Sunday, December 25, 2016

Year 16, Week 50, Day One (week 881)

Year 16, Week 50, Day One (week 881)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-17-16 Saturday

Lots of patchy clouds, breeze, 82 as a high, some sunshine, threats of showers that never materialized. The weather reports said horrible weather, but it turned out nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 


I was moving a bunch of stuff around and did not have time to even think of woodworking. We had showers off and on all day long. I transported some bins on Saturday beneath a tarp. I accidentally pulled the tarp off, with water on top, and some water got into the bin containing a land line phone, keyboard, speaker, mouse. The phone and mouse died. Ick!!!
This was the kind of weather that kills any desire to work outside.


Because of the weather report, I was not expecting much in the way of yard sales, but with the lack of anything on radar, we decided to head out and have a look. Mom drove.
We had a need of some lamps. We found five yard sales, and it seamed like lamps were on discount. It could well that there were lamps at many yard sales over the months, but since we were not looking for them, we did not see them. They seemed to be everywhere. We found all the lamps we needed at a very nice price when we compared our notes at the end of the yard sale run. 
I had my hands on a number of interesting things. I avoided several stuffed animals, along with a small bag filled with beany babies. Their crying for a new home almost made me cry and give in to get them. The bag had a turkey in it that was really cute. I had it in my hand three times. I had to walk away to keep from snapping up all the stuffies they had. 
One yard sale had some “mighty fine” 72 inch long clamps. It was also hard to walk away from them. I am not quite ready to get clamps that big. Maybe in a couple months.

When we got back, I started on my Christmas cards. I paint my cards each year and in some years, I have made as many as 50 of them. I played around with six cards, looking for an acceptable design, a couple were mistakes that I will work around, like I laid the card out flat, rather than folding it and painting it, so the base of the picture is on the wrong side of the card... 
I then picked out 25 card blanks and painted what would work as a background, two main colors, then a third color to add texture and interest to the surfaces, then I added the main image element on all of them. That finished the day of work. 

I wanted to work on some projects in wood, mainly sanding and finishing a bunch of my platters, but working on the Christmas cards, which is a serious priority as I have to give them out starting Monday (and still have to paint at least another batch quickly, maybe even two) woodworking took a backseat to what had to be done.

I intend to work on the cards more tomorrow. 
I will see what else has to be done. 

Year 16, Week 50, Day Two (week 881)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-18-16 Sunday

Weather reported to be poor, but actually quite good after about ten in the morning. 82 high, nice light breeze, some sun and lots of clouds. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

When I got to Mom’s house, She suggested we go out for lunch. That killed the day for wood working. It always does.

The artwork on this batch of my Christmas cards is almost done. Just a couple piddly details to do on the graphic. I have to do all the lettering on them on the back and inside, so I have a lot of work to do, but will work on that tomorrow. Some will be given out tomorrow night and through the week. I have to get started on another batch as soon as possible as I have more people to give to than the cards I already have made. I am not exactly sure how many I am giving out, but I would rather have extra left over than run out. Some will have to be mailed, but those will arrive late.
As it is, I need at least two more weeks to do all that I have to do this week. This batch of cards are not bad, but I know that if I had more time, I could do a whole lot better. 

I will see what I do next weekend. I do know I will be busy.

The white background cards were the experiments. 
I had already given out a bunch of cards when I took this picture. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Year 16, Week 48, Day One (week 879)

Year 16, Week 48, Day One (week 879)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-03-16 Saturday

75 degrees early morning, 80 at ten, 79 at three. Mostly clouds but with a tiny bit of sun. A comfortable breeze most of the day. These are the temps I love most. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

You sort of hope there are Wall to Wall yard sales at times, but they tend to be spaced out, which is nice that you get to rest in between them. We did find a few where several families were involved or side by side yard sales. These are always more fun. During this period of the year, you have people making room for new stuff they might get for Christmas, and you have people trying to get money to buy presents. Many yard sailors are after Christmas gifts. 
Yard sales Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. The people who visit yard sales on Friday tend to be referred to as Dealers. They are gathering items cheep to resell them elsewhere. In our county, we have a drive-in movie theater that doubles as a swap shop. A lot of the dealer are getting the stuff to sell at the swap shop. Also, people who are not working, like house wives shop on Thursdays. 
Saturday is the main yard sailing day where most people who could not go on Friday are out. Dealers tend to start very early in the morning and many people say they were bought out early in the morning. Regular people and those that work on Fridays, go a little later in the morning and on till closing. Most yard sales pack up between one and four O’clock, if the weather is good. 
Sunday yard sailors tend to be opportunists. I, for example, drive toward’s mom’s house following a portion of my yard sailing path just in case someone has a yard sale out.  Most people don’t go yard sailing or put out yard sales because of football games or church or other activities. The people who look for yard sales on Sunday tend to be opportunists. They just happen to see the sales. 
Mom had to make a couple stops along the way so she drove the entire loop. We do have different driving techniques and cut some areas off for different reason. Two yard sales we visited, I have been to before, and they recognized me. 
At one yard sale, I found a set of long BBQ tools and decided to get them. This was an excellent set. Mom is suggesting that we do a BBQ Christmas rather than the normal turkey. These will be useful if we do. 
I almost picked up a container of beads and stuff, but Mom talked me out of them. She then pointed to cookie cutters and I got them instead. It was a good cookie cutter set.
I had my hands on many items during the different sales and forced myself to walk away. It is sad, at times. 

