Thursday, December 30, 2010


I did a dumb thing and put a deep cut on the ball of my right thumb. In a way, that wasn't too bad as I have very little feeling in my right thumb and forefinger. In fact after doing about a half hour's worth of work, the whole hand goes numb. That's when tools start being dropped and so on. But, did manage to get some things done. Made up a bunch of copper jump rings and did some annealing.

Now, speaking of getting cuts, abrasions, etc., I keep a small bottle of a product called "New Skin" at the bench for taking care of little mishaps, which in my case are bound to happen sooner or later. After applying, the product takes a few minutes to dry, and you can continue to work. I will warn you ahead of time, it stings like crazy at first. In the case of my thumb, I didn't feel a thing. But, if the cut would have been on the left hand, you can bet it would sting.

I continue to add to my wish list of materials and supplies, searching the net for sources and best prices.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stump, again?

Well, yes. Essentially, the stump is complete. Holes for the screws to hold the top have been finished, T-nuts installed. So, what remains is for me to figure out where the various items are to go, so I can drill holes and install T-nuts which will keep things in place. As the stump is a multi-purpose piece, there needs to be places to hold a variety of items, from a hanger for a flex-shaft, to a Pana-vise, and more. The flex shaft hanger, I'll make using a floor flange and some pipe, if the hardware store has what I need. I still have to put the middle shelf in place. Hardware store was out of the U-bolts needed for the shelf supports, so now that's on hold. I will get this thing fully operational someday! And, I will make something jewelry wise, someday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stump Saga Continues

Are you getting tired of hearing about the stump? Wouldn't blame you if you were. Anyway, here for better or worse, is a progress report. We had a brief spell of quite nice weather and I was able to work outside and get all of the sawing completed. The skirting around the top and bottom is complete and fastened on. The skirting around the bottom is extended up so any item placed on the bottom will be less likely to fall off when the stump is moved around. Made a shelf to fit in between the legs, also with skirting around to again, keep items from falling off. The shelf supports still need to be put into place. I'll do that after Christmas. The very top portion has not yet been fastened down. Another after Christmas chore. Then, I might put some kind of finish on the wood.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Just for the fun of it, I counted the number of different names for semi-precious jasper on one site alone. Thirty-six. Does this figure exhaust all the names given for jasper? No way. People make up names for jasper, some quite fanciful. So oftentimes you see the same type of jasper with three or four different names. You look at a listing of jasper and see an unfamiliar name, the look at the picture, and la!, it's the same jasper you bought a month or so ago!

And, speaking of the many jaspers, I'm thinking that Ocean Jasper is my favorite one of the clan.
Especially the ones with nice orbicular patterns. Sometimes, I really dislike giving up a particularly nice example when it's used in a piece of jewelry.

So what is your favorite jasper?

In the meantime, Happy Holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stump nearly finished

The weather was kind yesterday and today, so I was able to get the cosmetic stuff completed. The top will have to wait as the hardware I need has not arrived.

Anyway, I won't be posting any additional remarks about the stump for awhile. I can still use it hammer on metal.

If you buy one of those texturing hammers with interchangeable faces, you could run into a problem. The threads on the hammer head and retaining ring are abnormally rough, and the ring will come loose when using the hammer. Rubbing some bees wax on the threads will help. You will be better off with solid face hammers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Stump Saga Continues

Legs attached today. The stump is pretty stable, but it could be a little better. It will, however, serve the purpose needed. Put some wax on the bottom, so it will slide in and out of it's storage spot behind the door.

Things left to do. Layout for hold down T-nuts and screws. Skirting around the sides, top and bottom. Biggest hurdle there are the angle cuts. Then, the top piece drilled with access holes to the T-nuts. Attach T-nuts. Put top in place and secure.

Then if things work out the way I hope they do, I'll fasten some U-bolts to the legs to support a shelf for a pitch bowl, sandbag, a hammer or two, and this, that and whatever.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stump in place for testing

Here are pics of the stump. The legs, or posts, whichever you prefer, are not fastened down. It is in place for testing working height. Much remains to be done. I'm going to try putting a piece of scrap carpet on the bottom to make it easier to move around, as it will not be very useful tucked away behind the door.

The disparity in the material is because it's all scrap stuff I had laying around and now it's found some usefulness. It will look better when it's dressed up a bit.

The gray-white are to the right of the bottom pic is the opened garage door. I thought about cropping it out, but left it sort of to show that I don't have a great deal of room in which to work. I do intend to start making jewelry after the first of the coming year. Really!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stump progress

Legs for the stump completed today. Tomorrow I will show a photo of the partially completed stump. I will warn you ahead of time, it won't look pretty. Putting on the make-up will come later. I have to test it out for height to see if I need to add more material to the top.

