(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
68 degrees early morning, 87 late in the day. Light breeze grew stronger over the day. There were a lot of puffs early morning, and during breakfast, one cloud sprung a three minute leak. The sky cleared until after noon, when flat bottom puffs were shepherded across the sky. This was a great South Florida tourist day, best spent at the beach or park. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
Went to the turning club meeting. The work on display was well worth seeing. One guy made eggs out of solid wood of various sizes. Another did more experimentation with spirals, There was carved pieces and pieces that one would not have thought to make (mushrooms for example).
The demonstration was on a specialty salt shaker. This salt shaker has one hole in the bottom. Move the salt shaker around and the salt stays inside. Shake it up and down and the salt comes out. He showed cross sections and showed them off last month, and this month, showed us how to make one.
The salt shaker is basically two pieces. The body, and then a cone that is how the shaker works. With the body, he used two Forsner bits, an inch and a quarter, and a one inch bit, the larger bit only went in about a quarter to an eighth inch in. He also used a pointed bit to “indent” the roof inside. He then used his tool to dome the top. The indent was to get rid of any spike that might have formed inside and give him a starting depth for cleaning up the inside.
He then drilled the second part, the cone, with an 1/8th inch bit. He then centered the piece on the drill hole, just in case the drill bit wandered as it went through. He made the bottom into a funnel. He shaped the rest of the piece into a cone around the drill hole. He measured and made sure the base would fit into the inch and a quarter drilled hole, and then a shoulder that would fit into the inch hole, and the rest of the piece sloped down to where there was just a little bit of wood around the drilled hole.
The way this salt shaker works, is that the stem keeps the salt inside. When you shake the shaker up and down, the salt hits the dome and crashes in the middle, and falls into the hole of the stem and out the bottom.
We went yard sailing through two sections. We visited 5 yard sales and I purchased a mixing wand with two interchangeable beaters. I have two, I think, but have not seen them for a long time. This one is much better than the ones I have, and the removable beater wands is great for cleaning.
I keep mentioning the wonderful landscaping we drive through. Broward County Florida is in a climate zone where the Northern range of tropical plants and the Southern zone of temperate plants overlap (The upper and lower boundaries of these zones shifts due to extreme heat and frost). Plants from all over the world are brought into our area for landscaping. As you drive along, you will see dozens of kinds of palms, and dozens of kinds of leafy trees, along with an extremely wide range of ground cover and shrubs. The foliage goes from almost black to bright yellow-green to blue green and everything in between. Then, periodically, you get flowering threes that explode into color. Many of the shrubs have red leaves, blue leaves, striped, splotched along with periodic flowers. The foliage goes from very large, to light and wispy, to really long, to extremely tiny. Along with all this, some trees do lose their leaves. Textures and colors abound.
As you drive through many of the areas of the county, the variety of plants and colors are a joy to see. Then of course, you have the boats, the houses, and how everything is laid out on the properties. At least in the area I yard sale, it is a true joy to just drive. It changes over time too.
When we got back, I went out to feed Mommy Kitty and almost fell asleep while petting her. I napped for a few hours. I needed it.
Going out back to work, I decided to do some bandsawing. I dug out three two-by-blanks I had, and sliced off the corners. The bandsaw has a meat-cutting blade and does not do corners well. Part of my problem is that the blade twists, but in the opposite direction I was trying to run the wood.
A old adage, is that the more time you spend at the saw, the less time you have to spend with your machining. That is why I removed the corners on these boards. When the mood comes over me, I can put them in the lathe and start making something.
Since I had the bandsaw clear, I decided to try working on a new type of ornament. These are paint brushes. My plan is to have “paint” on the ends of the bristles, and have something written on the ferrule like Noel.
I considered several ways to operate. I was not about to make each one individually. Instead, what I did was draw them out on the two-by wood, then marked the sides with four lines and bandsawed on those lines. I then cut the handle shape based on my drawing, and then cut at the end of the slots. I now had four brush blanks exactly the same.
I went to the disk sander and cleaned up all sides of the pieces so I had a clean surfaces to work from. I marked with the knife, and then used a dremmel bit to set in where the bristles enter the metal ferrule that holds them in place. I used my knife to cut in wedges for the bristles so it looks like a brush. I cut grooves in all four sides and marked up the ends. I knocked the corners off the handles. I might round them even more before I call it done. I will have to see.
These look good. The eyelets to hang them will be in the end of the handle.
I figured out that I had seen signs of my camera dying since last month. It started out that video mode stopped working. There were little quirks that were ignorable. It was only on last Saturday that the worst effects showed up. The screen going dark when taking a picture. The flash stopped working at the same time. Then, later on, the image went bad. I don’t feel quite as bad as the camera did not just suddenly die on me. I had a little bit of warning, even though I likely would have ignored them if it happened again.
The camera in my tablet suddenly decided to start working properly this week. Last weekend, the camera was stuck in Selfi mode and the icon to change the image was gone. Wednesday, it suddenly changed back to normal and the icon reappeared.
I like to have my camera set with flash-always as the default and change only when I don’t need the flash. Well, my new camera did not have that option. There were three flash options instead of four. Last night, I decided to check the old camera and the new one to see if it was really different. The old camera had the icon. Then I checked the new one and the always flash icon was there now. I guess it was not my week for cameras.
I addressed the angels I made last week. I cleaned them up, used more glue as filler, and after it was smooth, I hit them with silver paint. I see that the glue looks different than the raw wood. The only real way to solve this is either to be very accurate in the creation of them, or rough the glue to look like wood. I am doing neither on them. They will have to do as they are. Most go as gifts anyway and most people won’t notice it or care if they do.