Back home, I went out back with the intention to do some wood working.  There was a lot of playing around in the process. 
I pulled my lathe out and mounted one of the platters I made into the lathe. I took my drill and put a sanding disk in it. I then spun the platter at the lowest speed and sanded the surfaces. I cleaned up a lot of bad tool work, but they still need more. I then mounted a second platter onto the lathe. 
When I first made some of these platters, I found they were warping while I was making them as I removed the excess wood. Wood, by nature, is under stress. As you remove the thickness of the wood, the remaining wood relaxes. If it remains thick, the relief will be minor, If you make the piece thin, there might be a lot of bending because the material holding it in shape is gone. Some wood are more stable, with less flex, than others. Also different parts of the wood will stress more than others. The platters are from wood right next to the center, and a few have had the center pass right through the wood. The wood around the center has a different stress than the wood on the far edges. 
I learned on the early platters that It is best for me to shape the inside/top of the platter first, as not much wood comes out of the project there, and then do the outside/bottom of the platter second. One can correct for some flexing while removing the excess wood. Also not many people look at the bottom of plates. 
A few of my platters are in sad shape as I could not cut them cleanly. One part of the platter curves up into the tool, and then another part pulls away from the tool. The tool then catches air before it hits the surface again, and then digs into the area where the surface is rising again. It makes for a really sloppy surface. Watching the piece spin, the amount of out-of-flat was more than the thickness of the platter.
The warped platter was a real challenge to sand. I finally gave up as both platters need more work and I was getting tired of standing. I did make a big difference on both of them. 

I sat down at the table with my paints and painted the crowns of my angels. The bright yellow passes as gold halos. There is no face on these. I decided no face was better than any face I could possibly add. 
I started these angels back in January and then got sidetracked. The first few have butterfly wings as I could not remember what angel wings looked like at that time. Then I remembered that they were supposed to look like bird wings so I made a bunch more with the right wings. 

I then addressed my paint brush ornaments. My plan was to have it look like the brush was dipped in paint and then decorate the brush body. The examples I based this concept on was with real paint brushes where they painted faces and Santa Belts and other things on the brush body. I decided that I would paint the handle and the dipped paint the same color. 
Once I had added the paint, I talked with Mom and she suggested I just say Merry Christmas on them. Her idea was Christmas on one side and Merry on the other, rather than doing the faces and other things that was my original design. Since it was too late to do anything, I decided to save that part when I get back to work. 

I have a collection of ornaments from over the years that I add my new ornaments to and show them off at work. People love looking at them.  I tend to bring them at the beginning of December and I am on time for these two sets of ornaments.  Many of the new ornaments end up being gifted.  I have made extras of some designs which is why I have extras of some designs. 

I really wanted to do a couple other ornament designs. I don’t see starting them until after the first of the year. I am thinking that a set of the platters would be a good present for someone. I have to get them properly sanded in time. I basically have two weekends to get them done. 

Sundays tend not to be spectacular for working, but I will see what I do tomorrow.

 Year 16, Week 48, Day Two (week 879)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-04-16 Sunday

Unbroken clouds, mainly individual grey puffs stuck together in a sky wide traffic jam. In the afternoon, they fixed part of the traffic jam and blue sky started appearing between some of them, and I actually saw a bit of sun. I also had to turn my wipers on twice for tiny accumulating dots while on the road home.  75 degrees early morning, 80 in the afternoon.  Light breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism. 

I decided to unload my truck of some items that have been in there for over a year. I have more to do but I removed a lot of stuff. I tended to have to take an armload of stuff and then come back for more. Lots of walking. It adds up quickly. 

I helped mom with a quick project, before I sat down and finished my brush ornaments. I wrote Merry Christmas on them. The first one I made had one of the words on each side. I then decided to put the words on the same side, both sides. I like that better. There are many other tools to use, but I used a Stabillo to write the words where the metal part of the brush would be, and also put the date and name on the side of the handle. I sort of wished I had taped each one off and hit the metal part with silver paint. It would have made them look a tiny bit nicer. There sometimes is never time to do things perfectly. 
I choose designs that are simple. One design I experimented with back in January was a frog. It quickly showed to be way too much work for the design I was after. I try to do a dozen of each type of ornament and also try to do four different designs. Some years I fail at making four designs or a dozen of some designs. Last year I did not make any. I am happy I do have two designs, but do wish I made more. 

Next weekend, I should do more sanding on my platters, possibly get all eight to closer to an acceptable finish. I still have the posts in the middle of the platters that will have to be ground off, cleaned and sanded. I am making use of the posts to do the sanding of the outside of the platters. The more finishing I can do with power, the better it will be. 

I will see what I do next weekend. 


BBQ tools

I had some other cookie cutters at hand so I combined all the metal ones for this picture.

These are the plastic cookie cutters I had on hand.

Paint brush ornaments.

