Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Year 13, Week 41, Day One (week 687)

Year 13, Week 41, Day One (week 687)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-21-15 Saturday

76 degrees at morning dark. 85 degrees at eleven and at three. A line of radar to the North was supposed to come down over us but stalled out. Lots of ultra high feathery clouds, with sheets and mid level blobs from time to time. Light breeze that did not help or harm. A bit of sun after noon. Showers arrived around Three. I had bathed in the morning so I did not make use of the shower.... This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.


I went to the Gold Coast Wood Turning Club meeting for the first time in several months. There were a number of faces I had not seen before. Also a lot of friendly old time faces too. 
They had project challenge this month. These challenges are where they ask people to work on a project they might not normally don’t work on. The previous meeting has a demonstration on how to do the challenge project. The challenge is limited to work done in the past month. During the meeting, They give a raffle ticket to each person who brings in an item for the challenge and draws a ticket for a gift certificate. This time it was on making ornaments. The work was fantastic, making my best work look amateurish. 

We have what is called an INSTANT GALLERY. The pieces you worked on is on display where people can examine them, handle them, look them over. Then, we have a show and tell where the artists comes up in the middle of the meeting and tells what the project is, types of wood, finishes, why and how they made it, etc.  One can learn a lot from the instant gallery at times. There was a lot of excellent projects on display. along with the ornaments.
I brought the drum sticks I made last week just to have something to show off.  The only thing that caught their attention was the fact that they were made out of Sea Grape Wood.

This month’s  demonstration was on NORFOLK ISLAND PINE. Some people misname it as NorFORK Island Pine. This tree has an several interesting features. The branches grow in a circle, then there is a straight section of trunk, then another ring of branches, and does so up the tree. The knots are harder than the regular wood and have a deep reddish brown color and go to the center. The wood has streaks of colors running through it which gives additional interest, especially when soaked in oil. The wood is also soft. When they were discovered, they thought they would be good for ship’s masts. They found out that the trunks sometimes shattered when felled. Not a strong wood. The branches tend to break off during strong windstorms. South Florida used to have them everywhere, but Hurricane Wilma took down a lot and damaged even more, so people have been cutting them down and not replacing them with new trees. Years ago, I gathered a bunch of the branches and carved pixies out of them. Some I left the bark on for added interest. The inner layer of the Norfolk bark will degrade fast and it does not take long where you can put a slit in it and peel it off in one piece. 
The demonstration explained about how to get the knots in the optimal location and adjust for the ones that are too high or too low for an even pattern. He explained about problems and techniques for turning the wood. As usual during these demonstrations, I always think, “I will always remember that,” and then a few days later wonder what that trick or secret was he showed?”


At work, they found a desk buried in the back room. It was bigger than the one I have. Someone decided it would be better for me to have a bigger desk, and there was just enough room for it to fit at least by the tape measure. Of course, I had to do a lot of work to get the office ready for the new desk.
It is surprising how much stuff there is hidden when you have to move it. My old desk came out of the office easily once I showed them how to do it. The new desk was just a hair too big for the doorway. The guys ended up removing the door and then the molding and then just barely got it in. 
It is also surprising how little extra room a bigger desk gives you. Things don’t fit where had them so you make adjustments. Also, a lot of stuff is not yet where it belongs. That will take a little time to make corrections. It is also interesting that when your computer is shut down and disassembled, people need information on it the most....
My time on my feet would have done me in, but I was able to sit the rest of the day and recover nicely while I did my work. I had my workout for the month.....


After Breakfast, we visited two church sales. At one church yard sale which is run mostly by the priest and he has these often. The money goes for some youth projects the church sponsors. I had my hand on some pink yarn, and a coffee grinder. It dawned on me that I have three or four coffee grinders already, and two life-times supply of yarn and quite a bit in that pink color. I did donate a dollar, even though I did not buy anything. “It was the least I could do, I could not come up with less.” I
probably should have gotten the yarn. One thing that crossed my mind is to go through all my yarn and pick out the stuff I will never use and donate it to some group that knits stuff for donations.

At another church yard sale. I think it is one where people rent spaces from the church. I picked up a pair of loaf pans. I don’t need them but since I am thinking of making bread tomorrow, I figure they won’t go to waste. I examined some cross stitch kits but cannot remember who I had heard do that and I don’t want it in my house.

