Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Year 16, Week 20, Day One (week 854)

Year 16, Week 20, Day One (week 854)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-28-16 Saturday

76 degrees early morning 88 late afternoon, showers early morning, a space with nothing right after breakfast, then showers after we got home. At about two, a torrential downpour hit, then things dried up a few hours later. Cloudy all day until around four when some sun showed up. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

Because of the forecasted and experienced weather, we did not expect to see any yard sales. Heading home from Breakfast, we saw a sign for a Garage sale and stopped rather than going home first.  It was under an awning in the back yard.  He had a lot of tools including as for working tile, and said these were from a previous business.  I saw a few things I would like to have but would never be able to put them to use at least right now,  or have room to keep them until I was ready. 
After we got home, the sky decided to water Mom’s plants. We chose to sit back and relax. I dug out my tablet and played games while relaxing on the couch.
At about two, I decided to go out and do something. Right then, the sky opened up and gave Mom’s plants the soaking they really needed. I laid back and relaxed with my tablet the rest of the day.  Other than going out to pet and feed and pet the cat a couple times, I accomplished less than nothing.

I hope to do something tomorrow. I plan to spend Monday working on some projects at home.

Year 16, Week 20, Day Two (week 854)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-29-16 Sunday

88 degrees late morning, 93 at noon. A lone tower to the east over the ocean at about ten and a single tower to the west over the Everglades at about noon. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

Mom told me that My brother was coming tomorrow. I decided to head directly home and doing tomorrow’s projects today. 

I started a crock pot of chicken bones I had collected from several rotisserie chickens. A couple times, Mom gave me the bones with some meat still on them, I would put the bones in the freezer after I picked the best of the meat off. I decided to use the crock pot I got last week at a yard sale for this.
I took a loaf of bread out of the freezer and stuck it into the fridge in the morning to thaw. When I got home, I kneaded it well before placing it into a pan. 
When I made the dough, I rose it, and then placed the risen dough into the freezer. The last time I baked a frozen loaf, it did not rise. I decided that I would try kneading it and then let the yeast in it work to raise it. 
One project I had was to replace a screen on my porch. I had gotten some screen from Mom from her project. I unrolled it and held it up to the space I needed to fill. It was just a trimming in comparison. The screen replacement project was off for another day. 
I sliced some boneless chicken breasts with my meat slicer. I expected to come up with full width slices but it had gaps which became strips. I had it way too thin for the first one, made it thicker and was still too thin. I will use them in a different way than planned. My idea was to stuff them and bake them as a roll. I will use them in a way that is appropriate for the piece I take out. 

Other than taking a lot of time doing little, that was my accomplished for the day. Tomorrow I go to Mom’s house to be with my brother for a while. 

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 20, Day Three (week 854)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-30-16 Monday

88 degrees at about eleven, 94 at about one. Thunder towers first developed over the Everglades to the north in Palm Beach County. The towers spread south and headed west, still over the Everglades and became one giant grey wall with a flat shield up high that spread just across the sky to just over us. Blue skies to the East over the ocean.  Since the sun was to the west, it was in essence, cloudy. There was a nice breeze that took away the worst of the heat when one felt it. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

I left home earlier than planned. Since I was early, I headed to Home Depot to pick up two items. I walked all the good isles seeing if there was anything that I needed. The more isles I went, the more I remembered I needed a few things (ahead of when I got there, by the way with two exceptions). 
With the window screen that I needed to replace, I turned near the end of an isle (there was a jog in the wall and one end isle teed into the other, about fifteen feet before it ended), walked by an employee who was talking to a couple people and saw another walking toward me. I asked where the screen was, He said he was not of this department and I should ask the guy who was talking. I did not want to interrupt him because I dislike it when that happens to me. I walked past him and continued up the isle. Right there on the building wall, was the screen. Had I gone straight, I would have seen them!!!! “Where is the screen?” “Right there,” I prefer to try to find what I am after first unless I am in a really big hurry.
I decided that when I get back to the belt loom repair, I should use a smaller rod, that would allow more wood around rod so it will be stronger. I picked up a 1/4 threaded rod and a nut/washer kit (I had a 5/8 inch rod before). I don’t know if you remember, The belt loom is missing a tensioning knob and a shuttle. My first concentration is the tensioning rod. My first attempt did not work. I had the wrong drills for the project and used the wrong techniques. The rod itself cracked when I forced the nut into a slightly too small hole, and I had made the knob off center accidentally. By using a smaller rod, it will allow more wood to be around it, hence stronger. The rod and nuts were the impulse buy.
I picked up a few other items I needed before I got to the lumber section. The lumber section might have been a mistake except I had a “plan”. Two 2"x12" by ten-foot boards attacked me and I struggled with them in an all out fight. The straight grained one ran out of energy and rejoined the rest of the lumber. I only subdued the one with the pretty knots once it was laying across my basket. I tried to put it back but it hung on, so I had to take it home. 
I spent more than I planned, but was happy with what came home with me.

