out the bowl as deep as I care to go. I started using the hammer to make stop cuts and get the bowl started, then once it was about half as deep as needed, I shifted to pushing the gouge through the wood. Part of this was that I had forgotten that the chisel slices through the wood without having to be forced since I made my first ladle. I stopped when itfelt thin enough for my needs. 
While typing this, I remembered that I had found my Scorp set, which is a chizel set that is pulled sideways through the wood. I could not figure out where it was with the first ladle I had made so I used power to clean up the inside and out. More on that later in this note. Next time I work on it, I will use the scorp set to work the inside in hopes they will give me the control to smooth out the inside rather than using power.
As mentioned, I still have to clean up the inside of the bowl. I will, then shape the outside to match the shape of the inside. I have better control on working the outside rather than the inside so I get the inside exactly the way I want it first. 
The handle is still visually clumsy, though it feels good to the hand.  I might re-mount the ladle  on the lathe and make the handle thinner. It is getting close to being finished!  
Before I went inside and cool off and watch TV. I looked around at a few projects that could be done quickly and easy.  

Later in the day, I went back out. On the end of the cart (a BBQ cart) that has the wooden box my little lathe is in, I have a bunch of wood and tools that were just piled there. A lot are crochet handle stock, crochet needle stock and small pieces of wood. I decided to sort it and make it a little neater. 
I set up my folding table and then emptied the end of the cart onto the table. That little space held a lot of stuff. I was surprised at how much was there, many tools I forgot about. Looking at the pile, I was trying to figure out what I might put them in. My first thought was to stack them back up in the same place, just neater. 
I then remembered that Mom had purchased and ate some little oranges that came in cute little wooden boxes. They are a thin soft wood sides, wedged shape corners, press board bottoms.  She was going to throw them away but I decided to keep them figuring I might eventually find a use for them.  
It is one of those things where you need to keep stuff for “later” but you have to store them until then. I knew they were in the shed.  I had to do some work to dig out the boxes.  Luckily I did not actually have to move a lot of stuff to get to them. It was mostly stretching and reaching which is not great for my back, but I was able to put my weight on one arm to reach out. 
The boxes were behind and beneath some things with a lot of space above them. They kept catching on a plastic bag that has dried gourds in it (Another example of getting it with the intention of figuring out what to use them for later, but now years later).  Other than the catching, they were easy to pull out.
I decided to put the sticks of wood upright in the box where one can easily see what they are. At first they refused to stand up and were all falling over as I added more sticks. Then I remembered to tip the box up on end and stack the sticks first before uprighting the box again. They, on end, filled most (at least 3/4) of the box. I stacked a bunch of accumulated tools and supplies in another box.
I have some partial projects and tiny bowls. The bowls need to be sanded and cleaned up. Some were intended to have carved duckling heads on them.  I put them in the last box.
The end of the cart is still full, but it looks a tiny bit better.  I can find things now. It was only then 95 degrees out (I sat with a fan on me the entire time I was seated). And it was near time to go back in. 
I’ve been working on a crochet scarf. I decided on this scarf to do something a bit different. I am doing a post stitch. Usually you catch on the horizontal bar of the stitches below. With a post stitch, you catch the upright post of the stitch. One thing that does is it pulls the post out proud from the horizontal bar. One can make ribbed work if you alternate between front and back post stitches. I decided to do an opposite post stitch. If I caught the front of a post on one row, I caught the back of the post on the next row. I was curios of what the effect would be. What has happened is that it looks like the piece was woven. I had recently changed color. I am not too happy with the colors but will use them since I started. I am actually more interested in using up yarn more than anything. 
I have a few experiments with the post stitch I want to do, but will do them on small pieces just to see how they look. I do like this effect. It is different. 
The main reason I am still making scarves is that it is something very easy to do in short stints, such as a few dozen stitches or a row in a waiting room or garage or while watching TV some place other than home (the computer rules at home)
I have several options for plans for tomorrow. If my brother is available, not working, I will go to his house. If he is not available, I will go to Mom’s house and find a project to do at least for a while. If conditions are not good, I can always stay home and look at the projects that need to be done but won’t be.....
I will see what I will do tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 26, Day Two (week 723)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-20-14 Sunday
Blue skies, sunny, warm. I never got near a thermometer so I have no idea what the temps were. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Fort Lauderdale Department of tourism.
My brother was available so I went to his house. It turned out he was looking at a new project and needed to see what was available and what they were going to cost. In many locations in our area, if you have a Home Depot hardware store, there is a Lowes hardware store “nearby”.  The two stores we went to are about ten blocks apart. 
I happen to have a plumbing project looking at me and while we was looking at his project, installing a new vanity, we discussed my problem. My biggest problem is that I find that plumbing leaks do more damage than electrical problems. What I learned was, my project may well be far more extensive than I ever thought. I don’t like the thought of that. 
My brother realized he has to do some measuring to make sure what he is after. The question is whether the price he wants is within the size he needs. 
It was kind of fun going through the store and not having a serious need to spend money. We both left with our money, and full of ideas. 
After we got back, we decided sleep sounded good. I left and headed home. He also had a race to watch.
Next week the chances of doing something will be a little higher if the weather is on my side. I have no limit to the projects to work on, and a life-time’s worth of wood to make into sawdust. There is non-messy projects to work on also. I really should take everything off the work bench, sort, clean, and re-stack everything there. From experience, just sections of the workbench is a project. 
I guess I will have to see what I actually do next weekend.

