Sunday, March 5, 2017

Year 17, Week 05, Day One (week 891)

Year 17, Week 05, Day One (week 891)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-11-17 Saturday
    Mostly cloudy, lows in the high 60s, highs in the high 70s. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department Of Tourism.
    The neighboring house had the Mango tree trimmed. I would have trimmed it differently, but I was not the one making the decision. As a favor and by request, they left several pieces of wood for me to work with.
    I started out with Mom, after breakfast, visiting four yard sales and walked away empty handed. One was an estate sale where they were unloading the stuff they had in there. Much of the stuff could pass as antiques.
    In the four yard sales, I saw stuff that had me drooling, except I don’t need a crank powered meat slicer when I have two powered meat slicers. I don’t need another cast iron pan, though I likely could have gotten it for little, I don’t need travel or regular irons (for ironing clothes), or another coffee grinder since I already have four. I also avoided several craft books which I really never have time to check through anyway. I also avoided a folding work bench which I already have one and have access to one or two more... 

    Later, I headed down to a  friend’s house. I passed through a couple yard sale areas and there were none. I had the address for the house and rough directions, but my instructions missed one key bit of information (taking a similar named road for a block then turning left on the road I was really after) and I wandered quite a bit before I even got close to his neighborhood. The third person I asked directions gave me a clue where to look and I finally found it.  I got to see some really choice homes. They were big, beautiful, and nowhere near the ocean too. My company built the pools in that area and I did the drawings. First time I ever saw one.
    My friend had offered me a “lathe stand” a severak months ago, back when I was rebuilding the base for my lathe. It took a while before we could get together for me to get it. It turned out not to be simply a lathe stand. It was a cast iron lathe bed with a metal stand that attaches to it. It was unopened by the looks of it. Cast iron is heavy, to say the least. This was for a large lathe. The head stayed in one place (compared to where the head on my lathe can be slid everywhere), but there was stops gaps on the motor mount where you could rotate the head to fixed angles, along with whatever specialty angles needed. There was a space for large platters or bowls to spin, and then the ways where the tool rest and tail stock slide.
    I have it stowed away safely for now, but I am thinking about what I can make to make use of it. I keep thinking of a treadle powered lathe but this is almost too heavy for that. I see on line where they make lathes out of wood so IN THEORY it would be easy. I wonder if I could power the lathe I build with a 454 Hemmi engine.....

    I stopped a couple places on the way home, then rested until it was time to get going for the evening.

    While little actually got done, I did have a good time doing it.

    I will have to see if I am more productive tomorrow.
Year 17, Week 05, Day One (week 891)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-11-17 Saturday
    Lots of clouds, but a whole lot of sun. light breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.    

    I got as early a start as I could and took the straightest looking piece of Mango branch I saw, and after trimming the ends straight, I mounted it in the lathe and tried to center it. It was not as straight as I had hoped it would be. wood is naturally bent and is under stress. It will warp at times because the weight was taking off of it and it no longer has to fight gravity. Because of the slight bend, more wood had to come off the diameter to get it round so I could use it.
    I removed the knotted end which I have some ideas for later, and then cut it in half after I had a tenon on it and then mounted one piece in the chuck. I really wanted make something today since I had not done so in a long time, so I started on a goblet. I started by shaping the outside of the bowl, leaving a lot of waste wood on the stem. I then worked some of the inside with my tool next to the tail stock. When satisfied with a start, I removed the tail stock and started serious hollowing.
    This was green wood, just a couple days old and looked white. Removing the inside wood, I followed the curve of the outside and worked the bottom to where I was comfortable with it. I touched it with course sand paper. This could well be 32 grit. The wood was feathery at the edges of the layers so my sanding was more cutting away the feathery ends and removing tool marks than anything.
    I then worked the outside, running my fingers inside and out, to feel the thickness until I had the walls even all the way. You can tell when your fingers move away from each other.  I shaved down the stem more and more as I went, making sure I was even in thickness on the bowl.
    I was excited about just making something and did not want to go too thin on the stem in case it broke. The pith of the branch was near the center so I was worried that would cause the stem to be too weak so I left the stem two to three times as thick as I usually go, just to make sure I had something to show for my efforts for the first time in months that I could really do some turning.
    I sanded the bowl and then continued to work down the stem, sanding it when I had plenty of the proper diameter exposed so I would not have to touch it again in the project.
    I created the base and worked that into shape, sanded it, and finally parted it off the waste wood, which was a little tricky as a slight twist and you can chip the base and have to even it out, it becoming smaller in diameter. (Ask how I know and how many times it has happened in my life). That was done enough, and I was in a really good mood, so I started on the second goblet the same way. I was having fun.
    With goblets, the taller they are and the thinner the stems, the more popular they are. A turner can make the stem ink cartridge thin and really tall, is a sign of true skill as those are the types that break easily.  Of course, those are in really hard wood. Not in green wood like this, though mango is a hard wood when dry. It is never with the pith near the stem either.
    It takes even grater skill to make several of them exactly the same. Only once did I do that, and I had to make five of them to accomplish a set of four that resembled each other.
    The bowl of this second goblet was a little bit shorter than the first. The stem and base ended up about the same
    I decided I was going to turn the knotted part into a little cup, but as I did a little cleanup from the goblets, I saw that I would never been in condition to clean up if I did make the third piece. It turned out to be a lot of work to clean up. This is the first time I used my lathe for anything other than sanding since I put it on the new stand. Sawdust piled up on all the wood I had on the shelves so clean up took longer than I expected. I previously had an angled board to direct the wood chips to the ground rather than into the lathe. It was not perfect, but it helped a lot. I guess I should put that back in place again.
    We have a wood turning club meeting on Thursday and I will actually be able to show something off at the meeting. That will be a rare sight.
    I will see what happens next weekend.


 The branches of the mango tree right next to the trunk Two pieces are missing

 The two goblets next to the knotted top.

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