(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
50 degrees, clear skies in the morning with a range of blue mountains over the ocean as the color grew in the eastern sky in the early morning, becoming a white-capped mountain range after the sun showed up. I stopped noticing it during the day and the mountains had left later. . Some puffs showed up over parts of the sky in the afternoon with a temperature of 75 degrees. The sky is still dark when I leave my house but the sky is lightening up as I near Mom’s house. That tells me that the dead of winter is now past. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism
After an early breakfast, Mom had a meeting to go to. I dawdled around a short time before I headed out yard sailing. For some reason, the humane society’s yard sail did not happen. Because It is off my normal rabbit run I left there differently than the way I came and got to the end of the Lighthouse Point - Deerfield run which is usually good, and worked my way south. I nearly missed the first yard sale except the car in front of me turned, and then I saw the little tiny sign and followed the car.
Many people who do yard sales don’t consider reading the sign from a fast moving car. I have heard people who wrote their sign with a small marker saying, “they can get out and look.” It is better to make it as easy for people to find you as possible. Now when yard sailing, one has to discern in a few seconds, whether the sign is for a yard sail, open house, upcoming fair, house for sale, or “elect me.” Arrows are really nice as long as there are enough on the route to get you where you were going. Last year, I was following a series of yard sale signs and when I got near the end, there were none and I could not find it. I’ve noticed this weekend the good practice of placing the sign on the side of the road you will be turning. I will have to watch for that to see if it is as common as I think it is. A lot of signs are in day-glo colors which is nice. You can see those several blocks away sometimes.
After that first yard sale, I was either very lucky or saw the signs. One yard sail I drove past going to another, but a woman asked the owner about other yard sails and he mentioned one around the corner and I then saw it when I was leaving. I have no idea how I missed it.
I was wearing a short sleeve denim jacket and once the temps ranged above 60, I was able to drive with my window open. It was nice day.
At an estate sale, I found a cast iron pot and a small stove top percolator coffee pot. Getting them both allowed me to get a deal. That cast iron pot is about a third less the size of my other pot I got many years ago. “I think I am addicted to cast iron. I will do something about it if it becomes a problem....”
The coffee pot is a 1/3 sized pot. As long as I know that, I can compensate. One always need coffee when there is a power out such as from a storm. Electric coffee pots tend to have plastic bottoms that do not like being placed on a burner or a fire.
One yard sale was a club fund raising event for the Coral Springs Crafts Guild. I did not find anything there that was useful, but I did talk to one of the members and was invited to join. I don’t have the time right now. It would be fun. What I understand is each month they have a different project for everyone to try, like last month they did a painting since most of them don’t paint. In my yard sailing, I have been invited to join various groups doing things for charity or clubs. If I was retired now, it might be worth joining.
When there is a lot of people at a yard sale, I have the practice of saying something like “good morning.” The owner tends to be the one who replies. At one yard sale, I saw who the owner was ahead of time, but I said Good Morning. He said, “You are the first one to say that to me. I will give you a deal because of that.” I ended up with a adjustable metal saw horse. While I was driving, I was thinking about how to use it. One idea was for the band saw when using long sheets or sticks or for the table saw. The last yard sale I went to, a friend happened to be looking there. He is a cabinet contractor. I showed him the saw horse and he ended up with it. It will help him when he is working alone.
I relaxed when I got home, then after lunch, I went out back. I thought I had more round wood disks than I actually have. A friend asked me about a tray to carry some table stuff. I decided to give it a try. This would be made shallow and fairly flat with a handle in the middle.
I used a two by disk that was about 11 inches diameter in the rough form. I found the center and the mounted it on the lathe. This time I used the chuck to back up and drive the wood. I simply opened the chuck all the way out and put the wood against it with the tail stock holding it tightly in place.
As usual, I did the back first. I made the foot of the plate quite large. After that was done, I flipped it and could not quite get it as centered. I should have verified the center on the back side before starting. I could have verified it before I flipped it. I worked the top, leaving the center nub that the tail stock was against, much bigger than I normally would, as I wanted to use it as a handle.
I used sandpaper to clean up the edge instead of cutting the off center wood away. No one is going to see the difference between the bottom and top of the disk. It might be an eighth at most off between the two sides. When spinning at a thousand RPM, that looks like a whole lot.
I cleaned up all the shavings and saw dust. One interesting thing about the dry yellow pine shavings. It sticks to hair really well. My arms were covered and I had it in my hair. I used a whisk broom to brush the shavings out of my hair and to get it off the arms. It also gets inside shirts and into everything else. I had to work to get clean of all the saw dust and shavings, and some still appeared later when I was inside the house.