Angel ornaments

Friday, December 2, 2016

Year 16, Week 47, Day One (week 878)

Year 16, Week 47, Day One (week 878)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-24-16 Thursday

80 degrees as a high, partly sunny with lots of clouds blocking the sun’s view of me. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism. 


I took the morning lackadaisically. Other than making some flavored coffee and placing them in insulated pitchers, I did not start getting ready to head out for my ten o’clock leaving time until after nine. 

Last week, I had picked up a Sony Tablet at a yard sale. Buying electronics at a yard sale is usually not a good idea as you never know what is wrong with it. I have gotten items that were paperweights, but have gotten a few gems. The price was low enough to chance it. It is fairly old. It said that the Sony Bookstore was closed in 2014 and directed you to KOBO BOOKS Having used a more advanced tablet, I was able to work how to use it quickly. It is a full tablet but is slow and limited.
Except for some preliminary working with it during the week, At my brother’s house, where we were having Thanks Giving Dinner, I played around with the tablet to learn more about what it could and could not do. I downloaded several books from and got them. I had downloaded them in three formats. I need to find out what format this thing uses by downloading only one format and seeing if it loads. I tried downloading a game but found out that it is not an Android platform so it won’t run the games. There are other APPs I won’t bother trying. 
Now I can call my doctor for an appointment as he told me “Take two tablets and call him in the morning.” I now have two tablets so the call will be soon...
Other than some other on-line stuff, I accomplished nothing that did not involve food and family. 

Year 16, Week 47, Day Two (week 878)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-25-16 Friday

Some radar blips off the coast were something to watch and strong gusts blowing bags around. We had lots of sun with some small puffy clouds and high feathers. Sunshine most of the time but dodged behind the clouds periodically once it got high enough in the sky. Temps went from 76 before sun-up, to 83 at noon, then 80 at three as the sky developed more clouds. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

I had problems getting to sleep last night so I was tired when I got to Mom;’s house. There were no yard sales today, so after breakfast, I went out and petted the kitty and then napped for about an hour.

My main project was to finish the lathe base. Last week I installed the 2x4 base and now had to install the wheels and support blocks. 
One little problem I ran into instantly. The old hardware was designed for 3/4 plywood. I am using thicker stock so a lot of the bolts and screws don’t fit. 
I made a run to the local Tru-Value store, which was once an Ace Hardware and will be referred to as Ace Hardware, likey forever. Easier to remember and say. I found the hardware I needed and headed home. I then realized I made a mistake. The pipe clamps that hold the axles on has two bolts holding them. I only got four bolts, one for each pipe clamp. I had to go back. When I went the first time, Mom had asked me to fix something on the bench and I picked up lag bolts that were way too long. I went back and picked up more of the same lag bolts I picked up for my use.. 
I might have been able to use lag bolts to hold the wheels on, but I decided to use bolts and nuts like it was originally designed. My mental plans said to use lag bolts to hold the support blocks in place. The support blocks are for when I lift the levers on the wheels. The wheels lift up out of the way and the whole lathe sits down on the support blocks. Later, I push down on the levers and the wheels force themselves down to the ground and levers the lathe up until it is supported by the wheels. I have locks that swing into place to hold the levers in place. A long time ago, my brother had welded the axle/lever arrangement that has the swivel wheels attached to them. 
The idea of dropping the lathe off the wheels is in case I am working with a really out-of-balance piece. The lathe is not likely to walk away while spinning the piece. I have heard about guys who worked on pieces where the lathe would actually lift up a little and move around while they are working on it so they actually bolted their lathes to the floor. I have not worked with any wood that bad, but this levered wheels are  designed to correct for that just in case. 

Along with attaching the wheels and the blocks, I added a wood plate that the levers will tip down to as a stop, and two sticks of wood that turn to hold the levers down when the wheels are up. 
I was using a big screwdriver this time so I would not get a blister in the palm of my hand like I got last time. I am not sure what I did with my driver bits, and decided not to try to use the drill to power the screws in and out. I did it by hand. 
I ran into a problem. I was using a crescent wrench and it disappeared. I looked everywhere and ended up having to use pliers instead to drive in nuts. And lag bolts. Not as easy. (Edit: I found it a couple days later in my pocket)

I originally planned on lifting the lathe base up onto some chairs to get it to a good working height when having to work on the top side of the two by fours. Just tipping the lathe (cast iron bed with sheet metal stand and two by fours) up on end was a lot of work for me. I decided against lifting the lathe onto anything, even though I would have tipped it up and simply levered it up onto a chair or something like that rather than actually lifting. 
A lot of times, I would get things in position and started with the lathe upside down, then tipped it up end so the upper side was at a a comfortable working height. 

I was on my feet a whole lot in this project but I now have the lathe up on the wheels and nearly ready to be used. The locks and catch plate were centered on the wood, not centered between the ends of the levers.. 
I did not care to go to the hardware store again, so I used Molly bolts. These have the wing nuts you slip through a hole in plaster board and the winged nut opens to give added surface to hold against the weak plasterboard. These were long enough so I chose to use these. They are not strong and I bent them slightly when testing them before tightening them down. They will work until I get something that works better, or forever whichever comes last...
Mom had some wire shelving and she decided to fit them as shelving on the lathe. That solves several problems. I can place stuff, such as weights and materials on the lathe frame, and as long as the sawdust does not land on something, it will pass right through. I did have to use my dremmel to cut one of the wire shelving so it would fit. 
Other than the shelving, I did this entire project all by myself. I could not have done it several years ago. 

