Sunday, April 15, 2018

Year 18, Week 13, Day One (week 953)

Year 18, Week 13, Day One (week 953)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-14-18 Saturday

Front was supposed to come through. It held back. Cloudy warm, windy.  75 early morning 82 high. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Easter, I decided I wanted to relocate my computer from the “office” to the bedroom. I first had to move a whole bunch of stuff in the bedroom, finding some place for that stuff to go, then I brought my computer, tracing wires, plugs, and such. It took most of the day and the much of the next day to get it right. I accomplished little the rest of the weekend. The problem is getting the stuff where it needs to be is the easy part. The hard part is getting things where it is comfortable. I unplugged everything four times to change how things were set up. 

During the week, I moved something improperly that was on the shelf of the laptop and watched my laptop (I also have a desk top) land on the floor, right on the corner of the open screen. The screen was toast. I did remember I had a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse so I was able to make it into a desk top. A week later I got a good used monitor installed. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE DUMB, YOU HAVE TO BE TOUGH....

The next week, I spent the weekend digging through papers, sorting them. I have an idiot in charge of where papers go. He never puts them where one would expect to find them..... It is always the most important ones that are hidden away.

This weekend, I had to do my Texas. I would have rather done Arizona, but the government requires Texas be done before April 15th. I hate tax. I prefer safety pins..... 
I used to think that tape could fix anything. I have found a few things tape won’t fix, but I will stick to my story.... I would rather use tape than tax or safety pins.

I have a stuffed animal addiction. Luckily, I have kept it well under control. If I had followed the addiction, my house would be wall to wall, floor to ceiling with stuffed animals, all of them cute and cuddly. I estimate I have about 12 standard sized stuffies, some given to me, and about 20 beany babies sized stuffies. With these, I plan on making clothing for them and giving them as gifts. That does not count the little stuffed cat that is on the dashboard of the truck, forlornly looking at me with worry as I drive. 
I had gotten a bunch of bunnies for Easter to pass out to the girls at work and at a gathering I go to. I had three I really liked that I kept out of the ones passed out, but I broke down and sent two out to a friend for her grandchildren. I did gain one. It is cute This weekend, I ended up with four TY Beany Babies. A dragon a lizard, a skunk and a lobster. I saw the dragon and had to have it and at the price, I ended up with the others. 

In crochet, I started a dress for a teddy bear. It quickly became too long for the bear I was using as a pattern, but mom suggested that I fold the top over and make it a collar. I am now making the back of the dress. I am running it straight ten stitches, then increasing the size of the stitch as it goes on down. That is causing a flair in the skirt. It is in lime green and that is eye catching.  I am considering, but have not decided on, doing another color for the front to make it more interesting. It is kind of hard to find time to crochet when a tablet with games is the competition. I even have several books on the tablet and don’t have time to read them. 

I thought about wood working, but never got near it. 

I’ve been cutting the tops of large pill bottles, such as for multi vitamins and trying to use them for pencil holders. Mom and I was talking about how they fall over so easily and a friend suggested putting some coins in the bottom. I tried it. Five to ten cents in pennies is all that is needed to keep them upright with pencils and such in them. I had never thought of it. At work I had jammed them into a corner held by things so they would not fall over. What a difference a few coins make. Since they are pennies, their loss is not great if ever stolen. One always ends up with more pennies than you need. 
I’ve been using my carving knife to slice the tops off. It is not absolutely straight and I sometimes have to do some shaving because the plastic buckled or bent while cutting, taking the knife off course. But even somewhat straight is good enough. One does not notice the tops all that much. I was doing it quick, but if you take your time and work carefully, you can get it nice and straight. I cut just below where the top curves in for the cap. I am thinking, when I get back to full time wood working, I can use these for holding tools and supplies as I work. 

This Thursday, is the wood turning club meeting. I understand they are having a tool auction there. I don’t NEED more tools. I do like to look, though.  It is good to meet up with friends, even it if is later than my normal bed time. 

I will see if I can get some wood working done now that some of the rush stuff is done. 

Will see what happens next weekend. 


Easter bunnies sent out. the blue, yellow and green in front were the ones I hung on to. I ended up keeping only the green bunny. 

