Monday, February 22, 2016

Year 16, Week 06, Day One (week 840)

Year 16, Week 06, Day One (week 840)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-20-16 Saturday

64 degrees early morning, 75 in the afternoon, nice brisk wind, with surprise gusts that tug hard on hats. They said it was supposed to be broken clouds, but they must have repaired them before dawn as, the puffs were side by side, stuck together, with no blue. In the afternoon, their glue failed and the puffs separated and one could see bits of blue sky between a few of them. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 


The Gold Coast Wood Turning Club Meeting met together. We had a visitor who, at the end of the meeting, said that we were the friendliest club he has been involved in. That is always nice. We have not developed cliques between members and all the advanced people are excited to help the beginners. They could even help me if I let them.....
I arrived early and a high-school electronics club was building a wheeled robot that could also fire basketballs. When I first worked in, they could not get it to work and thought that adding a gyro would help. I left for about half an hour. When I returned, they just started testing it. The wheels had bearings on an angle all the way around. Front and rear wheels had opposite angles. When the wheels spun, the car could move sideways. The direction it moved was based on what direction each wheel spun. It could go straight too. It was interesting to watch. They even tested it driving over a small barrier. I assume that they will compete with other schools or clubs.

The club demonstration was on carving spirals in your work. His methods of working were effective, easy, and logical. He had made a thin plywood plate that fits around the shaft of his lathe that has 24 evenly spaced holes in it. He had set the holes in the place to fit a jig that was set on the top of the lathe head and he stuck a drill bit into each hole to hold the plate in position as he worked. With the chuck tight against it to hold it in place, This became an indexing plate.  He also made a small piece of wood to fit in the tool rest socket. 
He simply took a large compass and stuck the point into the center of the piece of wood in the tool rest hole and would draw an arc on the work. He could adjust the distance and angle to get the curve exactly the way he wanted on the work. 
Another method he used was to use his tool rest to draw a centered line along the length of the work at each stop on the indexing plate on the work, He then rotated the piece to draw some lines around the piece. He then took a piece of cardboard, or paper, or even free hand, and drew a line that met each intersection of the lines going around the piece to create a rough curve. 
With these layout lines, he would then use one of several tools, such as a Dremmel style tool, to carve in the lines. Of course, the lines will be rough because the tools jump and weave. He then used sanding disks that he slipped into the groove to even up and clean up the lines. He would also use round rasps and files to finish up the lines. He made wood holders for sanding disks that allowed him to sand in the work too. Sometimes the sanders were on the power tool he held, other times they were in a drill chuck on the lathe and he held the tool against it.
With these spiraled lines, one could just make decorative surface cuts, or could cut all the way through. He suggested that if cutting through, don’t go all the way to the bottom or through the brim, as the piece becomes easy to break. It also makes it hard to finish the bottoms, as one usually still has an unfinished tenon on the bottom to hold it while you work when cutting the grooves. 
When you do a whole lot of wood turning work, you end up with pieces that are waiting to be finished or just not worth finishing. Several of the pieces he demonstrated on were “pieces of wood laying around.” Many were as good as my best works........... It is much like on TV, they use a piece of“scrap” wood to make a pattern or a jig where most of those scraps of wood are my best pieces. 

We have an Instant gallery display each club meeting, where people place their work out to be viewed, and one can pick a piece up and examine it. Later in the club meeting we have a show and tell and each worker tells what the work is and how they did it. 
I put my first angels out. A woman walked by before the meeting and said, “Look at the cute angels!”  That really made my day. She recognized what they were!!!!!!