I will fix the catch and lock tomorrow, and have some ornaments to work on. 

Will see what I do tomorrow. 

Year 16, Week 47, Day Three (week 878)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-26-16 Saturday

75 degrees early morning, 80 as the high. Questionable radar blips off the coast, but they never came near land. Partly cloudy, with high feathers, good breeze, sometimes gusting, The sun shown once it was above the clouds over the ocean. 

Going to Mom’s house in the dark of the early morning, I saw several yard sales signs. Because of that, Mom decided to go yard sailing. 
I had my hands on a couple items that I really would love to have, but have no room for. One was ANOTHER cast iron fry pan. I have more than I could use right now and don’t have any friends that are interested in learning how to use them.  I am in a position that  I don’t need more. I never asked the cost. It was hard to walk away from it.
I also saw a wicker steamer trunk with metal handles on the ends that would be really good for holding my yarn, but I don’t have room nor do I have time to transfer the yarn into it and move everything around to accommodate it. It was sad to walk away from it. 
There is that thought that if I knew no one was going to sell it and the owner was going to toss it, I might get it just to save it. But since I have no foreknowledge, I walked away. 
There were several book shelves and ignored them. I have some book shelves that could be replaced.. Most of the items available were not what I needed. I did get a bunch of ribbon. There were several bags of them and the price together was not bad. I don’t really need ribbon but I decided to get it. 
I found one of those cross-style tire irons. It was a gamble as to whether it would fit my truck, but the price was so low, I could easily turn it into tools or something else. It came home with me. I later found that, no, It does not fit, but I don’t mind.
We missed one yard sale near the end of the upper loop and could not find another yard sale from the sign, when Mom decided to call it a day. I did not feel like going out again myself.

My feet and legs let me know they were not happy with me. My back bothered me too, but all those complaints quieted some as I moved around and warmed up.  I fed and petted the cat, then went in and took a nap. When I got up, the day was ready for me to work.

My first project was to fix the lever and catch set up, moving it over so it is more centered on the ends of the levers for the wheel. Now you don’t fully appreciate how long a long screw is until you pull it out. The screws I used were two and a half inch drywall screws. I had put six of them through the stop plate and as I was pulling them out, I considered using only four of them when putting the plate in later. I could have used shorter ones but decided to stay with them. They are not going to work their way out.
I had to drill new holes for the lever locks. I decided to shift the hole through the locks themselves farther towards center so there is some wood behind the screw to help keep the locks from tipping up, making them stronger. I still did not get them exactly where they needed to be, but it is much better than it was and quite usable. Close enough for government work.....

I finally had the lathe stand ready to use. I should have lubricated the casters but didn’t. They swivel with some resistance which makes it sometimes tough to roll into place. 
I took out some sand paper to clean the surface of the “Ways”which the tailstock and tool rest slide on. It only took a few strokes to realize that I was not touching the corrosion on the cast iron.  I took out the drill with a wire wheel on it and went over the surfaces thoroughly. That took away the rust and only in a few places were there some rough spots. I then took sandpaper to clean those surfaces so it is nice and clean. I used some Lithium grease to the surface though auto wax would be much better. I cannot remember where I put the past wax. I added the grease and then wiped it off as I had far too much and I was after small protection rather than making it slippery. 
I lifted and slid the motor onto the lathe. It was a bit heavier than I should have lifted especially after the work I did yesterday, but there was no one else around to do it for me, so I slipped it into place. I added the tool rest and tail stock. I finally slipped all the tools into their holders. I need to add a few more pvc pipe pieces as tool holders and I have some small things that would fit into holes in a board. I will drill them later. 

I had picked up some silver paint and painted my angel ornaments. They could use some cleanup but I doubt that much of that will happen. I still have to paint the halos yellow or gold, then they will be done. I also need to paint and decorate the carved paint brushes I made. 

The day was done and so was I, so I went in to take a nap before it was time to leave.

I am not sure what I will work on tomorrow. I do expect to be busy in whatever I do, even it if is nothing......

Year 16, Week 47, Day Four (week 878)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-27-16 Sunday

80 degrees, some puffs and high feathers, sunny with a nice breeze. Radar blips over the ocean but they were heading south with no sign of coming inland. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

My brother was there when I arrived. He was sharpening drill bits. He had worked on a project where there was concrete just on the other side of the material he was drilling and each time he hit one, it killed the bit. He had one bit that chipped (hardened but not tempered), and he needed a grinder to remove the chip before he could sharpen it. We took the sander, and both grinders out of the shed and put them on the work bench. He liked what I did on the lathe. He said “that works.”
I took the mini lathe out of my truck and brought it to the back. The table it sits in has a well for a BBQ and has wheels on one end. When I set the lathe box on the table, I put it length ways and it was about half an inch too long. I could not figure out why it would not fit. I thought that maybe the table warped because it was outside since the storm. After moving the lathe box around a few times, it dawned on me that it went on there sideways.  The box, in spite of all the stuff I have in it, was not quite as heavy as I had feared but heavier than I should lift. It did test me to move it around several times before I got the position right. I had the table in the grass to get the lathe out of the truck so I had a  tough pull getting it out of the grass.  That turned out not to be a problem. As I ”wheelbarrowed it” to the back. It was then, my back let me know it was not happy.  
I repositioned a number of items under the awning so everything is easy to access just by moving a few other items. More will go back there but this was good for now. 