The start of a dress I am working on. this will now be the back, with the top bent down for a collar. About three more rows will be when I  make the arm holes. 

these creatures attacked me and threatened great harm to me if I did not bring them home. With a deal like that, I had to accept it....

pencil cups

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-24-18 Saturday

61 degrees early morning, 78 late after noon. Sunny, nice breeze. Some clouds early morning which were gone before noon. Over the past few weeks, we have gotten some chilly weather. A few down below our 56 degree frost temperature we have here. It is always fun to see frosty palm trees.  We got the cold weather each time the northeast got their snow. A thin wave of a front would pass over us, about a county wide, and be gone before half the day was gone. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

After Breakfast, I went out on my own. At one yard sale, I picked up two granite cutting boards. I had wanted something like them for years. Now that I have them, I am now having after thoughts about using them. I like wood as they are easy on the knife edge. I picked up a couple tools at another. 
During the first yard sale run, (I stopped back at home half way through for a pit stop since I was just a few blocks away)  I noticed I could tell the northerners from the southerners. the southerners had coats or at least sleeves. Once the sun was up, it warmed up quickly. While it was still cool, I drove most of the way with the window open. My truck has electric windows. I do see I have one little problem. I am so used to leaving the truck and simply hitting the button to lock it, I don't remember to wind up the windows, which must be done with the power on. Something to keep in mind.

There was a "community" yard sale, at a condo that had about ten people out. I picked up a pair of hot pads that a woman's friend had made. She said she did not want to ruin them by using them. They are boys clothes and girls clothes in crochet. I thought that my teddy bears would fit in them. When I got them home, I tried a bear in the dress and found that there is no hole in the body where the arms attach.. They are really cute and are giving me ideas.
I also got one of those rolling walkers where it has a seat. I had a friend who had mentioned they were interested in it. It was a really low price.
At some of the yard sales, I parked quite a distance away as there were so many cars. I ran into the situation where it was a nothing walk to the yard sale, but when I headed back, I was shocked how far I was parked away. I almost thought someone moved my truck. I made no attempt to park close at the yard sales to take advantage of easy parking.. 
The local library had a book sale this weekend. I picked up a few books. There was half the books they had last time. I told them the joke, "An author knows his book is bad when he donates his book to the library and he finds them in the next book sale." One of the woman said “that sometimes that happens.”
Before I got home, I was feeling the workout I did. I skipped a couple yard sales at the last leg of the trip. 
I mentioned the community yard sale to mom. She decided she wanted to see it. When we got there,  some people had already packed up. 

We then went to a Japanese buffet that recently opened. It was more expensive than we are used to. The food was good, but we really wanted a different set of flavors. I have said many times that “Sushi is a way to get the elite to eat rice.” Of course, we had to park a distance away since a popular grocery store was nearby. That meant I had to walk a good distance on my already tired legs. Then at the buffet, you have to walk to get your food. 
I don’t plan to do much more walking tonight.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-25-18 Sunday

I went back to that moving sale I visited yesterday and last week. I could have gotten a whole bunch of tools and get them cheap, but held off. I had seen a sawsall and had talked myself out of it since I already have three. I decided If it was there, I would get it anyway. It was gone. I had some money in my pocket and should have helped him by cleaning out a lot of the hand tools. I gave most of the ones I got last week to my brother. I did get a couple items. He was happy to be rid of them. 

I am not moving well after yesterday’s exertions. From the time of the hurricane to Christmas, I was not walking hardly at all because of the foot infections I had. I ended up, after being healed,  not being able to walk any distance without discomfort. The infections are gone, but I have not done enough to get back into shape. Yesterday I was reminded about how bad a shape I still am at. I am working on it, but not enough.