I got to Mom’s and after saying hi, I went out back. I set up the folding table to give me more space to work and laid the 2x12 board on it. With a tall 45 degree angle square and a pencil, I marked the board with squares. I put the angle on a corner and drew a line to the other side. I did this from both end corners. I then drew a line where the two lines met the edges. That is where the first cut would come. I marked from the ends of that straight line with the 45 and then did a straight line where the two 45 lines met the edge. I did this all the way down the board. This gave me all my cut lines. 
I had a choice of using a circular saw or the Saws-All and decided against the circular saw as I needed to cut corners off after I cut the boards.
I knew I could do a straight line with the Saws-All, but the question was whether I actually would. I put the saw blade in upside down so the handle pointed up. This would allow me to lay the blade down flatter on the wood with less saw in the way. My first cut wandered toward the end as I adjusted how I held the saw during the cut. I got the second cut nice and straight. As I went, I had some straight, some wandered.  When I had the last four, I had to clamp the board down on the table to hold it. 
I am not sure how I did it, but I got eleven blanks out of a ten foot board. It might be because the board is not quite twelve inches wide and also could be drawing errors adding up.
My brother arrived as I marked the actual center (the crisscross was not accurate now that my cuts were not accurate) I could have done it with a regular ruler, with a tiny bit more calculation work, but I used a centering rule to find and marked the center. I worked first from the factory edge to find the center and marked that with a line, then measured along that line to mark the other center line. 
I then took the compass and drew the largest circle I could on both faces. After I had marked all boards, I then took each board and put it in the vice with the corners to be cut sticking to the side of the vice. I sawed off the worst of the wood from both corners, but  sometimes I wandered  a bit too much. I was finishing the forth blank when we were called for lunch. There might be some light trimming needed if the corners stick out too much on the lathe. That is a fairly minor thing to do, usually.

One blank had three knots in it. I thought it was interesting and showed it to my brother. He said it looked like some creature where the knots that were cut long ways looked like ears. Talking, I drew a head to match the ears and the center knot was a nose. I guess I will have to carve that into a relief carving sometime. Another one, he said, looked like Alien eyes. I will have to see if I can find that one. Hopefully it was not one I knocked the corners off yet. I don’t remember seeing the knots when cutting. It might need to be carved also. They would be carved with dremmel most likely. 

After lunch, my brother had to head out. I cleaned up and put the blanks out of the way for now. I will put them in a better location next week, hopefully.

One thing the Gold Coast Wood Turning Club president said is that it is hard to find people to demonstrate. Many years ago, I demonstrated making a platter. I got the idea that I should practice making platters and possibly offer to demonstrate my method of platter makings. That was why I got the two by twelve board. It would be good practice for me period,  and if I demonstrate, it would help the club. Of course, I will tell them that I am demonstrating the wrong way of doing it....

I got home and had a blithering idiot replace the screen. I pointed out all the things he did wrong, and explained to him how it should have been done, and demanded that he take it down and do it right. 
He talked about pigeons, chickens, turkeys, doves, crows and Eagles. I hate it when he uses fowl language. He refused to redo it and said it was good enough for now and that was that. He said he had no time to work on it now. I will have to accept it for now until I get a lot more gumption to do it right. 
Since I was all alone, I was the one who did the work. It was about as good as the last time I replaced the screen and that lasted several years. It would have been easier if I had a third hand or a whole lot more practice. Since it did not take a whole lot less time than expected to put it up, taking it down and putting it up right should not take any time at all. 

Next weekend I kind of expect to remove corners off the rest of the blanks, and possibly turn one of them for practice. I also have that tensioning rod for the belt loom to redo, and I have a lot of half done projects begging to be made. 

I will see what I do next weekend.

cutting the boards. It is hard to see in the picture but you can see my markings for the cut  and spacings.

the stack of cut boards.

the animal board as we saw it.

blanks with corners cut off.

blanks needing to be cut

pencil marks showing a bit better the animal in the wood.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Year 16, Week 19, Day One (week 853)

Year 16, Week 19, Day One (week 853)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-21-16 Saturday

78 degrees early morning, 90 late afternoon, blue skies with high platelets over the ocean. Small puffs showed up and raced across the sky late morning and high towers and thunder boomers appeared and came close at around four, banging and booming, then raced away over the Everglades to the west. The weather reports I watched during the week looked horrible for Saturday, but Yesterday, the weather report changed to give good weather. I found that if it says “possible rain after noon,” or later the morning will be good and the rest of the day will usually be nice. In this case, it said after three, which the weather showed up near four. 
I go to  http://www.weather.gov/ and put in my zip code and it gives you on the left some of the day’s forecast. Under the temperature is a link for detailed forecast.  This is where they give the seven-day and ten-day forecast. 
I find this, for my area, to be reasonably accurate. Days out, it might be off on the timing, but it seems to become more accurate the closer you get to when you need it. One problem is that the stated weather reports are for a large area, not for your specific location. I have had a few times where, like for example, in the county to the south of us, was a stationary front, while where we were was clear. The weather report said a high chance of rain. 
I also use motion radar and a few other weather sites to back up my plans, but this is where I start each morning. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 