The house next door needs a new Air Conditioner so I went with my brother to measure it up inside and out for a heat load. He has to know the exact size of the place and window and door sizes for his program to figure out what size air conditioner is needed and how best to duct it and I held the other end of the tape. That house is exactly like my mom’s house except for some owner’s modifications. That is typical of housing projects in this area. They have two or three home  designs to choose from and then have selected options. I was sort of curious about that. 

Beyond that, I accomplished little, which tends to be expected for Sundays. 

I will have to see what happens next weekend. 


lathe with two by four base and the landing blocks setting on tol

wheels and blocks now in place

another view of wheels and blocks

lathe complete. the catch plates and lock are not positioned right.

other side of tlathe

look at the top of the cast iron way and  you can see signs of rust.

a tenon cutter I picked up last week. I had left it in Moms car which was why i couldn ot find it.

side view of tenon cutter

another view

close up of working end.

bags of ribbon

a ribbon slicer and curler that came with the ribbon

another view

the lock and catch before I corrected it

lathe assembled with weights

lathe with tools in place

lock and catch location corrected.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Year 16, Week 46, Day One (week 877)

Year 16, Week 46, Day One (week 877)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-19-16 Saturday

68 degrees at six, 78 high, some meandering puffs, sometimes blocking the sun for a while. Negligible breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I went to the turning club meeting. We had our elections for officers. As with most organizations, finding people who will do the work is tough. Our bylaws allow only two terms for president. That forces us to mix it up periodically. 

The demonstration was on Sea Urchin ornaments. We have done these several times over the years. This was a new technique. Before, we would do stuff like glue the finial and top cap to the shell and hope the shell holds. We would sometimes fill the shell with a spray foam to give it some strength as Shells can break easily.
With this new technique, he made it so a “rod”went between the finial and top cap so the shell was not holding any weight at all. He said he used super-glue inside and out to give the shell extra  strength. There are other methods to do the same thing such as other glues or fillers. I am using the terms Finial and Top Cap, simply because it is common to have the long dangling part on the bottom. One could have it on top if that is your design preferences. You could even have finials on both ends. Whatever you have on top is the top cap. 
Now the guy he saw this method from, would simply drill holes in the finial and in the top cap and glue in a separate rod (like a skewer) between them. This demonstration, though, was to turn the rod as part of the piece.  
I will say that this member doing the demonstration is a nationally known master turner who demonstrates at many of the symposiums around the country. Since I turn like Godzilla, I am not sure I will ever get that rod the right diameter. 
With this method, the shell holds no weight at all, and is not taking the stress of mishandling. It is just held there in place between the two pieces. 
He said that it is best to use a hard wood with straight grain if you intend to go very thin. Concentrate on getting the farthest end from the motor exactly the way you want it before you move on. It is best not to touch the finished end once you get it right so you are not placing any force on the piece while correcting something. 

I have not turned since before the hurricane passed so all I had to show was the spiral ornaments I carved a few weeks back. 


Mom and I visited several yard sales together on the northern loop. Several of the yard sales we visited also had them last weekend.  While several had more stuff, I did not get anything else at them. We visited a sale by some people who have had them several times a year. They separated the men’s stuff from the woman’s stuff. She had a mini muffin pan with some 20 muffin cups. It was brand new, still had the label on it. I barely use the ones I have. There were other things where I just did not have room for or would be a long time before I could use. I walked away from her section empty handed. 
The man once had a warehouse for his business and he finally closed it out. He had some tools available. When I was trying to figure one tool out on my own, I thought it was a puller for removing pulleys from shafts or something like that. I then learned that it was a tenon cutter for cutting ends of rods like found in chair. I don’t always get my guess right.  There were other small items that I could make use of. It came home with me along with a few other small items.
At several the yard sales, there was a lot of Christmas stuff. Some people are upgrading, down-sizing or discarding extras so they might have room for something else. Mom used to have loads of Christmas stuff that filled a shed, and has gotten rid of most allof it over the years. I sometimes tease her about it by saying, “they have some Christmas stuff here.”
I saw bookshelves at three of the yard sales. I am not ready for them but I would love to have gotten them.  One never has enough bookshelves.
When we got back, I headed out on my own. I needed to stop at the hardware store and another place, so I used that run as an excuse to continuing to look at yard sales. I was surprised at how few yard sales there actually were. This excellent weather was predicted all week. Of course, there were a couple sections I avoided entirely as I was in a hurry. 
One yard sale I stopped at is with an elderly gentleman who has sales two, possibly three times a year. He has a lot of stuff. I understand he took stock from a couple stores that were closing. He had a big box (two by two by three foot tall) filled with stuffed animals. The entire time I was there, they were screaming at the top of their lungs for me to take them home. It sometimes is almost enough to make one cry.  I ended up getting hit by a six inch cast iron fry pan and had to take it home with me. I will stop buying cast iron pans when I see it is becoming a problem...... I do notice the floor sagging in the area where I keep them....

