Minutes of the February 19 Meeting

Tennessee Valley Woodworkers


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by President Tom Gillard.


Our guests for the meeting:

Dennis Nunley

Don Embry from Tullahoma and his sister

Greg Pennington from Hendersonville

Tim Arnold from Nashville


Our New Members:

Clint McCullough of Tullahoma

Kelton Garner of Normandy


Thanks to Chuck Taylor for our Newsletter, Splinters!  Printed versions are available at meetings.  Please keep phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. updated.


Thanks to Milner and Martha Carden and Jim and Carol Carden for the wonderful refreshments!


Mark these dates on your calendar for future TVW events!

May 3 - Spring Seminar

June 7 – TVW Picnic

June 14 – Turning Bee

September 15-20 – Coffee County Fair

October 18 - Fall Workshop

December 5 – Christmas Party


Thanks to Tom Cowan for organizing our May 3 Spring Seminar!

The very talented craftsman, Ronnie Young of Chattanooga, will demonstrate various types of inlaying and tool use.  The noon meal will be served.  He expects the cost to be around $45. Hopefully it can be held in Manchester.  Be listening for more information.



Goodies for the March 18 meeting:

Karen Browning

Jim Jolliffe


No Old business


New Business:

      The Executive Committee is wanting to do an exhibition of TVW members’ work to raise public awareness of the talent among the members.  Loyd Ackerman explained that previous ones have been held, one in 1998, and shows at the Manchester Arts Center, Tullahoma, and Winchester.  This next one is being planned for 2009 to allow members time to plan and prepare to show their skills off to the community.  Be thinking and planning!


     The Literacy Council is having an auction and club members have been asked to donate items for the auction.  Ross Roepke is a contact as well as Loyd Ackerman and Doyle McConnell.  The mission for the Council is to get folks in Coffee, Franklin, and Moore Counties to be able to read.  The funds for the auction go to pay instructors for these people.  This is really a way we can give back tot the community.


     Milner Carden had a call from a man in Manchester who has very old growth Oak to sell.  See Milner if you are interested in it.


     Shop Tours – Please see Doyle McConnell if you would like for your shop to be put on the tour this Spring.  He has asked new members to volunteer to show off their shops.  It is a fun morning, and a great way to learn a lot from sharing experiences of what works well and what doesn’t.  He pointed out Ross Roepke, who is a prolific and talented furniture, etc. craftsman who works in his garage.  Don Miller said it is a great inspiration for cleaning your shop!


     The next Carver’s Meeting will be March 1st at Phil Bishop’s shop from 8:30-11:00.


The Incredible Show and Tell!