The Gold Coast Wood Turning Club met for our monthly meeting. There are times when it is hard to find people to demonstrate to the club. They could not get anyone for tonight, so they played a video that they had in their library. 
Cindy Drozda is a master turner who specializes in small boxes with finials. This video showed how to make a finial. They had about two hours of the videos on the CD, but only showed two segments. One was on the kinds of cuts one needs to know on finials, and really, any other kind of wood turning. There is the V cut (a groove where the sides angle in to a point), the fillet ( a groove where the sides and bottom forms a curve), and the bead (where the top edge or whole top is rounded, as in what you would see in a bead). With these three, plus the plaining cut (flattening and leveling the surface), one can do most any surface shapes of wood turning. One just changes the size
The second segment of the video was on making the actual finial. She showed techniques like starting at the very end and getting a section exactly the way you want it, including finish-sanding it before going to the next section so you never have to touch the previous parts. She also showed that she held her hand on the back side of the work while she made her  cuts, supporting the material as she worked. This kept it from bending or chattering. Too much pressure, especially if you are going extremely thin, can break a piece before you made the mistake. 
Someone mentioned that she usually makes her finals on the caps of the work itself, but in this case, she was using a jam chuck. She taped it in place and shoved hard on it to make sure it was seated. She said that if it comes loose, she could jam it back in and it will be square again.  If you just stick it in, it might not be fully seated and next time you push it back in, it might not be square to where you had it.
A jam chuck is a piece of waste wood that is shaped to hold your work. Sometimes it is shaped to go into the throat of a work so you can finish the bottom. Other times it has a hole to hold the work like with a chuck. One advantage of a jam chuck is that one can cut into and even trim off the jam chuck as needed without any worry about wasting good wood. In Cindy’s case, she had a hole in her jam chuck the same size as the one in the cap she will insert the finial into. 
Many people choose finials based on the length of the original. Longer the original, the longer the finial. Someone mentioned that the finials Cindy makes are based on the width of the work instead. It does not have to be very long even on a long piece. Just proportional to the width of the work. I have not compared her work to others so I have no idea whether proportional to length or width is better. Usually, it is suggested is to look at the work of many others and see what you like best. Tastes can change as one gets more experience or gets tired of what you have done so far. 

We were given a turning challenge for our next meeting. A turning challenge is where a process or technique is demonstrated, and then everybody is asked to try what was demonstrated. The main idea is to get people to try something they have never done, or have not done in a long time, or to try something differently than they have done before. 
The way we usually work it, is that one brings one’s work in and says it is for the challenge. They give you a ticket. When the time comes, everybody tells about their piece, h ow they did it, problems, etc. Then a number is pulled from the “hat” and three winners are selected. Usually they have gift certificates for the winners. They do this so rank beginners and grand masters have an equal chance of winning. 

Our challenge for our next meeting is to make a finial using what we learned. Some will just make a finial or a few of them, others will make containers for the finials to fit on for the whole effect. The idea is to try and make it.

When I started in the club, I would try everything they demonstrated, and bring it in the next month. While my results were nothing compared to theirs, I learned a lot and improved quickly. I stopped doing that when I started coming up with my own projects and not have time to do theirs. 

Because we are meeting in a high school, there won’t be any meetings for June and July. The school will be closed till then.


Going to Mom’s house, I had seen a sign in an area we regularly visit. Coming back from breakfast, We also saw a yard sale near mom’s house. After a quick stop to get our act together, we headed out. At the nearby yard sale I picked up a large oval crock pot. I really did not need it, but once in a while it is nice to have something bigger than I had. The price was better than I had ever hoped to see. The yard sale I had seen the sign for, was one that always has yard sales and did not have anything of interest. 
We then went through several sections of our yard sailing area and found one other yard sale when we were almost ready to head home. Again, nothing leaped into my hands. Mom had enough so we went home. 
I headed out on my own. I went through a couple other areas and found only two yard sales. I got a pack of paper clips and spring clips. 

I am looking at a possible future secret project that might happen in a few months. I did see several things involving that project, but I have no room to put the materials for the project so I had to simply had to drool and dream. I expect that when it is time for the project, I won’t find the materials.

I saw where a small Norfolk Island Pine tree was cut down in one area I drove through. Norfolk Island Pine trees can get up to three feet in diameter. Itis one of the most popular wood turning woods around. This one was a little over 12 inches, possibly 18 inches in diameter at the base where it was cut down. I stopped and had a look. I decided that the lengths of trunk were too much for me to carry or move. In the past, have used the branches for carving but decided not to get them either. Sad. I still have too much wood.

Once I got back, I did some horse trading with mom on the spring clips, then did some swapping with a batch I had out back. These spring clips have plenty of uses. They can sometimes be used as clamps, and I am constantly seeing videos of how they can be used to do many things I would never have thought of. I already have some at home, but this batch had more sizes than I have to work with.

I could not decide what project I wanted to do once I got out back so I sat with a light breeze and played with my tablet for a while. If in doubt, sit back and relax.  I have worked to get used to the heat. When the summer months come, we will have the same temperatures we are getting up to now, but it will be 90% humidity. (At least it feels that way) It is hard to do projects in those conditions unless you are used to it. Given a choice of staying “comfortable” and being able to do projects, I can always return to comfort if it gets bad. Projects don’t do themselves, especially when the weather is not comfortable.