Part of the fun of yard sailing, is the anticipation of finding something special. Then, it is the fun to see what they have, and finally getting a little goodie worth taking home. One yard sale had a sign that said, “PRE-LOVED ITEMS FOR SALE.” That says it all for yard sales. When you are giving a sale, you are passing on things you no longer need to keep. You are also getting a little something for it. The person buying them are getting something they think they can use or need for a good price. They mean more to the buyer if they pay something for them.
I have some items on my wish list that I am keeping my eye out for. There are types of items I am looking for as gifts or as “can use.”  Finally, there are items that, When you see them, you realize you always needed or wanted them but never knew it until you saw them. 
I did not spend much money and did get some things I can use. One thing was some templates for lettering. There was a office tape dispenser and some colored pencils. 
There was a condo that periodically has yard sales. I got a dollar worth of stuff there. I loved some of the furniture they had, but I have no need for furniture.  They also had some “I already have too many” items.
At the different yard sales, there was so much stuff that I would look at and think about the possibilities on. I hate it that I do not need collectibles. I hate it that I don’t need decorator items or severing sets. I also hate it that I have no place for cute toys. 
This is the time of year where shopping is good. If you were setting up your first home and you have some money, with patience, one can furnish a nice home for a fraction of the money you normally would spend.  
I saw some wood working tools that were well aged. If I get tools, I want to use them, not put them on display. It happened that I had enough of the kinds of tools they had on display. I was ten seconds late on a air brushing compressor with air brush. A guy got it to before me.  The price he gave was good. The man tried to negotiate but the seller was firm on his price. The man also had a router finger-joint jig that was nice and at a good price but I am not doing furniture and I really want is one that I can change the spacing of the finger joints (Like Norm Abrams of The New Yankee Workshop had). All that are available commercially use one space setting. 

We went home, then went out to Home Depot to get something for Mom’s backyard project. The load was just behind the tailgate. My old trucks would have rode like a small boat in the water. With this truck, I just barely felt a slight difference in how it rode. 
I helped mom take the loads to the back yard and place them. Working together was not too bad for either of us. Now she can work in the back yard on this project whenever she is ready.

After a quick nap, I went out back and set up the lathe. I was in the mood to try something large. Ornaments are nice, but sometimes one needs “real meat” to work on. 
Years ago, I prepared some two by ten and two by twelve yellow-pine boards for turning. Some I just knocked off the corners, and others I cut round on the bandsaw. They have been in a basket beneath my tool cart for several years. I took one board out that was fairly round and decided to work with that. It had some knots I knew would look good on a platter.  I LOVE yellow pine dishes, especially with knots. Yellow pine, with the ring patterns, is not boring. I would not mind a whole room paneled with that stuff.

This time, I chose to use my sanding disk as the drive for the wood disk. The sanding disk is fairly true to the spin. I located the center, then put the point of the tail stock into the center and pressed it against the sanding disk. It took me a few tries to realize that the disk of wood I was working with was not a truly round. There was a high point that was throwing me off. Once I figured that out, I simply turned cut the edge until it was round, then worked on the surface. . 
The knots were more better looking on one side than the other. The problem was there was material missing from the “best looking” side and I figured it might create a problem for the shape as I might not go deep enough to get past the missing chips. I flipped the board so when finished, that while the knots would not look quite as good as I had hoped, the surface would be nice.. 
Since I had sharpened the bowl gouge the last time I used it, it ate wood nicely. Saw dust and shavings flew everywhere. The shavings that hit my arms and above the collar of my shirt had a nice warmth to them.. I was testing all the stuff I knew about wood turning. I was still doing a few things wrong, but did much better than in previous years. I have some more muscle memory to build, but some of it was coming back. I never got a catch in the work and my cuts were smooth and clean. I liked that.
I saw a program this week where they did some wood turning. The master craftsman said that, “If you think your tool is getting dull, you should have sharpened it ten minutes ago.”  Sharpening or honing is important to get a nice clean cut. As the tools get duller, you have to apply pressure to get the same kind of cut. You really should be able to work with one hand holding the tool, but using the second hand for fine control. You should not be bearing down on the wood with all your might. 
I had measured the base of the plate so that when my chuck was opened fully, it whould fit inside with no play. I mis-measured badly. The chuck would not fit inside. I did find that it did fit outside, but that was not what I wanted. I had to re-mount the piece to improve on the base of the plate and it was a bother to get the work centered properly. 

