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