After about an hour or two, of relaxing, I got an idea for a project.
A couple weeks ago, I cut up a two by twelve board. It was rectangular. I kept squaring it, cutting it, then squaring what was left and cutting it again, until I had what was basically a two by two stick left over.  I took a five inch square piece and marked the center. I put it in the lathe with the jaw of the chuck open, and the tail stock holding the wood against the chuck. 
With larger pieces, one cuts off the corners as it takes a lot of time to knock the corners off to make a piece round. If they are big enough, the corners won’t clear. In this case, the work was small enough where would take about the same length of time to bandsaw the corners off as turn them off. 
Because I was not actually holding the work in place with the chuck, there were a few times a corner caught on the tool and stopped the spin. The work slipped on the chuck. I would pull away, tighten the tail stock and gently work with more care for a few moments and keep cutting until it was round (with several more catches along the way). 
If the cuts I made when squaring the wood were true and straight, along with being nice and clean, I would have kept the outside square and round just the inside. But I was sloppy in my cuts and too lazy to correct it, rounding it was the best option.
I decided to make this in to a straight sided cup. After rounding, I started hollowing, leaving a stem in the center. Techniques for working small projects like this where it is right next to a large tail-stock, much different than when you are working with a large piece with plenty of room to work. When the work is  held on a face-plate or chuck while hollowing is even easier. When working between centers, one has to leave a post in the center to support the work. One has to fit the tool into the small space and get it into a position to do the cutting you are after.  I have had plenty of projects where the post broke on me. It is nearly impossible to get it square again when that happens. 
I ended up using an angle hollowing-tool, a bowl gouge and a round nosed scraper for the hollowing because of the way they cut the wood,  and then a skew-chisel laid sideways to flatten the bottom. 
Once I had it to a point where  I decided it was good enough, I turned the piece around and got it centered, and finished off the bottom. 
I have to remove the post on the bottom and inside, grind them flat, and do a whole lot of sanding, and in the end, I will have nothing more than a change cup, where you toss your change in at the end of the day, but at least It was a quick and easy project to work on. 
I might decide to re-mount it on the lathe and so a lot more sanding and a little bit more touch up cutting before I remove the posts. In the corner where the floor meets the walls, it could be made a little bit better, 

Within an hour after I packed up and laid down, thunder-boomers banged around the sky, but left nothing for Mom’s plants. 

I have some home projects to do tomorrow so I won’t be writing anything about that. 
I considered, and talked myself out of making noodles. I can still remember how much work it was, and won’t make any until I forget. It is getting close. I was actually thinking of ravioli or something stuffed on that nature. I did, though, decide to wait on it. 

I will have to see what I do next weekend.
large crock pot


rounded yellow pine blank

The start hollowing

nearly done hollowing. note the poste to hold work in place.

working the bottom.

the "finished" inside

The "finished" bottom

Monday, May 16, 2016

Year 16, Week 18, Day One (week 852)

Year 16, Week 18, Day One (week 852)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-14-16 Saturday

Sunny, 78 early morning, 91 late afternoon. Comfortable breeze, blue skies with some high feathers over the ocean. Around eleven, Indian clouds showed up (Apache) Others came to keep them company until some towers appeared over the Everglades. Most of the sky over the ocean was still clear most of the late day. This weather report was brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach department Of Tourism.

I was bright and chipper until after I got to Mom’s house. Then the Sand Man tapped me on the shoulder while listening to a really interesting tape mom wanted me to hear. After breakfast, we went yard sailing. I was drowsy while mom drove, but was wide awake the instant my foot hit the ground. 
A friend had a yard sale in a warehouse district. In trying to find the place, we found three other yard sales. One had some fine carved works. They were absolutely gorgeous, highly polished and that makes my best stuff look like garbage. I carve a different style though so mine might not be quite that bad. 
The third had jewelry at a price we could not resist. I saw two different earrings that I knew someone specific would love, but could not find the mates. 
At my friend’s place, he showed me his shop. Put in “watchman’s quarters and I would move there to work. Of course no one would ever see me again.....Two of my friends had stuff. I would snap up several of the items except I already have something like them or know I will never use them. I will never use an underwater metal detector, and already have a table saw. 
Mom got me an electric drum set. This is a battery powered unit that one gets for kids. It is nice that it has a base peddle. Unless one plugs it into speakers, one can only hear it through headsets that came with it. How dare a company take parent’s sanity into account. That is horrible!!! [Reminds me of the joke, “the nerve. My neighbor was banging on my door at three AM. Really, At Three AM!!! I ignored him and continued to practice my drums”]
One woman was moving. She had some sea horse door pulls. I had to have them. I am thinking about how best to turn them into dragons. Most people who move while down here, based on the yard sales I have gone to, are moving from one city to another in the tri county area. This family was going to Boca Raton. About one in five are leaving the state (the fools.....). 
One guy had a level gauge for machining. The surface of the thick granite base is machine to be perpendicular to the post. He had no idea what it was and I told him, but he let me take it for a song anyway. I am surprised that he did not double the price because of the way I sing.... these come in kits with several attachments for accurate machining. This one, though, only had a depth guage. You set the pin on the work, zero it out, then move the work around on the surface. If it is not level and true, the needle will go up or down, and the guage moves. You can see where and how much correction you have to do. 
There were a good number of yard sales we hit and they all had interesting items. My main problem is I would need to open a museum and a couple warehouses if I were to get all the interesting stuff I saw. 

