Kinsley’s Tigger sweatshirt/dress

Cause I am so easily talked into making adorable, snuggly clothes for small children, I present to you my birthday present for Kins this year:

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I mean, how can you resist that grin?

Maple blunt end spoon? Spatula? Saute tool?

I’m not really sure what the technical term for this kitchen tool is, but it’s my favorite go to tool. It’s wooden with a nice sturdy handle, a blunt end, curved inner surface and open ended. It’s great for sauteing in pans where you are concerned about scratching the non-stick surface. It’s capable of “scraping” up the edges and getting the crispy bits, while also being useful for flipping and not terrible for serving. (Though it is often pointed out that we have many better tools for serving)

This I made from a maple board I bought at home depot. The wood is quite nice, hard but carvable, and very pretty when oiled. I cut the general shape out on the bandsaw and then carved it down to size using my knives, gouges and sweeps. I then made the surface smooth by scraping it with the cabinet scrapers, which were perfect for removing the tool marks without sanding the wood. They also leave the surface with a bit of a burnished feeling, which I quite like, particularly on this soft maple.

The neck is offset by a bit to make it easier to use, and to provide better control.

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new keyboard

Thanks to my habit of painting and carving over my keyboard, it needed cleaning this morning. When I pried off the spacebar I snapped a bit of the plastic holding it properly in place, expediting my need for a new keyboard.

I looked at my options, most of which were either way too big, way too expensive or just way too much until I found a reasonable shaped and sized wireless keyboard. It’s not quite full sized, which currently is a little bit of a pain, but it does have a full number pad which is important to me. Also it has chiclet keys like a laptop, which means that the larger pieces of dirt and such won’t get stuck in it. But more so, being smaller and wireless, I can put it away when I’m not using it!

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yay calligraphy practice.

Uncial Capitals – first half of Rumi’s A Community of Spirit¬†– perhaps tomorrow I’ll do the second half, but tonight my arm hurt from this much effort. Really need to work on Ts and Ss. Also Fs. Entirely up for help/critique. I’m playing with a staedtler calligraphy marker and (obviously) graph paper for the sake of practice and trying to remember to keep my letters both straight, even and spaced properly.

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New hybrid loom!

2015-02-10 18.40.28Aren’t computer keyboards supposed to be used as wood-shaving collectors? I added a beater edge to one of the shuttles I cut out on Sunday. Which came out rather well. It could probably use a bit of sanding, but it’s entirely functional currently!

The glue on my loom had finished curing, so I took the tension peg from my large loom and warped it up with some black and copper thread. I’m hoping to manage to figure out pick up work this time, but given my luck with it thus far, I’ll probably just have Halloween trim.

Which really, not a bad thing! I’ll probably use it for something. The total warp length appears to be around 8 feet, though I haven’t actually measured it yet. I just estimated with the fingertip to nose trick. I think it’s just about the same as my big loom, and yet weighs so much less and is much easier to work with since it’s about half the size. It’s only a little bit bigger than Carly’s tiny loom, but I made the shed area longer so I can better try to do tablet weaving on it. (that’s one issue with the tiny ones, the distance you have to work with is not very useful for any fancy card weaving/double heddle/weird non straightforward inkle weaving. But the small size is much better for experimenting and travel.. I’m hoping with this loom I’ll have the best of both worlds.

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Today’s woodworking, brought to you by the letter S for snow

So while I was over at Alex’s on Wednesday I borrowed his jigsaw to cut out the first loom iteration from some half inch plywood I had purchased a while back.

Lessons learned:

* Don’t use sharpies for lines, it’s a pain to “erase” since it seeps into the wood (I knew this, I just keep screwing up and need to remember this)

*Curved lines are easier, plan with this in mind

*Plywood will de-laminate. Need to figure out how to avoid this when cutting or drilling into it.

So with that part done, I put everything else I’d need for the loom into my car to wait for my next available time to borrow Rozi’s shop and drill holes for the pegs. Also I needed to cut pegs. And sand them.

When the snow today ended up not being that bad during the daylight hours, I emailed Rozi to see if I could come over and use the shop for a little while. She said yes and so I was off and running.

I had two dowel sizes to work with 3/4″ and 1/2″. Alex and I discussed my options and we thought it might be a good idea to use the larger ones on the outside corners since they seem to get more stress than the inside pegs on the loom, but when I got to the shop I failed to find a way of drilling 3/4″ holes, so I went with all 1/2″ inch holes.

I also had two choices, a regular drill bit and a spade bit. I tried both, both left splinters on the backside of the plywood. I’m still not sure what difference the two options made, but they both worked for my purposes.

2015-02-08 18.39.21Once I had all my holes drilled I cut my pegs and sanded off their sharp splintery bits on the ends. And then I remembered I had 4 shuttles to cut and drill also, so I went back and did that and then sanded them to be not spiky. Though at some point I need to put an edge on each of them as they currently aren’t terribly effective beaters since they are blunt. But I’m curious if my design for how the string goes on will work better for me since I have a hard time keeping the string from falling off. Also man Maple is pretty.

Then I headed to the hardware store to get a bolt for the tension peg, which is great and all, but I need to now make a tension peg and drill a hole in it for the bolt.. Perhaps Wednesday.. Or I might just use the one from my big loom for now. And then home to glue it all together.

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I expanded the tension peg hole a little with hand tools and softened the sharp edges of the peg holes with my hand tools. I then put gaffer tape (it was what I could find, I wanted masking) on the back and put some wood glue in each hole and then put the pegs in, twisting them up and down to best distribute the glue. It’s sitting on a shelf now drying. We’ll see in 24 hours if it’s good enough. I really should have cut holes slightly smaller than my pegs and then forced them into the holes, as it was they slide in easily and I’m not sure if the glue will be enough to hold them properly.

While I had my hand tools out I worked a bit more on my ceder spoon. It’s coming along beautifully. It’s so light and petite. The bottom picture shows it with some butcher block oil on it, and a bit of burnishing work on the bowl to make it smooth and remove all the tool marks. It’s amazing how much adding the oil and burnishing makes it feel more substantial and sturdy. It weighs about as much as a soda bottle cap, but no longer feels like it would break with use. The bend in the handle is based off of one of the Uppland¬†finds, and it really makes for a rather comfortable eating spoon.

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Random other things I made in 2014

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