Hope it's warm where you are. Really cold this morning.

And, before I forget, Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More on the saga of the stump

The weather continues to be too cold for me to work outside. Wednesday looks favorable for some work. I have discovered building the stump is not as easy as it seemed at first. It appears the legs supporting the stump's top will have to be carefully shimmed in order for the top to be level. Another roadblock on the way to successful completion. Then there is my own roadblocks which I continue to place in front of myself such as, forgetting to get everything needed at the hardware store. Oh well, the grocery store is on the way, so the missing pieces can be picked up without the extra trip. Got to save on gas for the car! I do intend to finish the stump by the end of this week.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stump continues to be stumped

No progress today. Too cold and too windy. The old guy is not as tough as he thought was, and now has a cold coming on. No more posts on the stump for awhile.

Thanks too all who took the time to view my blog.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stump stumped

I had high hopes for today, but was only able to get in about 45 minutes of work, all due to circumstances beyond my control. Tomorrow, I may be able to get in about one hour of work which certainly isn't going to move the project along as quickly as I would like. My good, sunny weather is going to go south and the cold comes in from the north. Brrrr! Anyway, we all must do the best we can with what we have to work with. I'll get the stump done one way or the other before Christmas.

In the meantime, if haven't done so, check out John de Rosier's blog.

Stump stumped

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Stump

Today turned out sunny and pleasant enough to work on the stump. The major heavy stuff is completed. Now, the nicer looking covers for the bottom and top of the stump need to be cut and the skirting around the top and bottom also need to be cut and everything fastened. Then, off to the hardware store for pipe and floor flanges. When those are installed, the stump will be almost complete.

Wish me luck in getting the thing done!

P.S. Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? I've a pretty good idea of what mine will be, but I'm not saying what they are 'til later.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Odd title for a posting, but it is apropos. It was sunny outside today, and not too cold, which gave me an opportunity to begin work on making a stump for metal working. Do to circumstances, I have to work outside to do any major wood sawing. If the weather stays reasonably warm, I may be able to finish the sawing tomorrow. Then I can move inside to complete the construction.

The stump is sort of modeled after John de Rosier's stump. Go to his blog, "The Jeweler's Files," to see the one he's made, and also to see his studio set-up and some elegant jewelry. The man does exquisite work. My stump won't be as large, and certainly not as nice looking. But it will be adequate for my needs. It will need to be small enough to fit behind a partially closed door as I have pretty tight quarters in which to work. When finished, it means I can beat on metal inside where it's warm, and not out in the garage where it's a bit chilly around the edges. The rolling mill and shear will have stay put out there but that's not too much of a sacrifice.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sanding Sticks

Since there was some of the small dimension lumber left over from making tool trays, I decided to use some of it to make some additional sanding sticks. This time with the 3M finishing films.

Instead of the traditional way of making sanding sticks (wrap. score, wrap, etc.), I used rubber cement. The 3M films last a long time, so the layer upon layer method of making sanding sticks wasn't used. Then, just because I had them, I made more using ice cream, or popsicle sticks. These smaller sticks will allow sanding inside smaller areas.

If you are not familiar with the 3M finishing films and do use sandpaper, you really should look into this material and give it a try. It comes in grits of 9, 15, 30, 40 and 60 microns and the sheets are color coded so you can tell them apart, even though the size is printed on the back side. At one time you could get it in 20 micron, but I haven't seen any of that size. Most jewelry supply houses carry the material, but you can get it from automobile parts stores as the material was originally made for the auto industry.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A New Addition

Usually, when one announces a new addition, others will think it's an announcement of the birth of a baby. In this case, however, the new addition is a new tool cabinet. It replaces another that simply took up more usable space than for all the good it did. The new cabinet is by Waterloo and features five different drawers. These, hopefully, will allow storage of some rather awkward tools that don't fit very well on the bench.

The cabinet measures 14 inches deep, 26 1/2 inches wide, and 31 3/4 inches tall. The unit came with casters unattached, but there was a problem for my use. I have to have all four casters steerable, and only two of the furnished ones were like that. So, a trip to the hardware store to get two more casters. Well, wouldn't you know it, the caster bases didn't match up, and I had to buy four new ones. And of course, that meant drilling new holes. Oh well, that's life. Anyway, the job's done and now all that needs to be done is put in some drawer liners, and start filling it up.

I will try to post a picture after I get through with the modifications.