After a long nap, I went out back. I tested the drum set, took pictures, then pulled out the lathe. I have a chip-&-dip plate that I made a while back. It really needed sanding. I had run across a palm sander recently in the shed so decided to use that to help sand the platter. 
Of course, the cup, which was added after the fact, was not square to the dish. When it spun, the platter wobbled badly. I put the lathe on the slowest setting and attempted to fix the platter’s surface. 
A thought on using a palm sander. Make sure the sandpaper covers the entire bottom of the sander and possibly the sides. When the rubber touches the wood, usuallly in a corner, the rubber will leave marks and they take more sanding to clear.  For some reason, rotating the corner of the palm sander off the work, does not seem keep the sander from marking the wood. 
There were some ridges you could feel on the platter when you ran your fingers from center to edge and back and the sander removed them, but there was some tear-out, from bad tool use, running around the platter that sanding does not remove. I had to use a lot of hand sanding in spite the use of power. That is always the case. Power always adds its own kind of marks  that have to be removed manually. The palm sander basically vibrates so it is not like a sanding disk. You really don’t know if you got the surface absolutely right unless you hand sand anyway as you can feel problems as your hand, on top the sand paper, moves across the surface.
Having done “something” I decided to pack up. It was 90 and I was not getting results I was after. 

My brother showed up later and we went out back. I showed him a bunch of things I got over the past month or so and he snapped them up. The clamps I got recently, the gauge I got today, a chuck I received from a turning club meeting. Something else I cannot remember as I type this. He had use for them and got them. I am glad he could use them. 
When he left, my day was done. I rested with my feet up until it was time to leave.

Today, I wore one of the pairs of pants I repaired last week. The repair itself held, but I hitched up the leg a little when I sat down and tore the fabric below my repair. By the end of the day, the repaired leg had three new tears and two tears were appearing on the other. Oh well, I got practice on sewing. When pant legs tear, not from damage like you catch it on something, the chances are that the fabric has become bad. 

[Sunday Note] 
I got to Mom’s house and she said, “let’s go out to eat” That ended any thought of accomplishing anything.

I have a turning club meeting Thursday. I had hoped to have something new to show off but it did not happen.

I will see what I do next weekend.

machining gauge. The granite base is machined to be perpendicular to the column

drum set

some jewelry 

sea horse door pulls. I think I am going to make them into dragons if I don't find a place to use them.

back side of sea horse.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Year 16, Week 17, Day One (week 851)

Year 16, Week 17, Day One (week 851)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-07-16 Saturday

Blue sky, 63 morning, almost grabbed my jacket but decided the truck’s heater would keep up with it. 83 late afternoon. Didn’t need my coat then. A nice breeze took away any excess heat of the afternoon. The sky was already light as I headed to Mom’s house. I remember driving in the dark not too long ago. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department Of Tourism.

I has seen signs for three yard sales on the way to Mom’s house. They tend to be set out when it is light, though some are put them out the night before.
Mom was driving and she decided to explore. We headed south first. We found all three yard sales first thing. They were interesting, but did not have what we needed. 

Among other things, Yard sailing is a patience type project. The more specific the things you are looking for, the longer it will take to find them. If you are looking for “presents or gifts” for a person or group, there is a lot of options as long as you are not very specific. One year, Mom was looking for Jewelry to give a group of women as door gifts for a conference. It was an easy order to fill. One just had to look for something appropriate at the right price. Jewelry of some kind is found at most yard sales.  If you are looking for something very specific such as “G-10 model 1998 thing-a-ma-jig,” then you might look for years to find it, if at all. 
I am mostly looking for things I want to own or use, but am also looking things that can be passed on to someone else as a present. My thought on presents is that I should get something I like. That way, If I don’t give it away, It is not a problem because I liked it first place. 
Opportunity and timing is everything. More than once, I stopped some place and someone purchased something seconds before I got to it. I don’t worry about what was sold long before I got there as, what I didn’t know is not a problem. I have also decided not to get something, and then regretted it for a long time after. 

I picked up a little aluminum vice. It uses a cam handle for tightening. I examined the design carefully and what they did was to set the threads of the bolt to that point where a short crank of the handle pulls the locking nut tight. There is a thin plate on the handle that holds the bolt at the right point in the thread for it to cinch tightly with just a quarter turn. It is giving me ideas for other things I really need to make.

We got home and I decided to go out back for what should have been a very short project rather than taking a nap first.  I first petted and fed the cat, petting her some more. Mom says she is growing a nice crop of fleas, though I did not see any. None of them landed on me to the best of my knowledge. The neighborhood is sand with a thin layer of vegetation. That is a great condition for fleas to spread in. They seem to love sand. Momma kitty likes to roll in the sand.

Last week, I told about the belt loom someone gave me. My project today was to make a tensioning rod for it. In theory, this is very simple. Drill a hole in a long piece of wood, turn it on the lathe, centered on the hole to near the right diameter and then sand. Then to drill a hole in a flat piece of wood and turn it so it becomes a knob. Inset the hole slightly for a nut to stick in the knob, then put together. 
That is how it works in theory. In reality, You first have to find the right piece of wood. I could not find the specific wood I was thinking about. A piece of wood I found that could have been usable, turned out to be eaten by wood boring beatles. The next choice I found should work. 
I should mention that we have wood boring beatles down here that will inject their egg into wood and the “worm” will eat out the inside of the wood. You know they are recognized to be in the wood from a tiny hole and  granular “saw” dust that trickles from the hole. They are usually just a nuisance but have done serious damage over time in someplaces. 