I arrived home and took the two by fours out to the back. I wanted pressure treated lumber for the base of my lathe. I found out that I only needed one board, not two. I intended to measure before I left and forgot. I brought out my Saws-All and when I pulled the trigger, it did not work. After a few minutes of making sure power was coming to it, I remembered that it had died on me just before the storm. 
I cut the board in half with a hand saw. The “branch cutting saw” would cut a little bit then get stuck as the moist treated wood expanded and bound on the wood as I cut. I rotated the board several times until I decided the saw would not work any more. I then put the board on an angle and applied weight on one side and heard a crack. I flipped it over and applied pressure and it broke. 
I then took out a solid two by two as I needed screw blocks. Mom got me her Saws-all style cutter from Harbor Freight. She told me it had no guts. It did bind a lot until I found out how to handle it. With a light pressure and the blade a distance away from the base, it cut quickly. I have some fence post pieces and cut them to length also with the cutter. 
I pre-drilled the blocks for the screw that goes into the 2x4s. I am not good on the ground, but since I was not in the mood of lifting the base to a working height,  I got on the ground to work. I set the block in place and marked where the screw that goes through the legs of the lathe go. I then started the screw into the wood and backed it out, and then placed the block in place, working both screws down in stages. The legs are at an angle in two directions which makes it tough to get in the right position to drive a screw . 
Once I got all four blocks partially screwed in place, I tipped the lathe stand up on end and tightened all the screws in a more comfortable position. Finishing the tightening of the screws only took a minute.
At this point I was looking at the blocks that the lathe will sit on when the wheels are up and the wheel assembly and was sort of at a loss as to how to go next. Later on in the day when resting, I figured it out. Not as hard as I was thinking, but not as easy as I first imagined. 
After mounting the boards it was time to pack up. It does slide on the boards which it would not do with the bare ends of the legs. If I had to, I could use it like this, but will put the wheels on. 

I hope to have the lathe all back together next weekend. It will free up a lot of space. As my stuff is well scattered. 

My brother is not coming up tomorrow so I figure I will stop at Mom’s for a short while since I will be in the area, have lunch with them, and then head home. 

I have a lot of projects in mind. I really want to try making rocking horse ornaments. I think that would be an interesting project. I need to re-paint my angel ornaments and decorate my paint brushes. I traditionally get my ornaments done by the end of November and show them off all December. Most of my ornaments end u p as gifts. I had hoped to have a whole lot more done by now. The storm really threw me off my pace. 

I will see what I do next weekend. 


sea urchin ornament

another vewe of sea urchin ornament.

some of the tools I picked up. I forgot to get a picture of the tenon cutter

drum sanding kit

six nch fry pan

lathe on 2x4 base. support blocks sitting on top.

Year 16, Week 45, Day One (week 876)

Year 16, Week 45, Day One (week 876)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-12-16 Saturday

68 degrees at down, Mostly blue sky early morning, high streaks of feathers with misty milk splashes. Very light breeze all day long. 77 at about 10 in the morning with some light puffs and it stayed about the same all day long, possibly up to 83. They sky was bright, but the sun was not up when I headed to Mom’s house. When we headed out to breakfast half an hour later, the sun was well to the south of us. We don’t seem to remember the sun being that far south, though we have had a month of cloudy weather where we never saw the sun in the morning, and I figure that explains a lot. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Here in Florida, we have a lot of Vanity Licence plates. There is a joke that says “You can tell it is fall by the changing of the color of licence plates. Because of all the vanity plates, it is sometimes hard to spot the other states plates. Traffic nearly doubled in the past few weeks. 

A local church was having a craft sale. It started at nine, and we were finished with breakfast  at eight, so we decided to check out some yard sales. There were several yard sales side by side and a few almost within view of each other. That made it enjoyable. We only followed the Northern part of our loop as the church we were going for the craft sale was on a road level to Mom’s house.
Near the top part of the loop heading north we found our first yard sales. One yard sale was visible to the right, and signs pointing to the left. We went left first and found two yard sales side by side. I picked up some cookie cutters and a clamp-on desk lamp at the first one and almost missed the one next door. We then hit the one we saw before we turned to see the first two.
As we headed south and found four more yard sales In quick succession, some with two side by side. We saw signs for, but could not find, two other yard sales. 
It is common for close neighbors to “double up” for yard sales. The same sales signs for both, and yard sailors love it as there is more selection between them. 

