Thursday, June 30, 2016

Year 16, Week 24, Day One (week 858)

Year 16, Week 24, Day One (week 858)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-25-16 Saturday

78 degrees at dawn, 94 in after noon. Towers over the ocean and to the north. A herd of small clouds raced over, then towers formed over the Everglades and headed west.  A nice light breeze helped with the humidity which was not really bad. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I go through periods where I don’t notice clouds at all, then other periods where I watch the clouds for shapes. There are times when the clouds have nothing to see. Most of the time, it takes a whole lot of attention to see a shape in a cloud. Once in a while, the shape is obvious to most people. I am in a period where I am looking at clouds and the clouds have interesting shapes in them.  A protrusion or a gap in the side of a cloud could be the start of a face in one’s imagination. This morning I saw a series of connected towers that were leaning in one direction and all had a feint resemblance of dog heads. 
One thing with clouds is they can change rapidly. The shape is usually made up of a couple clouds in line with you, small wisps moving, and there is a lot of turbulence where the cloud will boil up and then dissipate fast. While going home from work the other day, a cloud changed shapes into many forms in a short five minutes before it just became a blob. It was interesting just watching the process, let alone follow the change from a hippo yelling up, a old lady, a dog, a man facing the other way. Too bad I don’t take the time to lay in the grass and just watch the clouds. I guess I accidentally became an adult.

The weather report said something about possible showers after two. That told me that it was going to be a very good day. After breakfast, we headed out yard sailing. With Mom driving, we hit 8 yard sales. Some weeks there appears to be a theme of what is being offered at the yard sales. Five of the 8 had a lot of kitchen stuff. 
At two yard sales, I found myself searching through cook books. I don’t need any more cook books. With one of the collection of books, I saw a Pasta cook book and was going to see what sauces they had, after I checked to see what other cook books they had, then found some joke books and forgot about the pasta book until we were a few blocks away. I got the joke books, figuring I might find a few good ones in them. The books turned out to be fairly lame. 
I was doing really good at spending almost nothing and getting almost nothing until we got to the last yard sale. A couple weeks ago, we visited a yard sale of an artist who is moving out of state. We found her yard sale again. I have no idea what happened or how. I left there with a three-drawer plastic bin of stamping pads and inks, and some water colors. I also had a mini chopper. I found myself walking on an angle the rest of the day because my wallet was a little lighter. Once my head cleared and I checked, my wallet was only slightly lighter, not as bad as I was afraid when I saw the stuff in the car. 

Off and on, I have wanted to get into stamping, but the ink pads were the biggest problems. I always only had black. Those are expensive. There was a period where the stamp section of craft stores were a real test between temptation over will-power. Will-power mostly won. 
I had watched several episodes of a stamping show and saw that sticking an image onto the paper was not all you did. They smeared and streaked with them,  multi colored the stamp, as just a few techniques they used. While I prefer paint, I can see myself doing stamping. There are times when waiting for paint to dry is not a viable option.

We got home and it took a bit to sort through and photograph my finds. The Cloud towers were building up. Radar showed them popping up in place, on the civilized side of the Everglades, and I had no idea which way they intended to go once they built. I relaxed until Lunch was ready. After lunch, about two, I decided that the weather was safe for me to work, so I pulled out the lathe. 
I decided that today I would do an experiment. I had some warping of the wood while turning, which caused ripples where the tool dug into the wood after bouncing off the high point, and wanted to find out if the ring direction would effect how much bounce I would get as I turned. Last weekend, I marked two blanks for which side I would start with. 
Part way through the first one, I decided my bowl gouge needed to be sharpened. I was doing well but could see the tool was not cutting right.

I powered up the grinder and worked the metal a little bit and then realized I had the angle wrong, too upright Because of the angle of the bevel I already had ground on the tool, the edge was getting ground while the heal of the bevel was untouched.  I changed the angle and continued to grind it. In a couple minutes, I had a good angle right all the way around. The metal heated up quite a bit. I went “ouch” when I was to feel the edge to make sure it was sharp. This is one reason it is better to sharpen with a slower grinder.
Usually you have water next to the grinder so you can dip the tip in very often to cool it down to prevent overheating. I sort of forgot about that. We do have a tray of water on the other side of the stuff in the way so after a moment walk, I dunked the end in that water. It was still warm but the edge proved to be sharp. I still used the diamond stone on it for just a little extra honing on the edge. 
This tool is made of a speed-steel. It has more exotic metals within the steel that makes it up.  Carbon steel would have developed bluing when overheated, which is a sign that the temper, the hardness and strength was lost. This speed steel takes a lot more to lose the temper and usually go well past bluing of the metal. Even so, a slower grinder would not heat up as much. If I had thought of it, was energetic and had the time, I would have grabbed the crank grinder and put it to work.

The tool cut a lot better and easier after sharpening than before. It ate wood nicely. With the bottom shaped the way I wanted it, I took the platter off, sat down at the table, and took the time to find the new center of the work. I got a chance to rest a little while doing this. When I put it back on with my marked center, it was pretty good. 
As I worked, I nicked the edge. In correcting that error, and correcting the corrections, I made the platter a smaller diameter than I intended. When I took it off I was satisfied enough with the results.

