Friday, March 27, 2015

Year 16, Week 09, Day One (week 755)

Year 16, Week 09, Day One (week 755)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-21-15 Saturday
    71 degrees early morning, 86 in the afternoon, some clouds very early morning, some clouds rushed overhead around new, but they raced each other to the west and out over the Everglades. Mostly a light blue sky all day long otherwise.  A light breeze made things nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I went to the wood turning club meeting. The demonstration was of a ROSE ENGINE LATHE. This is a device for adding decoration to turned pieces. The first one of these was made in the early 1700s.
    I have read articles about using them, and seen articles about making one, but I just could not get my mind on exactly how one of these worked. I seemed to be missing a key bit of information.
    With a standard lathe, the “head stock” is stationary when in use and it spins the work at a fairly high speed and the tool is set against the wood to cut or scrape away rough wood until you get the object rounded.
    With a Rose Engine Lathe, the head stock rocks side to side (the part of the information I was missing) based on a shaped disk that is the pattern to be cut, and the cutting bit is stationary. The rocking head causes the work to bump up against the spinning bit, which cuts into the wood. As the piece goes round and round slowly, the pattern is cut into the wood. The bit is usually on a “cross slide” which will move the cutting bit and motor side by side, front to back. One does several turns of the piece and pattern to get the depth of the cuts one is after, then shifts the motor and bit with the cross slide and then do several more turns.
    The pattern is set on the back of the lathe, a bungee cord or spring forces the head with the attached pattern against the “rubber” which the pattern rubs against. The one demonstrated had a little wheel on it to ride on the edge of the pattern. As the work is turned, the pattern forces the work away or into the bit, depending on the design of the pattern. The pattern he was demonstrating had for corners but roughly rounded. What this created was cloverleaf designs when working on the end. I read about a Rose Engine Lathe that had 29 patterns.  The guy demonstrating this lathe had made several of his own patterns, a couple would not work because the rubber was not long enough.
    The lathe part of this machine he was demonstrating had a crank to turn the work. He said he liked the crank design because he sometimes has the bit dig in too deep and he can feel it as he cranks, while a motorized crank would not stop unless it jammed, doing damage to the piece. The crank turned the pattern and part.
    The pattern had a series of holes that fit over a pin that allowed one to adjust the sequence of the bumps and valleys as it turned, so you could have progressive series of cuts, spiraling around the work if desired.
    It was fun to watch and learn how the lathe works. There are plans on line, kits on line, completed designs one can buy,  and I have a set of plans in one of my buried magazines. I doubt I will ever make one, but if I wanted one, I now understand how to use it

This is a U tube video that explains best on what a rose engine does and how it does it.