We stopped at a pair of yard sales next to each other. There was one skein of macrame or rug yarn and I picked that up. Yarn that size is always useful but I also know someone who could use it. That yard sale had two complete sets of dishes each in a different color. They also had a bunch of pans, pots and dishes in original boxes. One would love to get such things but I cannot use them!!! Living alone, I barely use what I have.
Next door was another yard sale, but there was nothing there I could not live without. They did have an exercise machine. I joked that it is a medieval torture device. “Confess or you get ten more minutes.”

We decided to head home after that. Being up beyond my normal bed time on Thursday, working hard on Friday, I decided to make up for missing that sleep by taking a nap. It was about nine thirty.
At eleven, I got up and went out back. I was not absolutely sure about how long the weather would hold out, and since I was working on a low mess project, I only moved the lathe out far enough to enough to get behind it. 
I could not get the jaws to open. I could not quite remember which way to turn the jaws to open them, I tried working it both ways and they would not open to release the drive spur I had left in it. These chuck jaws have a hole in the center when fully closed and I sometimes place the drive spur into that hole and close down the jaws on it, rather than remove the chuck and use the “Morris taper” of the shaft. Since the jaw would not work, I took a rod used for ramming stuck drives spurs when using the Morris Tape and banged on it a bunch of times on the back end. 
The drive spur then popped out and disappeared. I could not figure out where it went. It did not sound like hit the ground, but came to a stop on wood by the sound of it. A while later, I did spot it. It somehow fell into a cubby hole where it should never have ended up.

down by the pvc tube is where the drive spur ended up. 

how the spur got in there is something I will never figure out.

After the spur was out, the chuck worked perfectly. I still do not know if I will remember which way it turns. I need to paint on it arrows. I used to know instinctively, but it has been a while since I used it.

I had lost one point, but made a different one for another use. The cup on the right side on the second row is what I used for the drum sticks. The inverted cone naturally centers the work.

I mounted last week’s drum sticks in the lathe. I used a cup “point” in the tail stock and just stuck the end of the drum stick in the closed jaws of the chuck. The end of the drum stick was bigger than the hole of the closed chuck. 
I started, by chance, with the smaller of the two drumsticks. It had a bad wobble so I could not shave it down enough to get rid of all the wobble, yet keep it a good working diameter, but helped it out a lot. I got it to the same size as the drum stick I was copying and got the striking-end shape better than it was. 
I changed to the bigger drumstick and shaved it down to size and got the shape to match the first one. On both of these, I used a round nosed skew to shave the wood to size. In the places I did it right, almost no sanding was necessary. I did not do it right very often.  I sanded the sticks well before I took them off. While there are flaws showing, the results were good. They could use some more sanding, but I am going to use the excuse, at least at this moment, that the sanding scratches are to keep the sticks from slipping out of your fingers....
With both drum sticks to the right size, I mounted on the lathe a sanding disk I made a few years ago. It uses the 9 inch stick-on sandpaper disks. I white-glued a strip of emery cloth on the edge. The disk was originally a two by twelve yellow pine board which I was going to make into a platter, but instead cut it down to the 9 inch diameter of sand paper diameter. I have a faceplate mounted on the back so I can mount it on the lathe with ease. 

Sanding disk on lathe, rough end of drum stick to be corrected.

With the sanding disk on, I worked the butt end of the drum sticks which I could not reach because of the chuck. 
The drum sticks are petty good. They are about an inch longer than normal sticks but that is usually not a serious problem. I figured that it is easier to cut a drum stick shorter, than it is to cut a drum stick longer.

Finished drum sticks next to the one I was copying.

I was more than ready to pack up, but since I had the lathe out, I decided to make use of the opportunity. I took out a piece of two-by-two and made it into a rod. I then measured out for snow-man shapes, I think I made them three inches tall. I also measured for each ball of the body, each one successively larger to the base. Using the round-nosed skew, I shaped the bodies of the snowmen without hats. I had started half an inch from the end to get away from any problems, such as end checking, and decided to make that excess wood into a hat. 
I had seen on line where someone took figures like these where they made them into old ladies, angels, singers etc. I decided to give it a try since I was already at the lathe.

rod partially turned.

round nosed skew chisel I used for the this project.

