July 18, 2023

The last couple of days haven’t been bad but things haven’t felt like they’re going right. It’s as if all of my actions are being tempered by a tension band. Nothing is impossible but it’s a little harder and sometimes I just don’t have the strength to follow through.

Both of the pens I made yesterday didn’t turn out as expected. My lathe was being especially shaky but I managed to work with it. I turned the first pen down and then the sanding took forever. I ended up using my rotating disc sander to help me. That worked well enough. The CA finish went on smoothly, but the cap for the activator has been leaking since I got it and was dripping down my hands, making them especially slippery. The job got done.

CA is a glue like super glue. When it cures, it becomes hard, like water boiling into a permanently frozen state. When used as a finish, you apply several layers. Each layer adds a fraction of a millimetre to the overall diameter of the pen. I applied six layers. The pen ended up a little too wide.

Then, one of the bushings that are used to gauge the size of the pen got stuck to the mandrel. It was properly stuck. A little persuasion with pliers only scratched it up. I ended up having to slide a small wrench over the mandrel to rest on top of the bushing and then used a hammer to force it off. Every other bushing fit smoothly over the mandrel but this one refused.

I accounted for the CA finish with the next pen. I turned it and it was looking good. When you apply the CA finish, a little bit ends up on the ends of the blanks so it needs to be sanded flush. I must’ve lost focus because I ended up sanding it at an angle. To straighten it out, I took off at least one-and-a-half millimetres from the overall length. It would’ve been almost fine if I had accounted for the elliptical shape. That top end of the pen ended up about one-and-a-half millimetres too wide.

A little forethought might have prevented these errors.

This morning, I took my lathe apart trying to determine the source of the shakiness. I tightened the tailstock spindle, aligned it with the headstock spindle, and made sure that the motor was seated properly. I reseated the pulley for the belt drive and ensured that the bolts holding the headstock to the bed were tight. I took every part that I could off of the lathe and laid everything out. The belt was ripped.

I sent a picture to my dad, asking him if that would cause a shake. Sure enough, it would. I had to head to Canadian Tire to get a replacement. Before leaving, I checked the weather forecast – a sunny day without rain ahead. I left everything out, thinking it easier than putting everything away. As I was pulling out of the building’s garage, a few drops of water hit my windshield. The closer I got to Canadian Tire, the heavier the rain became. Cast iron and steel rust when they get wet. Electrical boxes and motors short out when they get wet.

I got to Canadian Tire, walked to the aisle, and found drive belts hanging on the wall. I didn’t read the specifications carefully enough on the website before I went. The belt they had was too wide. I must’ve tried the same four belts a dozen times each, hoping they’d shapeshift when I put it next to the old belt.

I went looking for the other things on my list. Luckily, that worked out well enough.

Did I mention that I went to Canadian Tire yesterday to get shop towels because the ones from the Dollarama were shit? They left fine hairs over everything I put them to.

On my way home, I went to get an oil change, something I’ve been putting off for a while. I drove up the bay, was asked if I’d like water, and told to wait there. About fifteen minutes later, I was told to move from bay three to bay one for faster service. At the other end of the bay, I could see a delivery truck backing up and I was pulling forward to wait for the car in the bay to finish. That truck decided to stay in place, blocking buddy from getting out. We waited.

I had a coupon for ten dollars off and a free movie ticket with my oil change. I used it. Things were looking up. By the time I got home, I had lost the movie ticket. I put all of the parts of my lathe in a plastic bag and decided that I’d do something I know would work for the rest of the day.

I opened the book I started back in December and have renewed it eight times from the library. After an hour of reading, which was fantastic, I went down for a nap, which was also wonderful. For dinner, I decided to make some pilau using stock that my mom made for me. I had to go to the nearest Rabba to pick up a few things. While there, I saw some mini watermelons. I picked one up. On my way out, I saw that for only a dollar more I could’ve gotten a watermelon twice the size. I got home with the ingredients, called my mom for directions, she didn’t answer.


Leave a Reply