    The morning quickly showed it would be a beautiful day. The reports mentioned there might be some weather in the afternoon.
    After breakfast, we headed to a community yard sale we heard about. The community is referred to as Mobil Homes, even though they are not mobil. They are actually manufactured homes, not built as well as a normal home, but better than any trailer.
    This community has a lot of French Canadians. There is usually two community yard sales here, one in the fall when they all arrive for the winter and are getting rid of stuff they don’t need now, and then in the spring when they are heading back home for the summer, where they get rid of stuff they don’t want to store in their homes.
    There was a couple dozen people selling things in this neighborhood. A lot of it was interesting, and fun to have, but I did not need them or had a place for them.  We skipped some of the yards that had almost nothing in them and you could see what they were. Without getting out
    We hit most of the good yard sales along the way. Many were two and three within a few houses of each other (likely two homes in the space of a normal one) so one could easily walk between them.
    We also hit several individual yard sales before and after the community. One was a very big sale, mostly collectables. I did not buy anything but was considering a camp fire popcorn popper. The price was good, and it would be interesting to own, but I have no place for it, based on the past many years, there wouldn’t be any place I could make use of it. Mom convinced me not to get it.
    I ended the day with a bunch more yarn in a tub, a microwave steamer kit, and some collectable items that are going to be gifted to a friend. And no, I did not need more yarn, but had to take advantage of it. There are some colors I like and am either out of or low on.
    Between my mom and I were wore out. We both took a short nap when we got home.
    During the week, I got an idea of something to try. I first made a vest for one of my teddy bears. The shape of the vest did not quite come out like I planned, but for a first try, it went well.  I measured it on the bear and then stitched until I decided it was where I needed it to be and then measured again, and ended up with the vest. Matching the left and right side of the front of the vest was a bit tricky compared to the rest of it. If I make another one, I can see things I would do a little different. I did edge it today with another color but since I did not do the edging the way I should, it is not great.  It will work for now.
    I also started a dress for another teddy bear. With this dress, I started by measuring and stitching the waste band. I did several rows and realized that it needed to flair out. I decided to do an experimental stitch on it. I went with two single crochet, two half double, two double, two half triple and two triple, and then back down again as I worked my way back to the waistband. The stitches at the waist band were the toughest, where I would tie in the new rows, which are at ninety degrees to the band, and I may have made some mistakes there but got results.
    The idea of the expanding length the stitches as they leave the waistband was to cause the bottom of the dress to flair out. For this size dress, I likely did not need to do two of each stitch, but did not know that for sure until after it was made. The hardest part was stitching the last and first line of stitches together.
    I added the top of the dress after I had the skirt done. I put the skirt on and made the front panel, then started the shoulder bands. Once I got the shoulder band far enough along, I put the dress on the teddy bear and continuously checked to get the strap the right length and connecting in the right place. I then added the second strap. I decided that the front bib of the dress was not wide enough so I added the new strap beside the bib and went up from there.
    I ended up attaching the back of the straps after I took the dress off the teddy bear and matching the front and back strap locations together.
    After showing off the dress on the teddy bear, I then stitched the edging color around the edges which made the dress pop, and also correct some bad stitches I had at the joints. I would love to do it differently but was not set up to do that this time. I really wanted to use a fine thread and do multiple stitches for each one in the base color, but did not have any of that thread and was trying to get it done. Because of using the needle and spiraling along the edge, it created an interested dotted pattern, that was enough color to help the dress. I did nothing along the bottom of the skirt, leaving it as it is.  One thing on the size and design of the dress, is that the teddy bear compresses easily and can be made to fit the dress.
    I am proud so far with the clothing I have done for my teddy bears, since I have had no patterns to follow and just winged my design. There are things that could have been done better but I am not complaining.
    I have two more teddy bears to make clothing for. I have to decide on the color, and then the style. Deciding whether they are male or female is part of the fun. I think I know on the next two, but will decide that for sure when I make the clothing.
    I spent my working project time on crochet simply because the projects were near finished. I hope to do woodworking tomorrow.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 09, Day Two (week 755)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-22-15 Sunday
    Low 70s in the morning, 85 degrees in the afternoon, blue sky and sun with lots of thin puffs of clouds all over except over the ocean which was blue. This weather report was brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got to Mom’s house and set up the table. I was kind of late due to some home projects I needed to take care of. 
    I had one of the partially used skein of the white yarn I got yesterday and decided to make it into a ball.
    I’ve figured out an easy method to create a ball of yarn that will allow the yarn to come out the center rather than the outside. The really hardest part of this process is keeping the center end out of the way as one is winding it.
    I start out by wrapping the yarn around three slightly opened fingers until I have some bulk in it. I then set my thumb into the center of the loops from the side the yarn will come out. I then start wrapping the loops of yarn next to the fingers and slowly turn it slowly. As the rings rotate, the line builds up by the thumb, but leaves the center open. It develops into a ball with the yarn wrapped top to bottom. I usually, out of necessity, let the bottom finger slip away from the center. It would be better if I left it there but I end up with easier control when it moves a bit from center.
    When the ball is done, if you did everything, right, you can pull the yarn from the center without the ball rolling all over the place. One nice thing is that I have worked on a project and ran into problems with the skein I was using and I did this to bring the remaining yarn alone without messing with everything. Having the project on one end makes it easier to keep the pull end from getting buried.

    I took my two steak knives that I had been making new handles for, and used the disk sander on them, cleaning up the surfaces first, then rounding the edges.  I decided not to shape the bottom of the knives for the fingers, simply going with the slightly rounded corners of the wood, and call it done. I will give them a couple coats of oil to protect the wood a little, then put them to use.
    My brother showed up. I had not seen him for several weeks so we started talking. Dad and my brother and I spent the evening talking about all sorts of things.  When we finally finished, it was time to leave.
    I did not do much of anything else, but it took all the day to do.
    I hope to do some wood working next weekend or at least some productive project.