I took the rest of the day off, accomplishing nothing important.  One thing I did was I had some accumulated batches of yarn I picked up over the past few months that were not put away. I also have some project yarn in the truck. I gathered all that yarn, some in bags, some loose and poured them all out. The project bag that was in the truck was showing the effects of sun and heat so I chose another bag. I did not want a bigger bag but I am not sure where smaller bags might be located. Just as I suspected, the amount of yarn and stuff the project bag ended up with was more than before. “Oh, that is a good color, I also need cotton, but if I don’t have that color, I might wish I had it.” on and on. Now I can work on new projects. 
One thing I did do is stick a set of knitting needles in there. There is a project partially done by a beginner with the needles still in place. My intention when I bought it a couple years ago was to use it to learn how to knit. Get the act of knitting down first, then work at other things such as starting and finishing.  I hope that sometime I will find the time to try it out. Looking at the way things have been going with my schedule, It will likely sitting at the hospital, keeping someone company or when we have a power out. Or possibly waiting for some work to be done on the truck.
The scarf I’ve been working on is just about finished. I just have to weave in the tails where I swapped colors. Previously, I left the yarns attached. I decided that when I finished a row, I would clip it and then start the next color. Now I have to weave in the ends. 
I am planning on making some teddy bear clothing. I will do a design I have in mind already planned, then I might try to copy those hot pads next. The rest of the yarn is sort-of put away. 
I have learned with any craft or hobby. If you choose your project, then look at the stock you have, you don’t have anything to work with. On the other hand, if you look at the stock you have, and pick a project that will use it, you will have a lifetime’s worth of stock. What I really need to do is retire and spend all my time wood working and crochet. 

I will see what I will do next week.

Year 18, Week 09, Day One (week 949)

Year 18, Week 09, Day One (week 949)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-17-18 Saturday

I forgot to note down the weather. 


I went to the turning club meeting.  It was great to reconnect to some friends. It had been since, I think, October since I was able to go. You don’t realize how much you missed them until you see them again. 
The demonstration was on the making of pens. Usually, you need a mandrel for the brand pen you are making, and the pen kit, which comes with the metal work the pen will need. What you are making in wood is the body of the pen. The mandrel will have bushings and screw knob to hold things in place. You work the ends of your wood down to match the bushings, which are the same size as the middle ring and the end parts of the pen. Usually, you turn both parts of the body the same time. 
There are preparatory work you have to do before you do the actual turning. You start with square stock. Pen blanks are available at most woodworking supply stores in exotic woods. One drills the blank first, then drive a brass tube through the hole. There are cutters one can use to true up the ends, making them square with the tube. 
After that is done, one can then do the turning. The square stock has to become round. By doing everything from the original hole, it will be balanced as you turn.
Generally, the body will be thicker in the center than on the ends for a nicer grip. With this demonstration, he had glued some veneer into the stock wood on an angle before he cut the pen blanks. It added another nice feature to the pen. 
He explained about attaching the hardware to the pen. The back has to be pressed in just the right amount so that when you push the button, the pen will extend past the end of the tip, and retract fully. He said there are “pen presses” out there, but he used a clamp that you tighten by a grip on the handle. He said he knows about how much it has to be pressed in, but he stops the first time shy of what is needed so he can sneak up on the final setting. 
He usually sands to 8000 grit, going 350, 400, 600, 1000, 2000, 6000, 8000. These are almost always hard woods that can take a polish just by sanding. He finishes it with a wax coating to bring out the gloss and he will usually buff it.
I took pictures of the stuff on display for the club. The most interesting thing on display was a light house. It was made in parts. The base was interesting. He said that he did not like the original base he had, so he took out a piece of wood with bark and turned the surfaces. His wife did not like that, so He added sand to part of the base. That was better but not good enough. He then added some shells and that really topped it off. 


Right after breakfast, we went out to find a yard sale that was for the cub scouts. We learned it was actually in April.  We did find a yard sale with several people participating. I bought a few things that can fit in a pocket. They had a couple of nice computer desks and I had to remind myself I have no place to put them if I got them.

Earlier in the week I turned my back wrong. My back was doing good today, but I was not taking any chances. I decided to go home early and stay. At home I took the time to clean up my computer desk some. I found a few things I thought I lost or forgot I had. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to save something is to hide it. It will be there years or decades later....

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 09, Day two (week 949)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-18-18 Sunday

Again I forgot to note what the temps were.. 

I found a moving sale. Those are usually nice. They are usually trying to unload stuff so the prices are good. Sometimes, though, they are trying to get money to make the moving easier. The guy was selling hand tools dirt cheap. The box I ended up with on the tools was heavy. The one big thing I ended up with, was a hand plane. It looks like it is in good condition. I have not checked the blade.