It had been a while since I did any turning and I have completely lost a lot of the muscle memory I once had. I am finding this is a bit of a good thing. I am rebuilding my muscle memory. I am doing some things the way I am SUPPOSED TO DO, rather than the way I LEARNED it. 
With wood turning. The proper method is to hold the end of the turning tool against your body and move your entire body, shifting from one leg to the other, rather than use your arms to handle the tool. Your arms wobble bend at the slightest pressures while your body is solid. I was depending on my arms for control before this because I was getting results. Especially with making the rod for the snow men bodies, I moved my body, rocking back and forth on my legs. It is surprising how good the results were. For the balls, I would just have to twist and lift the tool to do the curves. It was a whole lot of fun. I am working more from knowledge of how things are supposed to be done which makes a big difference. It will take time to make it a habit

Project rod where I finished up.

Cleanup was tough on me. I was already on me feet longer than I intended.  I had to walk around to find the broom which just happened to be right next to the lathe all along. When I am on my feet a long time, I hurt all over to the point where picking something off the ground is nearly impossible. Of course, everything kept falling to the ground..... 
The ground swept up and everything put away, I took the rest of the day off.  I felt the day’s efforts for the rest of the day, but having accomplished a lot of stuff, It was well worth it.

I am taking tomorrow off to do some work at home. We have Thanksgiving with several days off. I will see what happens next weekend.

Year 13, Week 41, Day Two (week 687)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-22-15 Sunday

78 degrees most of the morning. Showers from a front passing through, clearing for several hours before returning and leaving again. 81 degrees at four. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Sunrise Florida.

I had decided yesterday to make some bread. Bread and noodles are a couple things I only make when I forget how much effort it is to make them. I still remember the effort it takes for making noodles so I have not made them for quite a while. Bread though, I decided, would be something easy to make and would be a bit of fun. 
This morning, after I got up, I started my first batch of fresh bread. I was out of Semolina flour, so I used regular white flour. I mixed and kneaded it, and then set it to the side to rise. I was getting a clue on how much effort is involved in making bread. 
I then started a second batch. I was given some Sweet Sorghum flour, Oat flour, and coconut flour and a leftover bit of whole wheat flour. I started with half the flour a batch required as a good mixture of them (2/3 cup each). I then boiled some mixed grain (19 different grains) and added that to the dough. I finished up the batch with regular white flour. 
The original recipe I am using was from a 1949 cook book. I heavily modified the recipe. It has no resemblance to the original. Instead of scalding raw milk to kill the enzymes. I use canned milk and don’t bother scalding it. I also add a small can of condensed milk for the sweetness, as I found I like my breads sweet. 
To get the bread to the proper consistency (the wet grains added liquid), I had to add much more flour than normal, creating a much bigger batch than required. 
Once I got the multi grain dough settled and rising, I did something different than what I used to do. I took the first batch of white dough and instead of punching it down to let it rise one more time before placing it in the loaf pans, I put the dough directly in the pans to rise the second and now final time. 
I had to leave the house for a while and knew that would give the dough a good chance to rise..
When I got back, the dough in the loaves had risen to past the tops of some of the pans. The multi grain dough was about to overtop the bowl.
I put the white bread into the freezer for later use and then put the multi grain loaves into pans to rise. I would later remove the dough from the pans (which I lined with plastic first) and put them back in the freezer. This way when I get a hankering for some home made bread, I can just thaw and bake it up rather than go through the effort of mixing and rasing it from scratch.

Much later, I baked up the last tiny loaf I had from a few months ago, and then a tiny loaf from each batch I did today. I always like to know what they taste like in case there is a problem. 
The bread is so good that I am not sharing any of the three loaves. The white bread loaf is the best, but the new multi grain has great flavor. I accidentally used the wrong temperature setting on the old loaf and while it came out all right, it is not as good as it could have but still good.   I am learning through experience, that bread is not something that is really easy to do badly. It is hard, though, to do it great.

While there is a lot of work to bake bread, I totally forgot about all the cleanup that is involved. One never seems to remembers the cleanup. At least I won’t have to do it again for several months or more. The dough is in the freezer. I just have to take it out to thaw and then bake them. 
I do see that the risen dough does collapse a little when frozen. I have no idea how or if these will rise when I take them out of the freezer to thaw. I am not worried about them not rising since I usually don’t do anything with the dough when I take it out, just bake it in the same sized pan I used when  I froze them.