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Year 16, Week 08, Day One (week 754)

Year 16, Week 08, Day One (week 754)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-14-15 Saturday
    75 degrees early morning, 84 in the afternoon, some wetness on the way to Mom’s house but none after that. Clouds split up and became smaller and smaller puffs until there was nothing over head, though there was some on the horizon to the north and west of us. Strong breezes threatened to shift around lightly filled zipper bags or blow loose hats off. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    During the week, I got in a fight with a cold. It attacked Tuesday, got really bad Wednesday and then I was able to knock it back Thursday and Friday. Sleeping in the recliner helped, but I got less sleep this week than normal
    Today, I knew I had a cold, but it was not in a contagious stage. It took a lot of energy out of me today, and I was a little achy because of it, but I tried to act as if I was somewhat normal.
    After Breakfast, we went to Auntie’s Attic. They have this twice a year. It is mostly collectibles and good quality items. The one thing that caught my eye was a porcelain doll that was very pretty and has a lovely dress, mostly in purple. To me, most porcelain dolls look wrong. I have a couple in my collection. This one was prettier than my best one. I went past it about four times just to get an extra look at it. While it would be nice to have, I really don’t have display space for her. The shelf case my best on is on, has no bare space to see. Figurines and such cover every inch.
    I did grab an electric percolator.  I decided that since many devices I have, use that same kind of cord connection, and  I have not had time to search out shops that might carry the cords, and figured the new cords likely would cost the same as the coffee pot, I decided I might as well get it. It is a cheaper design than the coffee maker I use right now, but is easier to clean. I will think about whether to swap coffee makers at a later time.
    It was fun looking at the stuff people had, baseball cards, collectable figurines, true antique items. One friend told me years ago, that we who collect, are really storing things for the real collectors. They don’t have room for the stuff so they have us hold it until they are ready for it. It sounded good to me and I now look at collectibles that way. If I really want it, I will get it. Not for the value someone else might later have for it.
    When we got into the car to go on, I was really happy to just sit for a while. My body was uncomfortable all over. I could not tell if the cold was increasing or decreasing, which was not bad. I just didn’t wanted it to get much worse.   
    We went to the Elk’s Lodge where they had a bead show and rummage sale. We only looked in through the door at the bead show. Mostly what I saw were glittery glass beads. I love sparkly things. I am making a point to avoid that hobby right now. I don’t have time for the many hobbies I already have. My only real interest in beads is to include it in other projects I might be working on.
    In the rummage sale, there were lots of stuff I either already have or will never use, which is always typical.  I did see a meat slicer with other attachments. I have one but the thought of having a spare came over me. As usual, I did not want to store it. I looked at it three times and then left empty handed.
    Before and after these big sales, we hit a couple home yard sales. One I had gone to last year. The interesting thing there, which I did not get, was a commercial sized fry maker. It had a plunger guided by a pair of rails, and a grid of knives to slice the potato into sticks. I don’t deep fry and prefer to buy my fries. I was just thinking that it was a cool looking device to have. I left it there. Part of the fun of such things is to figure out what they are before anybody tells you.  There were a few things at the Aunties Attic that I had to figure out what it was or out it worked. One thing I saw turned out to be attachment to put the forks of a bike into instead of keeping the wheel on when transporting a bike. I had seen it before but forgot what it was and ended up having to ask.
    At home, I laid down for half an hour just to let my body recover a little. I never could quite get comfortable so I got up and went outside.
    I petted the cat, is never as much as she feels she deserves. I got pictures of some of mom’s flowers in bloom. Mom’s Alamanda decided to stop flowering. Usually it flowers half the year with continuous bursts of blooms. I like them because the flowers almost look like they are made of plastic. This time just a few blooms showed up and now they are gone. I wonder what the problem is. I should check to see if the pot is draining. We lost one plant because the drain hole got plugged. I have no real idea of what was the matter with the plant. I am good at killing plants.  
    I have a spare edge router that my nephew could use. I have some extra bits too.  I went to the shed to see if I could spot router. I set up a table next to the door of the shed so I could simply set things from one place they are stacked onto the table without any bending over or actual lifting. I found the router quickly, but thought I had another router and a router table in there also. It is not good to depend on memories that are based on three or four cleanings ago.      
    I got to where all that was left to move was some heavy items and wedged items, and where my body was not up to even considering bothering with them. Since I had it mostly open, I instead I looked carefully through visible spaces between things, and then started re-stacking stuff. I did a better job this time at stacking things so I made a little more room.
