Year 15, Week 42, Day One (week 739)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
The morning weather highly questionable, heavy clouds with dark bottoms. Strong breeze. Drove through some driplets on the way to Mom’s. Mid morning quick shower, fairly good the rest of the day until after dark. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of Tourism.
Wood turning club meeting was Thursday. Since they could not get someone to do a normal demonstration of some technique, the “demonstration” was for people to bring at least three of their favorite pieces and tell about how they were made.
I did not have access to the stuff I keep at Mom’s house. Instead, I brought one of my first carved turnings, which I made just for it, a few examples of the ornaments I am making in different stages, and some crochet hooks.
I ended up with a few pieces of Corian, which is a plastic counter top material. The guy that brought it was exploring it for the lids of turned bowls he made. I can think of some projects it might be useful for.
The weather was too questionable for a yard sale. A pop-up shower, which was all over the place as disappearing dots on radar, could ruin some things if they get wet. We decided not to do our yard sale.
Mom had some projects in mind. Since they were something that required two people and my new dad was not physically and skilled enough to do part of it, it fell onto me to help her. It looked easy....
The first project was the sand box. Last week we screwed a wall in place. Mom had removed more sand from the walls for more leveling of the yard so we could get in there and work, placing the walls where they needed to be. I screwed a block on the edge of one board using a drill, then we set the next board in and I screwed that in place. Mom had to remove a bunch of sand in order for us to relocate another side wall. It not only bowed out but was slide out too.
Mom carried the wall board to the workbench where I used the saws-all to cut it to the height she wanted. I then had to lower a block I made and installed last week. We cut off all the wood that it was to connect to.
I put in a block on the front edge of the side wall, then we attached the two pieces of the front to it and each other. Mom drove stakes in the middle of each board, sides and front and I screwed into them to give more hold to the whole setup.
I am not sure what I did but I was wore out and sore all over. While mom did all the work, I felt as if I did the work.
The clouds started crying so we went in and took a nap.
After we were all up, Mom and I went out and started working on the wishing well. The shingles rotted and the plywood underneath also rotted. The layers gave and the whole roof was bow like those old abandoned barns you sometimes see in pictures.
Mom could not do the project alone and while I still felt the work I did earlier, I gritted my teeth and helped her.
First we removed the old materials, which we could pull off by hand. Only a few spots on the side edges need to be removed once I was removing the screws. One of the edge supports had rotted and needed to be replaced.
Once the roof was completely gone, and I used the dremmel to remove some screw points that were driven from below, we had to cut wood for it.
I used the Saws-all to cut the wood. I found If I almost lay the machine down, I can cut a fairly straight line. Not as straight as a circular saw, but it is pretty good. I can adjust the course of the blade with a tip of the machine. Mom did not quite get the measurements right, but we were able to compensate for it in the process.
We attached the plywood. Mom pulled the peak of the sides together so they fit the board.
Mom has some green corrugated plastic sheets. It was a roof for a swing but she decided not to use that any more. It was a bother to remove for hurricanes so on the last threat she left them off.
Cutting this stuff was a challenge at first. I tried the saws-all and the plastic chipped. That is not good. Mom then got an idea. She grabbed a pair of scissors and it cut sweetly. She got a good pair of scissors and got to work. We cut three sheets and she decided that there needed to be the overlap to cover the whole roof, so mom cut one sheet in half.
We then screwed it down. At the peak, one went past the other. We screwed a aluminum plat on top over the edges and cinched that down tight.
I sat down, exhausted, wasted, and sore, to rest and cool down.
A few weeks ago, I had taken some chop sticks and used my mini lathe to turn them into rods for crochet hooks. On these rods, they were too long for the lathe to machine the center of the rods. Today I used my knife to remove the worst of the excess wood from the center portion, and then used sandpaper to smooth out the wood and round it some. I did several of the rods. One rod I had acquired was not bamboo and I knew it was not strong enough. I broke it up, proving it was not strong enough for a crochet hook, but later realized I should have kept it as a dowel for some project. Oh well.
Mom moved plants around to make the wishing well look good. On the big ones, I had to pull on the hand cart to tip it up. I just put my weight into it. And then she would push as I pulled the plants about ten feet to where they needed to be.