After a short break, checking the radar, I set up the second platter. I worked it like the first. I removed a lot of sawdust easily. Again, I sat down and located the center anew. This time I nearly nailed it!
I finished the platter in what seemed record time. The finish on these are well below grade, but I intend to spend more time in finishing them later. Right now, I am just in the making stage. 
I learned absolutely nothing about the warping of the wood. I think a sharp tool and a light touch when I run into it, will solve the problem. The high point will disappear to the light touch without removing a whole lot of wood. I don’t remember fighting the bounce when I made a bunch of these platters a while ago. It might be a result of this batch of wood or I was not in effect the way I was working, or something else. I just happened to notice it this time.
When working metal, unless you are using the hand tools of the 1700s, the cutting tool is mounted solidly on a a tool holder. The big advantage of that is that one can make fine passes, sometimes without changing any settings, and shave away high points that might appear (metal does expand when hot and bend against the pressure of the tool). With that system, one can get ultra fine accuracy in dimensions if patient enough. 
With wood working, except for specific situations, visually close is good enough.  There are wood workers who use metal working lathes for wood turning. I do it when I make crochet hooks. When I want a specific size or use an exotic (for me) wood

This experiment reminded of something I knew but had totally forgot.  The decision to have the rings bend up or down, depends on the effect/look one is after. A pattern forms in the center of the plate based on the rings. When the plate is worked with the rings curving up at the edges, tree rings form ovals because the rings are lowest in the center, where the platter is cut the lowest. As the rings curve up, so does the platter surface so the cuts into the rings get farther apart. 
When the rings curve down at the edge, Hourglass forms appear. You are cutting through the backs of the arch which runs from one end of the board to the other so the rings end up going somewhat straight through the piece. 
If you really want a good set of platters, one should make sure that the rings curve the same way through all the platters so they really look like a matched set.

One problem with working with wood, is that the only way to correct a mistake is to remove more wood. In wood carving especially, the secret of the master is to know how to hide mistakes so they look like they were intended. It is not uncommon for a prolific wood worker, to have a pile of unfinished work that had some major mistake in them. Actually, they tend to be tossed in the garbage or burned. As they get better, they have less unfix-able mistakes because they know how to avoid mistakes better. 
With my first platter for the day, it became smaller because I had to correct an error and then make it right. 

I am going to have to get another board to make more platters. That day will likely be used up just in preparing the blanks to work. I do have one more blank unturned. It has knots I want to save and have viewed in the work. It was the first piece I grabbed and could not see where I wrote bottom on it, then I noticed the knots. I do love knots in the pieces. It adds extra interest to the pieces.
I showed a picture of the platters to a friend and he said I should make a set for tick-tack-toe.
It is really unusual for me to be on a binge of making one thing. I always work on something that catches my attention OF THE MOMENT, and this has had longevity. Most seldom last more than a week or a couple weeks if it is one project. 
I guess part of it is that I have several goals involved in making them. I want to build skills to demonstrate the making of the platters. I have decided I would like a couple sets of matched plates that MIGHT be good gifts. I am having fun making them, I am learning and redeveloping skills. 

I have some things at home to do tomorrow. I have a frozen loaf of bread thawing and a bunch of bones to crock pot. The place will smell wonderful most of the day.
Next week I want to get another board and if possible, cut it into squares.

I will see what I actually do next week.


mini chopper

Water color paints

sine mall, mostly animal stamps.

The inks and paints were all in this drawered bin.

inking pads of many colors and multiple colors

stamping ink bottles

a set of tube paints. I think these are acrylic.

to the left is the first platter I made, Note the oval ring pattern. also note it is smaller than the one of the right where I corrected a nick in the dedge. 
The right handed one has the hour glass ring pattern. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Year 16, Week 23, Day One (week 857)

Year 16, Week 23, Day One (week 857)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-18-16 Saturday

78 degrees early morning, 88 degrees at about 11, and 90 by two. At dawn, someone spilt milk in a trail across the sky running roughly east to west, and then they sloshed the milk all over the place to the north. Herds of lower puffs appeared and disappeared often during the day. At about two, I had to run an errand and my truck’s temperature reading while sitting in the full sun that also reflected off the pavement, registered 97, but was at 95 while driving. I never trust that gauge as being very accurate. At about four, a pop-up storm appeared over us and tinkled on us a little. Then, while the tail stayed over us, the head grew on out into the ocean. It really came down for a couple hours and overfilled the low spots on the road. When I left at six, I had to wait at the end of the driveway for an ocean-liner to pass before I could hit the road.  About three miles south of mom’s house, I was completely out of the drips. This weather report was brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

We started Yard sailing after breakfast. Mom’s friend was having a sale nearby to the North, and we found two other sales in the same area. One of them was moving but really had nothing. Another mainly had clothing. None of them had anything I would even reach for. 
Mom drove into an area I never go when I am on my own and we found a sale. The interesting things were the things I had more than enough of or could not use. Really sad, really disappointing. One almost feels it worth tossing everything just so you could get the stuff, then a faction of a second later, reality hits and one walks away empty handed. 
Heading south, we found a sale where I accidentally picked up two more cook books. I have no need for cook books. I keep telling myself that after I catch myself flipping through cookbooks. I will stop getting them as soon as I see them as a problem...... I don’t usually have interest in other books available. No one EVER gets rid of science fiction. Either they never get them, or they refuse to give them up....  
Neither book was actually a cook book. One was GRANDMOTHER’S KITCHEN WISDOM. It has food and kitchen related tips and tricks, but not recipes. 
The other was CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CHOCOLATE LOVERS SOUL. It looks like a bunch of stories and quips about chocolate. 