    From the grains of debris on the floor and on other signs, the bugs have been having fun in there. I saw that I have enough wood to keep me busy for a while. Some of this is exotic wood, sticks sent to me to be made into carved canes, wood I simply did not want to get wet. If piled in front of you, it would not be much, but if working on projects, it would take time to use them up.  The hardest part is getting to the wood, because of all the stuff that is between me and them. Some have become well wedged in. There is also a bunch of Dad’s carving magazines that are out of my reach. I spotted several, rolls of quality sand paper that I can’t get to without more work. There are other things in there, I know, that I have forgotten about.  With any space, one has to essentially empty it out to be reminded of what is actually in there.
    To do get to the things in this shed properly, I really need to pull everything out of the shed, including the shelving and re-stack everything, clean thoroughly and put stuff back in, in a logical order.  The last time I tried anything even close to that, it took me all day just to clear the floor to sweep it. As bad as I am feeling today, I was not about to even give that a thought. I figure it would be a two or three day job under the best conditions. Who has that kind of time or energy?
    I went back in and napped for an hour or two to recover some more from my day. After lunch, I settled to work on the teddy bear that I started last Sunday. I had opportunities to stitch on it during the week and made good headway. I had started already started stitching the two halves together but had more to do, so that is what I started on first. After turning it inside out, I stuffed the arms, legs and then the body and was adding eyes to it. I left the 8 pound test fishing line at home and once I attached the eyes, I decided that thread was just not good enough to keep them in place. I put it to the side and hope to work on it right tomorrow.
    During the week, I saw a crochet article telling about working a square piece on the diagonal. The article said she doesn’t do any other style of working stitches any more.  I took what I gleaned from the article and gave it a try in single crochet. It involves adding a stitch (increasing ) to each row. I really liked my results after about 25 rows.
    As today was winding down, I had some time, so I decided to try what I learned, but using double crochet for a dishcloth. A good test of what I learned. It took a little bit on getting started. I had to some effort to realize that because double crochet is two rows tall, one has to add an extra stitch so you are increasing twice on each row to make the two sides come out at a ninety degree angle.
    I got to where I had it about the size a square dish cloth should be, I started decreasing. I found that it is not working out the way it is supposed to. I have some experimentation to do. I am thinking that one of the decreases have to be at the end of the row to pull the end in. I was increasing at one end when building the triangle.
    It is fun learning things, especially if you have to figure it out along the way. I have seen many projects where this kind of stitch is important. Knowing out to do it makes a difference. I was out of time and put that away.
    I have no idea how I will feel tomorrow. Colds love to flare up again unexpectedly. I do hope I feel better tomorrow.
Year 16, Week 08, Day Two (week 754)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-15-15 Sunday
    85 degrees, mostly blue sky with some puffs, to a full blue sky. Light breeze made the air nice and comfortable.  This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I stopped at a yard sale I accidentally found. They said these were the remains of an estate sale.  I saw one movie I knew someone might like. Out of a lot of movies they had, none were what I would have wanted to see or that others I know would not like see or see again. I grabbed a box fan they had. There are times when an extra box fan is useful. That was one thing less they would have to deal with.
    I set up in back and removed the stuffing from the head of the teddy bear to correct a number of mistakes I made. I had forgotten to stitch the neck so it would be smaller than the rest of the head. I now had the fishing line so I could attach the eyes properly. You want it to be an effort to pull them off.  I stitched the ears, and then stuffed him again and finished stitching him. He is now finished, except for making some clothing. A perfectionist would be really disappointed by the results of my teddy bears but I am happy to have made them. None of them are the same and each one has their own personality. Only the red teddy bear has stitched eyes. The rest have button eyes.  I could correct that but it is not worth the effort. I would really need to unstuff the head to do it right.
    I might try something else just to change things up. I do have the two dish cloths I am working on. I do intend to make more of these bears, and also want to make clothing for the ones I already have made. That will take some experimenting. Three of them were made in wool, and I am curious as to what will happen if they are put into the hot laundry. Will they shrink a little? Develop into felt?
    I was picking up my crochet materials with the idea of changing to another project when Mom said we should go out for lunch. I packed up completely.  That pretty much killed my day.
    I do hope to work on wood next weekend.  I hope to be well past the cold then.
    I will see what happens next weekend.