We have Thanksgiving next weekend. Years ago, we had them at my brother’s house and would do woodworking. Now we are having them in a condo so no woodworking can be done. I do get an extra day of projects, so the weekend tend to work nicely on that account.

I will see what happens next weekend. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Year 13, Week 40, Day One (week 686)

Year 13, Week 40, Day One (week 686)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-14-15 Saturday

78 degrees at 10:00 in the morning, 72 degrees at 4:00 in the afternoon. The weather radar real early in the morning showed some showers well off the coast that seemed to be going east, away from land. By nine, showers were coming into land from off the ocean and decided to stay for a visit.  It was around three or four that the rain finally faded away, by then the day was done. The plants are really excited that it got well watered. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

After Breakfast, we headed out to yard sale. Mom said the dark clouds to the north and East looked bad. She decided to cut our normal run short and kicked over into Deerfield Beach since the Library there was having a book sale. Mom felt a couple drops at the first yard sale we found. I did not feel anything. Other than some office supplies this yard sale had children’s stuff. They had a baby fence set up and the kids kept going into and out of it, having all sorts of fun.  I did not buy anything.

The second yard sale was in a breeze way at a condominium. I picked up a square,  cast iron, fry pan. I did not need it but it leaped at me and glued itself to my hands. I had to fork over some money or have them use solvents to get my fingers free...  I like cast iron pans. 

Square Cast Iron Fry pan.

We then got to the library where they had the book sale in the nearby building. They had tables and tables of books. I have no need of books as I seldom look at the ones I have, especially after I have read them once. They had signs showing what types of books they had. In spite having several boxes of paper backs and about 40 feet of tables filled with several rows of hard bound books, did not spot any science fiction or fantasy.  
Since that was out, I drifted to “useful” books. In the arts and crafts section of books, I found a book on pottery. In my wood turning, we can use pottery designs for our wood projects. Good design is good design. I was told that you should not use glass as a design pattern as glass handles light differently and it never comes out the same. Pottery, though is an excellent form to copy. 
I found some joke books that will be useful. I love to share jokes. That is why I want everybody to have my choice of politicians. They are all jokes..... Then I picked up a book on “how it works.”  It is printed in 1971, but still has useful information like how nuclear reactors work, foam plastics, engines, electromagnets, to name a few hundred other subjects. The last of the 5 books is a book on numbers. While some of it is a bit lame, other parts are really good. I ended up reading this entire book during the rainy day.

Books from Library book sale.

The rain really came down while we were shopping for books, but died down so we could get to the car and get home reasonably dry. It picked up later, sometimes becoming a torrential downpour. 

I read, took a short nap, read some more. Worked on one of mom’s computers,  And then napped again. I woke and wanted to go outside with the possibility of working, and the sky opened up, telling me to forget that idea.

There is some stuff that has to be moved out into the open in order for me to even work with the lathe under protection. That is not a good idea for that stuff. It was just not going to be a day to do anything. 

Years ago, I tried an experiment I had seen in a magazine. Take a cube of wood and carve a figurine in it. I carved a frog in one of them. It came out pretty good and that carving became my prince frog, in the “fairy and the prince” carving. 
Last night, I had imagined how to use the bandsaw to remove excess wood to make a the carving the rest of the frog ornament easier. I know of a couple people who would like that design. Because of accumulated stuff in the way where the lathe also has to be pulled out just to get to the bandsaw. Again, the weather also said no to that. 

Fairy and the Frog Prince.Frog was carved from a square. The crown added later.

Other than petting and feed the cat, and petting her some more, I accomplished little that was productive today.

I’ve decided to take tomorrow off. I have some projects to do at home which includes napping a few times. 

