Creatures of the deep….

Today at work I started the spanish christening shawl. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I needed something light. I needed a pattern I was familiar with. I needed some good ol’ lace knitting after working so hard on the “project.”

Enter Creatures of the reef! Yes, it has been a long while since you have had an update on this project. It was never really hibernating, I was just officially ignoring it. But it sure did come in handy tonight, and progress was made.

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It continues to be a pattern that I am enjoying. I don’t think that will change no matter how long it takes me to complete it.

Moving right along, from Nick

I mark the bottom side of the top circle I just chose. Why the bottom? Because you won’t see it once it’s assembled.
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Time to see if my plan to mount the bearing between the two circles will work. This is the part that I had to figure out in my head while at Lowes. I had to make sure it was going to be physically possible before buying the materials.

Fist I’ll mount the bearing to the underside of the top circle. Here the top circle is clamped down to the table and we are looking at the underside with the bearing roughly centered.
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I was not sure how I was going to center the bearing perfectly. But I figured if I had a truly perfect circle the corners should be the same distance from the circle’s edge. I also figured that if I screwed up I could just move the bearing and try again since this surface is hidden.

I get to used another fun tool. A set of digital calipers. This allows me to measure each corner and adjust until they are the same distance from the circle’s edge.
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Once I’m sure the bearing is centered I clamp down two comers to keep things in place.
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Now I can screw down the other two comers while everything stays centered.

1st I made an indention in the center of the mounting hole with my trusty hand drill.
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The indention helps guide a small drill bit for the srcew pilot hole. Only drill about half way into the wood. If you don’t trust yourself you can mark the drill bit depth with a piece of tape so you don’t drill to far and come out the other side.
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The pilot hole helps the screw go in straight. It also prevents the wood from splitting.
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Here’s the top plate of the bearing all screwed in.
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Now that the top plate is mounted I need to make access holes in the bottom circle so I can screw this thing together with the bearing sandwiched between the circles.

Before you say WHAT? You are making holes in that nice piece of wood? Keep in mind this is the bottom and eventually the holes are going to be covered anyway with some kind of anti-skid material (most likely some kind of cork shelf liner). And the holes are necessary for the final assembly.

I start by centering the bearing again (this time the bottom circle) and marking the centers with my hand drill.
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Next it’s over to the drill press to drill small pilot holes for the larger access holes. When possible I like to drill pilot holes 1st. They are easier to initially drill though the wood. And the also guild the larger bit as it bores through. Making the holes come out straighter.
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Here the larger access hole is being drilled. A 1/2” hole should allow for enough room (if everything lines up nice).
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With all 4 holes drilled I place the 2 circles together. Whew, The access holes line up perfect!
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Making the rough, smooth, part II from Nick

Or more building of the swift!

Switched to fine sandpaper on the disc sander. This cleaned up the edges nicely and allowed for some precession sanding to the line. Here are the edges with the circles still clamped together.
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Finally! Our square wood is now round!

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Now it’s decision time. Out of the 4 surfaces of the circles I need to choose the top of the Lazy Susan. Since this is the only surface that will be seen I choose the one with the most consistent color and grain.
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The project which must not be named.

In knitting lore, one does not knit a sweater for ones significant other until one has a ring on her finger. The reason being that before the sweater is done, the man will be gone.

I decided to tempt fate.

But in order to not hang the proverbial carrot, I decided not to say whom it was for, rather just call it the “project.”

This weekend, after MUCH hard work, it got finished. (OK, just so you know, I ripped out the neckline twice to please the recipient.) I tried it on myself, and it is one hot sweater! (and soft and fuzzy and warm too!) I am certainly making one for myself down the road.

Taking a lesson from Nick, I took pictures of the process of putting it together once the pieces were finished.

So, here are the finished pieces laid out and ready to be sewn together:

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I took out the saddle gusset seams upwards of 3 times to make them look as nice as I thought they should. This may be because the first time I gave them a try it was already midnight, and I am not my best at night! I looked at them in the morning and realized that they really really wouldn’t do! I did conquer the seams eventually, leaving me much pleased! See example:
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Front:

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Back:

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Oh, and btw….the relationship still exists.

Making the rough, smooth. From Nick

Ok, the rough circles are cut out. Notice how I cut about a 1/16” from the line. There’s a reason for this…
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Time to drill the center holes in the circles (I know exactly where the center is since I used the indention for the compass). Walk over to my drill press… FRICK! The circles are too large to fit in my drill press by about a 1/2″.

Keep in mind the circles are no particular size. I didn’t even measure them out. I just made them as large as possible with the wood I bought. The important thing is that they are exactly the same. The dimension is not important since they are just a spinning platform for the swift arms.

OK, no drill press so we have to drill the center holes the old fashion way.
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You might have noticed that my work bench is a slab of steel. Actually it’s a slab of steel glued to a plate of ¾” glass. This is not because I’m crazy, it’s to ensure the surface remains perfectly flat. This is important because normally I build flying model airplanes (when I’m not doing some kind of side project like a swift). As you can imagine straight planes fly better than crooked ones.

The steel surface comes into play with a system of magnetic clamps and presses. Here one is holding the circle steady while I drill.
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With the center hole drilled in both circles I can now “clap” them together with a screw and nut. A few fender washers protect the wood.
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Look at those rough edges. YUK!
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Time to attack those nasty edges with my disc sander. Since I’m starting about 1/16” away from my line, (remember how I cut a 1/16” away from the line with my jig saw?) I’ll be sanding down to the line and squaring off the edges at the same time. And since the circles are clamped together they will turn out exactly the same.

I start the sanding with coarse grit sand paper since there is a good amount of material to remove.
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After some time and lots of dust the edges are cleaned up and perfectly square. Next I’ll switch to fine grit sand paper on the disc sander to remove the scratches that the coarse sand paper leaves behind. But that will have to wait for another night…
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