 The four completed teddy bears. Now to figure out how to make clothing for t hem before I make any more. The green on the bottom right is my last one. The yellow on top  left is the first Teddy bear I made, after I re-stiched the head three times. It will stay like that now.

The flower of the Clearodendon  tree.

An Orchid in bloom I like the way this one almost resembles a cobra with the fangs bared.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Year 16, Week 07, Day One (week 753)

Year 16, Week 07, Day One (week 753)(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-07-15 Saturday
    48 degrees early morning, 80 degrees in the afternoon, solid cloud cover in the morning, breaking up some allowing filtered sun to shine a few times. Some fast moving clouds carried moisture, mostly as a mist, dampening everything including activities. Even with the cloud cover, the sky had already lightened slightly as I drove to Mom’s house. For a while it was pitch black. Of course, with the time change, it will be pitch black again next weekend. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    By the time you read this you’ve already gone through the time change. During the week, I started a practice that I learned years ago to make the time change easy on my body. Each day, I would adjust the alarm fifteen minutes earlier until the time arrives to officially change the clocks. I am not hit with having to get up a whole hour early.
    This morning, I was up my hour early. I had seen a article on making crochet projects, starting as a triangle. You start on one corner and work your way side to side, increasing till you get to the size you want the corners to be, then decrease until you end up at a corner again. If you did it right, it will be square. If you are using a patterned yarn, the stripes will go diagonally rather than across the width. Since I had an extra  hour to kill I started on one. It is working. I have a gigantic skein of white cotton yarn with grey and orange dots along the length. I decided to use that for the experiment, ripping out something someone else had started before I got the yarn. This will be more a hot pad than a dish cloth. This will be a project that stays next to the computer when I have to wait for something to load.
    After breakfast, we found out that a “manufactured home” (trailer court) community a friend of ours used to live in, had some yard sales. The problem is that many people don’t set up until ten. We went through anyway. One guy had some tools. I got some clamps, some router bits and a couple long spade-bit drill bits. The Router bits will go to my nephew. I need to dig out a spare router I have for him), the clamps will be set up for our projects (you never have enough, especially if you cannot remember where you put them the last time).  There are times where long spade bits are exactly what you need.


    We got home, and then I went out again. I wanted to visit the brand new HOBBY LOBBY store that opened late last year. I took one of our rabbit runs known for yard sales that was taking me in the right direction. There was nothing. No signs, no displays in yards, nothing.
    I visited Hobby Lobby and walked most of the store, pushing a shopping basket.
    I was reminded about a fantasy I used to have years ago. That was to be “stuck” in one of those craft stores and working on whatever projects that caught my interest using whatever they had. I realize now that while it would be fun, I would find I would want to do something else also. 
    While going through the isles, I was reminded of hobbies and projects I would like to try or do. I also saw there were hobbies and projects that weren’t as fun looking as they used to be. I once considered the use of stamps. I would walk past a stamp display and start to drool. I now realize that I would not get as much fun out of it as I once thought. For one thing, you have to have several hundred stamps to have enough variety, even with techniques like streaking and smearing as I have seen on Tv. While my painted greeting cards are not spectacular, I can do anything I want just with a couple brushes. I don’t have to buy another stamp.
    The yarn section was tough. They had some new yarn that was really soft. I had to hold my hand to the cart to prevent me from reaching for my wallet.
    I loved the beads and jewelry making section. I love glittery items anyway. I’ve seen some recent beading shows and was surprised at all you can do besides just stringing them.
    The silk flower section is impressive. I don’t have a use or a place for artificial flowers so I left that section alone.  There was a time I was making flower baskets and other decorations, but that has been many years now. The center of the store was decorations and other than some sayings I saw, it was not really interesting. There was a time I would have loved that stuff but not now.
    I find different chain stores have a different emphasis. We have five or more chains down here. Some you can find exactly what you are after, while others you come out of a big store with empty arms. I have found that the Jo-Ann’s Cloth World seems to have exactly what I want. They happen to be located exactly for what I need.
    That was a long time on my feet, walking around, examining what was on the shelves. Even with periodically putting my weight on the basket, I was wore out. I was glad to leave.
    There were no yard sales on the way home and once at home, I took a short nap to recover from my exertions.
    I went out to get lunch and the mist started coming down. It was very light near mom’s but was heavy enough a mile away to use the wipers on medium. I got back to Mom’s and one did not need it other than once in a while. Mom’s plants did not get the watering she was hoping for, at least during the day.
    There is something called  “a perfect drizzle.” It is where it is coming down hard enough to soak you, but not hard enough to warrant an umbrella. It nearly was that at one point.
    After lunch, since the weather was not cooperating, I confiscated Mom’s kitchen table and worked on a teddy bear I had nearly finished. I added fill to the arms, legs and body, stitched the neck so it was smaller, then stitched the nose. I had buttons to use for the eyes so I attached them, using 8 pound test fishing line. I went through the hole in the post of the button quite a few times, wrapping the crochet stitches all around it so it is held quite well.
    Now I had made several errors when creating this teddy bear. I did not count the stitches like I was supposed to and several points were out of scale. Even so, the bear came out fairly well. I had figured out why the ears on my first teddy bear came out so badly and did them right on this one.
    I figure my tenth teddy bear will be perfect.