Since I had helped Mom with a quick little project, which was actually quick, when I had first gone out. I had the folding table set up and the dremmel still out. I ground away the nubs on last week’s platter and this week’s. As usual, the grinding wheel (sold as a “saw”) left marks where it went off the nub. A flap sanding wheel for the dremmel removed the worst of the grinding marks but left different kinds of marks. While touching up with some hand sanding, I found that there were some errors with my tool working. There were a few ring waves going around the piece. I was not even in my drawing the cutting tools across the face. It was not visible to me on the lathe. I have a whole lot more sanding to do. Did I ever tell you that I don’t really like sanding????? Whenever you use power to sand, they add different kinds of marks. One ends up having to do serious hand sanding in the end.
The yellow pine looks pretty good. With the tray, I might turn a handle or a holder for a dip cup and attach it in the center. I have several ideas of how to do each. Each method has advantages and difficulties.
After everything was put away and cleaned up, I went in. I had done far more than intended.
I will see what I do tomorrow. I never know what Mom has planned.
Year 16, Week 07, Day One (week 841)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
62 degrees early morning 75 in the afternoon. Flat puffs soldiered across the sky in an even pattern. One almost did not notice it when one was over the sun. They were moving that fast and were that thin and small. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
On the way to Mom’s, I stopped at a yard sale and got a pair of C-clamps that were about 18 inches long. Big heavy ones. My brother got them from me. He said he could have used them last week. We think they were used to clamp big beams together while they glued and bolted them together. My brother said one had a repair weld on it, but it was still useable. I never noticed it.
My brother came up intending to make a knife out of a file. We knew had a few in the garage. The garage has become more storage than anything as of late. If you don’t know where you want to put it permanently, stick it in the garage. I started moving things out so I could get to the cabinet I thought it was in. It quickly became a treasure hunt. I found a few things I did not realize was in there. I first moved stuff out one side of the garage stuff, just in the front.
The cabinet at that side was finally cleared to open. Dad had all sorts of neat tools.
All sorts of wood chisels filled a drawer. I’ve never done much with carving with a chisel, sticking to a knife. My theory was that I should learn how to use one thing well, rather than a few hundred things poorly. I now understand chisel carving much better than any time in previous years. One chooses the sweep of the chisel to match the radius one is working with, change to a different sweep as the curve changes. There are several projects where a chisel would have made it a whole lot easier to do. I tend to work either with a knife or a dremmel. I do have a couple chisels in my work kit but use them rarely.
He had a small drawer of paint, which is in colors I don’t use. I had picked out the colors I needed long ago. I just now remembered that he has a complete set of colors in another cabinet. I had made two complete sets, one I use in my basket and one in that cabinet. The drawer I glanced at had the colors I would never use such as flesh. I prefer wood colored when possible. I also have a set of the same kinds of paints at home.
He had some power tools, bits for a Fordum (much more powerful than a dremmel and users a shaft to transmit power to the bits while the motor hangs nearby) or dremmel.
We then moved out some more equipment and stored stuff on the other side of the garage and found more tools. Dad had quite a few planes. If I were doing furniture, I would use them a lot.
We finally found the files we were looking for. I picked out a round file and two small files, while my brother picked a large file with the most worn grooves on it. There are more there.
After I rough swept the exposed part of the floor, we put everything back. That project was enough work for both of us. It was fun to be reminded of what Dad had in there, and imagine the projects I could do to use them.
With all the tools we have there, and that my brother has, we can make absolutely anything at all. All that is really required is time and effort.
Afterwards we sat and talked until lunch time.
I make my files differently than my brother intends to do it. He plans to heat the file to remove the temper (hardness), then grind it into a knife, then heat it again and put in the temper in again.
I just grind and hope that the hardness goes all the way through.
Many modern files are case hardened, where the hardness is only part way into the material. The inside of the metal is still soft. It is cheaper to make them that way They are also less likely to shatter if they fall a distance. The soft metal inside will give and spring a little.
I simply grind the file into a knife shape that I am after. If only the outer surface is hardened, my knife will have to be sharpened often. His method is better for knife making but mine can be done less knowledge about metallurgy to create.
We all talked quite a while during and after lunch, then we had to leave.
I have no idea what project I will work on next week if any. I do have some more angle wings to make. I also might do another platter if the weather is good. I have a lifetime supply of wood to work with if I could apply myself to it and two life times of ideas.
I did find out that the project I made yesterday was not what my friend was after. She was after a larger tray and did not need to be lifted by the center. I have some ideas to make one but it will require a different skill set to create it. I can do it, but will have to think about whether it is a project I really want to handle.
I will see what I do next weekend.
1/3 pot coffee pot
cast iron pot
Using chuck to back up and drive project this time.
I love knots in these projects
This will be the bottom
Bottom about done
The top with the knob in the center
the bottom with nub to remove
Tops of last week's plate and this week's project. Nub removed
Bottoms of both projects, nubs removed. Much sanding has to be done yet.