  1. Tom Cowan – He showed pictures of a joint project with an artist friend from Georgia of an intricately carved and painted corner cupboard in what he called the “gypsy” style.  It was painted with a floral motif and antiqued with a gold tint before being sprayed with lacquer.  He had done relief carving on the doors and carved a Dunlap style crown for the top.
  2. Loyd AckermanJohn Mayberry gave him some walnut from his home in Hickman County.  It had been dried at Dixie Woodworks.  Loyd made a Hepplewhite design (“late Ackerman” J) wrapping on the legs and a 1/8 inch inlay in a lighter wood down each leg.  He finished it with Formby’s oil and put six coats of lacquer on it.
  3. Ross Roepke – Ross brought unique stylized boxes made of cedar with walnut legs, Pecky Pine for one lid, another of walnut with legs and a flip-up lid.  He also brought a table top made of quilted mahogany surrounded by maple and walnut.  Creative combinations of woods, as usual!
  4. Felix Rees – He made a box of 150 year old yellow poplar from the old Church of Christ building in Flat Creek.  It had a tray in it lined with car headliner.   
  5. Geoff Roehm – Jeff brought in two guitars he had made and played them for us to see which one we liked the sound of better.  The first was made of Brazilian Rosewood with a 63 Martin Stock top and some Adirondack Spruce.  Obviously, it was a pricey number.  The second was made of cypress, old beer bat staves (Plebian wood) and the top was from an old 2X8 from Greeter’s Lumber.  He made it for Lucinda Howard’s husband.  Defying logic and all the “rules,” it sounded very rich.  The mini concert was delightful, Jeff!
  6. Ken Burgess – Ken carved a lighthouse from cottonwood bark.  It had over 2000 tiny bricks carved on it!  He also had a small house carved from cottonwood bark that had green tint on the trees carved around it.  A tiny house had been carved for a Christmas ornament.  He also had carved an Indian face and fantasy houses on Cottonwood bark and added some color to that for interest.
  7. David Felix – Dave is new to carving and brought a smiling face he carved in Cottonwood bark at the carver’s meeting.  He thanked Jim Wright and Harry May for all their assistance.
  8. Jim Jolliffe – He carved a Cottonwood bark mountain man at the workshop.
  9. Paul Jalbert – He had carved a small Viking face and a larger face in Cottonwood bark.
  10. Ken Gould – His Cottonwood bark carving was still on the mounting board.  He said Jim and Harry kept telling them to “go deeper” when carving a face.  His carving has 2 coats of Deft Satin, because the lacquer bring out the natural color.  He also thanked the carvers for all their help.
  11. Harry May – Detailed “go deeper” face and a house both carved in Cottonwood bark.  He reminds us that we need a razor sharp knife for carving.  He uses one coat of polyurethane.  He also had carved a wood spirit in Black Walnut.
  12. Bob Leonard – He had a sad looking character carved in Cottonwood Bark.  He also got an idea from Robin Clark in Fayetteville for  “That’s Knot Art”, a framed pine knot hole surrounded by a walnut border.
  13. Allen Odell – He brought a gaf handle made from Diamond Willow, which is found in Alaska. It is used to gaf Salmon.
  14. Dan Maher – discussed his “small parts bin” design.
  15. Karen Browning – Fantasy houses carved in Cottonwood bark made at the Carver’s January workshop at Jim Wright’s.  Danish oil was applied, which really turned it dark.
  16. Doyle McConnell – Doyle brought part of an antique picture frame to show the gesso coat (for smoothing the wood) and gold leaf over that.  He pointed out the huge nails they used in the old days even in their finish work.  The frame had a 2 ¼ inch nail in it.  He had previously worked on an antique clock worth $25,000 that was put together with huge nails.  He had an unusually shaped drawer from a corner cabinet that belongs to Paul Allan Smith.  He also brought a stacking bowl set he had turned.  He had trouble with the wood cracking as he turned it, and when he put super glue in it, it made dark spots, so he put Puritan Pine stain on the bowls to hide that.  He then put Pewter in the cracks to highlight the cracks, and they turned out very beautiful and decorative. Doyle will be showing us how to make the stacking bowls in the May meeting!
  17. Bob Addington – Bob made a paper towel holder with square drawers so that they can be used no matter how the towel holder is positioned.He told us the story of how his DeWalt sander came on in the night and sanded a deep spot on his table. J He has a floor model drill press for sale.
  18. Sharon Wright – She made an Indian carving in Cottonwood bark at Jim’s workshop.  He kept falling apart, and she just used super glue to put him back together.  She carved a feather over his head, and an animal fur cape over his shoulders.
  19. Gary Runyon – He showed scribing tools forged from 52/100 bearing steel.  They had been rehardened.


Wow!!! What a GREAT Show and Tell!!!  Talent abounds around here!




Tim Arnold from Nashville gave the presentation tonight on the history of Shaker boxes, and how to make them.  He called them the “Tupperware” of the Shakers.  They were a way for them to store all kinds of things and simplify their lives. 

     The boxes have an elliptical shape, and nestle one inside the other.  Tim learned the art from John Wilson, who owns the tack making machines which date back to the 1800’s.

     To make the boxes, a log is soaked in 150 degree water for 3-4 days.  It is then sliced into 1/16 inch veneer for the boxes.  A band is cut, ”fingers” are traced on the wood and cut out with a knife, and then the back edge of the opposite end of the strip is taken down to nearly nothing so that a seam can be made.  Holes are drilled for the copper tacks.  Next the wood is steamed in a steam box for 20 minutes or so to get it supple enough to wrap around a form.  Then the tacks are tapped in and it is put on a shaper to let dry for 2 days.


     When the band is removed from the form, it is sanded inside, and Tim traces around the inside of the newly formed band onto a ¼ inch piece of wood for the bottom.  The edges around the bottom are sanded at about 78 degrees so it will fit into the band like a cork.  It is inserted into the band, holes are drilled all around, and then toothpicks are inserted into the holes for dowels.


In the old days, milkwash colors on the boxes represented various jobs held by the Shakers.  A boiled linseed oil and beeswax finish is applied.