(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
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.)
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.