(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
64 early morning, 75 in the afternoon. Mid level runways of clouds over the ocean with blue sky over the Everglades early morning, the clouds slid across the sky soon after. Sunny much of the day in the afternoon. We had temps well below our 56 frost temps during the week. The canals were not quite frozen enough to drive on as it got into the 70s each day, but it was cold enough to bundle up and shiver all morning. The glacier that lives on top the highest point in the county, 29 feet above sea level, did get onto the flats(17 feet above seal level) around the ancient sand dune it lives on, and tried to move to the sea, but the weather was warm enough to knock it back to the slopes of the mountain. It withdrew to the protection of the summit later in the week. This weather report is brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
The wood turning club meeting was good. We had a good turnout with plenty of projects on display. We have started mini demonstrations, tips and techniques as an addition to the club. One guy talked about using strap wrenches or even filter wrenches for cars, to grab hold of stuck chucks and forcing them off. They also use them to hold a project in place while decorating a piece.
Another guy showed a plywood chuck for finishing the end of a bowl. One piece of plywood is attached to a face plate or held by some chuck. He has a drill bit and threader that matches the end of the head stock that the chuck screws onto. He glued a block of wood to the plywood mount, drilled and tapped it. He then had a set of second plates that have different sized holes in them to match the bottoms of various bowls that he might make. He then has a set of three screws to hold the two pieces together.
I made one of these not long after I got into wood turning, but I had some threaded rod and they were too long. I was short on money and imagination and did not want to cut the rods. When the thing spun around, those rods were out there ready to grab skin or anything else that they could grab. I decided it was not safe to use. I had the rods so I could do works that were very long. What I should have done, was what was recommended in this demonstration. Get bolts of every size they have at the hardware store, and use the shortest bolt that will hold the piece in place. My brother says in his business, he carries threaded rod and a lot of nuts to fit, and will braise a nut on the end and cut it to the length he needs. He could make a bolt whatever length he needed. I have not been making pieces long enough to where such a method needs to be used, but it reminded me of some interesting ideas.
The main demonstration was embedding items in resin. He used colored pencils, nuts, and other items. I forgot the type of resin he used, but there are resins that will only work thin, and those that work thick. He uses the thick stuff.. The thicker it is, the quicker it will set. He used a hole saw to cut his blanks, and would glue a piece on the bottom to hold the resin in, as it will leak out and go everywhere. That will be turned off later. He would fill the piece up half way and let that almost set, then do the rest, poking between the spaces to make sure no air bubbles are in there. He sometimes glues cardboard or thin plastic around the outside of the piece so he can go above the surface of the wood, since the resin sometimes shrinks as it sets.
He would then turn them, using a jam chuck, to hold it and finish both sides. With his jam chuck, he sometimes had to wet the wood to make it swell, or add a little bit of wet toilet paper to hold it so he can finish it. It does not take much to hold it. He cut a groove in the edge so he could stick a probe under the piece and pop it out when done.
One thing he did was used small cups and stick a dowel through the rim. When he used the little ketchup cups to pour his resin he could let it sit on the dowel to finish dripping out instead of trying to hold it and dropping it into the resin as sometimes happened. He also would measure in the mixing cup, ahead of time, the hardener, which he put in first, then the resin, marking it on the side of the cup. He then simply could pour out of the containers how much he needed, rather than measuring it in cups. Of course, after using the cup for a mix, those marks are no longer good as some resin always stays in the cup setting hard, so you have to either throw the cup or re-measure it.
I don’t plan on pouring resin any time soon, but I can use some of his concepts in projects I might work on.
I showed off the bowl I made two weeks ago. No it is not finished, but I was glad to have something to show. We have several people who demonstrate at national symposiums and could compete in national competitions. I asked one of these masters about the design of my bowl. He said I need to reshape the bottom some, but otherwise it is good. He also told me that to superglue the bark on, Mango is a wood that absorbs superglue and will show. He gave me some suggestions on how to protect the wood when I glue the bark on tight.
I headed out after breakfast on my own. I had nearly finished the North segment of the yard sale route I take before I found my first yard sale. She has had it a couple times this past year. We have not gotten to recognize each other on sight, yet. She had high quality items and the prices were fair. I cannot store decorative stuff so all that was out. I did find a device to pit olives and cherries. It works like pliers. You stuck the fruit in the cup and squeeze the probe through the fruit and the pit goes out the other side.