The craft show is fun to look at. There was lots of knitting and crochet, sewing, beading, decorated items just to name a little of what they had. One woman made clothes for Barbie style dolls, another made manger scenes using cloth wrapped doll rods, and pine cones for a tree behind them. 
One thing I learned at last year’s show, was to look closely at the ornaments on the Christmas trees they have set up around the place.  One can get interesting ideas from what they have. If you are not up to making your own ornaments, they are great selections.
The ornaments that caught my eye this time were angels. One type was made of shells. One shell for the dress, and then two shells for the wings, with a bead for the head. They added a gold decorative trim material down the front and wrapped around the neck of the “gown. The face was painted on and a tiny bit of separated yarn wrapped around to be hair or a bow. Another kind was a tiny bit of lace or fabric made into a cone and a a pair of silver silk leaves for wings and again, a bead for the head. There was a tiny bow for the hair. A third was the same style but a crochet dress and wings. There were other crafts that were nice to look at and if I had no ability to make things, I might actually buy. 

I have an arm style lamp at home over my keyboard of my computer. I aim it at the ceiling and it gives good bright, but diffused light, onto my desk. This week, the switch died on me. When I saw a lamp at a yard sale and grabbed it up.  After I got home, I partially disassembled the lamp to see what the connections were on the light socket. I was a little disappointed that the wires were soldered instead of attached by screws. I saw that I would have to bring my light with me tomorrow and see what I had to do to swap the sockets. 

I addressed my lathe by removing some boards. One shelf board, I figured out, was added during the assembly of the stand. I had purchased the lathe and stand from a friend, ages ago. I essentially had to bend the board to get it out. 
I could not quite figure out how I had attached the stand to the wooden base. I removed a couple screws in a block and it would still not move. As I was playing around, I realized there was little holding stand to the rotted end of the board. I decided to use brute force to solve my problem. I brought out the scissor jack that I had gotten three or four vehicles ago. And put that on the base with the head beneath a rail. I cranked it up and the wood complained before a screw gave. One side didn’t want to move even though the jack was centered so I moved it next to that leg and cranked. It finally gave. I was right, there was nothing holding the other end up or down. The delaminated layers of plywood on that end were bent down and supported nothing. 
I learned I had screwed a block to the plywood from above, and then put a screw through the metal of the leg into the side of the block. That side screw was what I could not see when I attempted to remove the base. I left two “Rails” on the lathe frame, one with a bunch of PVC pipe pieces screwed in to hold the tools. They were in good condition and did not warrant moving them. 
By this time, I had formed a blister in the palm of my hand from the screw driver. I Then popped it when I placed it against the corner of a board while pushing my tool cart under cover. It had been a very long time since I had to work with so many screws with a small screwdriver and I seem to remember I gained a blister then too. The drills and power screwdrivers are still buried in the shed. 
Having the base off, I had to drag the empty lathe bed and frame a bit farther in and saw instantly I was not going to use the lathe without wheels. I was already feeling my day, so I chose to end it then and there. 

Other than going out to feed and give lots of attention to Momma kitty, I stayed inside and relaxed the rest of the day. 

Tomorrow’s plans are up in the air. If my brother comes up, I will do some work at mom’s. If he does not, I might head home early to do some work at home. 

I will see what I do tomorrow.

 Year 16, Week 45, Day Two (week 876)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-13-16 Sunday

68 early morning, 76 mid morning and 83 in the afternoon, light breeze. Some tiny well spaced puffs soldiered across the sky, not effecting the sunshine. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

My brother came up so I had both the lamp I picked up yesterday, and the one from home. The lamp I picked up was a higher quality lamp, but it was far too short and would not work for my desk situation, so I stripped a good lamp to fix a cheap lamp. 
My brother gave me some help. He was replacing some boxes that had tiny parts and screws so he was sorting their contents as he moved them from the old box to the new box.

I disassembled my old lamp and was disappointed that it was also soldered. I asked my brother and he said we could cut the wires and splice them together. That solved my problem. I cut the wires for both lamps and swapped the socket. I learned something about electricity today. I had noticed that there was a large prong and small prong on the plug. He had me find out which wire, using a meter went to the small plug. He then had me place the meter to the center contact in the socket and which wire went to that. That went to the center small prong. He said that if we got it backwards, one could get shocked when trying to change the bulb. 
He used wire-crimps to connect each wire and then a shrink tube (which he had me use a torch to shrink and I almost burned it as I was too close)  over the connection. The  lamp worked and is now giving the light that my desk badly needed. 

I still had time so I decided to strip the lathe base of the hardware. The wheels were my first requirement. My brother put them on using a pair of pipe hangers and some wood block to hold their side to side position in place. Other than one bolt turning through, I removed them easily. About the time he put the wheels on, he was using a hole saw to drill out some holes in metal. He used the metal plugs as fender washers to give the heads of the bolts something to grip into the wood with. 
One of the blocks was still on the board and that needed to be removed and that used hex head screws. The bolts were useful.  I removed a few other items bolted on and now had what was a mostly stripped board going out into the trash. 

