Saturday, September 14, 2019

So What Have I Been Doing? Not many Blogs but active none the less.

   I'll first confess that I haven't been knocking myself out in the shop lately.  The weather has been great for riding both my eBike and my motorcycle and that has taken me out into the sunshine.

  Secondly I have been doing maintenance things for the last three weeks.  We have a large deck behind the house and it needed to be sealed against the weather.  Usually I seriously soak the deck every other year with sealer. (currently Thompson's ), I skipped last year. The deck soaked up lots of sealer and I think I will have to give it another coat next spring too.  Leaving out a year won't save me any work in the long run. Wood will withstand wind and wet for a long time, is provided with proper treatment. (regularly)

   I repainted the wooden stairs going into the basement as you saw previously.  Since I had a stair them going I varnished the oak stairs inside too.

  The first things I had to do was really get the stairs clean and so I used our floor steamer to lift any and all dirt and crayon marks. Once I got the stairs really clean I did two small test spots to see which of my varnishes would stick and dry well. I had two half filled cans of varnish left from previous projects. I went with the Minwax Oil Modified Poly.  It went on without bubbles drying hard and clear.  Our house is eleven years old and nothing has been done to the stairs until now.  Actually the finish on the stairs was in good shape and I want it to stay that way so a little preventative varnish is a good idea I think.  Once oak gets exposed to the air it can turn grey and that is very difficult to cover.

  Years ago I made a shelf unit.  Before I started this blog in fact.  I made it from pine and painted it white. After some years the unsealed wood began to bleed pitch through the white paint. 

  Last week I took all the treasures from the box and repainted it.  This is one of those little jobs that most people wouldn't notice or didn't know needed to be done. Every time I looked at it I knew it needed attention so this is a personal satisfaction job.

  Another project like the shelf unit  painting was our black flamingo art piece. 

  This is a wind driven mobile art piece that is in our back yard. A black smith made this for me a few years ago and the wind and weather had rusted it in a few spots. Probably I was the only one who was bothered by the rust as it didn't effect the cool way the piece moves with the wind.  Since I was working on the deck I thought I should touch up the Black Flamingo too.  To remove the loose paint and rust I used my 4 1/2 grinder with a 60 grit flap wheel. 

Diablo 4-1/2'' Steel Demon Flap Disc 60 Grit - No Hub
  I have used this type of abrasive for end grain on ash rounds,

in the past too.  The abrasive works well but makes a huge mess, so it best used outside in a stiff breeze.

   I have done a couple of other fussy pants repairs about the place but now I think those jobs are done, the weather is getting windy and wet so the shop is looking more inviting all the time.

Image result for fall fruit
enjoy the fresh fall fruit. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

14 1/2 inch Spoon - three hours sanding

  I was looking for a smaller project and again one that was quiet.  Carving  wooden spoons verges on therapy , with the added bonus of ending up with something useful.

  Carving a spoon is fairly basic wood working and doesn't require many tools. It is something that I encourage everyone to try. 

  I begin by roughly drawing the shape of the spoon on the piece of wood, after smoothing the wood just to see if there are cracks or knots.  Once I draw out the shape I begin to hollow out the bowl of the spoon. It is my experience that it is easier to clamp the board and gouge out the general shape of the bowl before cutting the outside shape.  This time I used my band saw to rough out the shape and then my hatchet  to get close to the lines and get the basic roundness.

the spoon's overall shape is now set.

I prefer to come to the final shape with blades, knives, draw knives, hatchet etc rather than use the band saw.  When the final shape is arrived at with blades the grain plays a bigger part.  The band saw will cut anything you want were the blades are influenced by the wood grain, so I think the shape is stronger and more natural when the grain is considered in the shaping.

  I figure this spoon to be half way done. The bowl is in its final form and it only remains to shape the handle and do final sanding.  To shape the handle I use various knives, planes and the axe.

 I scraped and sanded this spoon by hand for three hours. I know it was three hours because I was listening to Ken Burns' Roosevelts  mini series on my tablet. It turns out that this stick was really hard wood, maple I think and so it was slow to work. Slow work but the result is silk smooth to the touch and strong as iron, it will mix soup and stew for a very long time.

  The weather is getting cooler and the yard work is winding down so I think I'll get back into the shop more seriously.

cheers, ianw