Mom has a golden Shower tree (yellow Tabebuia) that was tipping. It is one of the few plants in her yard that is in the ground. It was in a wooden barrel planter that rotted away. She decided she wanted to stand straight up.  She had me push on the small tree to take a bad lean out of it. It was not hard, but getting between the branches was a pain. She put a steak under the branch to hold it up. She will work on making the support better later. After a period of time, it will correct the growth to the new position. 

Someone had a washing machine that they forgot what some features were for. I went on line and located a copy of the basic instructions. We now know where to put the fabric softener and the chlorine are to be added.. It took a bit to figure out where I could find the right model number in order to find the right instructions. Then to find a site that actually had the instructions for that machine.  Even then, the instructions are for machines that don't have these features. 

I will see what I do next week.
the light house

a pen being turned on the mandrel 

Year 18, Week 08, Day One (week 948)

Year 18, Week 08, Day One (week 948)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-10-18 Saturday

67 degrees. Was predicted to be in the 50s but things changed.  The showers after one never showed up. 83 afternoon.  Light breeze. Some showers in the late afternoon from a front passing through. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After breakfast, we went to "granny's attic" which is sort of a collector's rummage sale. there was a lot of jewelry, quite a few cook books, some dolls. there was a meat grinder but while I eyed it, I walked away without even getting a price. I told them about how I already have two, and I used to get a Boston Butt Roast, slice off steaks and then use the meat around the bone to make ground meat. The lady got a kick out of that. The second time around the place, it was gone. 
My friend of mine I got to know through yard sales was there. she had mostly jewelry but a few other things. At a different table, I glanced through THE CHILDREN’S COOK BOOK. I was disappointed that there wasn't any children used in any of the recipes......
I walked the place three times before we left. My legs knew we did a lot of walking. it is so much easier to walk with a shopping cart.
We stopped at a multi family yard sale. It was at the house of an old man who has done many yard sales over the years. I think he is in his 90s. It was good to see him. I got a folding cloth covered box. I have several of these, but have no idea where they are right now. 

After we got back, I headed out on my own. I stopped at one yard sale, then took my truck to be serviced.
I played a few games on my tablet, then started on the scarf  I have had in process for a while. I finished the last row of red&black, then saw that the black&white needed to be balled. I balled up both of them using my method to allow them to pull out the center, then got half way through the B&W before I ran out of time. This is the last row, then I need to clean up the ends. They worked faster on the truck than I expected, and also I beat two levels in candy crush so that took me longer.  My truck is good for another 5 k before service again.

The neighbor’s remodeling is picking up steam. Contractors were digging a trench in the back yard for the electrical plumbing. It is sand so it is easy to dig. The problem is both him and his partner are in bad shape due to heavy schedules they have had to work during the week... 
I love hard work. Bone bending, muscle pulling hard work. I can sit and watch it all day. 
I sat and watched them and sometimes talked to them while I was carving. The first rocking horse/laying dog might not be recoverable. I had popped a leg off and it is not gluing right. I should take the time and dig out a couple clamps. 
I started another one and it is coming along nicely. At this point, this one almost looks more like a Saint Bernard than the hound I had planned. That is not too bad for a rough carving.
The guy had to cut a few roots from the Mango tree. I need to go out and grab them and hang onto them. At the moment, they are very easy to carve. A couple slices goes right through the wood. Unlike branches and stems, roots don’t require strength. They are just to draw nutrients from one place to another. 
I have no idea what they will be like when they dry. The last root I had was soft and mainly fibers when it had dried. 
I intend to carve some elves in the wood. 

I will see what I will do tomorrow

Year 18, Week 08, Day Two (week 948)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-11-18 Sunday

66 morning, 79 in the afternoon. Cloudy with some expected showers coming tomorrow. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The contractor was here again and because it is supposed to rain really hard tomorrow, he needed to get the pipe in and covered or it would float up, messing things up.
His partner was not able to come because he was hurting too much. I had little important to do so I  helped him with some things. Holding the pipe on the end to keep it moving as he pushed a fitting on, handing him stuff while he was in the trench, and just talking to him. He was sore and wore out when he started burying the pipe. He said he will likely come and fill in the trench some more in a day or so.. 
I am not in great shape either. I can walk all the isles of large grocery stores if walking behind a cart, but it is hard work walking around the house to get to the back. The thing I do best at this moment, is to sit. I am an expert at that. 

