Saturday, January 31, 2009

Carving the boxes!

After a wonderful visit to the bookstore this evening, I carved and stained up the boxes. Almost done! All that is left is to cut the lids off, glue in the inserts and paint the tops. Finish and add hinges and it's off to the Etsy show room! I'm quite happy with how they turned out. There are still a lot of designs out there that need to be put on a box. If you follow this blog, you will probably notice several designs that have been put on the toilet seats. Why waste time trying to find new ones when these are tried and true. Cheryl also got a new sewing machine tonight. She says it works SO smooth and well, that she had to figure out how a "good" machine works. No pulling, pushing, yanking, or broken thread. It must be tough. The bad news is that she needed it right away to work on some purses tonight. So she could not get the Hello Kitty one she yearns for.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Broken Sewing Machine?

Finished two seats tonight and finished gluing up the boxes for carving tomorrow. Friday is bookstore day, so I will probably carve later in the evening. I still have not mapped out all of my designs I want to put on the boxes. Tonight I had to fix Cheryl's sewing machine..again. I think it is time for her to get a new one. She has her eye on this "Hello Kitty" one that Target offers. The thread keeps getting caught on a small jagged piece of broken metal. I had to totally take it apart and file it down to keep the thread from getting caught. I'm hoping Joann fabrics will have a replacement part available. Otherwise she will have to deal with the "jerry rigged" version that I offer. At least it works..mostly. Anyway, I have had to fix this machine 4 separate times. I'm not sure this version of sewing machine was made with "full time sewing" in mind. I'd like to think that Cheryl's constant use has caused this. I think it is time for an upgrade.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I hate elongated seats!

Not that they are any more difficult to design or carve than the standard, It's just that they are very difficult and frustrating to find! We went to 4 stores tonight to find 5 elongated seats. FOUR! DIFFERENT stores! We ended up buying expensive seats which means I carved them up for practically nothing! The good news is that we are finally caught up and everyone seat will be going out tomorrow. It never seems to fail that there is always a stash of elongated everywhere when we do not need them. But as soon as we sell them again, all the stores are out at the same time and it will be another week before they are ordered again. BLA! Even Red the shop cat disapproves! Maybe tomorrow I'll start another round of boxes. It will depend if we have some cash to buy the lumber though. Fingers crossed!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Carved Dovetails

Three toilet seats tonight. Still waiting on the elongated to be resupplied. with such an easy night, I attempted a unique dovetail that I saw several years ago. I still need some practice, But I tried it out on some small scraps. It will be a long time before I attempt any boxes using this joint. It's fairly strong even without glue. but it take a long time to make and I doubt many people will buy it simply for the joinery. Current weight : 259

Finished boxes

I finally finished the boxes and snapped a picture of them. I also carved up 4 elongated seats. I like the way the boxes turned out, but I still have to baby sit the seats it they are planning on going out tomorrow. There is once again a shortage of available elongated seats. What fun! tomorrow will probably be spent trying to find more. We still have 6 we have to find! This morning the cats were having a little fun with a red squirrel. He was awfully fearless with that window protecting him.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quick Saturday night post.

It's early Sunday morning and I have been working all night, but wanted to post a quick blog entry before bed. I got a lot done tonight despite having to chase seats in Holland once again. I carved and painted 7 ( with a little help from Cheryl) and finished the boxes. I'll take pictures of the boxes tomorrow with better light and room on my table. I'm quite happy the way they turned out. Tomorrow ( er... later today, I mean.) I'll have to finish another 5 seats ( I think as of this last count.) Better sleep now. I'm not making much sense.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday night seats

Last couple of days has been a craving frenzy! Well, busy anyway. Yesterday and tonight I carved up 7 seats and 6 boxes. I'm aiming on the seats going out tomorrow, so I put the boxes on the back burner as far as painting and finishing goes. I'm not sure why tiger has sold so often lately. Friday is out usual day out, so I probably will take it easy and paint the boxes then. My plan is to have them done and ready to list before Sunday. I want the boxes to get done even if I have a bunch of seats to do. By the way, the table saw is a dream! I am kicking myself for not buying one earlier. I'm such an IDIOT! The table saw makes the cuts straight and clean and easy. Since I purchased it, I have not had any need to set up my chop saw. Ah well, live and learn. I was so afraid of spending money on a tool I might not use. Now I cant see how I could have gotten along without it! On a different note, I folded an origami Dragon, and I'm quite happy the way this one turned out. I used 6" paper, so I did not bother trying to fold the legs that would be too small to see anyway. I did get his jaw an eyes to look really cool though.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some inspiration boxes

Here are a few boxes I found on line that are kind of what I'm going for. Some are not really carved. but close enough and visually interesting. I like that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More boxes! YEAH!