I handled a couple cameras but had no need for another camera. Since I went to digital, film cameras lost their sparkle. One has to pay to get the film processed. Of course, one really has to have a computer to do digital, so it ends up being the same price.....
We hit several other yard sales, six total, and did not get anything.  The hunt is exciting. One has anticipation of what one will find. One has the excitement of searching for interesting items. And the fun of seeing what others were showing off.  Then there is the pleasure of finding something that one has to have. 
I mentioned that there are sometimes patterns in what people were showing off. This time I saw a lot of fishing stuff. These were like a pole here, a tackle box there, a boat anchor at another place. 

I went out back immediately after getting home. I was not totally sure what the weather would do, so I wanted to get some work done as soon as possible. Last week, I had started a platter but was rained out before I could finish it. I never unplugged the lathe or removes the work from the lathe, so I simply had to pull the lathe out from under the awning and get back to work. 
The platter had warped while it was on the lathe so I had to even out the edge before I dug into the center to finish the inside of the platter. I decided that this platter came out pretty good. 
Since it did not take too long to finish that, I grabbed another blank. I had two blanks that I had some high spots on the edge that prevented them from spinning on the lathe. I cleared the area around the bandsaw and cut away the excess wood from the drawn circle on both of them. 
I started working on the first of them. I think I am getting a bit more efficient at removing the wood. I don’t know if it is really true, but it seemed as if I had the backside of the platter done in record time. I sat down and sanded the center of the face and tried hard to get the exact center of the board. When I mounted the platter to shape the face, I saw I had missed.  It is actually about as close as the other times I have done it, maybe a little better. 
I finished that platter, was feeling good, and was already set up, so I mounted the second blank on the lathe. When I finished the back, I tried even harder to get the center right on the face, sanding the center lines, using a knife to mark the center. I failed no worse than the others. 

One thing to consider is that most of the errors of centering does not show up unless one carefully measures or examines the plates. The mount of error is not really that much. A sixteenth of an inch looks big when the platter wobbles on the lathe, but when the finished product is examined, one is not going to see it.
If one carefully measured the edge, one might see a fraction of an inch off in thickness. If one measured to the center, there might be a little more error. But without measuring or carefully comparing, one is not going to see any difference.

I did a good, but rough cleanup. I took the full dust pan to the sand pile twice and decided I was not up to taking the third trip. 

Other than running for take-out food about an h our later, I stayed with my feet up, napping and relaxing the rest of the day. 

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 23, Day One (week 857)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-18-16 Saturday

86 most of the day, a good brisk breeze, loads of puffs all over the place. A sad cloud wept about the time we were leaving at about two. I drove through some heavy stuff on the way home, but only got dribbles when I arrived at home miles south and west. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

The first thing I did when I got to Mom’s was to take out the saws-all and a palm sander. I cut the corners off the last three blanks I have of the yellow pine two by twelve boards. Here is something to consider when using a saws-all style saw for cutting wood.  If you have the saw on a side angle, it will not straighten itself out anywhere in the cut. It will keep that angle no matter what you do. The best idea is to make sure the shoe is flat on the board when you start the cut. That will prevent a side angle for the most part. I keep forgetting that. I had to make a couple cuts a second time from the other side because I had the saw tipped and while the near side followed the line, the far side came out way thick.. 
Once the blanks were cut, I applied the palm sander to the lines to remove them. It did not work for several reasons. One, I had the boards flat so the graphite that is sanded off settled in the same place. It had to be tipped on the side so the sawdust would fall away. Another reason was the sandpaper needed to be replaced and I was too lazy to change it. It is also the wrong saw for this. Something where the sandpaper leaves the area, such as a circular sander or a belt sander would carry the graphite away from the spot.

I thought of something this morning that I will have to experiment with which was why I tried to sand away the lines I had. It dawned on me that the wood bows as I release the stresses built up into the wood as it grew. The work cups as the excess wood is removed, causing high spots to appear and mess up the cuts.  Also this causes bowing of the wood as time goes on after it is finished. It is common to make a nice round bowl or vase, and it becomes out of round.
The wood I am working with is close to the center of the tree. The heart is gone, but it has strong curves to the rings in the wood near where the center was. What I need to do is make some platters with the rings curving to the rim of the platter, and some with the rings curving away from the rim of the platter and see if I can spot an effect to the different direction of the rings. I should also look at the platters I have made and see if such a thing shows up there. I have a couple that gave me grief because of bowing.  I was going to sand the lines off the boards so I could mark them better once I turn it around to work the inside of the platter.. 
One of the blanks has a knot that appears on one side and I would like to keep that knot in the work so that dictates the side that will be up on that platter. 
As soon as I finish those three platters, I will have to get another board and prepare it for platter making. I want to keep making these for a while. 

