Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Snow, Wooden Buttons, and it's just too damn cold to work today

Hi Everyone,

Well, we got our first snow of the season last night. When I got up this morning about 1 1/2" of snow was on the ground. Here are some photos:


Ok, back to the button project

I bought a wooden dowel rod yesterday out of American cherry in order to produce buttons with a consistent diameter. And I decided to treat myself to a thin bladed Robert Sorby parting tool as this would be an ideal tool to use to cut the finished button off of the dowel. 

Let's take a look at some photos:

I cut off a short 5" section of the rod and mounted it in the chuck. This photo shows the rod with the end slightly rounded and a small circle drawn onto the face. This will help me to mark off the spots for the holes:

Here are the holes-I used a 5/64" bit again for this:

Ahhh, new tool!

And these are the finished buttons:


The buttons are ok. They don't look like factory made buttons and I suppose that's part of their appeal. The parting tool works well to part off this small of an object without damaging it. It is difficult to get a consistent thickness however. Part of that is that I'm not used to working on small objects like this (I bet pen turners can turn these out by the dozen) and my shop isn't heated and my hands were getting stiff with the cold. 

I'm going to give these a light spray with spray lacquer later on today but I think it will take a lot more practice before I can turn out really nice looking buttons. 


After I finished turning these, I got the stupid idea to try and make a coffee scoop. Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while will remember the numerous attempts I've made to produce a small scoop for ground coffee. Well, I salvaged some cherry wood from a tree in my neighborhood that was trimmed yesterday and decided to carve a scoop:

Here's the tree blank about to be trimmed on the bandsaw:

Gave up and split it in half:

I placed it in my wood vice and was about to begin carving it with a gouge when it slipped out of the vice and I nearly drove the gouge into my knee. By then my hands were frozen stiff. In all the years of woodworking and carving I've done, I've never injured myself but I came bloody close this morning so I decided to quit while I'm ahead and go inside and have some coffee.

We'll return to the coffee scoop adventure another time.

More later,


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