 The sorted boxes of stuff on the end of the cart. 
 The post stitch scarf I am doing. where I changed color shows the woven effect best.
This is what I started this weekend on the ladle I am making 

This shows where I am now on the ladle. I may change the handle slightly, and will shape the outside to match the inside after I clean up the inside nicely.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Year 15, Week 25, Day One (week 722)

Year 15, Week 25, Day One (week 722)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-12-14 Saturday

89 degrees late morning, inching up to 94 at the highest. Early morning radar showed spot of precipitation off shore, coming toward land. The towers they were associated with disappeared before they hit land. Towers appeared later over the Everglades and headed west. Various levels of clouds, splashes, spots, dots puffs and columns, but the weather was mostly sunny. A good breeze carried away any heat there was which made the day nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Mom had gone to something early so I was completely on my own today. 
Went yard sailing today. I ended up going a lot farther than I planned on. I hit quite a few yard sales, but found something of use only at two. At one, I found a can of air horn. My truck horn does not work and once in a while it would be nice to catch someone’s attention. This horn uses a can of air. They are common at games and on boats. It worked nicely when I tested it. 
At another yard sale, I picked up a pair of shallow aluminum bowls. One was almost like a plate. I later donated them to a church that could use them. I also got some black napkins the same yard sale was selling. I had a use in mind for them but it will be different from what I planned.  I spent a total of six dollars for all my finds. 

I then went out to the FESTIVAL FLEA MARKET. This is a nice sized mall. Along the back wall of the mall are built-in stores, like an antique store, furniture, a farmer’s market, clothing, and so on. The main part of the mall is wide open. They have booths set up on a street style grid. The basic booth is about ten by twenty. Many of the shops are made up of several booths and a couple are made up of a whole “block.” From what I understand, it is kind of expensive to be in there, but a lot cheaper than getting a real store or getting into a real mall. One can test out one’s product or build a reputation or name brand. 
This mall is dangerous. With clothing, handbags, knick nacks, AS SEEN ON TV, jewelry, accessories, along with all sorts of household decoration items, one can go through a lot of money quick. 
My weakness was the store I was going to. It is called the DOLLAR AND UP store. It has two locations, near the food court which is in one of the built-in stores, and then a site that takes up a whole block near the end of the mall. I always enter on the east side of the mall which makes the west side of the mall the far end in my mind. 
I was after one thing specifically.  I went directly to the store and was not satisfied with the options, so I headed to the far end of the mall where the farmer’s market also is. I almost got a bag of golf-ball sized potatoes which I like. I can say I had two or three potatoes for the amount one potato might give you. I then realized I have two bags of potatoes at home so I tossed that idea. 
The store at the far end had even less choice of what I was after so I went back to the main store by a slightly different route so I could see what other shops were in place. They change periodically in location. Some are there a short time, some are there seemingly forever. 
At the dollar and up store, I got caught by the wonderful stuff they have. They have things you cannot find in other stores, or cheaper than you can find elsewhere. Monday I had left my hat at the hospital when visiting a friend. I decided to get a new one. I found out they were out of the colors I liked. I ended up getting two of them, one in a color I am not too happy about. I also get their 2.5x reading glasses. I pop one lens out so I can see close and far. My mind corrects when the view changes distance. I had broken two of them in the past months and decided to get a couple more. 
I found something I’ve watched for in yard sales and never seen. They are not too well available in regular stores I go to, though they do have them in wood. A stone mortar and pestle. There was something I was really going to use it for but I am now questioning if I can remember what it was. I picked it up for the same cost as the wooden ones I had seen. I would make my own wooden mortar and pestle but I don’t have the kind of wood I would like to use. I also got some items “on a lark” as I could see a use for them immediately.  I was very lucky this time, I got out ONLY for $27. That shop has stuff that really makes one drool. I saw a couple things I really wanted, but realized I had no use for them and no place to put them. 
I had stopped once to sit and rest during the mall walk. I am not in shape to walk all the “roads” of the mall to see what is all there. When I got to my truck, I was done, physically and mentally. 
Because of the prices I paid for things, I look at that store trip also as yard sailing. 