I was absolutely positive I had made many more platters than I did in this series. I would have swore to it. I laid out my platters on the ground for a picture and found I had only six of them. I had stored them in the truck and went back to see if I had left any in there. Seeing none, I returned to the back and did a mental count of what platters and blanks I had.. I saw I had the six platters, then saw I had three blanks, that made for nine. I then remembered I had two boards set to the side because of the knot patterns in them, that made a total of eleven. That accounted for all of them. 

I could have turned another platter today, but I was not up to it. Cutting corners on the boards was enough. After I put everything away, I sat and talked with my brother for a while, then we went inside. To talk in there.

Another thing that dawned on me is that since I have left the posts on the platters, I can re-mount each one on the lathe and do more work on them. I can make clean-up cuts on the really bad ones, and do extra sanding on the others. Also, I don’t have to work with the lathe on full speed, as I had it when I made them. I can slow the lathe down so the tools can follow the dips in the wood if necessary. 
I have to be careful of getting too thin. Which can happen easily. What I am mostly after is to make them presentable before I remove the posts. 

Until this morning, I had not gotten around to making a fathers day card. During the week, I forgot the day was coming up. This morning, I came up with an idea, then had to see if I could replicate the idea on paper. 
I prefer to work in paint. I like the effect a lot better and it is, if time is ignored, a lot easier to get good results, but I did not have time to paint. Instead I sketched my concept on card stock in pencil, then used a pen to rough in the drawing and some details, then grabbed some colored pencils to color in the sketch so it looked like something. Like anything done fast, it would be much better if more time and effort was put into it. I drew a burly man (with son on his chest) with an older man (with dad on his chest) on his shoulders. I wrote on the inside “piggy back rides change as kids get older.” Mom and Dad liked it. Dad said that is a keeper. 

I have no idea what I will do next week. Most likely another platter if the weather allows it. 


The three platters I made saturday

All six platters I have made so far. I do love the look of yellow pine

The two books I picked up.

The front of the card I made with the dad on the son's back

The inside of the card

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Year 16, Week 22, Day One (week 856)

Year 16, Week 22, Day One (week 856)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-11-16 Saturday

77 early morning, 88 afternoon. Early morning feathers overhead, blue ridged mountains over the ocean, towers far north on drive to Mom’s. Sky really didn’t look spectacular until the yellow highlighted northern tower rims glowed. Low puffs showed up soon after breakfast and slowly darkened and got bigger.  Showers around noon, with the sky calming down later. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of tourism.

Having a choice of which way to go, I decided we should head North on our side of the highway. I figured we would go back on the other side. The first yard sale was nearby. It was someone who knew Mom from years ago. This person was moving to another state and was an artist, and much of what she had out was art stuff. I kind of lost control. I came home with a large bin (a half the size of a normal bin) of wood working stuff, a small bin of yarn and a smaller bin of ribbon and cord. I had stopped looking or I would have likely found even more to bring home. 

In the woodworking bin was a round nose scraper wood turning tool, a wood burner kit with several tips, some basswood, (one piece was surface carved and there were a couple unfinished blanks for carvings, other blocks of wood still in packages or untouched). Some goggles, beads, a carving glove, and some sanding drums for a dremmel. Most of it was unused and in their original  packages. There were a couple shelf mice blanks, one mostly carved, and a pattern for them, and a duck that was partly carved.
On the ribbon and cord, there have been a few times I considered getting ribbon for some project and talked myself out of it. Now I don’t need to get any, that is if I can find them when I need them........
Of course, I don’t need the yarn, but it was pretty. 
I am half thinking of just setting up a display using the balls of yarn I have. It won’t happen, but one could use the colors to make a picture of some kind. I see displays at stores and in advertisements where they have yarn in cubby holes like bottles of wine, sometimes near similar colors. My thought would be to use each ball of yarn as a pixel of the picture...... It won’t happen but I’m Just dreaming anyway..... 

At another yard sale, I picked up a book on programming (just dreaming again) with the programming software disk, and some blades for a planer.
A planer is a machine that shaves off the surfaces of wood, getting them to thickness or straight and true, depending on how it is used. I got these with the distant thought of making cutting bits for my turning tools that have replaceable bits.

At another yard sale, a guy had a crank-powered grinder. No, I don’t need one but I decided I would get it anyway. One never knows when something like that will be needed such as during a power out...... 

The Royal Poincianas are in bloom so Mom wanted to get some representative pictures for some painters who want to paint them. The backgrounds and sometimes the foregrounds are poor in these pictures, but when you are painting, one can make changes to the scene if one really had to. There are times when one has a good scene and the tree that is not a good specimen so one can use some other tree as a go-by to fix the scene.