I will see what happens next weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Year 13, Week 39, Day One (week 685)

Year 13, Week 39, Day One (week 685)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-07-15 Saturday

78 degrees early morning 92 in the afternoon. Loads of cloud puffs in the morning with Southern dots of rain, blue sky in the afternoon. Light breeze almost unnoticed. Because of the time change, the sky was almost light enough to not need headlights. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After breakfast, we hit a few yard sales. One was nearby, but the lady was just getting her stuff out.  I glanced through a few of her boxes and did not see anything I could live without. My problem was that I don’t decorate. She had books and a couple seemed interesting, but I really don’t have time to read the books I have, let alone other reference books. 
We went to a set of yard sales in the yachting part of town. Both sides of the road was lined with two story mansions. Drool-worthy homes, to say the least, and that is just on the outside. Two yard sales were across the street from each other. Not much there. One has to look “just in case”
The properties are wide. Three to four times the width of normal properties. I saw that the other yard sale was “Just a few houses” up the road. I decided to walk there rather than get into the car and ride with mom while she turned around and drove up there, which she had to do anyway. It turned out to be a longer walk than I expected. I needed to do some walking, but.... Mom arrived not too much after I did.
I found a pair of the tubes for making shaped breads. I have seen them at other yard sales at other times. I just never decided to get them. Out of curiosity, I asked the price. She did not have a chance say another word other than Thank You, as I handed her my money. The instructions say they come in a set of three. A heart shape, a star shape and a ripple shape. The star shape is missing, I don’t mind. With these, you put your dough in the tubes and then bake them. The dough expands and fits the shape of the tube. One can then cut them into decorative slices of bread. I periodically make bread so this is something I might try.

Bread tubes, heart shaped and rippled.

A church had a craft fair. I seldom buy anything at these but it is fun to see the skills and imagination of these crafters. One woman made outfits for Barbie style dolls and for Teddy bears. They had trees of hand made ornaments. One that was interesting was they took the tiny decorative pots, hung them upside down and painted them to look sort of like a snowman. Another I liked was where they took a golf ball, added a long golf tee to the bottom like an icicle, and then painted a face on it. It was actually cute. Other ornaments were nice, but I was looking for ideas for me to make. That craft fair was nice to go through. They also had “do nots” I mean donuts for sale.... I am not into sweets.

When we got home, I decided to lay down. I laid for about half an hour and napped for about ten minutes Then decided I needed to do some work outside.

After petting the cat, pulling out my lathe and all the stuff that was in the way, sharpening some tools, I tackled the two Sea Grape rods I had for drum sticks.
My memory for how to sharpen tools was a whole lot better this time. A couple tools I sharpened, needs more work, but I was able to get several edges to where they were usable. It is surprising how one week improved my memory. 
I mounted the first rod onto the lathe and worked it down to the proper diameter. I started at the tail stock and made my way toward the head stock. I tested a couple tools and chose a tool with a flat top and a rounded nose that seemed to work best at sheering the wood off. At the start it was easy as the wood was held firm and steady, but as I got to the middle, the rod started flexing under the pressure of the tool. It also started vibrating.  The vibrating creates ripped surfaces which are not pretty.
What I need is what is a device called a Steady Rest. This is basically a frame with two or three wheels aiming towards the center. You set the wheels to a rounded piece of work so that when you apply pressure to the work, the work does not flex. The wheels hold it in place. If I had that, the work would stay straight and not vibrate. Other than constantly having to relocate the steady rest for where I want to work, it would make the work faster and better. I know how to make one, but given a choice of working on a steady rest or a project, the project always wins.
From the time I decided to get up from my nap, until the first rod was the right diameter and rough sanded, was an hour. I sat down for a couple minutes to rest, and then decided I might as well get the second rod done so I can say I did something today. I was already over-doing it for my physical condition.  It was an effort to pick up something that fell to the ground. I set up the second rod and started working on it to get it down to size. I finished it about twenty minutes later. Some very recent experience helped. 
I did have the problem that the rods would flex, the tool would go beneath it, and get dragged into the work in. My left hand, being closest to the work, would get pulled against the work. Ouch. Try as I might, I could not quite prevent that from happening once in a while. I would get some wood off, then the work would bounce up and in came the tool. A steady rest would have prevented that problem, of course. I did though, get both pieces to close to the right diameter. 