While watching him, I grabbed the mango roots and decided to carve on them. Green as they are, these are too soft to get details in. I roughed out three figures and will let them dry before I work on them more. 
I love how I have not forgotten anything about carving. I still see the figures inside the wood and can release the excess wood to show what was hiding in there. 
There are two things that one has to have to carve. One is a mind’s eye picture of what the figure is supposed to be with an idea of what wood has to be removed to get to it, and then the skill of placing and moving the knife to make the cuts that have to be done. I have not lost either of those. 
I have done light carving so far so I have not developed blisters or sore spots on my hands. I don't have the callouses I once had. There have been many times where I did a lot of carving, then stopped for one reason or another, then when I pick up the knives again, I have to develop the callouses again. The mango roots were like carving on a very hard vegetable. The knife went through the root nicely. I once had some strangler fig root and it was light fibrous when it was dry. Will be interesting to see how these dry. They are on the window sill in my bedroom. 

I will see what I do next week.
pieces of mango root. It had some white sap came from portions of the bark while it was really fresh. .

Year 18, Week 07, Day One (week 947)

Year 18, Week 07, Day One (week 947)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-03-18 Saturday

58 degrees early morning 78 degrees late afternoon. Good breeze taking away any heat that developed. Some clouds but mostly blue sky. I don’t remember a cloud blocking the sun. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I had a good yard sale drive today. I skipped a bunch, but hit 8 yard sales. I loitered at a couple so it ended up taking a whole lot longer than normal. I picked up three cook books that looked interesting. One is Caribbean cooking. This was a thin picture book. Another is Balkans cooking. that is a thick book with recipes from the western part of the old soviet union. Balkans, the book says, is “mountains” in Turkish. The last book is a reprint of a revolutionary period cook book. I've read the introduction but have not looked into the rest of the book. 
I found a bible that is a translation of a people in the Syria region. Mom was comparing some passages with the King James version. Of course the “thees” and “thous” were gone. They were extremely simular but some words here and there in the translation show where the wording put forward a completely different impression. “Giving love OF unto one another” and “Giving love TO one another” have different effects. The differences were small. I have heard other translations where you have to look carefully to see that they are the same passage. Because of this, most scholars study the bible in the original languages since often,  one word might take a whole sentence in English to say the same thing.
I picked up a cast iron pan, square with spouts on each corner, and a few other things. 

Mom and I went to a condo yard sale together right after breakfast and I picked up a digital camera cheap. It works nice takes good enough pictures. It is an 8 megapixel Olympus. I generally have my camera set on a low resolution so they E-mail easily.  I will look for instructions on line. It took some time to figure out that there were separate buttons to review the images, rather than on the main control.  This comes with two batteries and a charger you plug the batteries into. I figured out that the camera does not charge when plugged into the computer. The only reason I got it was as a spare camera. I am good at breaking cameras.

I keep seeing wonderful things at the yard sales, but I don’t have room for any of them... What I need is a couple dozen homes to decorate...... and lots of money.....

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 07, Day Two (week 947)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-04-18 Sunday

58 degrees mid morning 78 degrees late afternoon. (One friend who lives inland said it was 54 degrees at six) Good breeze taking away any heat that developed. Some clouds but mostly blue sky. I don’t remember a cloud blocking the sun. I woke up early this morning (four) and had to turn my heaters on. It was 58 outside I was talking to a friend who lives farther west (just a few miles) and he said it was 54 at six am. For us, that is cold.
This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I returned to carving on the "dog" which originally was supposed to be a rocking horse As I neared to carve on the legs, I realized I had no idea how a laying dog looks like. I was questioning how the legs were positioned or how the parts were angled. I googled ‘laying dog’ pictures and found that my image of how a dog’s limbs go when resting was utterly wrong.  I forgot that dogs and cats actually walk on their toes. The joint above the paws is actually the ankle bone, not the knee. The thigh bone is extremely short and is almost entirely encased within the body. Horses also are designed that way, though their toes are fused into a hoof. Remembering this, allowed me to start removing wood properly to make it a laying dog.
A bit later, I twisted the blade broke a front leg off and had to glue it. that ended my carving. Even with that, it was a good day.