I then had to find a drill bit of the right size. I then had to figure out how to drill the wood in a way that would give me a straight shot all the way through. My first drill bit turned out to be just a little too short. I drilled the wood on the lathe. I had a drive spur on the motor side and the drill bit holding up the wood on the other side.  Working the bit in little by little, I drilled until the chuck touched the wood. I flipped it around, and after figuring out that a drive spur with a tiny point would work to hold it, I did the same thing also on the other end.. When I removed the wood from the lathe, I could not blow through the hole.  I was using a 5/16 bit which is the same size as the rod. I think I could have found a longer one if I searched, but I wanted to make the thing rather than spend my time searching. I had made my piece of wood a bit longer than the other dowels in the loom so that I had room to correct the ends from any “Roger Mistakes” I might have made.
My next choice of bits was slightly bigger. I had an 18 inch long spade bit that was 1/8th inch. Just a little bit bigger than the rod I was using. I stuck the piece of wood in the vice I got at the yard sale and held it in my hand while I drilled the hole the rest of the way through the wood.
I then mounted the stick to the lathe centered on the hole. I used the small drive spur again.  I usually don’t use this drive spur as it loves to bore its way into the wood. I put that to the hole and turned the stick  to the rough diameter of the other rods and sanded it really good. As expected, the spur worked its way into the hole.
I tested the threaded rod through it and it worked, Twisting a large drill-bit with my hand, I made the end of the hole a little bit bigger for the nut. The nut needed to be forced into the hole so it would not move. With a few light taps on the nut with the hammer  to drive the nut into the slightly enlarged hole on that end, the rod cracked!!! The enlarged hole was not quite big enough. I glued the stick and clamped it with the idea of using the other end near the nut.. 

I then addressed the knob. My first attempt was on a 2x4 whitewood blank. I had it mostly shaped and then realized this wood was not strong or hard enough wood for what I was making. It would be great carving wood but not usable for this purpose. Looking at the results at least the concept right. 
I had a piece of yellow pine that was a cut off from something.  I measured and cut a square with expectations that it will later be a bowl or platter. I then measured square and cut what was left of the cut-off to make  a smaller bowl ir cup blank. I finally cut the last piece square that was my knob and had a small piece of waste wood. If I keep that small piece of wood, I will never have a project it will be useful for. If I toss it, I will very quickly need to cut another piece that size.
I then cut the corners off the knob blank. I am still using a meat cutting blade in the band saw which has no set (side angle) to the teeth. It does not cut very fast. I also found it likes to twist a little and wander away from the line whatever angle I attack the wood at. It made cutting the corners off more interesting to say the least. 

I should note that I am using the drill by hand with nothing to make sure it is straight and it this case, I drilled with the long spade bit since it was still in the drill. If one centers on the hole, everything works out nicely. If not, one runs into the problem I describe next. 
I put the tail stock point in the hole and the back of the blank flat against the opened jaws of the chuck. It turned easily, though not as well as I should, and had the “underside” of the blank in shape. The knob itself is raised up from the surface for clearance for your fingers when turning it. I had that part of the shape nicely.  I then flipped the work around to shape the face when I saw I made a really big mistake. I knew exactly how I was going to do this project to compensate my lack of skills and  proper tools, on top my laziness. Somehow I did not follow my plan I was supposed to center the wood on the hole, not to the face like I did. 
Even if the drilling is with a drill press, drill bits will shift due to different hardness of wood or the direction of the grains. To compensate for even a slight error, you center the work on the hole itself and that cancels out any kind of error. 
When I was going to turn it around, the back side of the hole was way off center!!! When I slid the piece on the rod, the knob was at a slight angle. Had I centered the piece on the holes, it would have easily come out right. Instead, I see some work ahead of me.

I don’t think the wood tensioning rod is going to last even a single session with tight lines pulling on it. That is going to need to be re-made. I might make it a little bigger in diameter. I think also that I should look into using even smaller threaded rod to give more strength to the drilled wood. 
The knob could be fixed, just by centering it on the holes and making it thinner. I might re-make it anyway. I should use the drill press but there is a lot of stuff in the way. That is why I hand drilled these in the first place.

Every mistake could have been solved by taking a bit more time at each stage. What actually took most of the time was trying to find the right tools and materials to do the job. Nothing is in a central location nor do I remember where everything is. The actual work did not take any time at all. After I finished, I then was faced with the clean up, which was a project as I had all sorts of things moved out of the way to work. 

When I finally went in, I was done.  I did not sleep, but did lay quietly with my feet up. 

I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. Sundays tend not to be a day of real production.  

Year 16, Week 17, Day Two  (week 851)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-08-16 Sunday

High 60s before I got up in the morning, 73 when I headed from home and 83 in the late afternoon. Blue sky all day, except for a small herd of thin cloud lines over the Everglades. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I stopped at the plant nursery on the way to Mom’s. I picked up a Wild Coffee plant for her and myself, (Psychotria nervosa) and a Coco Plum (Chrysobalanus icaco) for me. The Wild Coffee is a distant relative of the commercially grown coffee. It is an under-story plant that has red berries a little smaller than a huckleberry and they have two tiny seeds. One person I knew collected a bunch of the seeds, roasted them and made coffee from them. He said it was disgusting.
The Coco Plum is a native plat that has green and red leaves and they have a thumb sized berry. The flesh sticks to the seed, but they are not bad tasting. I figured that Mom has never had a wild coffee plant and she likes plants best as gifts. She already has a coco plum I gave her years ago. 