We went out to the Chinese buffet for lunch. I avoided over eating for once. I knew exactly what I wanted.
When we got back, I went right back outside and since the weather was good, I remounted each rod, rather than cleaning up immediately, and shaped the tips. On one, I made a mistake and broke the striking end of the drum stick. I made the other drum stick and got the end shaped right. After some thought, I disk-sanded the end flat until I was past the splintered wood, and then fitted it into the tail stock (the whole stick was now shorter). Luckily, I had more wood excess left on the handle end that I had not needed but also not had removed, so I worked the wood back until I had the proper length. I then shaped the tip so it was close to the other drum stick’s ends. 
One problem I found was that the wood had developed a wobble in the process, which changed over time, and that made it hard to get it really smooth and straight. 
I will say that at the moment, I am at that level of woodworking that 32 grit sandpaper was invented for. Heavy sanding can correct all sorts of blunders as long as you are willing to sand and sand and sand..... After I had the sticks shaped, I bandsawed the excess wood off and sanded the ends smooth. 
I tested them at night and found the sticks. They are a bit too fat and the ends don’t bounce right on the drums. I need to re-mount them in the lathe and clean them up. My tail stock has many kinds of removable points, some that have points that stick in, some are shaped to cup the work. I need to use a cup type point that goes to an angle inside – self centering. The handle end will go into the chuck to spin it and I should be able to remove the excess diameter and should correct some wobble errors that they have.

he two drum sticks along with the end that I broke.

I definitely over-did it today. I still have a way to go to build up my strength and endurance.  I do figure that the more I do, the stronger I should get. 

I will have to see what shape I am in tomorrow. I would like to work on the drum sticks but will have to see what happens.

Year 13, Week 39, Day two (week 685)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-08-15 Sunday

78 degrees at about 10. Never checked the afternoon temps. Heavy puffy clouds with a few dots of rain rushing by in various places to the south early morning. It was dry where I was. The clouds spaced out quite a bit in the afternoon and seemed continuously sunny. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

My brother came up and since I was recovering from yesterday, we just sat and talked. We did check a few things out on my truck. He made some suggestions of what I should get in case of an emergency and to be able to do more with it.. 
He is trying to get rid of some materials he accumulated so he says he will see about making a new cart for my lathe, but will use aluminum. He needs practice on welding aluminum anyway. We need to eliminate the wood I have used for the cart as the bugs are loving it.. 

I will have to see what happens next week.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Year 13, Week 38, Day One (week 684)

Year 13, Week 38, Day One (week 684)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
10-31-15 Saturday

76 degrees early morning, 85 in the afternoon, closely spaced patchy clouds in the morning with the sun peeking through south of due west, changing to blue skies to the North and patchy clouds to the South in the afternoon. Very light breeze, almost unnoticeable. Sunshine nearly all day long.  I’ve noticed the past few weeks that it is still dark when I get to Mom’s house at 6:30.This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

It dawned on me this week that I have not started on my Christmas Ornaments. Each year, I try to create four designs of Christmas Ornaments and try to make a dozen of each. I try to have them done by the end of November. I had given the project a slight thought over the past couple months, but this week, I realized November was about here and I had not come up with any designs. I try never to repeat what I had done before. People who get them regularly get tired of some designs. 
I logged on-line and searched DOGPILE.COM, GOOGLE.COM, LYCOS,COM and WEBCRAWLER.COM. I typed ORNAMENTS in the search and clicked IMAGES. I searched through all the ornaments they had on display. Most were round ornaments, though some were decorated kind of nice. If I had time, I could turn some and do some interesting work on them. Some other designs could be done on the lathe but that is not what I was after. I am carving the ornaments, not turning them. I am also using 2"X2" sticks of wood, which limits the sizes of my designs.  Out of 28 to 38 pages of ornaments with each search engine, I got three basic ideas. 
One is where someone took real paint brushes and decorated with faces, Santa belts and other things. I thought I could carve some paint brushes and then carve and paint decorations on them. Lame once you think about it, but it was an idea.  These would be on the level of quality as the sox and mittens I made last year. They filled in for a design but not great.
Another is to do different kinds of crosses. I’ve made a few crosses before. Not much to them.
The third design is based on the basic turned snowman body  shape. They had them decorated as old ladies, Santas, angels and people. With these, they added the arms to the bodies and the hands were holding things like trays or books. Previously, I have carved snowmen with arms but the arms were carved on. These were like rods or dowels that were shaped and then attached.
I had promised myself to make new Sea Grape drum-sticks. Considering my lost skill levels and physical limitations, it is going to take some time to finish so I figure  the ornaments are out for this year. 