 Teddy bear number three.

    Getting up an hour early is hard to do. I had also been sitting quite a while with the teddy bear when I was done so I took another nap. That pretty much killed the day.
    Tomorrow I hope the weather will be better, though that is in question. I would like to work on some wood tomorrow. I never have a shortage of projects to work on.
    I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 07, Day two (week 753)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-08-15 Sunday
    68 degrees early morning 80 in the afternoon. The breeze held flags out straight and could blow hats off if caught right. Broken clouds coming from the Ocean that in the early morning, were watering the plants. They dried up and the sky was mostly blue from directly above, to the north of us, but became solid to the south. There was even a little sunshine during the day. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got to Mom and set up in back. I sat with my dremmel and the steak knives I was making new handles for. With one of them, the blade was not kept into the handle by anything other than glue. Last week I started to drill a hole through the blade to set a pin.
    I pulled the blade out of the handle (The glue I used is rubbery) and started drilling the hole in the open. My brother said the only way you really can drill such holes is to run a rod on the metal until it turns blue, so the temper is taken out of it, then you can drill it. I had some small drill bits. I dulled two of them last week. I put one in the dremmel and set it on a piece of wood and started drilling, and drilling and drilling. I had a lot of pressure on the bit, having tightened the chuck of the dremmel with a wrench so it would not slip. The bit started to glow and I would lower the pressure and it would stop glowing, then I would add pressure to cause it to glow again. The blade was so hot that it was burning an impression in the wood I was using as a backing.
    After a while of letting it spin, I stopped and saw there was a slight dimple on the back. I used a grind stone to level out the dimple, then started drilling again. I did this three times before the bit finally got through the blade. Grinding the dimple made the metal thinner there.
    One of the drill bits had mushroomed on the end. What I did was to put the blade back into the handle, drilled through the other half of the handle, and then dropped that mushroomed drill bit as the pin. The mushroom holding it in place in the hole.
    The handle there had started splitting out so I added pieces of wood to fill in the broken wood below, then added a split piece of oak that matched the handle and glued them in place. This hid the head of the pin so the handle is not going to be coming out. That means the blade is not coming out of the handle.
    Next weekend, I will sand the handle flat, removing the damage I did in adding the blades, and then shaping them.
    I got an idea for something to test. I know that when I spin wood really fast, or rub something fast against it, I can and cause it to blacken. It happens that I have some white buttons that would be better eyes if they had dark centers. I got the idea that if I mounted them on the little lathe, I might be able to blacken the white plastic to make them look more like eyes.
    I took out the little lathe. A lot of stuff have to be moved to open the box. None of it is heavy, but there is a lot of it.
    I set it up and stuck a rounded button into the lathe. I found that post is not round, and it caused the button to be slightly off center. I decided to go with it. A few seconds with a metal rod against it showed me that what it did was remove a coating. I decided to use a marker pen on it instead. The first one came out pretty good. The second one did not come out quite as good as I did not remove the coating and my marker was now damaged. The fibers of the felt tip stopped giving ink. I have a feeling that there is a melting involved on it.
    I then tried another type of button and held it centered around the edge of the button and the marker did poorly on them.  I gave up and tossed the marker. I will use my markings as a guide to mark the buttons by hand.  Mostly what I did was mess up a couple buttons.
    Other doing a few stitches on a dark green teddy bear I started, the only other project involved a tiny piece of wire. I have a nail clipper connected to the bag I use for my carry yarn. The “handle” sometimes slips out from the closed position. I decided to add a slip-wire that I can pull up onto the body of the nail clipper to hold the handle in place.  Two pliers and five minutes solved that project. I should have used better wire but it was at hand and I was almost cleaned up and this was an after-thought. It appears to work.
    I have a number of projects for next week. Much will depend on the weather as to what actually gets done. There is always Crochet for poor weather (or is it pour weather?).
    I will see what I actually do next week.

