Sunday, August 24, 2014

Year 15, Week 31, Day One (week 728)

Year 15, Week 31, Day One (week 728)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-24-14 Saturday

92 degrees, blue sky overhead with some puffs over the Everglades on the west, light breeze, higher humidity than I like. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The company I work for LaGasse’ Pool Construction Company celebrated their 60th anniversary Monday. The third generation is working their way into what will eventually be management positions. Any company lasting this long is amazing. I would brag that I have been there for 37 years in two months, except that a third of the people have been there longer than I have.  


The Gold Coast Wood Turning Club meeting was Thursday night. I went with some of my stuff. The demonstration was on how to make salt and pepper grinders. The difference is that because Salt is corrosive, the grinding mechanism for salt is Ceramic instead of metal. It costs a little more. 
The basic turning follows knowledge we all know or can learn easily. There were some steps that, while I knew the concept, was happy to see done. I did learn some things from the basic turning, especially that my tools are dull, big time.
They’ve been getting the mechanisms for over a year. One person would order them and they would get a deal on shipping or other discounts because it was bulk orders. I had considered getting them a few times but held off. I am now glad I did. There is a lot more to making these than I thought. He used five sizes of Forsner bits to drill the diameters that certain parts were needed. I have the bits but would not know that I was to use them. I tend not to follow instructions well.  There is a special tool to put in a groove in the wood for the parts to fit tightly. The one demonstrating made his own tool from one of his turning tool blanks which he made a handle for. He made the offset, put in lines for depth, and a little hook on the end to cut in the groove. 
I have not been really interested in specialty type projects. I never got into pen turning as you have to have certain tools to make sure everything fits. Pepper grinders are nowhere near as hard to set up than a pen, but I doubt I will get into them. 
As I mentioned before, I did learn some basic turning concepts that I had not paid attention to before. 
The turning clubs have what is called an INSTANT GALLERY. It is where you put your work on display and people can examine them closely. Later, the creators of the work will do a quick show and tell, explaining about what it is made from, how it was made finish and other things involving the piece. Seeing other work up close really helps. One sometimes gets ideas, sometimes sees where you make mistakes. You also see over time how different wood workers are changing and improving. 
I had crochet hooks, drum sticks, a wooden ladle I made, my “stool samples” and some non-turned items. 


I strongly noticed that we are heading to winter. For a long time, I would actually be leaving my house for the half hour drive to Mom’s house, it would be bright. Today, the sky just started lightening just before I arrived. 

After breakfast, we searched for some yard sales. We went most of our total route and only found a few yard sales. Most had nothing that excited us, though a few had some great stuff, if only it was like five years ago, I would have gotten them. But now I know I will either never use them, or already have two of them. 
We did find a yard sale where I picked up a book on Chinese Treats and Snacks. The book is written in Chinese and English. 
I also picked up a beading tool for sheet metal. I almost got an electric sheet metal sheer but I decided my brother was not worth it.

After a short nap, we went “yard sailing” at a craft store that is going out of business. I had been there a few weeks ago when they had things at 90% off and did not buy anything. It was advertized at 70% off today. 
We got a big bag for our purchases. Later we heard that it was $10 for anything that will fit within the bag. Mom and I grabbed a lot of stuff. We were fairly picky, not getting things that we did not need at all, but a lot of stuff “we might use”.  I walked the store three times. The last time my bag had a lot of small cans of sign painting paint and it was heavy. We saw people with carts with three or four bags of stuff, we saw people loading their cars with large boxes of paints, purchased in bulk, 
I got a couple Balsa wood boards and a Basswood board. I got all the pen tips I could find. I plan to make my own handles with them. I got a lot of other stuff. 
My bag was heavy enough to mess up my back, but when I laid everything out to really take stock of what I got, It amounted to almost nothing. There were things I later decided I should have grabbed a bunch of but did not. 
Even so, I got several hundred dollars worth of things for about fifteen bucks (the longer boards were a separate price)
This store won’t be open next weekend. It will be officially closed. 