I considered doing a lot more on the ornaments, but decided to stop at around four o’clock and have some down time before it was time to leave.
Today was one of my best days in a very long time. I wish every woodworking day was as productive as today was.
I will see what happens tomorrow. Usually Sunday plans are made for me or change on a dime.
Year 16, Week 15, Day Two (week 849)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
87 as a high, One tiny sprinkle half way up on the trip. Puffs disappeared and became a blue sky with peripheral feathers and puffs near the horizon. The breeze was just strong enough to make you pull a hat down to make sure it did not lift. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
My brother arrived as I pulled the lathe out. He had to repair a chain vice and then sharpen some drill bits.
I had an idea for a project and wanted to see if it would work. I had a 3/4 board that has a bow in it. I thought I would try to make use of the bow for a unique platter.
In wood turning, if you take a piece of log and spin it with the ends whipping around, and you hollow it out deep, you end up with a long oval piece with high ends. This is called a BANANA BOWL. My thought was that if I followed the bow of the platter, I could end up with something that had some resemblance to a banana bowl. I needed to keep as much of the high point as possible, and go deeper as I cut to the center. On the backside, I cut as much to the high point and less at the center.
There is an important rule when wood turning. Before you turn the machine on, spin the work to see if it hits anything. This is a key safety practice. Work or equipment, or you, can be damaged if the lathe is turned on and there is contact somewhere.
This was a twelve inch by three quarters board and while I had removed the four big corners, three of the remaining eight corners contacted the bed of the lathe. I had to slice them off. Now that I had clearance, I turned on the lathe and had to first round the outside. I stopped the lathe to address the bottom of the platter, and saw that a knot had come off that was at the edge (this is why you don’t stand directly in line with the edge when working), so I had to reduce the diameter some.
As I started shaping it, I found that the wood did not cooperate with me. The bow in the wood changes as I worked. Wood is always in stress and when you remove materials, the stress is relieved and the wood changes shape a little. Work made years ago might no longer be round or flat. One must either keep the work really thick, where there is a lot of material to hold it in shape, or really thin, where there is very little to shift it out of shape. Even so, the wood will change shape.
I kept getting bounce from the tools and had some very light divots part way around. I dug out some 23 grit sandpaper and removed the tool marks. I used it when I nearly finished the inside also.
I turned the piece around and shaped the inside. Again, the bow was creating problems I did not expect. I was not ending up with anything that resembled a banana bowl. I realized that generally, banana bowls are natural edged, where the bark remains on the edge. This was not going to be that. I essentially removed the bow and created a flat platter. It is thicker in the center than it should have been and that made the slope of the rim a whole lot less than it should have been.
I turned this between centers, and after I was all done, I sat with the dremmel and ground off the posts that the tail stock had left on both sides. I also did a whole bunch of hand sanding to remove signs of the dremmel, and then the course sand paper. The results is not bad, but it sure needs more sanding before it is finished.
A note about Sanding. Sandpaper essentially scrapes the surface of the material, heavier where it is higher, less where it is lower. When the scrapes over the entire surface is the same, the sanding is considered finished. Courser sand paper uses bigger grains and makes bigger scores. Finer sand paper makes tiny scores and are less noticeable. It is usually best to buy each grade of sandpaper from the same manufacturer and use each grade until the heavier grade’s score marks disappear. Furniture makers tend to stop sanding at around 150 to 320 grits (the grit size is based on a mesh, with how many lines of mesh to the inch. Anything that cannot pass through a mesh is said to be of that size. There might be larger sizes on the mesh, but the mesh dictates the minimum size grains on the paper). And say that is fine enough. Of course, many of them will use wood fillers and stains before they apply the final finishes. Wood turners tend to go until 400 or 600 grit sand papers, and with some woods, they will even go to 32000 and finer for a glass finish with just the wood.
In general, sandpapers below 100 grit are for shaping and usually, if your tool skills are good, you never have to use that. Many don’t even start sanding until 350 because of their skills.
I was using 32 grit sand paper because I was really sloppy and was running into problems. This was not a material one should really be using. It is great firewood, except that whitewood or pine, which this was, burns poorly.
I used the 23 grit sandpaper to clean up where the posts where when I turned them, and a few spots that were rough on the main surfaces. I followed that with 100 grit sandpaper and finally 230 and stopped. The sandpapers were not by the same manufacturers and needed grits in between. A good sanding session will clean the platter up for finishing. When done, this will be a good five dollar plate....... Of course, the thought crossed my mind to do some piercing, making it look like a swirl of leaves. I will have to see when I get that energetic.
After I got the platter to where it was acceptable, I set it to the side and addressed the angel ornaments. I sanded the bottom on the disk sander so all of them would sit flat (a couple were tippy). I painted the halos yellow, and added eye hooks along with signing the bottoms. They need a coat of varnish to seal in the silver paint I used. That paint is not a permanent paint and rubs off onto other things. I might do that next weekend. Will have to see.
Thinking about it, the thing I forgot about banana bowls is that you leave the natural edge. I should have kept the high edge and worked in from there. Instead, I basically flattened it from the start. There was no way it was going to look like anything other than a platter.
I had a good day today. It is always a lot of fun to get some production and results. I have ornaments to work on, wood to turn, and other projects planned if things go well.
I will have to see what I do next weekend.
cut away of the salt shaker he demonstrated.T
wo pieces, cone and body.
corners cut off for future work.
two by for brush ornaments, showing drawing.
released the brushes.
original bowed piece of wood
finished inside of platter
finished outside of platter
Ornaments to level they were finished today.