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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Turning Slowly

I've been moving slowly lately. As some of you know, I have chronic pain issues along with other health issues. With changing weather comes pain, and lately the weather here seems to be in a constant state of change. I thought I'd post anyway though and tell what I have gotten done lately before the small things pile up too bad.
After finishing the last big project, I worked on a failed attempt at an air powered wooden engine. It sounds crazy, I know, but I've got the plans from the builder of a successful one. I am determined to revisit that one at a later date when I can afford the correct material. I done one out of different material than the original designer. I used oak. I did not take into account just how much air can pass through the pores of oak though. I can't get enough compression and couldn't figure out why. I wound up hooking over a hundred pounds of pressure to it and could feel the air leaking through the pores. So that wasn't going to work. I will rebuild later. For now, I'm calling that project the DODGE; Dad's Old Dead Garage Experiment.
I had kind of fallen into a blah state and needed inspiration to get going. I found inspiration in a pile of pen blanks I was trying to identify and separate. I started to thinking about the various members of one of my wood working groups who have helped me as I got started in this turning adventure.
I selected certain woods, one species from each of the people who had sent me wood over time. Then I made seven pens of similar design, and exact wood pattern. There are six different woods from six different people. Then the seventh pen is for the guy that gave me the lathe that got me started when my old lathe bit the dust.
My friend Eddie from West Monroe, Louisiana gave me the lathe. Then we'll start at the cap with the darkest wood and go down. Rich from Minnesota sent me the ziricote. John from here in my hometown gave me the walnut. Bob from Alabama sent the mahogany. Jeff from Minnesota sent the maple. Dave from central Mississippi gave me the sweet gum. Marty from Minnesota sent the box elder.
 
The next thing I done is something I have wanted to do ever since I first seen the possibility in a Penn State catalogue. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have ever thought about turning deer antler. However, there was no way I was going to pay what they wanted for it. I'm not saying it isn't a good deal, but I live in Mississippi. Do you have any idea how many deer hunters there are around here? I knew if I asked around enough, I'd find some that someone was willing to part with.
Anyway, the maintenance man where my wife works sent me several antler racks. So this first deer antler pen will go to him as soon as I can catch up with him. I look forward to making more though when I get the chance.
Making the antler pen has caused me a new problem. Recently, anytime I see something softer than metal, and even when I see some softer metals like aluminum, I can't help but wonder what I could make with it if it will turn on the lathe. I have thought of many possibilities I wish to try in the future.
Next, I needed to keep mama (my wife) happy. There's a fact of life in many homes around the world. When mama aint happy, aint nobody happy. So I needed to make some handles for my wife's rolling pin.
Actually, this rolling pin has been sitting on a shelf in my shop for what seems like ages. I have a very forgiving wife who doesn't bother me about things such as this unless she really needs it. I just finally decided that I really needed to get it done.
The handles I made out of a piece of wormy hickory I had left. I guess she was happy enough with it. When I showed it to her I was given another rolling pin, one with a wooden body instead of the marble on this one, that also needs handles. This makes me wonder what is happening with these rolling pins. Are my kids playing baseball with them?
I set the new rolling pin project on the shelf, right where this one had previously resided at. I will try to get to it soon instead of letting it sit for ages like the last one. 

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