There are natural stresses in wood. When you cut wood thin, it will twist and warp depending on what direction the grain, rings, and radials are in the wood. In making these platters, you are removing wood that helped the board remain straight and true. The stresses are released and the wood will bend and warp a little. It is worse if the wood is green, not the kiln-dried wood I was using. It is common for a vase or bowl made out of green wood to become oval. Many wood workers will rough turn a bowl in green wood, leaving it an inch or two thick, then let it dry for six months to a year. Then they will finish turning the dry wood, removing the oval shape and making it round. The extra wood in the thickness allows for the oval to be canceled out when finished turned. There is a formula for the thickness to the size of the bowl when drying.
When I finally turned the piece around, there was a wobble in it and I could not quite get it centered properly,. I chose to remove the tail stock point and put in a ring so I would have more leeway on centering it. 
As a last resort, I hit the platter on the high side and it moved. I tried it again. It was centered to an acceptable amount. I tightened everything and got to work on the inside. 
I was not as confident with my work on this project, as it has been a long time since I had made a platter, so I made the platter a bit thicker than I prefer. One does not cut through if you leave it a little thick. There are some things about the shape I would have done better also and could have fixed by going thinner or planning better. 
I still have to cut off the nubs and grind them flat, and there is a whole lot of sanding that needs to be done, but I am quite satisfied with the platter I made. Because of the knots, this platter has a nice pitch scent. A coat of varnish or oil will seal in the smell, but for now, it smells great.
It is surprising how much sawdust comes from a simple platter. In reality, you are taking a two inch thick board like I was using, and are actually slicing away an inch and three quarters or more of wood to get a platter that is good.. I think this was a ten inch diameter board. That ends up to be a whole lot of wood that becomes sawdust. Luckily, Mom uses it for mulch many times. Right now it is on top the sand pile and will become part of the soil there. 

With all the time on my feet and “running around”, along with the backyard project and the wood turning. I was well done in when I finished cleaning up the work area and putting everything away. I napped the rest of the day, and tried to recover, before it was time to leave. 

I will see what I do tomorrow. Sundays tend not to be very productive days as of late.

NOTE: (When I got to Mom’s on Sunday, we went out for lunch and that killed the day. There was nothing else to mention for the day.)

I will have to see what I do next week.


One side of the disk, showing the point I was using and the sanding disk to backup and drive the work.

the better side of the work. Two of the knots had divots in them. 

The back almost done

The sanding disk backing the platter. 

The front almost done. 

The chuck backing up and driving the work.

The nearly finished front. The nub has to be removed and ground flat.

The bottom, the nub has to be ground and made flat. 
Love the look of the wood. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Year 16, Week 05, Day One (week 839)

Year 16, Week 05, Day One (week 839)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-13-16 Saturday

56 degrees early morning, 75 late afternoon. Mostly blue skies with high feathers and spilt milk at times. Almost no wind in the morning, turning into hat tugging, object blowing gusts in the afternoon. During most days this week, while we got temps as low as the mid 40s but it usually went up to the 70s, so the great ice shelf over the ocean remained too thin to drive on.  The canals have been frozen solid because they are more shaded and less wind blowing on them, so I took the canals as a short cut to get to Mom’s house. One can avoid the traffic that way.  This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

After Breakfast, it had warmed enough we did not need our jackets anymore. All week, the weekend was reported to be clear so there were a lot of yard sales. Quite a few were right next door to each other so that made it more enjoyable, walk from one to the next and back.  There were also a couple multi-family yard sales and those are fun as there is more to look at. 
A quarter of the yard sales had really interesting stuff. One had collectibles, such as brass, really old looking books, stuff that, while they might not be collectibles, some of the stuff looked like antiques. Another yard sales had great decorator items. The worst part of these yard sales is that I am not a collector and I don’t decorate. I don’t have places to store or display that stuff. 
Now a number of the yard sales had furniture for sale. I have no need for furniture. One family was moving out of a large home near the water, into a townhouse. They were selling things inside their house along with what was in the yard. We did not go in. These people have had other yard sales over the past few months.
I ended up getting two items, one is a secret gift for a special friend who reads this. The other is an unused plastic electric percolator. The cord is something many of my appliances can use if I choose not to pass the percolator on. 
We lost track of the number of yard sales we hit. I do know several were by people we have visited several times over the years. 
Even when they show stuff you will never buy, you think about the possibilities anyway. I would need to set up a large museum if I got all the really interesting stuff that caught my eye. 

