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Friday, July 15, 2011

Been a while

Things have been busy. We have been trying to do some work around project house and then it started raining. Every day for about the last two weeks it has rained. Not little showers like we normally get. No, it pours. I am really afraid of what is going to happen to my barn when things start to dry out. Too much water has run towards it which means water has gotten under it. I have some concrete floors and our Colorado soil has bentonite which expands. It expands enough to break things.

I did complete one project before the rain started, a retaining wall. Here is the before:
And after:
That was a project well done.

I mentioned a while back that I was putting the horses on free hay. That did not turn out as well as I had hoped. Mostly because hay is now at $8.00 per bale and the horses would go through 2 plus bales per day. Ebony and Beamer still look ribby and Mariah developed a terrible hay belly and she looks bad.

Okay, not totally bad, she looks kinda cute with the hay highlights in her mane. Note that the picture conveniently does not show her hay belly.

I think I insulted her the other night. We are working with Ebony on longeing. She is a pistol. One of the hardest things to learn is how to hold and control the longe line. When the horse you are trying to train is a brat it makes it all the harder. So I put Mariah on a longe line and let Kira longe her. Mariah is great. I had fun longeing her for a while and moving her back and front feet around. When I took off her halter she let me scratch her and then she took off at a dead gallop. Tore across the yard. She bucked, she leaped she stopped and snorted. It was pretty funny. I love my horse.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Wedding in the Family

My niece is getting married. Hard to believe. It was just a few months ago that she was 9 months old and we were baby sitting her. Now she is the bride to be. So I made them a set of wedding pens. It was a bit of a family affair since I had some help with the embroidery. Here is the finished set.

Here is how its done:
Step 1 - Select the kit to be used and cut the pen blanks to length. In this case the blanks are emerald green and amethyst to match the wedding colors. The brass tubes need to be set into the blank so the blank is cut to that length.

Step 2 - Get creative. I wanted to incorporate the wedding colors in both pens. The Bride's favorite color is purple so I put a green end on hers. The Groom's favorite color is green so I put a purple end on his. I cut a piece of brass plate and glued it between the colors. A little epoxy and a night spent in clamps produces the blank.

Step 3 - Drill the finished blank to accept the tube.

Step 4 - Mount the blanks on a pen mandrel, mount in the lathe and turn. This was nearly complete when my chisel caught and the blank blew out. That means the blank shattered and flew all over the place. Fortunately I was wearing a face shield so while I heard pieces hit the shield, none actually hit me. That would be nasty. The lathe is turning at nearly 3200rpm so when those pieces come off they come of with enough speed to cut. Its easy to recover from, I just used my chisel to clean the tube off and cut a new tube. I was glad it wasn't the piece with the brass in it. Those take longer to make.

Once the turning is done it is time to polish. I start on the lathe and then move to buffing wheels. They shine up really nice.

And I am happy to report that the Bride and Groom loved them!