When we got back, my back was a mess, my whole body was tired and my leg seemed to be doing good. After I rested some, my leg decided to really start complaining. 
There was nothing else to be done during the day. I was not in shape to do anything.

I hope to do some wood working tomorrow. What I do depends on many conditions. The weather should be dry like it was today.

I will have to see what I do tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 31, Day Two (week 728)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-25-14 Sunday

96 degrees, moderate humidity, nice breeze but a fan really helped. Blue sky except for low puffs over the Everglades itself. The blue sky was nice. This is great beach weather. For others, it is great Mall weather.  This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of tourism.

I had a hard time getting started this morning. My back was quite tolerable, but my leg was stiff and sore. It took quite a while to get my leg working right. 

I sorted my craft store finds and separated them out. I was really disappointed at how little I actually got. Oh, Well.

I got to Mom’s house, petted and fed the cats before setting up my work table. We found that Scarface is getting dominated by Momma cat. What I think was that because he had not been coming around when Mom was outside, he was stealing Momma Cat’s food and she got tired of it. His favorite feeding spot is on the work bench above where Momma Cat eats. He is hesitant to hop up there as he has to come close to her in the process. I tend to have to lift him up there. He is not the happiest cat to be held. 
He’s been in a few new fights, nothing bad. He has a few pin scabs on his cheeks this time. He must be winning as he keeps fighting. He reminds me of that old boxer who has to keep fighting as he knows nothing else. 

I took out the dremmel and my old dragon carving. This dragon started about three or four years ago. I had gotten a four foot diameter, U shaped, piece of Norfolk island pine and I had cut it in half so I could manage it. One piece had a bark inclusion that looked to me like it might make a good dragon. I separated it out at the bark inclusion and started working with it. I had hoped to have it done for the art show that coming year, but when I saw it was not going to happen, I set it aside to work on projects that could be finished. Near the end of the following year, I brought it out again and started working on it for the next art show and stopped when there was no way to get it done in time. The same thing happened last year. 
There won’t be an art show next year.
I decided to give it a look. There is a lot of wood that has to be removed. I am making this by power carving, grinding so it is a bit slow. 
I basically worked on the dorsal fin running mostly on the tail. I might have removed a quarter inch off It before I needed to let the dremmel cool down.
I took out the Ladle I had made and decided to make some changes. The handle just seemed too bulky, especially near the bowl. I chose to leave the top the way it was, while removing wood from the sides underneath the handle. 
I also wanted to make the sides of the bowl thinner. I ground inside the bowl, especially at the top edge, so it would get into the pan easier. 
What I did, did help, but I can do more. The handle near the bowl could be thinner at the top without sacrificing a lot of strength. I should do more shaping of the outside of the bowl as it is too square. Maybe next weekend.

I was tired, a little sore and it was nearing lunch time so I packed up the projects. I did not do near as much as I wanted, but of course, I really need to start at dawn and go till dust before I have any chance of seeing an improvement. My dad worked dawn to dusk, seven days a week on his wood working and other projects, and he got production because of it. That really is what I need but I am still making a living so that is out.

I hope to actually get some real wood working next week. I have a couple ideas for Christmas ornaments for this year and will have to see if they are worth doing and what they will take to make. One idea is to make socks, the other is just a Santa hat. It could also be a wooden bell, but will have to explore the design. The socks will be bandsawed out and details would be carved into them. The hats would be turned on the lathe so that the parts that stick out can be carved into shape.  I have the wood to make the first few for the tests. I did not do it today as Scarface was laying in the way and I decided he looked too comfortable to move. It would have created a lot of work that I did not feel I was in condition to do today. 

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

The things I brought to the turning club meeting. 
The candle holder with the wrong kind of candle. a small bowl, a sea grape platter with sea grape rug needles, some "stool samples" for the doctor, a pair of drum sticks, a ladle, and some crochet hooks made from tooth brushes. 

Back side of the dragon before I started today

The front side of the dragon after some grinding on the dorsal fin

The back side of the dragon with some grinding. You can see the patina on the wood from sitting for most of a year.I have a lot more grinding and shaping to do.

The underside of the ladle after I ground on it.

The enlarged bowl of the ladle. 

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