    All three teddy bears. Somehow the blue blear is smaller than the other two.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Year 16, Week 06, Day One (week 752)

Year 16, Week 06, Day One (week 752)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-28-15 Saturday
    64 degrees early morning 78 afternoon, off and on showers, early morning and late late morning. Mostly cloudy with a few spots of blue. A brisk wind at times. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    During the week, I was adding white around one of the eyes of the first teddy bear. Mom saw it and said No, too cartoonish. She even thought the fact that I had enlarged the eyes on it make it look bad. I removed all the white (it is harder to remove stitching than it is to add it).  I decided I will leave the first two teddy bears as they are for now, at least until I can get around to making clothing for them.
    One of people in the turning club was culling his wood supply and offered it to the turning club. My throttle leg twitched at the idea of getting some more quality wood, then it dawned on me that I have a whole lot of wood already that needs to be used up. From the picture I saw, many of the pieces were beyond the weights I can lift right now. Those are always the best wood to get if you can. Either as big pieces or cut up into chunks, one can do a whole lot with them. I closed the E-mail and went about my business a bit sad...
    We got a late start in the morning and there was a heavy downpour before we headed to breakfast, an hour late. After breakfast, we stopped at one yard sale. They got caught by the shower and many things were wet. They had their moving yard sale last week where I got the sharpening stuff. They said they are about to be moving. That is good to hear.  The man of the house looked at the weather and started packing up as a storm South of us was approaching.
    We then went to a church yard sale. This was in a play field with lots of tree roots. They did not have near as many tables out as they had back in January. I grabbed a few decorative baskets and knick knacks. I was surprised at how low they were selling the stuff I had. Since it was a church, I rounded up and told them to keep the change. Except for some eyes and noses for stuffed animals, everything I got was presents. They had gotten caught by  the early morning storm as many of their stuffed animals were damp.
    I went out back and was petting the kitty cat when Mom suggested we go to Walmart. I got my stuff under cover and we headed out.
    I walked several of the grocery isles, then went directly to the craft section. That is always dangerous. The yarn is so pretty. I already have a life-time supply of yarn and don’t need more. I went to the button section and looked at the buttons they had on display. I grabbed some black buttons, the ones that attach on a post in back. I also picked up some waterproof wood glue and some GOOP brand adhesive. It said it was waterproof and good for woodso I decided to give it a try.
    The store has skylights and the storm hit and the skylights roared. Mom later said that people would be heading out and stop at the look at the hard downpour.
    I visited several isles in the camping and tool isle, got to the front, then went all the way back again to the craft area. I decided the buttons are way too big for the teddy bears I am doing. I put them back and looking a bit closer, I found some tiny red buttons that are supposed to be lady bugs.
    I got back to the front, went through the Easter section and then sat down at Pharmacy where they had some chairs. I was wore out. I called mom on the cell and found she was just a short distance away. The storm had stopped and I was glad to sit down in the car to head home.
    We all napped for a short time, me about half an hour, then I went out back and set up the table and my tools. I took the knife handles I made last week. The blades came out easily. I took the handles to the disk sander and sanded the sides of the knife handles nice and smooth, making sure nothing was there to prevent adhesion when I glued it again. I made sure they were perfectly smooth.
    When the outsides were exactly what I wanted, I popped them in half. My attempts last week were rather poor so it came apart easily.
    I made a quick stop at Ace Hardware to get a rivet that would be perfect to hold the blade in. I make a point to try to find it myself since one never knows what else one might find. The rivets were too short. I could have used them but was not ready for that. I finally asked for help. I had already found a screw that was the right size, and he showed me the nuts. I only needed two but knowing how things drop and disappear, I got an extra pair. These steak knives are not even worth the sixteen cents worth of hardware, but it is a project I had decided to try. I figure what I learn here will help on a real project.
    When the outsides were exactly what I wanted, I popped them in half. My attempts last week were rather poor so it came apart easily. I then marked the where the tang of the blades go into the handle and this time used several dremmel bits to cut deep into the wood so the blade was below the surface.
    After I had both sets exactly the way I wanted for the blade to fit, I applied the GOOP glue. I realized quickly that it was not really what I wanted to use. It is a bit more rubbery. The waterproof wood glue would have worked better, I think. I had committed myself to it so I used it. I found that somehow I broke the tang on one blade right where the screw would hold the blade in place. I ran a shaft through each hole to line them up and got the handles the way I wanted them and applied clamps and set them to the side.
    I worked a bit on the crochet of the blue teddy bear. I am now working on the second half of the body, about to finish the first leg. It won’t be too long before I can start stitching this teddy bear up.
    I plan to work more on the knives tomorrow. I will have to see how the day goes with other plans that might crop up.