When I got back, I examined my finds. I was surprised at the extent or quality of some of my finds as I had not examined them closely when I got them. 

I tried out the grinder. I did not clamp it properly so as I cranked, it moved. It spins nicely when you let go with no pressure, and is really geared up to spin fast. I learned that when you apply the pressure of the metal to it, it bogged down fast. I quickly remembered why people went to power when they could. 
One nice thing in sharpening turning tools, the hand cranked grinder does not eat away the metal before you realize you have it at the wrong angle. It is slower than most powered tools so it takes longer to make a mistake and that extra time is sometimes all the time you need to correct it without damage.

I took a break, resting inside. I then decided to come out and get to work. The sky was filled with very large puffs that were close together. 
I set up the lathe and took out one of the disks I had trimmed last weekend. I found one corner was hitting the lathe bed. I cut a little too proud when removing the corners and had the saw on an angle too. I used my knife on the corner and was not making headway.
I then went to grab one of the other disks. One was obviously too large, so I grabbed the other. I still had to shave one corner to get it to turn. I got it turning with a click as it passed the bed, just barely clearing. I started the lathe and within seconds, I had good clearance with my first pass with the bowl gouge on the edge. I shaved it down to round. I then made the bottom shape which came out pretty good.
I took the disk off and sanded the center where I had my old lines and then tried to mark the center of the disk. My pencil was too thick and I missed the exact center slightly, but decided to leave it like that. 
I was mounting it on the lathe when drops started falling. I hurriedly moved things under cover while rough sweeping the area of the heavy sawdust and then dashed under cover.
Then the drips faded. I took the lathe back out and started on the inside of the platter just dishing it slightly with a long way to go. Then big drops started falling so I pushed things back under cover and put everything away between drops. It was not a good cleaning job, but I was done for the day.
The radar had showed a mile long several block wide wisp during the first drips. After the big drops started coming down, I saw that the strip had not moved any showing it was a pop-up storm, and the center, right over us, had turned yellow. I was done for the day even though about an hour later, I could have gone out again.

I tested the round nose scraper a couple moments. I am not working on the kind of project it is best for. The profile is wrong for how I wanted to use it. It was grabbing the wood.  The smaller one I use has a different grind, a much sharper angle which is great for shearing cuts. I also have on it a more rounded end, going into the sides. 
No tool you take out of the package is really sharp. You have to, at minimum, hone the edge. Also, since you own the tool now, you can make the tool have a profile and cutting edge to do exactly what you want to do. One turner friend of mine will take the hooked tools for hollowing out vases and bend them in different ways to get just the right cut he is after for the shape of vase he is working on. He happens to make a lot of his own tools, and that gives you confidence to change a tool any way you need, as you know you can usually undo the damage or replace the tool.
When sharpening or modifying the edges of tools, the worst thing you can do is make the tool shorter. After a time, the tools are going to get shorter anyway with constant use and sharpening anyway.
One of the first bowl gouges I got had the “fingernail” grind on the end, where the sides were flat and the tiny tip was rounded. Besides not really knowing how best to use that edge, I found instantly I could not sharpen that properly. I was missing the jig most people use to sharpen it, so I made it standard grind where you just roll the tool on the grinder so the same angle is all the way around. It is what I usually use anyway.
I also remember that on one tool I had gotten, I lost the angle while trying to sharpen it. I eventually got it right but I had to remove quite a bit of metal in getting to it. 
I will say that most tools you get nowadays are made of what is called speed steel and the temper is hard to remove. Some of my early tools were carbon steel and you get it too hot, where it turns blue,  and the metal becomes soft. You lost the temper in the metal, That makes it to where you have to sharpen it much more often as it won’t hold the edge. 
With this round nosed scraper, I likely will change how it is shaped to suit my purposes. 

I will have to see what happens tomorrow. 

Year 16, Week 22, Day Two (week 856)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-12-16 Sunday

89 degrees late morning, 90 a bit later. Mostly very high  feathers and sheets with the sun shining through them, with some towers off in the distance to the north and over the ocean. Some towers  had interesting shapes like one looked like a reclining animal with the legs out front and a darker creature growling at it. About five minutes later, it became  a leaping animal. Another cloud in a different part of the sky had a top that looked like a upturned hand with curled fingers. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department Of Tourism.

I did not accomplish too much today. I showed my brother the crank grinder and he instantly saw a use for it. He wants to make a small forge like what my grandfather had, and make the crank grinder into a blower. His design would not require any physical changes to the crank mechanism so it could become a grinder again with little effort. He has plans from a book for making the blower blades and housing and it would not take much to design it so could bolt it to the grinder body. 
The grinder body has two places to attach the tool rest. One for working with the grinder crank with the left hand, and one for the grinder crank with the right hand. All he would have to do is to remove the tool rest and grindstone, and use those attachment points to hold the blower and housing on it.  
He also told me to keep my eyes open for a very large  stainless steel pot or Wok to become the body of the forge. He is now complaining that he has another project. He now has to build a frame to hold the forge body and grinder crank. 