One rule of carving is don’t twist, especially if you are working around a thin piece of wood.. Usually a twist is done because a piece of shaving won’t come out or you have a large shaving that you are trying to loosen. In every case one gets a break from twisting, it seemed like a good move at that moment. Knives and chisels are supposed to slice through the wood. A chisel can be used to pry up wood if you have a stopping cut across the grain or are deep against a solid piece of attached wood. It is better to cut from one direction, then remove it from the other direction. 

I have not done it, but one should try what is called chip carving. Chip carving is where you cut what are generally triangle chips to create a picture or pattern. It is a good exercise, even if done poorly, on how to remove wood cleanly without tearing and breakage. Chip carving is usually done with specialized knives, one has a curved downward tip for the actual cutting, and another is for plunge cuts for an additional pattern effect. If you practice chip carving, your regular carvings will be faster and easier. Of course I have not practiced my recommendations.......

I will see what I do next week.

This is what the rocking horse looks like as it is turned into a dog.

The other side of the rocking horse dog.

The new from-scratch dog.

The other side of the from-scratch dog.

Top view

bottom view.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Year 18, Week 06, Day One (week 946)

Year 18, Week 06, Day One (week 946)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-24-18 Saturday

72 morning low, 79 afternoon high, nice breeze, threats of dots of showers that did not come into our area, scattered fast moving tiny herds of clouds heading west all day long. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Before my foot infection, I was not in the best physical condition. I could never walk a marathon, let alone a mile or two. During the infection, I did no distance walking and there were times where I would think twice about crossing the room twice because I forgot something. Because of this, I am working on recovery of any walking distance. What has helped is one of my favorite grocery store rearranged everything and Now I have to walk most all the isles to find what I need. 
This morning, my legs were a little laggard. I did the yard sale drive route and stopped at quite a few yard sales, and skipped some also. My legs felt heavy as I got out of the truck. It will take a while to get back into shape, if you remember that round IS a shape.....
There is a lot of decorative items, and kitchen items today. A few times I had to talk myself out of getting them. One guy had things won or gifted from one of the local casinos. The one thing I fought myself over was a cast iron griddle that fit into a space in a large cutting board. I would have loved to have gotten it, but like a lot of my cast iron, I would never use it.

Later in the day, Mom was killing weeds in the back yard. They come up between the pavers and in the mulch walks. I came out and dug through various areas of the back yard. I found a stick of my two-by-two whitewood carving wood. I had to cut some pieces from it. I knew there had to be a handsaw in mom’s garage so I squeezed in there (loaded with stuff that is supposed to be under the awning) and found a dovetail saw. 
I must tell you that I have a rule of NEVER using a hand saw when power was available, which means NEVER using a handsaw. Well, I was in the mood to get something done and figured that finding a hand saw would be a whole lot faster than getting to a buried saws-all or moving things around to get the band saw plugged in. 
A dovetail saw has really fine teeth. It is a finishing saw where you want clean cuts, no tear out. This saw also had a rusty blade panel. 
A proper saw should be shiny, where you can see the reflection of the work in it. You line up the reflection with the edge you see and it is straight. Also a clean shiny blade will produce no friction to increase the effort of cutting. 
I have not used a handsaw for anything in like two years. I lined up the blade roughly by eye and started cutting. I got partly down and turned the piece so I was working with a fresh side, using the existing cut as a guide. Of course, my cut was not straight. I got part way down and turned it one more time before cutting all the way through. I then cut two more pieces off, each between nine inches and a foot long. I had to stop for a moment twice on the last cut to give my arm a chance to straighten out before cutting again. I had decided only to cut three pieces and that was enough sawing. About twenty minutes later, mom said she could have gotten me a brand new, little used Saws-all that I gave her in exchange for a light one she had. I have two somewhere in the shed, I think. I was done cutting.
I don’t spend much time standing so I was on my feet long enough. I figured I had really accomplished something. I actually touched wood and made a tiny bit of saw dust.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to start carving. I have some designs for ornaments to explore. 

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 06, Day Two (week 946)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-25-18 Sunday

73 early morning, 78 late afternoon. Mostly blue sky with some puffs moving around. A breeze made it really nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

I got to Mom’s late and my brother was already there. We had a great lunch, with everything tasting better than expected. Conversation was good too.