Year 16, Week 06, Day Two (week 752)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-29-15 Sunday
    74 degrees early morning, 85 afternoon. Dry air, no humidity, Some wetness to the south as I drove to Mom’s but the rough clouds disappeared into mostly  blue sky and sunshine.  It was nice. There was a brisk breeze that would blow around lightly filled plastic bags. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    I started the morning with a small project. I dug out all the beads and buttons I could find and sorted through them. I consolidated my beads into one place and put them in a place I will totally forget about later. I did not have any beads that were good for teddy bear eyes. I can live with that. There is a Bead and Bauble show on Public Television and I catch that periodically.  It has given me some ideas about projects. I never will do them, but it is nice to have ideas.
    I then went through all my buttons. I found the buttons I had purchased years ago as eyes for my duck, chicken, and turkey bowls. These are brown with concentric lighter rings, perfect for eyes.
    I had a jar of buttons I got at a yard sale many years ago. I dumped it out and searched through them. I first removed the really big buttons and put them back in the jar since they were only good for teddy bears that an adult could hug. I sorted down the sizes of buttons until I had mainly fairly small ones. Finally, I picked out the buttons that attach by a post in back rather than through holes in the surface. I found I had quite a few buttons that would pass for eyes in black and in white. There were a few that were interesting which included a blue cloth center. Those would be good for larger teddy bears.
    Back mid last year, I had visited a yard sale where the woman had about six jars of buttons.  I was proud that I had walked away from them, not getting them. Seeing what I have for eyes for teddy bears,  I am suddenly kicking myself for not getting them. I have enough buttons for eyes of several dozen teddy bears, but if I keep making stuffed animals, I will run out. Now I wished I had all those jars of buttons to give me even more options.
    I took the button eyes to Mom’s house to have a better look at what I have. I have a good selection. I separated them out a little bit so the ones I want will be easier to find.
    I took the knife handles I prepared and started preparing them for the screws. The head needed to be set in, and the same for the nut. I had to cut part of the hole larger so the nut would be set into the wood. I was a bit lazy and chose to use several of my dremmel bits to make the holes bigger. The proper way to have done it was to go to the drill press and use the correct sized bit and drill it that way. The way I did it, I had to make some adjustments to get the screw and nut to fit. After I started the threads on the nut, I drove the nut into the wood so the wood would hold it, then I cinched the screw and nut tight on both knives. I finally used a chain saw sharpening bit to grind the end of the bolt down to the nut. I have a little more to do on one of them. I decided to put a pin into the blade of the knife that had the broken tang to help keep it in the handle. I learned something. That metal resists drilling. My brother later told me that what he does is to stick a rod in to that kind of metal and just drill it until the metal turns blue. Then he uses his bit to drill the hole. Blueing the metal takes away the temper which makes it strong and hard. I have more work to do that to this blade.
    I mentioned to my brother that I still had a leak in a fitting on my heater hose. He decided he would fix it. We got some hose of roughly the right length and diameter. And he then took out his copper fittings and built a T fitting that my hose has. I found out that the leak is a fine crack at a impressed marking on the plastic Tee. My brother’s work deals in high pressure fittings so this was easy for him. He had to step down one part of the Tee quite a bit so he got pieces of copper pipe that would fit in to each other until it got to the size that the small hose would fit on. He soldered them, taking the same kind of time he would use for his work. He measured and cut the hoses to fit, and had to use the same small hose as the one we purchased was a bit too big. I sat and watched while he was working with the fittings and handed him things that were out of his reach.
    We put the hose into the truck and with some adjustments, it fit. I had to give him a hand on fitting the hose in, but that was nothing. He could well have done it all himself.
    We spent about forty bucks in parts for something that would have cost a paycheck if done professionally. It does not look like it is leaking. I will know a bit later in the week for sure. I also found out that a little suction hose that goes into the air intake had come loose and was causing my engine to run rough. It is nice to have a brother who has rebuilt several engines when needed.
    I will likely finish up the knives next week. I do hope to finish the blue teddy bear by the end of next weekend. I have loads of wood that are begging to be used in some project or another. Many times, Mom’s plans trumps mine.
     I will have to see what crops up next weekend.

    The buttons selected as eyes. Ones on the cards are specially purchased, used in my bird carvings. They have light colored rings in the dark brown or black backgrounds and pass well as eyes.

The steak knives so far