Other than petting and feeding the kitty cats, taking pictures of my finds, and gathering some stuff I need for tomorrow, I laid low most of the day, reading and watching TV, napping. 

Tomorrow I am planning to go to my brother’s house for projects. 
I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 25, Day Two (week 722)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-13-14 Sunday

Sunny. I am indoors all day so I don’t really care what the weather is like outside.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Sunrise Department Of Tourism. 

I got a late start. I called my brother and he was on a project so I was not going to be going to his house as he was not there. 

I looked at a plumbing project to do and found that I don’t have the right materials for it so that was out of the question. 

I am following the plans I had for the fourth of July. My plans were changed then. Today I am just lounging around, doing little. I did sweep the room with a glance so I got that much done.

Next weekend is up in the air as to the schedule. I will have to see if woodworking is part of it.

I will see what I do next weekend.

Aluminum bowls and horn

 my whole gathering at the Festival Flea Market
 Closeup of mortar and pestle

The two hats I got. I am not happy about the brown one but it was better than other choices. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Year 15, Week 24, Day One (week 721)

Year 15, Week 24, Day One (week 721)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-04-14 Friday


Temps I think in the 80s, mostly cloudy all day with some blue sky showing. A few drips felt in the morning, dry after that with thunder towers building south and west of us but never showing up. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism. Come to visit, spend money and return home. Love us enough to visit for a short time again next year.

My original plans for this day was to stay home and do nothing. I then got word that the family was getting together for a cookout.  Around noon, I headed over there.

We did little or nothing in actuality, which was not bad. My brother used the forge that he and my nephew made for making swords. He put some grates across the holes (three air feeds if necessary for a long sword) and then laid the charcoal briquets flat on the grates. The air space beneath the grates, two inches max, was all that was necessary. We put food in foil, like trail packs and cooked it on the coals for each individual. Hamburgers, hotdogs, vegetables, It turned out to be really good. I should have added more on mine but thought I had enough. I could have eaten a little more but not another trail pack worth. 
Later we toasted marshmallows over the dying coals. Talk about good. It had been years since I toasted marshmallows. I usually like mine on fire and bow it out as soon as it is black all over. This time though, most were nicely browned by slower cooking. I would pull the shell off, leaving the wet insides on the stick, and toast that before I finish it. Talk about good.

My nephew makes chain mail. Right now he is concentrating on jewelry as he can do something, see how the pattern looks, then make something else with a different pattern. He says that a full chain mail tunic would take three months to make and then it would have to sell for more than it is really worth. If he did not like the pattern, he would have to finish it and then try something different. Just not worth the time and effort. With the jewelry, he can explore many styles and patterns and see what he really likes. They don’t sell for a whole lot compared to full chain mail, so people would be willing to buy it and he could have penty of turn over of product, making it worth doing. What I have seen of his stuff is pretty good.

