Category Archives: Wood Turning

June 2014 East Tennessee Crank-Up

The show started when we arrived, as usual, and set the bus up for the weekend.  Chas decided she wanted to raise the pop-up by herself, so I didn’t want to argue.  She managed to get it set up in just a few minutes, so we were able to relax that evening.

These two grease monkeys were a big help getting the leaves cleaned out of the Bessemer water tank so it could be filled up.  The water circulates through the engine to cool it while it is running.  That is a job I would have definitely done at their age with no persuasion required.  It is hard to stay clean with that much rust and grease available to play with, I have that problem too…

 

 

Here are a few more of the engines that were operating during the show.  I painted the red lettering on the Black Bear after the show in 2012.

 

I had to get my lathe hooked back up to the Mogul for some wood turning demonstrations.  I must admit, I would have been turning on this lathe even if nobody happened to be around to watch the demonstration.  The video shows some of the turning of the large green (unseasoned) walnut bowl.  The rough piece when mounted on the lathe weighed between 50 and 70 lbs.


 

After the show, we were all tired and needed to cool off.  We headed up to a favorite swimming spot, the Blue Hole, just a short drive from the show.  The cold water flows  out of the mountain a short distance up from the waterfall.


If you are going to be near Johnson City, Tennessee in early June come check out the show.  We can even take you to the Blue Hole for a swim…

Baby Bunnies and Snake Skins in July

NOTE:  This post contains a few graphic images near the end, viewer beware…

The produce on the farm began overflowing in the fields.  Our table at the farmers markets looked full, and a CSA was started to help with some of the extra.  Ten families in the Charleston area were delivered 10# boxes of produce every 2 weeks.  The boxes were filled with fresh farm goodies, and everyone loved the variety.  The wooden bowls, goblets, and dollhouse plates I turned on my lathe made a great addition to the display, and I managed to sell a few of them too.  Chas made her crocheted doll blankets, bags, hats, jar holders, and gloves which also added some variety and color to our booth.  Baked Delicata Squash with brown sugar, pecans, and yogurt also managed to be photogenic.  Lilah named the 10# squash Timmy, and they loved wrapping it up in Chas’ doll blankets she crocheted and getting market goers to guess the weight.

 

The farm was alive with wild mushrooms popping up all over the place.  We have a few resident wild edible experts at our disposal here, NEVER eat mushrooms that have not been identified by an expert!  The first two images are a Reishi mushroom, these have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.  The basket has Chanterelle and Bolete mushrooms, the Boletes were sliced and sautéed in butter and were AWESOME.

We had some interesting storms blow through, but the low hanging clouds and rainbow with this one were cool   It was a very hot day, but when the clouds were directly overhead the temp had to drop 20 degrees.  As soon as the clouds blew over, the temp popped back up again.  I also had to smoke a beef brisket using some pecan wood, it was required by my hungry belly.  It turned out to be the best one I have ever made.  Pecan wood is now hands down my favorite wood to smoke with.

The bunnies were happily making new bunnies, and they started to hatch in July.  The girls were very happy to help take care of their tiny little fuzzy friends.

 

The snakes came out in force in July, the few chicken eggs we had available were disappearing before we could collect them.  I found this rat snake and decided to keep the skin and meat for future use.  The skin was nice, and hopefully will make some interesting crafts sometime down the road.  The meat is going to be involved in a snake fry in the future as well.  While I was busy happily skinning my critter, the neighbor drove up and said there was a dead rattlesnake in the road.  I hopped on the RTV and went to pick it up.  I didn’t want to let that skin go to waste either.  I thought about eating it directly off the road since I knew it was killed within the previous 2 hours (It wasn’t there when some of the farm crew went to lunch).  The 90 degree day on the asphalt cooked it perfectly, the meat smelled awesome and was steaming as I was skinning it.  I didn’t take a bite, but we did save the bones to use in craft making in the future.  The corn snake is a copperhead mimmic, the coloring on the skin was amazing.  I wouldn’t have killed that one, but it was run over by the tractor, so that skin went in the freezer too.

 

I began attending one of the many local weekly auctions, and noticed this posted by the office.  It really fits my life perfectly, so I thought I would share it.  I had to use my quick mechanical wit to come up with a way to shut down one of the John Deere tractors.  Diesel engines don’t simply shut down by cutting an electrical connection like a gasoline engine.  The shut-down solenoid fried itself for some reason, so the tractor started but there was no way to shut it down without getting a little creative.  This actually applies to large diesel engines, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this on one of those since you are most likely to be injured in the process.