It was late when we got back. After a short nap, I went out back to work. 
I remembered that the bandsaw had a broken blade. Several of my projects require the bandsaw. I moved stuff surrounding it, and then pulled it out into the open. 
This bandsaw is really designed to be attached to a vacuum cleaner or some other dust collection system to remove the sawdust from inside the blade housing. Being outside but under an awning, we never bothered with the dust collection If it was inside, dust collection would be mandatory. 
You should have seen the dust that came from inside the blade housing, along with that which had settled all over the outside the back of the saw and on the ground surrounding it. Part of my project was to clean up all that accumulated saw dust. Also, when cutting some tiny pieces (sometimes the piece I was after when I was originally cutting it) fell into the slot and pulled inside the blade housing by the teeth of the blade. 
I removed the housing first and then used a whisk broom to work the dust out of the housing and all the tight spaces and crevices within the housing structure. I will give you a really good tip. Work from the very top and make your way down.  Also do the wheels as soon as you get the worst of what is above the axil. You an save yourself a lot of cleaning effort by not having to re-clean areas you just cleaned.... Trust me on that......
Once the band saw and housing, and area it was sitting in and the area where I cleaned it was clean. It was time to put in another band saw blade. I will have to go and buy a new blade real soon. 
I had four blades to choose from. Two were tiny blades used for scroll cutting. One can make fine turns with them. A lot of our cuts lately is in large pieces of wood where those blades are too fine to deal with They break easily when stressed. The other two blades were some meat cutting blades I was given.  This needs some explanation.

Saw blades of all kinds have teeth, which are the sharp points with gaps in between. Each point scrapes away some material and the space in between allows some of the material to build up and be carried out of the cutting slot. That is the teeth and kerf. The more teeth to the inch, the cleaner the cut will be. The less teeth per inch the more aggressive the blade will cut. 
Now most saw blades also have a set. This is where some of the teeth are bent out to the side to cut the slot a bit wider so the saw does not get pinched in the slot. For small blades like bandsaw blades, the set also allows the blade to turn corners. 
Some blades have the teeth bent out, left, right left right. Some blades will go left center, right, left, center, right.  The center tooth cleans out the center and might create a flat channel. With specialty blades, the center might even be shaped different than the other two. 
Grocery stores and other food places will use band saws to cut their meat to size. When cutting meat, and bones, one wants the groove to be as small as possible to not waste meat or make a mess, so the meat cutting blades have no set to the teeth. Bone is not as hard to cut as wood anyway.  From my understanding, the meat cutting blades can only be used for 24 hours and then have to be disposed of for sanitary reasons. 
A friend of mine gave me a few of the meat cutting blades he obtained. There is a way to add a set to the blades but I have not felt that was a process I wanted to get involved in. I have a hard enough time getting to the projects I really want to do, let alone side projects to get set up to do them. To set the teeth, you place the blade so the tooth is in a jig and you tap it with a punch, which bends the tooth down. You then skip to the next tooth to bend down. When you have gone all the way around, you flip the blade and do it with the blades you skipped. If I was working wood all day every day, it would be well worth the effort, but it is not worth the effort when working a few hours each weekend.
Now the two meat cutting blades have been out in the open, up high and under the awning, for several years. Because of the sea salt in the air, they developed a slight coating of rust on them. I decided to use one of them anyway. 
I made sure the blade was set properly by turning the bandsaw on and off quickly  with the case off, then I closed up the case.  I ran cut several sticks for carving or turning, out of the two by two whitewood boards I had available. Because there is no kerf, the sides of the blades rubbed on the wood as it passed through and left “burn” marks. The blade did clean up fairly good and will clean up more with use.
For now, the bandsaw is usable for straight cuts. I will see about getting new blades in the next few weeks and change them out. These meat cutting blades are unusable for green wood as the wet wood expands with the heat of the blade and would pinch it. The set of the teeth reduces that chance quite a bit, even though regular blades do sometimes get pinched by the expanded wet wood. .