The boxes turned out so great that Cheryl wants me to do another batch as soon as possible. So tonight, we went to the store and got some more Oak. This time I was able to make 6 boxes out of the boards while saving some money. And I was able to get them measured, cut and glued up in only a couple of hours. I think I'm getting the hang of it! Now all we need is for a some people to start buying them. Cheryl listed them on Etsy this afternoon and I will probably be in the forums and chat trying to show them off. I settled on a finish that works for me. One coat of rub on poly with a brush shine of minwax. The poly protects the paint and the wax gives it a wonderful feel and luster. Plus, the smell of furniture wax has this nostalgic presents that reminds me of the smell of our old "antique" furniture. I also love the way wax polishes up with a dry cotton cloth or a shoe brush. With the boxes gluing up in my shop area, I had to find a place for my seats to dry where they would not get dusty. Good thing we are not doing laundry tonight!

Current weight: 259.4

some origami birds.

Just thougt I would take a break from the carving to post a little origami. It's been a while since I showed some off. And thanks to My Paper Eden, I was able locate a new wonderful resource full of new designs to try out. I have been having a lot of fun. but have not taken as many pictures as I should. I carved up a few seats tonight also. but did not finish them. I also worked on finishing the boxes and attaching their hinges. I'm rather proud of them and plan on starting another batch tomorrow after I finish painting the seats. Look for the boxes in my New Etsy shop!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Boxes painted!

I finished up painting the boxes now and I'm waiting for the hand rub poly to dry. I'm not sure if I will like the hand rub poly on the boxes. but I figured I need something to protect the paint from scratches. Regular brush on poly seems a little too thick, and I hate varnish/lacquer/shellac. I have tried all of these and hate them all. The fumes, building up of multiple layers, and all the other fussy things that come with it. Poly is simple. Usually only two coats with a minimum of sanding. My second choice would be tung oil. We'll see how I like it. I also carved up 4 toilet seats tonight. I still have three left, but as usual, we are out of boxes again and have to wait to ship out the last three.

Carving up the boxes

I got a late start tonight and decided to work on carving up the boxes. Nothing fancy at the moment. I'll paint and finish them tomorrow. I like the way the fox and pelican turned out. We'll see which one pops after we add color tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New boxes!

Thursday was spent making boxes. The table saw it a dream and I keep messing with it to "fine tune" it. Tonight I set up a dust bag under the saw to catch the small chips. It won't catch everything, but hopefully enough so I don't have to vacuum up after every use. I was able to make a total of 5 boxes from the materials we bought. One box is a little smaller than the others. My new friend is blue painter table for the glue up. It works surprisingly well, even though I still clamp things up when I can. Tomorrow, I'll carve them up with the three seats I have. Speaking of toilet seats. I was surfing the net for some ideas, when I saw the ultimate bathroom! It is too bad I did not get to carve up the seat. The guy says he feels like Indiana Jones whenever he uses it!. UPDATE! Cheryl reminded me of a seat that would have looked GREAT on that toilet. My old greenman seat! It's a VERY old picture....enjoy. Current weight: 261.4

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tablesaw set up and boxes

I finally had an entire day to set up my table saw the way I want it. And I must say, I'm quite pleased with the results! After checking out the store to make sure they did not have any zero clearance inserts available, I had to totally make mine from scratch. I used a 1/4 inch piece of plywood to make it. For a first timer, I think it came out OK. The piece was a little warped, and I may have to remake another one at a later date. But for now, this one works pretty good. The second thing I made for the new table saw, was a sled. I can' believe what a difference a sled makes when cutting small pieces of wood. It has revolutionized my cuts. I cut three times and they were all the EXACT same length! Amazing! ( for me anyway) Forget hand tools from now on. I could not cut a straight line with a miter box! And to be clear, this is NOT an expensive, bells and whistles table saw. But it works! Better than I had hoped or imagined. So I set out to make a couple of boxes tonight and what a joy it was to make them. For the first time ever, everything fell into place. I am very happy with the new tool and wish I had purchased it earlier. Even the cats approve! I have to wait for the first one to finish gluing up. I ran out of clamps! Current weight: 263.2


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