Lately I have been in a platter mind so I would not be surprised if I make another platter after finishing the one I started. Everyone needs a complete set of dishes anyway.........

I will see what I do next weekend.


This is the best picture of a Royal Poinciana tree I got.
As you can see, they are beautiful when in bloom.

This is the crank grinder. 

The basswood I got. The big board on the bottom has some surface carving.

demmel sanding bits, goggles, round nose scraper tool, carving glove, wood burner, pen mandrel, and a few other things. 

Jointer blades This good steel could become tools for turning.

And of course, there is yarn

ribbons, lace and cording

my two round nose scrapers laying upside down. The one on the left is the one I have had for many years. the angle of the grind is longer than the commercial one, it is rounded more on the end of the tool, and the angle itself is slightly rounded from point to heal. 
The commercial tool is just slightly tipped from straight up and down. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Year 16, Week 21, Day One (week 855)

Year 16, Week 21, Day One (week 855)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-04-16 Saturday

Mid 80s early morning, 94 late afternoon. Some pregnant clouds giving birth in the morning in isolated locations, blue sky with puffs around in the late morning. Towers developed late afternoon to become a wall over the Everglades. A good breeze took away the worst of the heat, but the best of it hung around.... Because of morning wetness, humidity was high. This weather report was brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

We spotted a couple yard sales on the way to breakfast. We stopped at three ini another area we found soon after breakfast before heading home, skipping the couple we spotted on the way to eat.  I then headed out on my own. 
I headed north, expecting to follow the big loop. Before I got to one of the closer heavily-trafficked cross roads, I drove into a curtain dropped from a cloud giving birth. I headed east and by the time I got about five blocks away, the road was damp and drying. I went through the rich area heading South and away from the weather, and found a yard sale. About a mile farther south, driplets appeared on my windshield as I neared another yard sale. They were very slowly moving stuff out of their driveway and into the garage, while a few people looked a tiny bit bedraggled and not moving anything. They mostly had furnature. About five blocks farther west and then south, the road was bone dry. 
Much of the summer showers are from dots of clouds zipping by, where many areas don’t get anything. You have to watch the radar carefully at times to see what you are going to get and where. In the winter, we get fronts where the whole area is covered by one system. 
I found another yard sale, where I made my only purchases of the day. I went through a couple other areas without seeing anything beyond a couple signs for places I could not find. I am not as good a yard sailing navigator as my mom is. 
Back near home, I stopped at one of the two yard sales we skipped earlier in the morning. The other was a woman who just has clothing and has them out most weeks. The one I stopped at had interesting items I had no need for. 
Several of these yard sales had pictures of the same goofy looking guy. I have no idea why they would have gotten that picture in the first place or why anybody would want to take it from them. At the last yard sale, I was told it was a mirror. A mirror? How embarrassing........... During many weeks, one kind of item appears at many yard sales. This time it was mirrors. 

I picked up a tambourine that lights up. Mom had it in her hand the instant I showed it to her. She loves that kind of thing. At the same yard sale, I picked up a set of carving chisels. It is a nice, but not expensive set, mainly used for work in soft wood by an off and on  hobbyist. These are not for people who do a lot of projects a month or year. 

When I started wood carving, the thought of trying to learn when to use several dozen chisels, felt overwhelming.  I made the decision to stick to the knife for just about any carving I do. I figured that it would be easier to master one tool. To know it absolutely. 
My dad was in a carving club and one guy in the club would come in with one or two new carving tools each time. The guy’s, and many other rank beginner carvers, have the idea  that “this will be the tool that will make me good.” In reality, doing the work with the key tools is what is necessary to get good. That and good instruction helps also. 
Some people in the turning club have modified carving tools for wood turning for a specific technique. That originally was where my mind was going when I bought them.
In my carving, I have used chisels periodically. There are some cuts that just cannot be made with a knife. That is when you pull out a chisel. I have like three I have used off and on in my carving. More like a last resort rather than a regular tool to grab. 
I did do a couple relief carvings and used one chisel for nearly all the cuts. IT IS NOT THE TOOL YOU USE, IT IS HOW YOU USE IT. These relief carvings were pictures, one of an eagle, and another of a dragon head. The scroll work you see on furniture and building decorations tend to be used with various sized curved chisels to match the curves you are doing. For me, the ease you gain with the right chisel is not worth the effort of learning which one to use and when.......
Dad has a lot of carving chisels. One of these years I might try and do something with them.

There are two kinds of chisels. Palm chisels, like the ones I got today, are to be pushed by the hand, in essence, by the palm of the hand. The other kind of chisel is used with a hammer to drive it through the wood. They each have their use.  Ones designed for use with a hammer are for going through a lot of wood. They usually have metal going to the but of the handle so the hammer does not damage the wood. 
One can do the same job with either chisel, as one can use great control as to how much pressure is applied by the hammer. Usually, though, the palm chisels are a lot smaller as there is a limit of amount of wood one can push before it takes too much power. 

