(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
High pebbly clouds early morning, fast moving thin cotton puffs later in the day. Good breeze and 86 degrees. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on us and everybody was getting ready for the storm. At that time, I had not taken the storm seriously yet. My weather sites did not make it frightening, showing it more a glancing pass than anything.. At about nine, Mom called me and said she desperately needed help getting the house ready for the storm. I left work early and we got to work trying to find places for all the stuff that was under the awning. We had not moved most of this stuff since it was put into place after Hurricane Wilma. It had accumulated like you would not believe. I filled two garbage cans with small pieces of wood I wanted to keep and do something for. Mom had spent the morning getting the garage cleared enough for my machinery to fit into the garage.
SOMEHOW we found room for most of it. When I finally left, we still had more stuff to put in place but we were wiped out. Nothing damaged by water was out.
I left work at noon and headed to Mom’s house again. We found places for the last pieces of stuff that needed to be hid by about four. Mom is getting up in years and I am not in great shape or condition. We did miracles as this had to be done. This was one of those cases where you do what has to be done, and then hope to recover afterwords.
I will say that we found stuff that we did not know we had, or could not find.
I told mom that unless there was damage in the area, I would not be coming up tomorrow.
I spent the afternoon moving stuff in the living room and then taking the plants off my porch. It took some time as I felt the past two days and had to rest every few plants.
One problem I found was that when you pile stuff up, your feet double in size and bumps into everything. It is almost like wearing swim fins.
In the evening, I looked at the weather radar on-line and found that the eye of the storm was a on the other side of the Bahamas when it was in line with my county. That was as good as a total miss. I don’t think our highest wind was above 40 mph
It was dark when I arrived at Mom’s house in the morning and the colors of the upcoming sunrise was beautiful as we headed out for breakfast. I really need to take pictures. Earlier in the year it was already light when I arrived at Mom’s house.
I knew there absolutely would not be any yard sales. Anybody who planned for one, had the yard sale stuff shoved onto some corner piled with things they brought inside because of the storm. If not next week, the following week nearly everyone will be having a yard sale as they all have found things they can unload.
Since the walls under the awning is exposed and cleared, Mom decided to hire someone to paint the back walls before they become encased with stuff again. We were not going to put up the awning just yet and none of my big equipment was coming out of the garage. We did get some stuff out of the house so that we could move around in there. Finding room for some of that stuff was a challenge.
I had to go to plan G for projects to work on. Plans C through F required physical work and my body said absolutely not.
I had my dremmels and carving basket in my truck so I took them out and set up my folding table in the back in the shade of the house. I pulled out the fan and put it on, and then had to search four different places to find all the ornament blanks I accumulated. It was not hard search as I knew about where they were likely would be.
Over the years, I have made more blanks for Christmas Ornaments than I finished carving. Sometimes I ran out of time, other times, depending on the design, I ran out of initiative to finish all of them. I first wanted to see what they were, and then decide what might be worth finishing. I also had some that I was making back in January for this year and wanted to see what they were again.
After digging them out, I examined them for ideas. Years ago, I read that at one of the carving symposiums, they had a carving challenge. They gave the carvers a cube and told them to carve something out of it. I did a couple and found that a frog worked great in a cube. I had a frog I started and a couple blank cubes.
I took one cube and decided to try to create an egg and then have the egg hatching. I took the time to carefully sharpen my knife, and then started carving on the cube. This piece of wood did not want to cut. I rounded the corners but you could still see the cube in it. I really needed to use the lathe to turn the egg then carve it. I have done that a few times. Also, the physics of the wood makes it easier to carve from a longer stick than a little cube.
The wood this cube was made from had one corner at the center of the tree. The growth rings went from one corner to the other in radius of that center corner. Wood has different cutting effects depending on the direction one cuts. The grain of the tree runs up and down in the growth rings, which goes around the tree. Cutting the grain and the rings on an angle is generally the easiest way to cut.
Depending on the direction one addresses the wood, the wood may cut easily or split or resist cutting. Cutting straight across the grain is the toughest direction, but with the growth ring and across them also has different amounts of resistance to cutting. I’ve seen only one scientific analysis of the forces involved in cutting wood in different directions and I was in too big a hurry to try to figure out what it was saying and it really was accurate for that one wood, though some information could be gleaned for other woods.
Being a cube, I was cutting across end grain on most of it, and not having easy cutting really everywhere. If this was that on a longer stick, one can attack the surfaces at more angles and from all sides.
After I humiliated myself with the cube, I decided to set it to the side.
I worked a tiny bit on a cat head and cat body I tried making. I did not accomplis much on them, other than a little more defining shaping.
I then did a little bit of shaping on a pair of mice blanks. They have a long way to go. It hurts a little that there is a knot on the nose of one and on the tail of another. Those knots require twice as much shaving to get through them. I could have plugged in the dremmel and made quick work of it, but I was not in the mood for that at the moment.
I have one blank where I had to look at old pictures to remind me that I was making Santas entering a chimney head first.
I had made a bunch of angels early this year. My first ones had fairy wings and then I remembered the wings angels are supposed to have and made the rest with the right wings. I used the wrong paint to paint (a crafting paint that rubs off) and then the varnish I used was old and left yellow on the surfaces. They don’t look great. I need to paint and varnish them with the right stuff.
I have a bunch of snow men with arms. I had seen where someone made something like this shape, but carved on them so they looked like old women, children, singers, and such. I will have to carve them.
I worked on the ornaments until about eleven, then played games on the tablet until lunch time. I put everything away and then picked up lunch. I had a little bit of trouble getting myself to pack things up. There was resistance to walking and carrying like I needed to do.
After lunch, I laid back and relaxed the rest of the day. I found that when I get started after a rest, I am stiff, but I limber up some a short time later once I am up.
We went out for lunch at the Chinese Buffet with some friends. What would have been an hour for my family was three hours with them.
When we finally got home, Mom had me help her move things out so that the painters can get in and do the work with the least amount of effort. Hopefully, next weekend we will start the process of getting things back in place. I am not used to conversing that long.
The storm tracks stopped showing Matthew looping back around and returning to us so we won’t have to continue a storm watch. I know that the lathe will not be out back for some time so any projects that require turning is out. There MIGHT be a few yard sales next weekend but I figure people will still not be ready to put them out. Most likely I will sit out back and carve on something. The following week might include having to put stuff back. While being able to work again would be nice, I don’t look forward to all that work.
I will see what actually happens next weekend.
the blanks and carvings I dug up.
spools and light bulb to have santa faces carved in.
carved pain brushes
figurine blanks, at the moment snow men
cat, two mice, cat head, frog and cube I bothered.
Pole cats, frog and polar bear
incomplete figure. I had not defined the nose, which I intended to be big.