I took pictures of a few items when I got there, had lunch, and decided I had some work to do at home, so I did not spend much time at Mom’s.

I have two pair of pants that have a tear on the leg. They don’t look good that way. I cannot sew and am positive I will never learn unless the existence of the universe depends on it... There is a right way to do something, and a wrong way to do something, and then there is Roger’s way to do something....

I decided I needed to do something with these pants. There is an adage that says Just about anything will look better than the rip, and I was going to disprove that adage.. I knew what I was after and how I should do it (that is like everything I am involved in. I know how it is to be done, but doing it is something else). Theory is great.  In theory one can move mountains with a spoon. Reality is something else. I just wanted to have the rip close just a little and started my stitch a bit away from the rip and went in and out a couple times before I got to the gap, figuring the fabric farther back would hold better than stitches just at the edge.
In the end, my tension was too tight and bunched the fabric too much. I actually intended there to be a whole lot more stitches, but that did not happen. 
While my repair looks a lot better than the rip, it does not look great. Hopefully, it won’t stand out like the rips did.  How my repair holds up will also be something else.  I think I had better find someone who sews.....

Next weekend, I hope to either fix or re-make the loom parts I made yesterday. I want to sand that chip-and-dip platter I made a while back. I have a lot of projects in mind to work on.  It would help if I retired and spent all my time on projects.

I will see what I work on next weekend.


Little vice is loose setting

vice set tight, note how the handle now touches the back of the jaw.

Bottom of the vice, Square nut is pulled tight to the metal with just a twist of the handle.

the stick to become the rod. Drill bit all the way in.

yellow pine blank about to be turned wrong, white wood knob shown next to it.

Nob and rod in place loosely

both knobs sitting on threaded rod.

Left side is the coco plum and the right side is the wild coffee plants I got.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Year 16, Week 16, Day One (week 850)

``Year 16, Week 16, Day One (week 850)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-30-16 Saturday

75 early morning, 86 late afternoon. Nice breeze with gusts that tugged on hats, focused in a few places to move stuff on tables. Sky showed red right where the sun rose and that faded to a yellow orange just before sunrise. Some medium level puffs, all day long mostly over the everglades and the ocean. A high haze settled over the entire sky that the sun spotlighted through and unless one looked up, one would not notice there was a haze (I know as I did not notice it for a very long time). This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After breakfast, we headed out yard sailing. There were a few in each section of our yard sailing run. We went to two areas I normally don’t go to, and skipped one area I go to when I am in a strong yard sailing mood. One of the first sales we went to was at a Catholic church. It was advertized in the paper and we were not sure where it was. It turned out to be one we went to last week. We didn’t recognize the name nor did we recognize the address. They won’t be doing these sales until August so it was nice to stop there. 
There were several multi-family sales. Those are fun as the selection tends to be so much better. They have to get their act together and put out stuff I am after . To the best of my figures, we visited 10 yard sales. Three were people who periodically have yard sales. Two of those were where I actually got something. 
Some weeks, several yard sales have similar items out. One week it might be bread makers, another time it might be lamps, and another time might be blenders. They have no idea what other yard sales has, it is just that something appears in common with several of them. Today was cutting boards. At one of the last yard sales we saw, I touched a cutting board with the thought of getting it, and forced myself to walk away. It had several colored woods in stripes and was pretty. It was below a few others but I saw the dark stripe of wood part way in and considered it. I did not get it as I have three cutting boards I use regularly and about five others that sit there, unused. I have one in the shape of a pineapple that mom had when I was growing up. It is hanging next to the stove and I never see it unless I happen to look at that one spot, While it is in plane view, I don’t normally see it. No, I have no need of cutting boards, none at all...but that one was pretty.
Again, I saw other items I would have snapped up several years ago, as I had a use for it or just wanted it. I am beyond that now.  The items that attracted my eye the most, are things I already have too many of. I think there is a reason for that.
What usually happens when you end up with many of something is that you find something you “cannot live without”. You then run across another one and decide to get it just in case the first one has a problem. Then you run across one better than the ones you had. Sometimes you forget how many you have. You might also get a couple for gifts that you never give away.
I purchased a mandolin slicing set with five blades. I had a set like this and gave it to a friend because I found I only used or needed a flat slicer. The price was good so I got this set. 
I found some wire display shelving. These are for displaying small items, setting them at different levels off the shelf or table. I have some and have used them when I was doing the Light House Point Yacht Club Art Shows. I have not done an art show in several years and have no idea when I will next do a show. I got these anywa as they might be useful, even if I don’t do an art show.
A guy had a bunch of clamps. I skipped the corner clamps he had with them, for use with furniture or picture frames. I have a couple of them and have never used any of them. It could be why my work is so askew.... In actuality, I have not done that kind of work. He had a bunch of small C clamps.  I was picking them up and asked how much he wanted for them. The price he gave for all of them was what I expected each. There is an adage that says, “You never have enough clamps.” I decided I am going to try to prove the adage wrong....... I probably should have gotten the corner clamps also. You never know what deals you get unless you ask the price. There are a lot of times I won’t ask a price if it is not something I absolutely have to have, or I will ask the price out of curiosity and can decide whether it is worth taking home. 
I got a quart and a half of buttons. The quart jar was filled with many sized, shaped and colored buttons. The baggy of buttons was filled with white buttons. Mom snatched up the baggy of buttons. I had seen some really tiny white buttons in there that Mom had said she was looking for, and got all the buttons. I keep thinking back to about two years ago, where I had seen something like six jars of buttons and did not get them, and am still kicking myself for not getting them. I did find some more tiny buttons for teddy bear eyes. That reminds me I have two teddy bears I have to finish stuffing and sewing up. I don’t dare make any more until these are finished. Maybe I should quit my job so I can have more time to do projects....... I have seen some crafts using buttons. Some using buttons as decorations. I will have to look them up sometime.

