(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
The sky was just showing a glow when I headed to Mom’s house. 76 degrees early morning, 80 degrees in the afternoon. Blue skies in the early morning, with a slight tint of haze. A few high plates and spilt-milk clouds to the far south and very far north very early. A light breeze made it nice. The wind picked up in the afternoon. Puffs started to appear around ten and filled the sky the by three. Some took on a grey tone, showing they were getting pregnant, but none gave birth near us all day and into the evening. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
I headed out alone to yard sale this morning. My dad was not feeling good. Mom wanted to stay with him, possibly to entice him to take another nap.
I took the whole tour of the local yard sale circuit. It does not take long when you are not constantly parking, walking to the place, looking around at what they are showing, and then walking back to the truck, turning around and backtracking to the main road all the time.
I hit two yard sales for sure. I cannot remember if I hit a third where I did not buy anything. I just cannot remember. I do know for sure I hit two sales.
One was where the woman’s daughter was moving and a bunch of the stuff inside the house was for sale. I found some quality card stock that can be used for greeting cards. I now have a life-time supply of stock. I almost got some bamboo skewers which I saw at first, but decided against it. I later realized I should have gotten them, but, well, one lives and dies with snap decisions and bad memories.
Another yard sale was someone just trying to reduce what they had in storage received from family and friends. They had a yard sale yesterday and got rid of a lot of stuff and said anything over a dollar was half price. I found a miter guide that fits into the slot of a band saw or table saw. It had a clamp on it, so you can clamp the piece down, keeping it at the right angle when running it through the blade. I found that this miter fits the bandsaw perfectly. My brother might end up with it, but for now it is with the bandsaw. I have some ideas of projects where that might help. Even so, I would not have gotten it without the clamp. I have enough miters as it is. I picked up a bag of pens and clips. Just a few of the pens did not work. One can never find a pen when you want it. I got some hose hardware with several good spray handles, Mom got those.
I did have a good, leisurely drive, along pretty landscaping and nice houses.
I think the big reason there were so few yard sales today, was that last night, we had a torrential downpour come through. In Sunrise, where I live, we got very little. In Pompano, where Mom lives (possibly 10 miles by the way the crow flies), it did not take very long to fill one of her bird feeders, which is three inches deep, and it kept coming down after that. I think most people assumed there would be showers during the rest of the night and into the morning. Because of that fear, most people held off on their yard sales.
We have several terminologies down here for sales. In practice, they are completely interchangeable. In Theory, a YARD SALE is a sale where the stuff is laid out in the yard or driveway, not under cover. A GARAGE SALE, is where the stuff is under cover of the garage, within the garage. I am told that up north, they have TAG SALES. I think I have seen Tag Sale used once. One of the sales I visited today said “Yard sale” but it was inside the house, which a purist might have used garage sale instead. It does not always work in practice, but a yard sale is dependant on the weather. Everything is out in the open and can be damaged if the weather comes, especially if it comes early. A garage sale, at least in theory, can be held in any weather as everything is under cover. A most of the time, garage sales are also yard sales, where half the stuff is out in the open. I am not a purist. And it does not matter what they are called as long as they have interesting things to see, and much better if they have something I want to buy.
After I returned and settled in, I headed out back to do some work. I was in the mood to try some wood turning, preferably something big. I pulled my lathe out, and looked at a basket on the tool cart for possible platter blanks I had there.
The first blank I pulled out was a disk that was made from a two by twelve yellow pine. I think it was 10 inches in diameter (which is usual). I saw that it had been on the lathe once already and had some double sided tape on it so I might have used it to hold something in place while I touched it up. I looked at the tape side and it looked great. I flipped it over and saw a thin crack running down the middle in the direction of the grain. I took it by the edges and bent it. The disk snapped in half. It went directly into the garbage. I am now thinking I could have glued it back together, but it is better to start fresh. Glued together, it would have been workable. One does not think of everything at one time.
The next blank I pulled out of the rack was a 3/4 board I had knocked the corners off of. I have made many thin plates from this kind of board. I was about to ready it for the lathe, then I noticed it was bowed. When I checked it with more care, I found the bow was really bad. It was enough that it would not work for a standard turning. Once I got the lower edges to shaped, the high edges would be too thin or even gone. One way to shape it is where I follow the bowed shape. The platter would not be round, but more like an oval with high edges at the high point of the bow, and fade down to flat at a narrow waist.
If I want to use it as a standard platter, I really need to put a weight in the center and let it sit there and straighten out. Maybe some other time.
Another thing I could have done was to make it into a saucer. With a little imagination, there is always a way to make use of any piece of wood, however bad it is.
One reason I love yellow pine, is that the knots look good. It adds interest to the work. Other wood workers want pristine stock to work with. It is all a matter of taste.
I then noticed a platter I had started. The edge of the rim on the bottom where it sits on the table was all broken up. Back then, I had stopped working on the inside. This platter was being made between centers as I had a knob where the tail stock rested.
I decided I could finish that up. It looked like it had plenty of thickness to work with. I mounted it on the lathe with the intention to finish up the bottom before working on the inside. I saw it had a bit of a bow, mostly because it was out of round now, and I could not get rid of all the wobble, but figured there was enough wood left to work with.