We talked, got pictures, had a good time together. I did do some crochet. I am working on a scarf and am doing a post stitch. I nearly had the third row done, almost finished with this ball of yarn. I After the fourth place where I got an error on the order of the post stitches, I ripped it all out and tried again, this time making sure it is accurate.
For those who don’t know, most crochet stitches go into the spaces created by the posts of the previous rows of stitches. The post stitch catches on the posts of the row below, and that pulls the lower post out slightly. What I was doing was catching the post in front for one stitch, then reaching behind the row and catching the next post from behind and alternating that with the whole row. My problem was that I had several rows where I caught the two posts in front or in back in a row and that really throws off the pattern of the stitch. It is hard to correct as the next stitch would be grabbed backwards. 
What I am doing now is the post caught from behind is now getting caught in front and the front is caught from behind. I find it looks like it is a woven pattern. The posts going in front of or behind the horizontal rows. 

Later in the day, they fired off some sparkling fireworks out front. One that was supposed to sparkle, popped and scared the “baby” who is like two years old. Just before I was about to go, the older child was throwing his ball into the tree and it got stuck. My brother and I knew that was what he was trying to do, but then he was shocked and disappointed when it got stuck there.  We tried shaking the branch but it was not moving. Because a motor cycle was beneath the tree I could not toss anything heavy or hard. When I hit the twigs, the ball fell nicely. I lost one sheet of the paper towel, otherwise it was good.

I hope to do some wood working tomorrow. 
I will see what I actually do.

Year 15, Week 24, Day One (week 721)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-05-14 Saturday

94 degrees, 99% humidity, clouds everywhere some sun now and then. Wet in the morning, which kills yard sales. Plants love it though. Some thunder Boomers grew to the south and west and never came by us. As really big thunder boomers started building up after 2 and temps went down to 85 by three. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The weather was not great in the morning. There were no outside yard sales. We did learn ofs a church yard sale so we went to that. We were there about two weeks ago. That wooden bread box was still there, tempting me. I have no use for it, no place to put it, and don’t know who would want to get it, but it was tempting me anyway. Since there was no other yard sails, we decided to hang there a bit. I first purchased some tiny aluminum loaf pans, a metal funnel, and a brass candle stick holder. That was all a whole dollar. No, I did not need any of them, especially the brass candle stick holder.
There was a number of things I also had no use for that were tempting me anyway. My plan was that if they had another sale, and they were still there, I would get them. It was just like that wooden bread box. 
Just before leaving, I gave into temptation  I got an enamel coated cast iron pan and a egg poaching pan for a dollar each.  I just could not leave them at that price. At the last minute, I could not leave them.
The egg poaching pan has a shallow pan (all thin aluminum). It has a second layer that three egg cups are set in, and then a plate that is placed above the egg level. The steam of the water below gently heats the eggs so they cook. No oil or anything else if you want. I intend to use cooking spray or oil to allow the egg to come out quickly. 
The fry pan is cast iron and I love cast iron. It has an enamel coating in and out. It has been well used but the surfaces still look good. I had to take it home anyway. I will have to see if someone in my circle will need a fry pan, either cast iron or enamel coated....

Later in the morning, I went out and grabbed a piece of Yellow pine and made a little cup. 
The weather was questionable. Clouds to the south, the sound of thunder to the west. I did not want to get involved in a long drawn out project that I would have to stop on. That was why a little cup would be the idea. 
I had cut a square from a small board, then knocked off the corners. I then turned it round using just the tail stock pressure to hold it in place. Once I got the outside edge round, I worked the inside. I had it about where I wanted it to be and found that there was a lot of tear out on the inside, stuff that sanding really does not handle well. I decided to make the outside thinner. I then went too deep on the outside of the bottom so I had to flatten that. While thinning out the center post so it could be removed easily, the post broke. The bottom still needed some work, but I decided not to bother about finishing it off on the lathe.
I turned the piece around and just opening the jaws enough to center the piece on the chuck and locked it in place with the tail stock. I then started correcting a slight wobble of the outside (always happens when you change the grip on the work in any way). I stopped to check what I was doing and saw I had some chips missing from the piece. The walls were now too thin. I then went on to finish the bottom about the way I wanted it. It needed more work but the crack disappointed me. 
I have a lot of dremmel work to fix it. I might scallop the rim, making it look good and removing the break. I will decide that some other time. I was happy to just make something.
Because of the humidity, I was soaked when I was done. I was happy though that I actually accomplished something. 