After I got back, I went out back and pulled the lathe out. I took one of the disks I had made last week. I mounted it between the point of the tail stock and the face of the jaws of the chuck on the motor. One turn with the hand showed that one corner was just too prominent. I had to turn it back and forth several times to verify which corner was actually causing the problem and that it was just that one and not two. I took my carving knife out and shaved off a little bit (less than an eighth of an inch) of wood and then it turned all the way around.
I shaped the bottom of the plate first. I prefer to start there as it creates the slopes, the size of the center and the general shape of the sides. I also figure that a slight error on the bottom design is not going to be a big problem as not as many people will see that side of the work. 
I first made the outside round first. I was not a really smooth cut, but all the flats were gone. Most of the rim would disappear quickly. 
The block of wood had a knot it and the knot had gaps inside. I ignored it the knot entirely as I worked. I got the bottom pretty good and then flipped it around. It is a best practice to make the bottom of the work as perfect as possible, including all sanding, before you take it off the lathe. Some even suggest to apply the finish to it while it is on the lathe. When you take it off, it does not always align properly when you put it back on. The hope is that you don’t have to ever touch it again once you take it off the lathe. 
The proper technique should be that once I finish the bottom, I should take out a rule and locate the center on the face. Instead, being lazy, what I did was to use the center point I used when I drew the circle to trim off the corners off. That is never quite the same center. A sixteenth (or even less) of an inch off will show up big when you spin the wood as it appears to have a really bad wobble. 
I had already decided I was not doing finish work this time and was mainly just making it. Flipping the piece around, I missed the exact “crosshair” I drew on the board by slightly and it may well not have been accurate anyway. The piece wobbled as it was not quite centered. I basically ignored that and started shaping the front. 
As I worked my way in, removing wood, the stress in the wood relaxed. I got tool bounce, where high points bumped the high wood and  the low wood flies by untouched. Since you are applying pressure to the tool against the wood, the tool drops a little in the time it takes for the high wood comes around at about 1000 rpm and it digs in a little before the tool bounces up.
If you look at the first plate, there were ripples across the piece in several locations. I got the piece as good as I wanted to under those conditions and decided I had accomplished something and chose to stop. Most of the knot was gone now. I have a hole to fill. I think I will use the trick of using coffee grounds and super glue. I likely will fill the knot, then re-mount this on the lathe and clean it up before I remove the center posts.
Since I was working out in the sun. and did not know what the later weather would do, I did a rough clean up, pushed everything under cover, and went inside to get my legs up, cool down and rest. If that was all I did I would have been quite satisfied.

I came out later in the day with some energy and decided to try making another platter. I set up another disk. Rounded the outside. This one was where the saw wandered and I accidentally cut into the circle I had drawn. The cut was deeper on the surface I originally intended to start with so I flipped it around so, when most of the wood was removed, the cut would also be mostly removed. Then I made the bottom like I did before. Just a tiny bit of the cut was left when I finished the bottom. A quick touch with the tool on the rim removed the remains of the cut.
I am not making these platters as an exact set. I am allowing a lot of slop in my design and dimensions, along with my workmanship. I am more about just making them, right now, getting the proper process figured out. They can be finished in other ways if desired. 
I am using three tools in my turning of these platters. The bowl gouge, which takes out most of the wood. A round nosed scraper for final finishing before sanding, and a skew chisel for creating flat surfaces especially in the flat areas near the center.  I make the rim just a little bit bigger than the skew chisel as if fits between the post and the edge of the rim, and use it to scrape the bottom flat and clean. The angle of the chisel is just right for reaching next to the post without my hands being against the tail stock support. 
When I turned the disk around, again it was not quite centered, but not as bad as the first one. I used more care, and more of what I learned about wood turning, such as moving your body to make your cuts, not moving your arm. I was more intent on the release of the stress of the wood and took more care of removing the high points before it got bad. That one came out fairly good.  I had used some 32 grit sandpaper on both surfaces. While that leaves scratches, it does remove some of the worst tool marks which looks worse. 

I still had energy so I grabbed the third disk I had made last week. One of the disks had the knots that reminded my brother of the alien. We intended to leave that square but it got rounded. I might make it into a thick platter and carve the face around the knots for the grey aliens we see pictures of. It is now in safe storage for now.
I worked this third disk like the others. But made some changes on the inside. I removed the thick wood by cutting deep, but when I was working on the finish surfaces. I made the outside edge exactly the way I wanted, then worked my way down toward the center, making the next section the way I wanted it before I went farther. Also I was now looking down the edge of the work to match the inside angles to the outside angle already made. This was something I forgot about on the first two (Like I mentioned above, I am working out the details). Looking down the edge, you can see where you are thick, and can remove excess as you work toward the center. For quite a long time as I was mainly removing wood before I could start the finish. I got the two surfaces visually matched and then worked the finish to where I wanted it to be. Satisfied, I sanded it with the course sand paper and I removed it from the lathe..

