First up, I've got these awesome beads that just arrived today from Heather Powers:
I love these little birds and eggs! Heather also has a new book out--that's it on the front of the card. I was hoping to get a look at it but the bookstore didn't have it yet.
While organizing in the studio I found a set of number stamps that had rusted right in the storage box. Yikes! After a lot of elbow grease with a brass brush on one of them I decided it was time to break out the new buffer/grinders.
Not too long ago I paid my teenager to put this nifty bench from Sears together. I found this plywood at Home Depot and had them cut it into two tops with a piece left over. I used the one on the left with the fiber brush (also on the left) to clean the rust off the stamps. I bought this little grinder just for that brush. I used one like this in Richard Salley's toolmaking class at Adorn Me, and I loved it. One of the stamps got away from me and was spun across the room by the grinder, hit a plastic container and bounced almost all the way back. Of course, I had eye protection on, but I started putting a cardboard box behind the grinder to catch things, and I paid better attention after that.
Then I put some Boeshield T-9 on the stamps and also on the hammer head of my new Fretz Michael Good hammer. Boeshield T-9 is a waterproof lubricant and rust and corrosion protector. You wipe it on then wipe it off. It is petroleum based, but dries to a hard waxy finish. I love it for tools. Here they are drying.
A couple of days after setting up the grinder I set the second one up. It has a cotton type buffing wheel and I used it to buff a pendant I'm working on. The wheel's too small for a lot of things, but it is still handy and I may move this one into the studio later. Right now they're in the garage. I do have a full sized buffer from Sears, but I've got to sit down and read the instructions and get the parts put together before I can use it. It's not as "plug and play" as these little ones are. Both these grinders have flex shafts that attach to one side. I don't plan on ever using them.
And here's what I hope never gets in the garage or on the bead table:
The two on the left are full grown and the three smaller ones on the right belong to one of them. I haven't seen the other one's babies, but she appears to be nursing. The raccoons have been devoring the cat food at an alarming rate. Feeding the cats only in the day doesn't help because the raccoons just come out in daylight. Those mamas are really hungry. After they quit feeding the young I won't see much of them until next breeding season. I found some out-of-date peanut butter last night in the pantry and have been doling it out. They like it so well they have been leaving the cat food alone. According to wikipedia it's probably better for them than cat food.
This is either the bravest, or the least intelligent of the babies. He's was about five feet from me when I took this. He's not super frightened of me like the other two babies are. They see me and go up a tree.
We have a lot of ponds in our area but they must all be dried up because the raccoons empty all three of the water bowls every night. One is quite large and sometimes they lay down in it. I guess raccoons need to bath sometimes.
Check out the other bead tables on flickr.