I have no idea what the weather will be like tomorrow and what I will be in a mood for, so I will have to see what I will do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 24, Day Two (week 721)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-06-14 Sunday

86 degrees, wetness coming down a lot of the morning. Mostly from quick moving little dots and splotches on the radar. This makes this a good day to go to the Movies or Malls and just enjoy indoor fun. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism. 

Because of the weather, which was light but steady drips from the sky, I was not bringing the big lathe out to do a serious project. I set up the folding table and put my dremmel and carving stuff out on it. 

Looking at the cup I made yesterday, I decided to do something scalloping style on it. I looked at the spot that was broken and decided that the bottom of one of my paint bottles would be just the right size to cover it. I then drew a line around the bottle so it took in all the breaks. I then drew a line around the outside of the cup near the base at the bottom of the curve I drew.
I tried tracing the curves up and down all the way around and found they did not come out even close to be even. I erased most of my lines with sandpaper, and tried again. This time I located the spot directly opposite my first curve and the break, and drew another matching curve there. I used an emery board, since that was on hand, to bend around between the two curves and get a measurement. I then marked between the two marks on the emery board where the center was, and then re-bending the board I located the center and put a curve there. There was a bit too much space between the curves to put a simple curve of the paint bottle. I decided this would be good and leave the spaces between them fairly flat. 
I took my dremmel and ground away wood inside the curves. My curves, which were drawn without accuracy in mind, were cut with no real accuracy in mind. I got it done on all four sides. I ground away the remains of the post on the inside and the bottom, then flattened the surface, cleaned up the inside and outside walls, touched up the bottom. 
I showed it to my mom later, and she said it was a candle base. I took a picture with a paint can in the middle, showing what a candle would look like. 
This is not a great job in any way, but there is some satisfaction of getting something finished. I even used scraps to make it!

My plans for next week are way up in the air. I will have to handle next weekend by ear, not having any real plans or schedule. The weather will really effect plans a whole lot. 

I will see what I actually do next week.

 sword forge with coals heating up.
 sword forge with trail packs in place cooking
Egg poacher disassembled to show the parts.  
egg poacher closed up completely 
 Mini loaf pans, candle stick, and funnel. 
 Ceramic coated cast iron fry pan
 My cup as the board with the corners knocked off. Notice the point in holding it in place It is just that pressure that is keeping it in place against the closed jaws of the chuck on the other side.
 the cup with the outside rounded. 
The cup showing the broken edge 
 my cup with the scalloped  edges.
Showing an evolution of knives I have used. The bottom knife with blue handle was the very first knife I ever used. I went to the second from the bottom knife on my fourth carving as it had more reach. Notice the nice sharp points. Carving gloves of any kind will not stop those points. My dad made those two knives, along with other knives he had made.
the middle knife was one of the last knives I made of a point style. The point is slightly rounded. The two upper knives are the style I make now. I had made a knife from a file and had a short piece left. I made a knife of the short piece and left the end cut off rather than making it a point, and fell in love with the design. All my knives are now made that way. Points don't stab so deep.  I also like how the wedge edge cuts rather than the points.

My new creation as a candle holder. A spray can acting like the candle. Needs a lot of sanding and finishing but much better than it was before I cut away the crack.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Cover art by Paul Shipper

Fans of the golden age of Hollywood (the 1920s through the 1950s) and classic "B" movies (the second film of a double feature) will love Jack and the Jungle Lion, the first book by actor Stephen Jared.

Movie star Jack Hunter becomes smitten with animal trainer Maxine Daniels as they travel to the location shoot of his next thrilling adventure. Jack will let nothing stand in the way of winning the fair lady's heart, not even the fact that he is technically a married man while Maxine can't stand him, and is more concerned about raising her niece and nephew as their lone guardian.

But a plane crash, needing to get everyone back home safely, and the fact that the silver screen image Jack portrays and his real life persona are not exactly the same complicate matters just as much as the dangers the jungle foliage hides.

Actor turned author Stephen Jared definitely knows this time period, and his love for it shows in his work. This book reads just like an old time radio drama or the screenplay to a "B" movie, with all the cliches and stereotypes one would expect from that time. Yet Jared makes them work considerably well for a first novel and turns the adventure into a real page turner that leaves audiences waiting to the very end to discover the final fate of any potential relationship between the two lead characters.

Jack and the Jungle Lion is available from Amazon in both print and e-formats.
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.