I did not find any other yard sales until I got to a squiggly area near the bottom of my southern route. When I get to the end of this section, I head west before heading north. That area seldom has anything. Many times I skip this section quite often if I am not in the mood or in a hurry.
I had to search for one of them, but I found two yard sales there. One was a teacher who was going to move to a retirement area. She was getting money for a new grandchild in another state. She had a lot of craft stuff and books for children that she used in the classes. I picked up some little boxes that had magnets that held them closed. Years ago, I had made some earrings out of wood, both carved and turned, and used ring boxes to display them. These boxes might be good for larger items. They would be good as gifts if decorated.
I found nothing again until I got to the area just south of my mom’s house. I stopped and talked to a friend of mine who was having a yard sale. I got a book on gardens around the world which I gave to my mom. Some of the gardens shown in those pictures need more room than the neighborhood my mom lives in.
I found some other yard sales and did buy a polishing-grinding disk that fits on the drill, a pipe cutter, and a strap wrench. I did a whole lot of driving to find six yard sales. It is nicer to find one in each section rather than finding a whole bunch in two sections with nothing in between. At one point I wondered if there was going to be any sales at all, considering the weather was guaranteed to be good from the beginning of the week. I do love to look at the landscaping people do to their yards, but that is supposed to be an added benefit rather than the main reason....
During the week, I was near Mom’s house in the afternoon so I stopped over and removed the clamps from the knife blocks I worked on last weekend. Then, I had glued the edges and tacked some thin aluminum to the cracked edges. Today, I finished the assembly by adding stops to keep the inserts from sliding and adding the rubber feet to them. Then, I decided to test them by filling them up. I must say, there is a little space in them. I think I can get some more knives....... I put mostly kitchen knives in one, and steak knives in the other. Not all the knives I have are in there. My cleavers don’t fit. Wrong design to stab in. The three knives I use all the time are not in there either, and I picked out a fourth. I might pick out one other a bit later.
Year 17, Week 10, Day two (week 896)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
61 degrees early morning, 84 in the afternoon. Mostly blue sky with some clouds and plenty of sun. a nice breeze helped carry excess heat away. It was warmer outside than inside so we opened the house up to warm it up to something more comfortable. Mom had used heat all week (just high enough to keep the chill off, not high enough to warm the place) and this was the first time she was able to turn the heat off. It helped a lot to let the place air out and warm up.
My brother was at Mom’s when I arrived. We started talking about the day and projects, and I told him about the club meeting. Lunch became ready and we ended up talking and got into reminiscing about the old days. Mom told about when she was the child, the farm she visited. It was really interesting. By the time my brother had to leave, it was late to work on any real projects.
I headed home and took a long nap. I needed to recover from several long nights this week.
During the week, I had seasoned the tortilla pan and used it, and it worked well for some breakfast wraps. I found that it fits in my toaster oven, and decided to make pizzas.
A lot of my cooking is what I would possibly call BACHELOR CHEF. That is where you don’t have ANY of the right materials, but you try to make something similar that is tasty too. The idea is to make something that looks similar, and is edible.
For a pizza, I have nothing that one is supposed to have. I used flour tortillas instead of pizza dough, ketchup as the tomato sauce, American sliced cheese, hot sausage (ok, that is allowed), and diced onions (that is also allowed).
The first one I made I baked, and it was not quite cooked enough. I ate all of that one and it was good. Not great, but good. I then set the oven to broil and cooked the second one with mixed veggies also on it. I had the time a bit long and it blackened slightly, but the piece I had actually tasted good. I was full by then.
I will try that again, but this time try to cook it the right amount. It would be nice to have better ingredients but I never have that in the house...
I have an urge to make some bread, but the time and conditions have not fallen together. I make it from scratch and by hand, not a bread machine. If I had the bread dough available, I could have used that for the pizza dough. When I do make bread, most of the batch will go into the freezer for later, so the hard part will already be done. As I said, I used what I had available for the pizza. And that pan worked nicely as used.
I feel a little sad that I did not do any wood working this weekend, other than working on the knife blocks. I will have to add metal pieces on the other corners so it won’t look repaired as it does not. That will be done when the opportunity arrives.
I hope to accomplish something next weekend. I have more than enough projects to work on.
threaded pipe and olive/cherry pitting wrench
filled knife blocks. right side are kitchen knives, left side are steak and small knives.
It looks like I need to get more knives,,,,, don't you think????