When we got home, I laid down with my legs up and played with my tablet while listening to the radio. I did not sleep, but did get some down time. 

I went out back to check over my yard sale finds and photograph them. It does not take long to forget what one picked up recently or when you got them. 
I dug out a can of varnish (getting old) and added varnish to the angels I had made. The paint I used on them smeared as I applied the varnish. That was expected as the paint was leaving marks on things kept in the same bag. While I was at it, I gave the wooden paint brush ornaments a coat of varnish. When I add paint to them later, the paint won’t soak into the wood and, I was already messy and had them all together. It was only a few more minutes of work to also give them a quick coat. I set the pieces out in the sun to dry. A few will need a tiny bit of cleanup as a few bits got stuck on them from the work bench. That is not usually a problem.

I cleaned up and then got hit by the lazies. I sat with the tablet and some music, and sat the rest of the afternoon totally pre-occupied. I was not in a big mood to do a lot of standing, which many projects I had in mind needed anyway. I only realized I played the day away, only when the sun was bearing down on my legs from over the neighbor’s house and under the awning. I saw it was late but not quite time to get going so I decided to keep playing until it was time to pack up.
When I went into the house, I saw a project I intended to work on, but had left it in the house and forgot about it. Maybe tomorrow.

I will see what actually happens tomorrow. 

Year 16, Week 16, Day Two (week 850)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
05-01-16 Sunday

81 late morning, 84 in the afternoon. Fast moving puffs. One put a few drips on my windshield as I was driving to moms, but that was an accident. Lots of blue sky between the puffs. A breeze just strong enough to cause you to pull down on your hat. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I got to Mom’s and placed some stuff out back with the intention of a project. Dad said, “Let’s go for lunch.” I knew I was not going to do any projects. We sit and talk during dinner so it takes a lot longer than just eating. 

The day had moved on when we got back. I could have done something, but chose not to work outside and instead head home. 
I started driving home and realized I needed a few things for the project I intended on working on, and there was a HOME DEPOT along the way. My truck pulled the steering wheel out of my hands and headed there on its own. It ignored the peddles. The day was hot and once it found a parking place and turned off the AC, it refused to restart. I could not stay in the truck under those conditions so I had to go in. 
Of course, I had a Sunday Worship service at the Home Depot store. I left a donation in the collection plate........
Last week, someone gave me a Belt Loom. This is to weave belts. The brand was printed on it and I went on line to find the company and any information on it. It is made by THE SCHACHT company http://schachtspindle.com/  and is their INKLE LOOM http://schachtspindle.com/item/inkle-loom/ . I found that the tension rod and the shuttle were missing, both of which is easy for me to make.
I realized that what I needed was a threaded rod and some nuts to make the tensioning rod.  The rod, and the tightening knob can be easily made with skills I already use. I considered getting a full length threaded rod but decided to get a short one, about a foot long (the full rod was only a little more in cost, but I did not feel we will need a whole lot of rod laying around (especially since what I was getting is not what we normally use) . Even so, I will have to cut the rod to length when done.
I strongly considering getting some dowels for the tensioning rod, but realized that when I drill the wood, the bit will likely wander. If I am doing this work, it will not be anywhere near centered at each end. The best thing to do is to drill the hole first in a much larger piece of wood, and then turn the work round and to diameter, centered on the hole.  My method is much like firing an arrow and then painting the bull’s-eye around it.
I have pictures of the shuttle and while I do not know the actual size of it, I can use the pictures as a guide and make something that will do a good job of passing for the real thing. Now, next Saturday, if nothing is planned, I will make the missing parts. The loom itself is made in a light colored wood. I am thinking it could well be maple. I am guessing, though. Come to think of it, I might have a couple pieces of maple hiding around here.

I will admit that I accomplished next to nothing this weekend. I would feel guilty about it except that I enjoyed the entire time I spent doing it. 

I do have ideas for projects next week. I have ornaments to make, a loom to fix, wood that is begging to become sawdust. 

I will see what I do next weekend.


belt loom in use. The rod to the far left is the tensioning rod and is missing
The shuttle is stuck into the lines.

A picture of the shuttle

Clamps on display racks.

slicing mandolin set. The red one is on the capture container.

mandolin set in storage. 

This is what a quart of buttons looks like spread out.

This is what a quart of buttons in the jar.