Mom does not want those shelves on the lathe as it collects sawdust even when I have protection to misdirect the dust. What I am thinking is to get a pressure treated two by four, and attach them to the legs length ways. I then put the pressure treated blocks and wheels across sideways. The base will simply be a frame. 
The design of the wheels are to be able to be lifted out of the way and drop the lathe down on the blocks so it will not move anywhere. I found so far that I have not done any project where I have had to drop it down onto the blocks. That is used for really out-of-center pieces Because there was a lot of weight on the lathe shelving, it did not need that additional staying power of the wheels down. 
If I am not having shelves to put weight on the lathe, I am going to need to drop the lathe down on the blocks more for stability. I do expect, though, that it will roll a lot easier. 
What I will need to do is to get a pressure treated 2x4. One thought is to get some diamond mesh and make the shelving with that so the sawdust will pass through, but could have storage on the lathe. I am not sure if I have the tools to cut mesh. I will have to see what is available and what I have to work with. 

I have plans for next weekend. Some stuff are going to be moved under the awning that had not been there before. I guess I will have a very busy weekend tomorrow. 

It looks like there will be a Turning Club meeting Thursday. Something I wanted to bring to the meeting was put away for the storm and I cannot find it. I might have to empty out selected sections of rooms just to see if that is where it is. 

I will see what happens next weekend. 


Shell angel ornament

lace and leaf angel  ornament

crochet angel ornament

manger scene example

cookie cutters

cookie cutters

the lathe up on end without shelving and base board

base board

rotted end of board with wheels still attached.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Notes on Crochet

I don’t remember the last time I wrote exclusively about crochet, if I have ever done so. I mostly talk about woodworking.

I have found that when I am in a doctor’s office, or dealership waiting room, or other place where I have time to kill, I have a choice of reading, playing games, or working crochet. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. One thing I can say about Crochet. At the end of the day, you have something to show for your efforts, and they make great gifts.  I was given a tablet for Christmas and found that I may go many levels in the game, but when I turn the tablet off, I have essentially wasted time. Also, crochet tends not to run out of batteries......

* * * *

Recently, I have seen where people have used cardboard tubes to make yarn balls that pull out from the center. I have also seen where one can use a knitting needle to create one. I used the needle one a couple years ago and was not too impressed.

Last year, I discovered a method of creating a ball where the center pulls out, that is simple and needs no special equipment at all. Recently  I created a quick video demonstrating how it is done.

Basically the way it works is that you look the yarn around two or three fingers with a whole bunch of wraps. You hold the starting end of the yarn between a couple other fingers so it stays put. I have had great luck when it is attached to a project and the skein has gotten floppy.
I have had the best luck with three fingers, but my demonstration was two fingers as the ball is small. Three fingers ends up with a slightly bigger hole which is easier to make into a ball.

I remove the loops from my fingers, still holding the starting end, and put my thumb into the starting end hole. I then wrap the sides, rotating it. After several times around, the ball starts building up. Your thumb keeps the hole open. You don’t have to care about the bottom hole. It disappears after a while. If you continue wrapping top to bottom straight, as you did when you start, the ball becomes teardrop or heart shape.

When the ball becomes big enough, I will change my angle so I miss the very bottom and let it build up like a tire for a while. Then I return to top to bottom again a bit later, which helps hold it together. Now you are missing the bottom and wrapping the sides.

When I run out of yarn, or cut the yarn if it is big enough, I tuck the outside end end beneath a few strands of yarn so it stays put.

While working, I will test pull the end out a little to make sure it is free. You should not pull very much out because you then wind up with a long strand sticking out, out of control. Unless you are working with a project  on the end, the less sticking out the better.

In the fifty to a hundred times I have made these balls, I have had four early failures where the center did not pull out.  I was able to get the center started on one failure after pulling out a big glob. To tell the truth, I have had worse luck with commercially wrapped skeins of yarn I picked up over the years.

This is the link to my video on hopow to make a center pulling ball

* * * * * *

I got into crochet mainly to make stuffies – stuffed animals. I found though, that I love quick and easy projects and stuffing the creations is a bit of a bother as it has to be done under controlled conditions, such as at the table, rather than wherever you find yourself as crochet itself tends to allow you to do.

My very first two bears.

I have made a lot of dish cloths and scarves as they are comparatively quick and easy projects. I have made them for Christmas many years, giving them to the women I am associated with. Many of the dish cloths I have made ended up on display rather than being used.

While making a scarf or dishcloth might sound boring, they allowed me to explore different stitches. Unlike a blanket, if the results are not great, one can go to another one very soon to try something else.

One of my favorite stitches is the wave, where you go from half stitch, single stitch, half double, double, half treble, treble, then half treble, double, half double, single, half single. And do that all the way across in one color, then go back across in another color doing the exact opposite stitch, half single on the end of a treble, and a treble on the end of a half single. I found the best results was to do a regular row right after of the same color, then swapping colors. This is a stitch that tests your concentration as it is so easy to get on the wrong stitch and have to undo some of it because it did not come out straight. I tend to only do this after I have done several other pieces and am nicely in tune with the work.

wave stitch dish cloth.

These small projects allow one to stretch one’s skills. More than once, I have frogged (ripped out) an entire project because it came out bad. Ripping out a scarf because the edges wander is much nicer than doing that on a four foot wide blanket .

The project I have on the hooks right now is a “Christmas Scarf.” I liked the color of the Red and realized a big sheet of fabric of just that color was not going to be really good. I grabbed some other colors I had and started making stripes, red, yellow, green (I did not have white with me at that moment) so it looks like Christmas.