In my cleanup, I got a whole bunch of leaves that blew beneath the machinery into that back area over time, and I also got what could have been two or three quarts of sawdust. That sawdust went onto Mom’s dirt pile. It will later get mixed in and become some of the soil. 

When I worked with shelving a few weeks ago, I was looking for some particle boards that were large and needed to be cut to size and did not see them. All I can say is that if they were professional wrestlers, they could have drop-kicked me into next Sunday. Those two sheets were right there, between the lathe and the band saw!!!! I had to move them to get the bandsaw out. These are almost 4x4 sheets.  Making shelves out of them might be a future project.

My project making mood was about done so went inside after everything was back where they belonged. 

I have two projects on the crochet hooks. One is a dish cloth that I am making corner to corner, rather than side to side. When I got to the center, I changed colors for a different effect. I have already pulled out the second color twice as I did not get the stitch right. Increasing the width of each row is easy, as I did with the first color. Reducing the width is a bit more difficult as with the second color. I think I can finish this dishcloth in one good session if I get the stitch right. It is supposed to end up as a square, not as a badly designed trapezoid like the last one was. I am also thinking about edging it with a third color to really finish it off and tie it together. That might take a bit longer.
Another project on the hooks is to make a storage roll for my crochet hooks. The design I am going with is first to make a long fabric that is not quite as wide as my longest crochet hooks. I will then stitch in pockets down the center length of the piece which  the crochet hooks will slide into . I can  roll the fabric up and tie it closed as a rolled bundle to keep the crochet hooks in control and safe.  I have a set of carving tools in a similar roll, but out of canvas.
Some crochet hooks might stick out the open ends, but will stay put and be mostly protected. I have made about two inches of this done so far, at least a foot more to go.  I plan to do a couple of these, partly because I have so many hooks, but also I have a set of specially made hooks that I created from black walnut and oak and they need a nice case for display. They will likely get the second or third roll as they should be better made (experience).

I have some home projects planned, so there won’t be a post for tomorrow. I see that there is a wood turning club meeting is on Thursday and hope to be able to go to that. I will see what happens next weekend. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Year 16, Week 04, Day One (week 838)

Year 16, Week 04, Day One (week 838)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-06-16 Saturday

63 degrees early morning 74 afternoon, large platelet clouds early morning, a few leaked. High feathers and spilled milk late afternoon. Light wind all day. Some sprinkles at about dark. Supposed to be cold tonight.  This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of Tourism.

We drove by a pair of yard sales when we left Breakfast. We had to take care of something before any yard sailing could be done. Later, one of the sales had packed up. I saw and stopped at one other yard sale and it was one I have been to before and they were out of anything I was interested in. I had traversed four areas we normally see yard sales in and there was nothing. I was going to go through a fifth area but was redirected because of a parade that Light House Point was going to have. 

Right after Breakfast, Mom and I went to Home Depot. She got something she needed. I picked up another stick of 2"x2" white wood. When we got back, I helped her set up for a yard project she was thinking about.

At the end of the yard sales, I stopped at Sears. They did not carry what I was after, and a new Whole Foods (opened in the last two years) and made my wish list.

I went out back and set up the lathe. I mounted a 12 inch long  2x2 stick in the lathe and used the bowl gouge to remove the corners. I then used my bull nose scraper to make a set of angel bodies. I had decided that they could be a little shorter so I measured out 5 in the stick, rather than 4. The 12 inch stick was about 30cm long so I made each 6 cm tall. The last one had part of the stick in the jaws of the chuck.  
I have several different ways to measure things. When dividing something into equal parts, the scale you use is not important, as long as you can get even spacing of the numbers. I hate using 1/16 or 1/32 in trying to work out the measurements. If none of your scales work, one can tip the scale onto an angle so that you have a good starting and ending number that is divisible evenly. You make the marks, then use a square to run them across the work.   

