Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chess set update...7 cherry pawns done.

Just a quick update. Remember that the knights will be last.

The pieces are shown on the strips that will become their playing field some day. Will do that after the pieces are done. I have until late July to get it all done.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back from Dallas

My company sent me to Dallas/Ft. Worth to do some training. I arrived Monday morning and had time to tour. So I made my way downtown intending to see the location and museum regarding the JFK assassination. I found the museum, which is called "The Sixth Floor Museum" by asking a parking lot attendant. About a half mile walk on a warm day.

The Sixth Floor Museum IS the building that was once called the book repository, where the shooting took place. The actual corner is glassed off (like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre). The tour is self guided and you can get an audio package for an extra few dollars. When I went to Alcatraz many years ago I thought the audio tour was excellent, so I opted for the audio. This one just seemed a little disappointing. I would have been just fine doing the self guided tour.

On my way back to my car I stumbled across a place called "The Conspiracy Museum" a few blocks away. It was quite hot by then and I was hungry. I went inside and browsed the outer area a little. There were a couple of ladies there that I recognized from the Sixth Floor Museum. They were browsing too, but had a bag of gifts from the Sixth Floor Museum. I bought a bottle of water and the man who was the sales clerk seemed just a little cranky. The ladies asked him something. He seemed gruff in his answer and then they left. I did not pay for his tour because I had had enough by that time. But he said that he should just make a policy and not let let anyone in his place if they have shopping bags from "that other place...you know, the one where they LIE to you." Those were his words. I think he was trying to bait me to pay for his tour. I only asked him where I could find a decent lunch, and apologized that I was so hungry that I needed to eat before doing anything else. And that was the truth...I already had a headache.

He directed me a few blocks north and I quickly found a Tex-Mex place which I later found out was a chain...called "Chipotle." I had a HUGE burrito. It was made to fill up someone who is twice my size. And I found that in Texas I never had to ask for UNSWEET tea. That's how it comes...hooray!

So here are some pictures:

The lady straight ahead with the brown top is standing between a plaque next to the sidewalk and an X in the road. The red SUV is heading toward me. That is the route that the presidential limo took. At this point the SUV is about directly below the window where the shots were fired.

This plaque is in line with the spot in the road where JFK received his fatal head wound. Pay no attention to the shadow of that hand holding a digital camera. :-)

And this taped X in the road marks that spot. As I watched a car roll over and past this spot I found it a little surreal. Perhaps there are drivers that never give any thought to the significance of the location. But then again, it IS a road and people HAVE to get somewhere.

And here is the (in)famous grassy knoll. There's a dude up there spouting conspiracy theories at this moment...you can sort of see him in a red shirt. Click on the picture for a larger view. I'm sure it's only a coincidence that he's also SELLING magazines and DVDS supporting his theories. :-)

And here is the window where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly shot from. ;-) Which one? Well, the hood of the white SUV is under the column of windows on the SE corner of the building. Just count up to the Sixth Floor. It is the one that does NOT have an arch at the top. If you could enhance and look into the lovely arched window to the left of that, perhaps you could see a few hundred people taking the tour.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Bamboo Fountain

My son JP was with me for a 3 day weekend. He was excited about making the bamboo fountain. I had a nice section of bamboo which we cut into 3 parts...a miter on each end and a flat on the other. This was done so that a little spout could be inserted into 2 of the tubes just above a septum. A septum is inside the bamboo at the location where you see the "joint" or ring around the outside of the tube. In essence the septum holds water like a drinking glass. I used this to my advantage so water can cascade from one "drinking glass" to another.

I drilled holes and inserted 2 small pieces as spouts. Then I punched holes into the septums so that water can drain when the pump is off. I ran a clear tube up the tallest piece and hooked it up to the pump. Finally, silicone caulk was added in a couple of places to make the flow just right.

In the future I am going to make a barrel to conceal the drywall bucket, and add some fake plants. But for now we have a working fountain. Oh, it sounds great and we even have a remote control to operate it. JP can lay in his bed and press the button, which I Velcro'ed to the wall.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Crossing over to the dark side.

...of chess pieces, that is.

Yesterday at lunchtime I came home and did some planing, cutting, and gluing. I only have enough clamps to glue up 4 blocks, but found that even on an ambitious night I can only make 3 pawns. That means that I can glue some and work on others that have already cured.

And I did make 3 cherry pawns last night.

Today, I'll glue up 4 more blocks and hopefully turn out 3 more pawns.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chessmen update. 13 of 16 on the light side.

Finished the light king and queen today. Only a rook and 2 knights to do for the light side...and ALL the darks!

Right now I'm too tired to go turn that other rook.

Chessmen update (no pictures yet)...updated!

Some of you wanted to know what the knights will look like. Well, I found some pictures that someone else made of the exact same chess set.

That fellow is a much better wood turner than I am !!

Excellent night last night for making chess men.
I made 3 pawns (which completes the 8 light side pawns) and 1 bishop (which completes the light bishops).

This morning I had some time before coming in to the office and was able to do about 2/3rds of the light king. Should easily finish that either over lunchtime or tonight.

And I prepared blocks for the light queen and the second light rook. I hope to be able to crank those out tonight.

That will leave the two light knights and the entire dark set. The knights for this chess set require a more complicated turning technique called "offset turning". They will not look like horses, but the offset will give them an elegant curve that will be a stylized horses neck. I am going to turn all the dark pieces before doing ANY of the knights. The 4 knights will be last.

Pictures soon.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Chessmen update.

Four down and 28 to go. I am getting a little faster. The rook shown here didn't take nearly as long to turn as I thought it would. I still need to file out notches at the top to give it that "crenellated" look. The rook needs to be parted off the base, but I wanted to show someone tonight before that is done. You can see rough square wood all the way through the process of a shiny finished piece. Oops, I forgot to put the final coat of finish on it too, so I need that base. Glad I didn't part it off yet!!

Here's the rook, showing the top so you can see that it is scooped out.

And here are the four completed pieces. Notice how the rook is slightly darker than the other 3 pieces? It comes from the same tree, but a different "stick". If I put these in sunlight, I think they will all brown up just right. Poplar does, indeed suntan.