Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Food

Yes its that time of year when little kids come knocking at the door for Trick and Treat, which means its Halloween (All Hallows Eve). Closely followed by All Saints Day.

Sue has in the past not had er treats ready but this year a few surprises for door knocking kids (if they don't come I'll enjoy these treats).

Squashed Cockroaches. Dates filled with marzipan.

Blood Shot Eye Balls. Marsh mellows coloured.

Severed Fingers. Home made Short bread with a grain seed for finger nail and dipped in syrup.
 Tasty treats

Spray Mask Fix

These days I don't spray that much paint or lacquer, years ago it was cars, buses and coaches when doing fleet repairs or full resprays.

While spraying recent woodwork with lacquer and using the Protector twin filter mask I have had now for over 30+ years the elastic which Sue last replaced the straps with had decided it had stretched enough.

I had an idea elastic was just not going to cut it so I decided to use a pushbike inner tube ( I had a new one no longer needed 24x1/38). I cut two strips by using the molding rib as a guide on the tube, about 24" using a roller cutter. Now comes the tricky part recalling how it was thread so I can pull it tighter and loosen it off. The bottom bit no problem done the top is stranger to do.

All done I think it will give me at least another few years use yet, along with some spare rubber tube and strips remaining for another use.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Microwaving Wood

Carrying on from the Hawthorn I picked up and then cut up. Today I used our workshop shared microwave to assist in speeding drying of the Hawthorn it I hope will also kill some grubs.Its an old National large volume, plate doesn't rotate and settings tricky our son in law gave it to us. (Sue also uses it for dying her fiber)

WARNING Never use the same microwave you cook food in!
Always assess moisture in the wood first (fresh cut means high moisture) and then set the microwave to size and density and temp then period/time.
Microwaves cook from the inside out and sap and moisture will ooze out so be warned it can be hot. Wood will ignite in a microwave if left to long and to high a temp is selected.

I always start off using medium/high and approx 15sec if size of wood is approx 50x50x150 and often do this 3 or 4 times checking how warm/hot the timber is (ours does not rotate so have to physically turn each time I open the door).
The larger the piece I increase to High temp and with blanks as large as 180x180x150 I set it for 1 minute checking every 15 to 30 sec sometimes I'll allow a full minute and do this 3 times, checking every 60 sec for how warm the wood is.

 Small pen blanks I stack chris-cross fashion go slow and mod temp. Shrinkage will occur in all wood when moisture is removed. Some cracking/checking also.

As you can see I just put the wood in some suggest paper bags others plastic bags.

I have now re-stored the wood in a box and will check it in a month or so, instead of having to wait a year or more before I can turn it. Summer in my garage/workshop will aid any drying time
even without use of the microwave this was simply to speed things up.........oh and yes the bugs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Road Side Harvesting

Last Wednesday went were out delivering some books for a fete and I spotted some road side culling/harvesting of timbers. Being a rural area its finders keeps if anythings left and there was.
We couldn't pick it up till the following Monday, some African Jacaranda this was just a small limb approx 500x200dia although a large stump was there way to big to lift without cutting it in half. These have the larger type pods unlike the variety seen in most Australian gardens .

No photos of the Jacaranda sorry about that.

Edited 1600hrs 17th Oct Found a photo of the stumps

Also picked up some Hawthorn, has religious significance said to be that which was used to form the crown on Christs head during his crucifixion.  What an interesting plant, regarded as a weed yet it has so many uses.

Sue guessed right in regards to species as our home in Tamworth had a bush/hedge type we had to remove it as it had found its way into the sewerage pipes.

They have large thorns on the trunk and limbs, usually used as hedges on farms but these were tree's.

Hawthorn can be used for turning and box making. This one had grubs through it but I have been able to salvage enough to store till seasoned and get 2 or 3 bowls out of 7" max a few drop spindles, pen blanks and otherthings.

 The log riddled with rot and worm holes.
 This is just some of the smaller bits.

 The gurb trying to eat its way again
the worst section when cut out was just crumbling.

 The largest bit I could save even so still had worm hole, I dug out everything possible which was wet and grubs still active. Think I'll have to spray it.

Below is a piece which as some colour.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Four Shooters

These four pens are for four who go shooting my daughter Belinda, son inlaw John, Bill his dad and his brother Pete.

Two Gun Metal are Purple Heart and a bit of Spotted Gum Burl which I got off a mate Pat some time ago.

Gold is Mahogany or possible Tassie Blackwood I may have miss named it when I got it.

                              Chrome is African Ebony.

Kits through Mark at  043turning