(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
86 degrees early morning, 95 late afternoon, Blue skies overhead all day long, towers and puffs all around throughout the day, some high feathers overhead late in the day. A brisk breeze helped with the heat, but never enough. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Department of Tourism.
Just wanted to report that I had to take my computer in for service last week. It became a NASCAR race car and was crashing on me every time I turned it on. A new computer is not in the works as the new computers won't run the vast amounts of software I have. My software runs on 32 bit computers and the new 64 bit computers won't run them. The newest ones might have something to make them work but I have not heard if that is yet true.
My emergency computer is a WINDOWS 98 computer and the browsers cannot handle a lot of the places I go on line. If I don’t go on line, there is little it won't do, as long as I have some patience. It is slow than I have gotten used to. but that can be easily ignorable. Nice thing is that it has some DOS programs that I can run also.
It is a little disappointing. This year's weather has not followed any normal patterns. We had a really wet winter. Usually, by May, they are complaining about fire hazards. We did not get that kind of fun this year.
Also at this time of year, I am making fun of how much hotter it is up north than down here. Usually, we drop down into the mid 80s and stay there, while New York and other Northern areas are in the 90s. The different weather pattern down here sure takes the fun out of bragging about how good the weather is down here.
Another change in the weather is that in the mornings, we have dots of showers coming off the ocean and they really don't stop. Normally we would not get those. It is hard to predict what the weather is actually doing and that makes it hard to commit to projects that can be ruined by weather.
After Breakfast we hit several yard sales. One was a house in the wealthy district. Everything is being sold, including the air conditioner. The house will be gutted and completely rebuilt in a different design. This is common down here. The living room was bigger than Mom's house and the kitchen was bigger than mom's living room.
There was a screened porch out back with a pool. The screen area was about the size of Mom's back yard. I liked some of the features in the house such as the living room ceiling being 3 stories high and really helped to add to impressiveness to the living room. I mean really it felt big and spacious. I liked how they used white paint everywhere so your accessories would be the color. For their decor, they had large glass topped tables and coffee tables White chairs with clear materials built into the back was representative of what furniture I saw in the lower floor area.
The one thing I would love to have is a kitchen big enough to have an island. It won't hapen any place I will ever live. I just like that feature. Cabinets and drawers were everywhere in the kitchen. It ALMOST had enough room for all the stuff I would love to get if I had any room.
Thinking about the house, I can see why it is being rebuilt. The angles of the walls everywhere made the house look a little strange. Other than the kitchen and screened patio, I did not care that much for the design of the house.
We did hit a other few yard sales. One had great decorator items that I just could not justify bringing home. In one expensive home, they had a bowl of stone eggs. I really wanted to them, but once I got them, what to do with them? I have no place for them or any other use for them other than displaying them. Thinking about them, I decided that I should go through all my various woods and make some wooden eggs. I then remembered years ago I had carved some hatching eggs. That would be an interesting project to do again. It is, though a lot of work if you don’t have the right wood. I walked away without the stone eggs.
A another yard sale, I did get a kid's guitar. It is missing two strings, which could be easily replaced. I did not need it. I have a guitar SOMEWHERE in my house that is better. Just needs a tiny repair and would be perfect. At that same sale, I got a travel easel where you put the paints in the box and when you open the box, you use the lid to hold your canvasses to paint. Mom snapped that out of my hand when we got home. I have a big one that opens up legs to stand on. I have never used it. it is usually a choice of working wood or going some place to paint.......
We got back and I had to relax, rest, and cool down. After lunch, I headed out back. I set up to make some more platters.
Last weekend, I developed a theory. If I worked the inside of the platter first, I might be able to control the bounce of the wood caused by warping while I am working with it. I needed to test this out.
I knew there were two little problems of doing the top of the platter first and I saw them as I worked. One, it is harder to judge how deep you are going when you are working the inisde. The second is that it is harder to follow the angle of the face as you are making the backside. I am always working to the right of the platter. When working on the inside second, the angle is facing you. Because of the spacing of your eyes, you can see both sides of the platter when looking down the edge. When the platter is flipped around so the backside is facing you, and the edge is away from you. You are looking at the surface you are working with rather than the edge. You cannot as easily gauge the thickness or the angle. In order to get to a position where you can see the angle, it is wrong for making your cuts.
When making the backside first, I simply stay as shallow as possible for the base and then shape up to the rim. When working the inside first, I have to kind of guess, or do measurements, as to how deep I am going. Cutting the inside of the plate first does give challenge, but it is an easy one to deal with.
By working the bottom second, I also tested my theory about handling the warping of the wood. As the tension is released from the wood, it bends and twists. This causes bouncing of the tool on the wood. It makes it difficult to get a clean surface, but instead creates ripples in the wood.
It has been a problem when working with the inside of the platter second as there is not a lot of wood to work with at that point and one is trying to work with the final, viewed, surfaces.
What I found in this experiment is that while the ripples do form while working the backside, like on the inside, the wood warps sooner, while the wood is still thick. It is easier to compensate for the ripples by lightening up the cut and just let the high points pass until the surface is even. The end result is that the final product is not quite as bad as working on the inside last.
I made two platters, the second one proving the results and I was impressed with the results.
I plan to make a bunch more blanks before I attempt to finish some of the platters. One thing I want to do is have pieces at each step of the process to show during the demonstration. This will allow me to pass out different stages to the people so they can see what each stage looks like while I do them. I also need to practice every stage to get the process down so they know exactly what is going on. I might not do any finish work during the demonstration, but should have something to show anyway.
I ALMOST felt like I could make one more platter, but I decided that it would be wiser to clean up while I had a little energy and then rest while I was not hurting bad. Mom was out when I was cleaning up and she saved me trips out to the sand pile where I am dumping my sawdust. That helped. It is not a long walk, but every step makes a difference. I had made a wise decision.
One problem with the wind is that it is sneaky and sly. It will steal some sawdust and hide it in secret places. A day or so later, it will gather up the hidden sawdust and sprinkle it out in the open to make things look a mess. It will also move the sawdust to places it is not supposed to be. It can do this several times after you clean up that little bit each time. It is sneaky in that way.
Some sawdust got into the sitting area of the awning and we had to clean it up. When Momma kitty lays down there, she gets the sawdust into her hair. Since I was the one sweeping, I had to sweep that area up also. Mom helped me by dumping the dust pan for me. There was still more sawdust there. We really needed a blower or a vacuum to clean the area properly. Not worth the effort. This is outside.
I don't plan to do anything tomorrow. My brother is not coming up.
I will see what I do next weekend.
A demonstration of my centering technique with a regular ruler. I pick two numbers that can be divided by two easily, in this case, 10 and 20, which is 15.
I move the two numbers so the marks inside or outside them come out even, which in this case is close to three lines. the finer the lines of your scale, the more accurate you can become. I visually center the ruler up and down and then mark the center as I measured.
I turn the disk and set the ruler on that mark and do another center and this one should be extremely close. One can do that again to verify you have the center.
The disks I have made to date. the lower right hand disk is one I finished a while ago and one disk had fallen out of the bag in the truck, which I found after I took these pictures. These are the top view of the platters
this is the bottom view of the platters.