Now there are many shapes to a simple platter, depending on their use and what looks good. Gentle curves are nice. Many glass platters will start with a sharper curve at the base and fade out at the top. A standard plate tends to have a gentle straightness to them. One could have the curve start out fairly flat at the base and get steeper to the edge, becoming more like a bowl. 
If I make a whole bunch of these platters, I would settle on a shape that was pleasing, useful and would get to where every one would be a match to another. I have not done enough to decide on a good design, nor have done enough of them to accomplish that design every time. One thing I have tried to do was to start with the rim level, then begin my angle. I have missed most of the time on the top when the final work is finished. I get it on the underside but tend to lose the flat as I work the inside due to errors. I have not come up with a good bottom design to follow on the inside either. 
There are wood workers who do just one thing, like I saw a guy who just does bowls. They try to improve their skills in them, trying to get the exact shape they are after every single time no matter what the wood wants to do. I tend to work on whatever excites me for the moment. Making the platters was what excited me this weekend. I might carve something next weekend, or work on some old project laying around unfinished (I cannot say half finished as many are not that far along) Unless I do something to these platters such as painting something inside, they are not worth all that much. 

I was hurting enough to where the thought of cleanup was a bit much. I settled down under the awning with a stand fan blowing on me (that is my greatest fan in my art..... I should make a club and put the fan on it so it would also be my fan club). I was not willing to go inside just yet as I had no idea what the weather was going to do. I knew that if I was outside, I could react quickly, if needed, no matter what my physical condition might be at the time. My reaction time to a change of weather when inside is always after the fact.
After about an hour rest, I cleaned up and put everything away. Two platters of sawdust adds up to a nice pile. I have a shop style dust pan that is almost like a small bucket. It is designed that when full, one can detach part of it from the handle and it will dangle while you carry it so nothing falls out.  One platter of sawdust filled that thing up!!!. If you think about it, I am taking a two inch board and making it a quarter to a half inch thick. That ends up being a whole lot of wood.
When everything was picked up and put away, I had some cut-off pieces of wood laying around by the work bench. My mind said, “Don’t leave them for mom to pick up.” My body said, “Absolutely not, forget it.”
I spent the rest of the afternoon until it was time to leave, with my legs up and resting. 

I have no idea what I intend to do tomorrow. I have no idea what condition I will be in. 

I will have to see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 21, Day Two (week 855)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-05-16 Sunday

High 80s late morning, 96 early afternoon. There was a light breeze but it did not help too much. I did not notice the sky at all until I was making sure everything was put away. Then I saw that the sky was cloudy all around, but the sun was shining through it. That was a surprise. There were a few lower recognizable puffs here and there away from my area. This weather report is brought to you by The City of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

When I got to Mom’s house, my brother was fixing the latches on a flat box he had stuff in. He had brass hardware and pop rivets to fix it. I took out the Saws-All and set three of my blanks in the vice on the work bench. Last week, I more cut the corners off square creating an octagon. That was why I ran into problems when one of the corners on my first platter hit the lathe bed yesterday. Today I cut along the curve of the circle.  I tend to be a little proud, but a whole lot less than what I had when I had made an octagon. When I was done, I had three more blanks to work from next time I decide to do some platter turning. I have three more squares to work with. If it were not so hot, and yesterday had not made me quite so miserable,  I would have done those also. But as it was, three was enough. I much doubt I will be making three in a day again. That is a bit hard on me.

I had more chunks of wood that had joined the ones from yesterday. I got smart. I used that big dust pan and a long broom and swept the chunks into it, and then dumped the chips, along with a little sand, into the garbage can. Job done. No bending over, which was what my body said no to yesterday. One slowly gets smarter over time.......
We went in and not long after, had lunch, talked and then headed home.

Much of what I do is weather related. Our traditional summer weather pattern is where the morning and noon weather is pretty good. In the late afternoon, the towers form and water the plants in the area. The past two years, the weather has not followed that pattern. Right now, we’ve been getting some in the morning, then the afternoon towers develop. It is not predictable this way. 
The way our usual weather works is that you have prevailing wind is to the North-West off the ocean. The general high altitude winds for our latitude is heading to the east. The land winds and ocean winds meet over the edge of the Everglades. Towers develop, then is pushed west. In the summer, the west winds develop strength in the late of the day, they will shove the towers east over the ocean. This usually happens like between three to six. Right now, most of what is developing late in the day, the towers form and “Go west young man..”

I noticed that I have the start of a sunburn on the back of my neck. When I was working yesterday, the sun was and behind to above me, as I am facing west in the morning and early afternoon. I am wearing a face shield but not a hat or anything to protect my neck. After several more weeks of working out in the sun, I will be sunburn protected. My arms (I never wear sleeves) are a lot darker than my covered body. 

I will see what happens next weekend. 

palm carving tool set

first disk about to be turned

back done. see the knot being hollow.

first finished disk. Knot is empty

bottom of first disk. :You can see a friction caused ring by the chuck inside the base ring

Another disk about to be turned.

edge rounded

base shaped

showing how thin it is now, before I work on the inside. also shows the slope I created.

Inside about done.

faces of the three platters the one on the right was the first one.

bases of the three platters

this is the space alien disk.

two platters of sawdust. those are 12"x12" patio stones.