After lunch I grabbed my carving kit and went out back. My brother followed me. We are still in winter so much of the area that would be under the awning is in shade, which is nice. We sat and I tried to carve a rocking horse. I turned the wood on a 45 degree angle so to give me the most distance of wood to work with. The head was in the corner, the runners were in the lower angles. I knew what I needed to have but as I worked, I quickly saw it was not going to work as planned. I kept carving. I nearly shaved off the piece from the stick when It was time to stop. It has no resemblance to a horse. I think I can make it a laying cat or laying dog with a little bit of work, but not a rocking horse. This shape wood will never make a horse. Proportions are wrong unless I make the horse a lot smaller. 

My knives were started from files, grinding away the teeth and then shaping them. The back of the blade is comfortably thick. When carving, I will move my hand onto the back of the blade to use the point, or back at the handle to use the long edge. When done right, you will not hold the sharp edge. This style allows you to place pressure where needed, and have control where needed. 
There are times when you want to shave a large area. There are times when you want to dig in, or shave inside something. The length of my blades give you more options on h ow to use the knife. The wedge shaped end is great for removing wood in valleys and holes. 
The first time I made one of these flat ended knives, I had a file and cut it apart and made a long knife that had somewhat of a point. I then took the short end and just made it sharp, keeping the end flat. I did not want to make it shorter by reducing the end. When I used that knife, I found I loved the flat end. It worked great and was less likely to stab through carving gloves. 
We had metal mesh, Kevlar “cut proof” gloves, and they had the problem that sharp knife points will go through them, even if the blade edge would not cut them. The flat point turned out to be safer, though it would cut on the edge on the end, but had limited penetration. 
Of course, paying attention to where skin is comparted to the blade makes a difference. If the blade is flying into the air, you are doing it wrong. I know, I did it wrong a few times, such as when I cut a couple tendons in my left index finger. If that hand was able to actually do something useful other than holding, it would be a problem.....

My nephew called and my brother put him on speaker phone and we had a very good three way conversation. That made the session a lot more fun.
I was really happy that my hands knew how to work the knife and remove the right wood. I did not develop any spots that might become a blister. My hands were not stressed from the work. Even though the shape did not look like what it was supposed to be, it was a very successful session.  The nice thing about carving is that I don’t need a lot of space and don’t need to pull out a whole lot of equipment to work. Out of the stuff in my basket, I just needed a knife and a strop to do my work. 

I will say because I was not wearing a carving glove for protection of my hands, I put a little more concentration on where my fingers were at any time. It was not a carving that depended on my hands being in the way for any particular cut. I will have to figure out where my leather gardening gloves are, which is what I usually use as carving gloves. Nicks in gloves are better than nicks on fingers.

I hope to do some more carving next week. It is a little heady to have some form of production of any kind. 

On the scarf I am making, I am on the second to last row on the width. I will then have to work the ends and can then call it finished. I am trying to figure out what to do next. I don’t want to do dishcloths, which is in cotton. I don’t want to do another scarf. Not many people to give them to down here. I won’t do anything bigger than a scarf. Too much work. I will come up with something small that can be done all over the place. 

I will see what I do next week. 

the rusty saw and the weathered stick of wood.

one side view. looks nothing like a rocking horse

opposite side view

partial front view

another partial front view. I think I can make this into a laying dog or cat.
handle of knife beside it holding it on the angle

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Year 18, Week 05, Day One (week 945)

Year 18, Week 05, Day One (week 945)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-17-18 Saturday

73 degrees early morning, 81 high, blue skies all day long, light breeze, just enough to remove some of the heat. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 

After breakfast, I made my yard sail run. At one yard sale, a woman had all sorts of the fantasy swords. I considered a pair of Japanese katanas but decided I would not use them even on display. I have some swords but haven’t looked at them for a year. More swords would not be a good idea. I then saw a dragon letter opener. The next thing I knew, my wallet was lighter and I was climbing into the truck with a new dragon. 
At another yard sale, I did not recognize the people or the location until I saw some wooden faced teddy bears. I instantly recognized the place from a year or two ago. These teddy bears were collector items. I could not afford the price they were asking last time. This time, they were priced to find them a new home. Two of them leaped into my arms begging me to take them home. One had a puppy attached to it and the puppy licked my face so much I had to bring them home. I only adopted the boy with the puppy and a girl. The others looked sad but I reminded them that they were still at a home. 
There were other yard sales, but they had nothing I absolutely had to have. 

