(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
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.