Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'm Back, New Shop Squirrels, and Project Continuation

Well Hello World,

I'm back. The weather here in Minnesota is finally beginning to warm up. I never thought I'd call 35 degrees warm but after the weather we've had this winter, anything that doesn't instantly produce frostbite is welcome.

What's new

Well, during the great white winter I got some safety glasses and I can see sooo much better than I did with my old glasses. That was a big step forward. And I've done some cleaning and re-arranging in the shop although I'm going to take the first really warm day and really go through a lot of scrap wood, cans of stuff, and weed through all of it. I also got a new oval skew chisel that I've wanted for a long time and I'm anxious to try out. I also got a new computer as Ol'Betsy, my old computer, finally bit the dust several weeks ago. And I got a newer, lighter camera. I'm figuring out how the new system works bit by bit.

Bob the Shop Squirrel

Bob hasn't been seen in ages now and so I think he has, as a friend euphemistically put it, gone to Hollywood to make a movie and won't be coming back this way. In his place are two new grey squirrels that have taken up residence in the big tree that Bob used to live in. I've named them Neeps and Tattie and we'll see how they get on. I hope they become good friends like Bob was and I wish Bob every success in Tinseltown.

Music Box

When last we met I was working on a music box out of box wood for a family member who is due to have a baby this month. The cold and a mishap with a turning chisel knocked a big chip out of the lid of the box. So I set it aside and went back inside as it was just too cold to work. Today I went down stairs to pick up where I left off. Here are today's photos:

Here is a photograph of the lid as I left it. If you look closely you'll see a nick in the rim of the lid and that ruined the turn. So since there was a lot of wood left, I decided to turn it upside down and re-turn the entire block and make a new lid:

Here is the lid turned upside down and re-attached to the lathe. I cut off about 3/4" thick layer of wood right off the top to begin with. Then I started to round off the top:

Here is a side view of the lid and you can see how the surface of the lid is beginning to take shape:

I finished cutting the top of the lid and then I sanded it. As this is the end grain surface, it's going to take quite a bit of sanding to completely get it smooth. Here is the lid on the box. It fits snugly and I think the shape works well with the overall design:

In this photo I've taken the lid off and placed the box on the lathe. I'm going to cut off the waste wood on the bottom of the box. To keep the box on the lathe and to keep it from shifting as I cut, I placed it firmly between centers:

And here is the box with the bottom waste wood removed and the top placed back on top. This entire structure is about the size of a grapefruit:

What to do next:

I'm going to take the entire box and lid and varnish it lightly and let it dry overnight. This will stiffen the surface wood fibers, making it easier to sand and get a very smooth finish.

Then I'll take the box and begin hollowing it out from the bottom. This will allow the key from the music box mechanism to stick out underneath the box where it can be grasped for winding.

And the box will have a finial. I'm going to begin working on this tomorrow and I'm going to make it out of Brazillian cherry:

So there's more to do on this project.

I better go buy some more squirrel food!

See you tomorrow,

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