Mom did not expect any yard sales today, as in previous years she had yard sales during Halloween and had no traffic. After we got home from breakfast, I decided to go out on my own. I traveled nearly all our yard-sale rabbit runs. The first two I went through had nothing. I was starting to think that Mom might be right. Since I was near the far end of another rabbit run, I went down that path.
I got into Deerfield Beach and found one yard sale. Nothing there to pick up. I then found four yard sales in Lighthouse Point (you cannot tell the difference between the two areas as they are all expensive homes along the canals). It was fun to look at the wares at the yard sales,  but not much that was worthy of buying. I am not decorating and that was mostly what they had. At one sale, I found a pair of folding display tripods. I had no idea if they were any good, but grabbed them anyway because the price was good. Once I showed how they set up,  Mom snatched them from me before I could get a picture. 
Near the end of that area, a section I tend not to go into, I found some cookie cutters. They also had some Star Wars cookie cutters and I did not get them. I am kicking myself for not snapping them up. I was in a super cheep mood at that moment and thought better of getting them.
I then hit two more rabbit run sections, since they started near where I ended the last one,  and found two more yard sales, one in each, and got nothing in either one. 
Mom was right, there was very little in the way of yard sales today. I’ve visited three of the yard sales before during the past year. It was a lot of driving to say the least.

After relaxing for a short time, I went out to the back yard. There was a lot of stuff between me and pulling the lathe out. I found out that it was not to be as bad a job as I thought. I got the lathe out. That thing looks pretty sad. The bed of the lathe, the rails that the head stock, tool rest and the tail stock slide on, has a bad coat of surface rust. It needs serious cleaning. The last time I saw it, the rust was just a bright surface powder. Now it looks like I might have to sand to clean it up. Luckily, I was able to move the tail stock and tool rest to where they needed to be while I worked.
All my turning tools are also in sad shape. Years ago, I took a small engine repair class. The instructor showed a set of points in a sealed package. He said that anywhere else in the country, you could open the package and stick it in the engine and it would run perfectly. Here in Florida, the salt in the air is so bad that when you open the sealed packages, you have to clean the points before you use them. Now consider items where the salt air has easy access to the surfaces like my lathe and tools. 
I tried sharpening one bowl gouge that has what is called a Fingernail Grind, where the sides are flat and meld into a rounded tip. I messed up while grinding it. It will have to be fixed later. I took one of my first bowl gouges, that has a standard grind on the tip and, after messing up at first, I FINALLY remembered how to sharpen it. It is now passably sharp. It is horrible sharpening job but it is able to do a rough cut, which was what I was going to do in the first place.
The two sticks of wood I was working with, Sea grape, are not square, and are really rough. One was almost diamond shaped. I punched what I decided would be the center of the wood on each end and then mounted the wood on the lathe. 
They were mounted in what is referred to as “Between Centers”, where a drive spur at the motor end has blades that stick into the wood beside the point, and turns the piece of wood, and the tail stock has a point that is mounted in a bearing that spins with the wood that holds the wood on the other end. 
I rounded both sticks, first knocking off the sharp corners working toward the head stock from the far end, and then rounded the piece as I moved to the tail stock. They are not absolutely round as there are bad spots still visible. One still has some bark showing. 
The two sticks are about four or five inches longer than I need for drum sticks and both are bigger in diameter than needed. One stick is much bigger in diameter than the other. 
While turning, some skills came back to me as I worked while other skills will require me to practice to retrieve them. I know that my turning tool, not being sharpened right, hurt my technique. I was happy just to do some turning after a long time and remove some wood.

first piece of wood to be turned. Notice the corners
the head stock is the far end, the tail stock is the near end.
The surface of the rails between them is supposed to be shiny steel.

first piece of wood rough turned and still on the lathe.
you are looking at the tail stock and the bowl gouge I used to turn it.

The second piece of wood mounted on the lathe to be turned.

The two rough-turned pieces of wood. the one on the left still shows some bark on the surface, testifying that neither piece is completely round.

After rounding the two pieces of wood, I looked at the project of cleaning up. I decided my legs had already had it and I could not have cleaned up even in an emergency such as oncoming  rain. I hobbled into the house and decided to lay down for a nap as the best way to rest my legs.

beetle larva caused saw dust from beneath the lathe base.