Like I did previously, I started and finished each angel completely before going to the next. Also I made the bases facing the tail stock. 
I did the last body with the head the opposite direction. I was not sure how tall It was going to be. I had the body just about done and was cutting closer into the chuck when I heard a crack. I stopped the lathe and removed the stick. The corners and popped mostly off leaving the roughly rounded base. The angle of that last body was not continuous, but was good enough after I used the sander to clean it up. I did some clean up with the disk sander.

When I went to cut the angels apart, I turned on the bandsaw and the blade was jumping and weaving. I tried tightening it and that did not stop the bouncing. I cut the first angel off. That it cut exactly where I wanted it to cut was a miracle considering how badly it was moving. A few moments later, I heard a pop and the blade disappeared into the housing with the motor running free but the drive wheel rubbing on the blade.  The blade broke so I have to replace the blade, likely next weekend.
I separated rest of the angels off using a hand saw. It took me a bit to figure out there was no place to plug it the saw in, and that my arm power was what made it work. Only while writing this did I remember I could have used my Saws-All to cut these if I had a lot to do. That will be an option for next weekend.

I put everything away and napped for about an hour then came out again.
I set up another stick and started turning. I got the first angel done and was working on the second when the stick broke at the first  angel’s halo. The angel was usable. 
I moved the tail stock and started turning again and finished the second angel, and then started on the third when the second angel broke off. Both angels were mostly undamaged when they broke off. One did leave a piece of the halo on the stick. I removed that from the rest of the stick and was going to glue it back in place. I dropped the tiny bit of wood and could not tell it from the few wood chips that were on the ground there. I applied a blob of glue to fill in that spot. Once I get the glue big enough, I will carve it to match what it is attached to and paint will hide all errors.
I later figured out I had two major errors in what I was doing. First, the heads were tiny compared to the others I did. That did not give enough material to keep the pieces together. Second, I saw that my bullnose scraper needs to be re-ground as it has become rounded and I could not keep it sharp. Because it was dull,  I was adding too much pressure to the wood, which caused it to break.

Sharp tools will slice the wood away with little or no pressure. You use the grinder to create the shape of the edge, and then use a strop or a grind stone (I am using a diamond plate) to sharpen the edge. After a period of sharpening, the profile of the took gets rounded.

The two angels were already removed from the stick. A quick moment on the disk sander cleaned up the halos and the bases. I packed up and called it a day. A good day. 

I will have to see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 04, Day Two (week 838)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-07-16 Sunday

51 degrees early morning. 64 degrees as the high. A few puddles from last night had a rim of ice from being below our 56 degree frost temperature here in Florida. Low platelet puffs zipped by on a brisk breeze, a couple leaked a tiny bit earlier in the morning. The clouds left, leaving blue skies all over. The breeze was strong enough to tug on hats and mess up hair.  This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of Tourism.

It is going to get into the low 40s tonight. The highest natural point in South Florida is a 29 foot (above sea level)  tall ancient sand dune. It is surrounded by land that is 17 feet above sea level. It is in a county park. The county naturalists have kept a glacier alive during the hot summer with portable refrigerator units. The news reported  that the glacier is growing. The news predicts cold weather, with lows well below the frost tempts, most of the week, so the glacier is expected to cause it to grow. It usually rushes really fast in order to reach the ocean, so it can leave icebergs to harass the shipping lanes. Most years, the “parrot heads” the people in the bars on the beach, usually stop it before it gets to the ocean by chipping off ice for their drinks. Tomorrow, I might have to drive to the beach to get around it to get to work. I will have to see. 

I went outside. It was cool at first so I set up the table out in the sun. I had somehow misplaced my camera so one project was to go through all my stuff to see if I could find it. I also checked where I napped and could not find it there either. I did find it a few hours later where I sat in the late afternoon yesterday, which I had checked twice. I was going to sit down and was moving the chair and there it was. 