My first job was to make a good rim for the platter to sit on. If I could not do that, the platter would not be worth working with. After I was happy with that, I aimed at evening out slope to the outside to the rim. It was getting close to where I could do the final clean-up on the surfaces before flipping it around. When I turned the lathe off, I saw some tear-out, and then saw that I had gone through the wood right at the tear out. Darn. I don’t know of a worthy way to save that. (Possibly make it into a saucer) The bow was worse than I thought and, at least at that spot, the wood was thinner than I expected. I must not have been accurate when I made it the first time. It might have had something to do with why I stopped. That piece went into the garbage too.
When I first started wood turning, I had the idea that I could save anything, no matter how bad it might be. Break a piece? Glue it into a different shape, or carve it to make it look like it was supposed to be that way, or turn it into an amphitheater for little carved men. It just was a matter of a little work.
I then realized I was not working every single day, all day long at wood working.. It dawned on me that I just did not have time to save every bad piece of wood. I could only work on a couple projects at a time, and it had to be a project I was excited about at the moment. That was when I learned how to throw things away. It hurt a little at first, but then I got used to it.
I was not in the mood to clear the area in front of the bandsaw to cut some more blanks, or cut on something else that needed bandsaw work, so I decided to go with plan B. I cleaned up, put everything away.
I dug out the angels ornaments I had started making. I have four where I accidentally made them with butterfly wings and those are painted. I already made body-blanks and wing-blanks with the bird wing shape. They were flat cut and over thick.
I first needed to reduce the thickness of the wings. Just flat wings is no fun. It is better to reduce the thickness in a way that looks like they have some detail to them.
I started on the first set of wings using my knife and dremmel, After someminutes, I realized I was doing this the hard way. I took that set and the others over to the disk sander and sanded off the thickness on an angle, the tip being sanded away on one side, while the top of the wing was sanded away on the other side to give the wings an angle compared to where they meet at the body. A rapidly sand paper disk eats wood fast.
Once that was completed, I sat and shaped the wings with the dremmel. I rounded the outside edge in one direction, and the inside edge in another, to give it the illusion that it is thinner than it really is.
Then I cut a slot with the knife in the bodies for the wings to fit into. I don’t want them coming off too easily. I placed the slot at the edge of the grain. I figured it would be less likely for a layer to pop off that way.
Once I had the inset where the wing would fit, I globbed a lot of water-resistant wood clue glue in to the slot, and fitted the wings in, and then filled the gaps around the exposed surfaces of wings with more glue. As each one was done, it was set in the sun to dry.
With one set of wings, the tip had snapped off one of the wings. I have the grain running side to side through the wings rather than up and down. It was a tactical decision. Up and down, the whole wing could break off. Side to side, just part of the wing could break off. This is whitewood or white pine, which is not known for strength or hardness. I had made the decision for the direction of the grain when I was doing the butterfly style wings. I am not sure if I would do it differently next time.
I decided I was not going to use that set of wings. Later, I was shaping another and one of the wing tip also snapped off. Working with the last angel, I needed one more wing set I had two broken wing sets. I cut both wings in half where it meets the body, and glued the two good wings together. Once they set a little bit, I did more shaping, during which I snapped the wingitip off one of those wings. In this case, since I had the glue at hand, I glued the tip back on, let it set for a short time, and then continued to finish it up. Now all the angel bodies have wings.
I still have to clean up the wings and bodies, removing the excess glue where it is globbed up, making the whole shape look good. Then I can then paint them to hide all the mistakes and repairs.
I found out that the paint I used on the first four angels is not a permanent paint. It will smear onto other things. All the angels need to be varnished to seal the paint in place. They will also need eyelets so they can be hung. I will have eleven angels done and that will be enough. It won’t be worth making the twelfth. If I found I needed some more, I could make several at a time with no problems as they are best done in batches, but just one is not worth it.
I have other ornament designs in mind. One design will require spending time on the bandsaw before I can do any carving.
I went to a wedding in the evening. My digital camera died. I am not sure why. It could be that it fell off the chair onto a carpeted floor. Everything works except the image is broken up. I only got a few pictures that were usable. My tablet also is acting up. I don’t use that camera hardly at all. It is now stuck in SELFIE mode. No one wants to see that, that is for sure!!!!! (too frightening for even a horror movie).
I have no idea what I will be doing tomorrow.
I will have to see.
Year 16, Week 14, Day Two (week 848)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
High spilled milk and feathers, a few widely scattered lower puffs. A strong wind that threaten to pull hats off a head. My brother was not coming up to Mom’s. We decided to go to BRANDSMART and replace my camera. I found the exact same camera, in a different color, for only a little more than I bought my old one. All the old accessories work with it.
I went through the kitchen and housewares stuff that Brandsmart has. It is a lot of fun to see what new items have come out, or what items I have seen at yard sales actually cost when new. I got some ideas for a wish list. One or two things I saw, I have, but cannot remember where it is buried. Need to dig them out and use them.
That pretty much ended my day.
The turning club meeting is this week. I have no idea what is planned for the weekend. It would be nice to finish up the angel ornaments. It would also be nice to work on another kind of ornament. I should cut out some more blanks for turning platters. I had considered some goblets and should turn a few also. I am not hurting for wood if I choose the project to fit the wood I have.
I will have to see what happens next weekend.
the miter gauge with clamp on my bandsaw
The inside of the incomplete platter
the back of the incomplete platter.
Showing the daylighted tear out from the back
A better view of the daylighted tear out from the front
Showing the bow in the 3/4 board I planed on making a plate from.
Another view of the bow in the 3/4 board
front side of the angels
back side of the angels.
showing a "good" picture of what the camera was dong. Looking at the pictures I took during the day, I see signs that the camera was failing before this.