Total sweepings from the lathe area and the sawdust from the turning. Each paver is a twelve inch by twelve inch block.

Half an hour later, I got up and my legs felt good, so I went out and cleaned up. 
One problem is that wood boring beetles have been having fun with the wood base of my lathe stand. The base is 3/4 inch plywood and I have some three by threes mounted beneath the plywood. I also have wheels that I can tip up so the lathe is able to sit solidly for really out-of-round work. I seldom use that feature and let the lathe stand on the wheels so I can move it around.  The metal frame of the lathe stand is screwed to the plywood base. That base, and likely the wood I have stored in the stand, has wood boring beetle larva pigging out in them. The evidence is the pile of sawdust that developed on the ground beneath where it stands. 
I really need to disassemble the lathe and the stand and replace all the wood, clean the lathe parts sanding where needed, and make sure everything is lubricated that needs lubrication. That would likely be a multi-day project. I am not looking forward to that. I likely would need help and that is even less likely. 
The wind blew leaves into the area the lathe is kept, along with sand and other debris. It had been a few months since the lathe had been moved.  I swept up that entire area so it looks somewhat clean and ended up with a nice pile of leaves and sawdust. 
I put everything away and felt fairly good when I went back into the house, job done.

It is frustrating to not be able to stand long enough to do a full project, and it is also frustrating to have forgotten how to sharpen tools (I’ve remembered some of it since) but it was nice to actually get some work done for once. 

After lunch I napped a little more and was feeling good again. I went to a local Dollar store and “yard sailed” new. I was after something specific but could not remember what it was. I recognized it instantly when I saw it and was able to get out of there at only six bucks. While in line, an artist was telling about a Medusa costume he was making for someone. He had some toy snakes and a metal mesh basket. He said the basket was to be used to give the right texture he was after. My presumption would be that he would use the mesh to block a spray of paint giving nice edges to the scales. The toy snakes were to be put in her hair. Since he said he had needed MORE snakes, I figure he had a whole bunch of them already and just needed a few more. I like the way he was thinking. I would have loved to have seen the finished costume.
I walked the entire store, which is a nice sized dollar store. I then went to a True Value store, that used to be Ace Hardware, and walked a third of that to find a replacement light switch for at home. When I will replace that, I will have to see. I don’t think my breakers are marked so I will finally learn which goes to some of the parts of the house. When I got back to Mom’s house, I rested until it was time to go.

I went to a meeting in the evening and walked around a bit and stood around some while there. I also had to park quite a ways from the building. When I got home, I knew I had done enough walking around.  I had pushed it far enough by the time I got home.

I hope to work on the drum sticks tomorrow. 

I will see what actually happens tomorrow.

Year 13, Week 38, Day Two (week 684)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-o1-15 Sunday

86 degrees, loads of sun. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

Since I was gone during the early dark, I never saw any trick-or-treaters last night. 
I got up very early in the morning, like I normally would for work, before I changed my clocks. My legs let me know they were not happy about yesterday. I decided that since I had not enough sleep, I went back to bed. I got up a bit later, hit the internet, and went back to bed. At that time, my legs were still bothering me. When I finally got up officially, my legs were not complaining near as much so I knew I could face the day. 

When I got to Mom’s house, we decided to go out to dinner with some friends. I considered skipping that and working on projects, but my tummy and my legs overruled me. Two hours later, I had to get going and headed home. 

I have a practice that if I have to go someplace, I like to locate the place days before, to make sure I am not searching for it while late for an appointment. I had an appointment on Thursday  at a place I have never been to before. On the way home I tried to locate it. I went past the place three times before I finally found it. I was given a description and still missed it. It was a nine story building standing all by itself. This is why I like to locate the place ahead of time. This has happened to me many times over the years and it caused me to develop this practice of finding the place ahead of time. It is really bad when you are far away from the place you are supposed to be and still searching for it when your appointment arrives.  Now that I know where it is and how to get to it, I will get there directly and on time for the appointment. 

I got home and the sand man held some of his magic sand in front of my face and asked me what it smelled like......  When I woke, it was too late to do anything around the house. 

I do hope I will be more productive next weekend. I will have to see.

I forgot I had this on my wall. I think this was an advertisement from 1995. If you noticed, computer prices absolutely never change, they just get faster and bigger.