Rested and cooled down, we packed up our projects, put everything away, and then we went out for lunch.
My body says I did a lot, even though I don’t see my doing anything difficult. I just put in a bunch of screws.
Mom thanked me several times in the afternoon for helping her on these projects. One thing I am learning is that one does not have to make projects absolutely perfect. Many times, the impression the projects presents is more important than the fine details. The wishing well looks pretty good, even though I could spend an hour pointing out to less than perfect details.’
Tomorrow, I hope to work on my ornaments. I have one week to get them done.
Year 15, Week 42, Day Two (week 739)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
84 degrees, a few drips from clouds but mostly broken clouds with a strong breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of Tourism.
I got to Mom’s a bit early. I had scheduled to gas up on the way and then go to Sears. I have a gift card to use up. I found that they open at noon. That opened up some extra time to work. I am still hampered from my adventures yesterday, but was not expecting to do too much .
I had decided long ago that with a few exceptions, my ornaments should be out of two by two whitewood boards. The wood is carve-able, cheep, and it is a nice size. Basswood would be really nice to use, but locally, a supply is not readily available. While you have to deal with knots, the whitewood is a nice carving wood for the most part. It is more brittle than Basswood, but one can work around that. I found that the best whitewood carving wood is out of two by twelves. I generally buy the two by twos anyway. I don’t have to cut them to width for my ornaments.
I cut some blanks for my mice and chimney ornaments. The mice get rough shaped, a lot of excess wood removed. The chimney blanks are basically squared up and a cut round the center to identify the top of the chimney.
I then took the trimmings from these and previous blanks and set down to cut pieces for presents that will go into the mittens and socks. I needed to cut them into squares and rectangles. The problem is that all the trimmings are angled. After working with the knife, I used the dremmel to remove the excess of the angle, the knife to split and trim the pieces so they were somewhat square. I made a nice pile of them.
At work, when I bring something in a zipper bag that is not messy, breads are great choice, I save the baggies for re-use for non food uses. I dug some out that I had stored in my shed and after making sure they were clean, I split my tiny blocks of wood into four baggies. I then dumped some paint into each, of different colors and really worked the pieces of wood around to make sure every side was well coated. Once satisfied, I turned the baggies inside out and go every piece of wood out., leaving them on the workbench to dry. I moved them around a few times to make sure they did not glue themselves to the workbench and to make sure they were fully dried.
While they were drying, I cut the vertical cuts in the bricks of the nearly finished chimney carvings. Some of the legs need clean up before they are ready to paint. I see that using the bandsaw to cut the horizontal mortar lines like I did last week, really makes for a nice result.
I need to glue the colored blocks into the socks and mittens so they have presents in them. That and a slight amount of touch-up, will finish them.
All the mice, including the original ones need some touch-up carving. Some need heavy carving yet. I need to locate my “seed beads” and set the black ones into the heads as eyes. I also need to figure out what I want to do about tails. You don’t want it to snag on the trees they are hung on, so yarn is out. I have to look to see what I have available, or even go to the craft store and see what they have. Someone suggested ribbons around the necks of the mice. I will have to see what is available for that.
We decided go out for lunch. Today is the year anniversary for the marriage between my mom and new dad. As we made the decision for lunch, a pop-up shower showed up a. I was closing the gate and realized the shed door was open, and the shower was gone before I had closed the shed.
When we got back from lunch, I packed up and put everything away.
Next week a lot is planned. I have mice to carve, chimneys to finish up and paint, presents to add to socks and mittens, touch-ups on everything. I have no idea how plans for Thanksgiving is going to go. I doubt I will work with wood as we will be in an apartment rather than at my brother’s house. Plans for the rest of the weekend is not in my hands. We might do a yard sale if the weather is nice. Other things might happen if the weather is not good.
I will have to see what happens next weekend.
Completed Sand Box.
Wishing well from behind with roofing completely removed.
Completed wishing well with plants in place.
painted wooden blocks that will be presents in the mittens and socks.
Another dish cloth is now done. I alternated the stitch pattern. Single crochet, then would use Tunisian crochet. I would work it so the next row of Tunisian crochet was on the back side of the work.