It dawned on me that the wings I did on the first four angels were butterfly wings, not angel wings which are bird wings. Because the bandsaw was down, I could not cut the new wings. 
After I settled down, I took out the dremmel and the grinding bit and did more shaping on the frog carving. It is coming along and have a lot more to do on it. I am beginning to doubt it will be a Christmas ornament line. Too much work.
I added eye hooks to the four angels I made last time. I did not realize it but I already have 11 angel bodies made. I only needed 12. 

After I found my camera, I decided to call it a day. I had some stuff to do at home.

I hope to work on the wings of the angels, and also possibly on another design of ornament. 

I will have to see what I do next weekend.

The rough rounded stick marked for ornaments.

first ornament done, next one partly done.

Three down two to go.

four done, last one getting roughed out

All five done. The left handed one needs a moment with the disk sander finish.

four silvered and almost complete ornaments, seven bodies done, and a partially made frog. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Year 16, Week 03, Day One (week 837)

Year 16, Week 03, Day One (week 837)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-30-16 Saturday

50 degrees early morning, 78 late after noon. High light feathers early morning, becoming feathers and milk with low puffs in the late morning, The puffs mostly disappeared in the late afternoon. A light breeze made it kind of nice. The cold of the morning, well below the 56 degree frost temperatures made the roads slick, but most of the people on the road has already had experience on the slick roads over the past weeks so it was safe driving. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

After breakfast we went to what can be called a rummage sale called Auntie Annie’s Attic. I think they have it twice a year and it a great place to find things that cannot be found elsewhere and at a good price. It is fun to walk around and look. Most of the items I found today was here. The most expensive purchase was a king sized blanket in flannel. Mom said it was another material but I cannot remember what it was so flannel is close enough.  They had a lot of really cute stuffed animals. All of them were screaming for me to bring them home. I half considered some small ones. I reached out and touched them, and their cute little paws wrapped lovingly around my fingers, but forced myself to walk away that time. Later, someone moved the box so I was able to stay away from them easier, especially after my hearing recovered from their begging.. 
After that, we hit three yard sales and while my hands reached for several items. I find that the most interesting items I run across are the ones I already have too many of. At the rummage sale and at another sale we stopped at, there were stainless steel bowls. I already have 19 of them and have no need for any more (it could well have been five more). They were tempting though. I think I have 3 or 4 coffee grinders. I saw an old style one and forced myself to ignore it. I think there is a reason you have many of something. 
At a condo yard sale, I came away with a latch-hook, five metal crochet hooks and a pair of knitting needles. No I did not need any of them. Especially the needles, but they had to come with me. We hit some yard sales on the way home from the condo yard sale.
One yard sale, I forgot which one, had an old leather bellows. It puffed a little air. It would have been kind of nice to have, but for anything I wanted to use it for, it was way too small. I don’t have room for decorations at this moment. 
I actually did pretty good over all. I kept myself under SOME control.

At home, I photographed my finds, and then got to work. During the week, I picked up some silver spray paint. After some clean-up on the angels, I spray painted them silver. The silver looks good. You can still see the wood grain beneath it so you know it is wood. Later, I touched their halos with yellow paint. Mom wants to have faces on them, but the paint was not dry enough for the markers to stick. I still have to add eye hooks to them also. These are easy to make and I might concentrate on a bunch of these next week. 

I tried to do a video with my camera and it decided to act up after I deleted my horrible first attempt at the video. I gave up after a while. Videos are not as easy as they look.

I worked some on my frog carving. I ran into a very tiny problem. I had forgotten about how easy the different angles of the wood are to cut. 
Wood growing in the tree has different levels of strength and splitting power depending on whether you are cutting the grains of the wood are going up and down which splits easy, around the perimeter, or center to outside. Some directions cut or split easier than others. There have been scientific tests with select woods on how they split. I cannot remember what the articles said. I forgot them right after I had read it. 
Cutting across the grain, like cutting a tree down, is the toughest way to cut wood. That is why, when you cut with an ax, they have you cut out wedges rather than just hacking straight across. The more you cut with down grain, the easier it is to split, but harder to actually cut. 
When you position your figure within the wood, you take the direction of the wood grain into account so that you care cutting into the end grain as little as possible. If you have a standing figure, you have the body go the way the tree grew so only the head and feet are end-grain cutting. Even with a squat figure, one tends to have the grain run up and down. This also give the work strength, as wood will break easily with the grain, but not across it. An arm hanging out will snap off if the wood grain is wrong. Wood splits with the grain, not across it.
One can think of wood grain as a bundle of straws glued together. The straws bend easier than breaking, but you can run a blade down them and separate them. (Something tells me I confused myself, let alone you, but I will go with what I wrote)