Year 18, Week 05, Day Two (week 945)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
02-18-18 Sunday

Blue sky 73 early morning 79 late afternoon, a light breeze makes it nice. I see I have to work a little to get used to the heat again, the way I like to be for the summer wood working. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I got to Mom’s earlier than planned. We had some time before we were going to go out for lunch, so I went out back. I located my carving basket, nestled in the still full shed. The awning is still not up. 
I had planned on some carving, but I think my carving wood is in the back of the shed. Instead, I empted my carving basket and started the process of sharpening my blades. 
While they were protected for the most part, every blade still had surface rust on them. Not completely, mostly in spots. Some blades were in better condition than others. 
I started with 100 grit sand paper, then some finer sand paper, Some spots needed more muscle. I had an abrasive wheel but decided not to dig out a drill or dremmel and used it to scrape the worst of the rust off. 
Once the steel was clean, I then used diamond hones to reshape and recondition the blade and the edge. I used a 260 grit and a 360 grit plate, then I used a leather strop to fine tune the blades.

My knives are designed so they are laid flat against the stone and rubbed. The taper of the blade goes right down to the edge. I designed them this way so I will get the angle of the edge right every single times. The edge is delicate, but the angle will be consistent each time I work the blade. It is recommended to have a sharper angle at the edge so the edge will be strong, but I could never do the same angle twice, even in the same sharpening. 

When using a sharpening stone, It is suggested to slide the edge into the stone like you are trying to shave a slice off. Basically grind with the edge leading.
The main purpose of using the grind stones is to straighten the edge, get rid of nicks and chips so the blade edge is straight and even. Once the edge is in condition, one should never need to use a grind stone until you get chips and nicks in the blade again.

My final step is to use the leather strop. When you sharpen a blade, you end up with “a wire” on the edge. It will sometimes curl away from the last surface you stoned. By dragging the edge of the blade across the leather strop (or a steel for some types of knives such as kitchen knives) the leather will straighten the wire until it is a clean straight cutting edge. 
Once the edge is ready, you can start carving,. Each time you set your knife down, when you pick itt up again, give it a few strokes on the strop and keep carving and a grind stone won’t need to be used for several carvings. 

I have some chisels. I went over their edges also. I seldom use these but have them anyway. They are not really carving chisels. They are for like cleaning joints.
I also have a Scorp set. A scorp is a side facing chisel. It is pulled by the fingers into the wood rather than pushed on the end of the handle. 
Rounded blades are tougher to sharpen than flat ones. I mainly touched on them before putting them away. 

I was surprised there were no paints in the carving basket, then I remembered I removed the paints so I could paint my Christmas cards. Some of the stuff in the basket (such as a stack of skewers) will go someplace else but for now it will be all right in the basket. 

I will tell you that a dull carving knife is sharp. They love fingers. With one of the knives, I took some sandpapers and ran it down the blade with the edge aiming at my thumb. My thumb got nicked and it bled nicely. I bandaged it for about an hour while I was working and when I was done with my work, I removed the bandage and it no longer bled. The bleeding kept the rust out of the wound. 
After the nick, I made sure I kept track of where the edge and my skin were in comparison to each other.

While I did not accomplish much today, I got something done in the direction of wood working. Now I need to figure out where my carving wood is and get to work. 

After the Chinese Buffet, I feel like a pig, and want to just sleep my meal off. 

Will see what happens next weekend. 

My scorp set. I broke the handle of the bottom one so I replaced it.

These side-pull chisels. have advantages and disadvantages to center push chisles. 

My chisel set. the second from the top as a curved blade and I have used that the most.

these are my knives. The blue knife on top was made by my dad. I used to make my knives like his.
carving gloves do not stop that nice sharp point on the end.
the bottom blade was one of the last I made without a flat end.
the middle two blades are what I make now. the flat end acts like a chisel. they do not poke through gloves as easily.
I also make them long as it gives me more options of cuts on the work, close to the handle for shaving, out on the end to dig.

dragon letter opener

wooden faced teddy bear girl 

wooden faced teddy bear with puppy

close up of puppy