Now different woods have different tendencies. One has the hardness of the grain, the length of the grain, and the strength of the binding material between the grain. Woods like Basswood have short grain, that is bound by material the same strength as the grain. It can be cut in almost any direction with limited effort. 
Cedar has long, strong grains bound together extremely weakly. Cedar splits easily. I have done a couple carvings in cedar and have lost key pieces because of a slight twist of the knife. 
Ash is a wood with strong grains and bound with a very strong material. It does not cut or split as easy as a lot of other woods. 
Sea Grape has fairly short grains, but a very strong binding material. I found that Sea Grape pushes back on the knife blade (almost rubbery) so it does not cut well. It turns nicely though.
Most of my carving is with white pine or whitewood. It is much like basswood, except the grains are longer so it splits easier. I have had many carvings where I would pop off a nose or an ear and then have to hunt for it to glue it back on. There are different versions of the whitewood or white pine and they have different levels of hardness. One has to look carefully to find the right versions of the woods to carve. 

So back to my story, I designed this frog to have the grain run end to end. Most of my cuts are on the ends and they are resisting me. I am struggling bad with this frog. I am tempted to drag out the dremmel and grind away the wood quickly. I likely will do that, but for now I am using the knife.

I should note that if I were using chisels rather than a knife, this would be easier to carve. The knife basically has a side to side cut, while chisels are straight in. This frog would be much easier to cut by pushing the blade through it. The knife cannot get in to push through the length of the wood. 

I messed around with a few other things while out back, replacing a nose piece on a pair of glasses, measuring a board to be cut later, just to name a few while waiting paint to dry. 
I misread the clock early this morning and got up a whole hour early, so I decided to call it a day in the early afternoon and napped for a couple hours. 

I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. I have a few ideas but as of late, Sundays have not been great days to get much done. 

Year 16, Week 03, Day Two (week 837)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-31-16 Sunday

63 degrees early morning 78 in the afternoon. Light breeze, mostly sunny, light feathers and some heavier clouds. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

Over the past few weeks, I gathered up a bunch of stuff I had no need for, or that I just did not want. I dropped them off at a friend’s house. She goes to the Big flea market and also does yard sales. I told her that she has my permission to fill her dumpster as much as she desires....  It is kind of fun to unload stuff I have accumulated. I will have more at some other time. It is a matter of picking through the stuff before I put them away.

My brother and I mostly talked. I took the angels and sanded the paint off the bottoms so I can sign them. 
I had gotten two Colman gas stoves and one was having problems getting going. My brother checked a few items and got it working again. I now know what to do if I have the problem again. He also told me that I should be able to get the gas at Home Depot. He said he saw it in the section that has paint thinners. I shall soon be ready for Hurricane season. 

I had some particle board I had picked up some time ago. I realized I needed to replace a shelf in one of my closets so I got it from Mom’s house where I kept it. I turned out to be the right size and fits nicely. I intended to trim it to match another shelf I had, but decided not to, figuring I could make small adjustments when actually fitting it. It went in all right. I had assumed that board was a whole lot bigger than it really came out to be. I was thinking I might get a couple shelves out of it. Before I went to look for the board, I was trying to decide the best and easiest way to cut it to the right size. I now realized it was a sheet of plywood I was thinking as the board I was going to use.

Talking with my brother and parents was actually more fun than doing real work. 

I hope to do some turning next weekend. I will see what I actually accomplish.


those are metal crochet hooks, latch hook and knitting needles up front.

almost finished angels

Frog to this point. I handed it to my brother and he guessed right.