July 15, 2008 Meeting

Tennessee Valley Woodworkers


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


Guests: (Welcome!)

Michael Taylor

Phil Harris from Tullahoma


New Members: (Welcome!)

John Wendling

Pat Kelley

Bob Molloy


No old business tonight!


New Business:


October 18 is the date set aside for the Fall Workshop.  The club is looking for a theme and chairman.  Any Ideas??


Woodworking Exhibition 2009:

Please pick up or run off exhibit forms, fill them out, and turn them in to Loyd or any other steering committee member as soon as possible so we can make sure your piece(s) is displayed to its full advantage.  Check the web site for more details, and to see who is bringing what!

Steering Committee…Remember the meeting at UTSI on July 29 at 7:00.

Billy May said the carvers would show their Indian totem pole.


Shop Tours:

Doyle McConnell says the tours will be starting a week from Saturday, and then will go to the Saturday following the meeting after that.  Check the web site for details of this first tour.  He sent around a sign-up sheet for folks to open their shops.  It’s a great way to get ideas, and just enjoy a Saturday morning!


Doyle also reminded us about the Coffee County Fair the 3rd week in September.  It’s always a lot of fun!


Jim Wright is back in the hospital on dialysis, and having a very rough time.  Please keep him in your prayers.  A card was passed around for him.



The carvers will meet at Phil Bishop’s shop on August 2.  They will be at Polly Crockett’s in September and at Webb School in October.

Jay Hazel, the president of Stones River Woodworking club in Murfreesboro has shingles.

We were glad to have Jim McCord back with us tonight.

Juel McConnell had a hip replacement 2 weeks ago, and is doing therapy now.


Ruth Ryan told us that the Cumberland Furniture Guild will be showing their work at the TN State Museum.  Greg Pennington, who did a workshop for us, has a Windsor chair on display there.


Jim Carden told us about a Grizzley 6 inch joiner and a mini lathe for sale.


Sharon Wright knows of 5 large hedge-apple (Bodoc) trees that anyone can have if they will cut them down and haul them off.  Jim Carden has Bodoc logs he will give to anyone that wants one.


Jim VanCleave has 3 carving books he bought in a lot off E-bay, and will sell them for less than he paid.


Show and Tell


  1. Tom Gillard brought a model of a mantle he made for a lady from a cedar tree that had grown in her front yard. 
  2. Ed White brought pictures of a 12 foot long, 440 pound wind tunnel blade made out of laminated Sitka Spruce.  It is displayed in a building near the airport.  He also had turned a mallet out of dogwood.
  3. Bob Reese brought an antique sewing rocker that he had re-caned.  He learned how to do it when Jay Hazel came and gave a demonstration.
  4. Geoff Roehm told us how to use a digital caliper to find the center of a board.  Harbor Freight has a 6 inch digital caliper for $17.00.
  5. John Wendling (a new member) brought the templates for a cute Hippo Hamper.  He got the plans from a December 1978 Workbench, and has made 3 of them so far.
  6. Loyd Ackerman showed us one of six boxes he recently made for Christmas gifts. It had a maple burl inset on top.  He reminded us that it takes as much time to do a box as it does to make a table!  He also brought a walnut bowl he had been inspired to turn at the turning bee at Tom Cowan’s.
  7. Dick Wollam had carved a stylized cat from walnut.  The wood came from a walnut tree that fell at the Hermitage during the tornado.  It is reported that Andrew Jackson’s wife had planted the tree.  Even though the cat had a very thin, tall tail, Dick had carved it from one piece of wood.
  8. Bob Addington brought a collection of bowls he had turned.  They were of butternut, walnut, and maple.  He told us how the butternut really turned shaggy when it was wet, but after drying, turned like “butter!”
  9. Phil Harris (a guest) brought a collection of woodworks made from cherry by various craftsmen.  Several were of Shaker influence, and all were good examples of high quality work.
  10. Maurice Ryan brought in a table he had made for his son that was the 4th in a series.  It had tiles inlaid on the top, and was of red oak.  He used hints from Tom Cowan and Ross Roepke (Finish the pieces before assembling them.)  He ran into problem when the water in the grout ruined the finish on the wood surrounding it.  He had to scrape it down and refinish the top.
  11. Chuck Taylor brought a cradle he made from cherry for his great neice.  It swang on a steel dowel seated in brass bushings.  She is due any time now!
  12. Scott Short brought in 2 bowls he had made from box elder with a wax finish.  He says they were his weekend project before he got busy doing what his wife wanted him to do!
  13. Bob Malloy (new member from McMinnville) brought in several great projects he has done over the years.  First was an elm, cherry, and walnut  segmented vessel that he had turned using plans from a 1993 Wood magazine.  He also had turned a spalted vessel that was from an unusually large dogwood tree.  He brought one of 328 boxes he makes.  They have curved corners, and he keeps a saw designated just for those corners.  His crowning achievement was a detailed wooden train with intricate detail.  It was made from a plan he bought from Doug Kenney, and was a scale model of a real train.  Doug offered him $2000 for it, but he kept the train.  Bob builds strip canoes; He has build 7 boats in all, and even built his own airplane.  Wow!
  14. Newton Wright had carved a spoon out of bobinga that had a very intricate handle.
  15. Sharron Wright brought a vase she turned from butternut after being inspired at the turning bee at Tom’s.  It wasn’t finished yet, because she plans to carve on it.
  16. Doyle McConnell brought the 2nd in a series of Utah inspired colored wood vessel.  This one was maple dyed with blue, red, and yellow dyes and finished with a shiny lacquer finish to make it look like glass.   



Tonight’s Program:


Tom Cowan presented a program he entitled, “Inspiration from the Work of an Obscure Cabinet Maker…the work of Clark Woodward.”


Clark Woodward not only was a professor of Industrial Arts at Middle Tennessee Normal (MTSU), he actually developed the original department at the school.  He was married to Tom’s grandfather’s sister, so Tom is fortunate to have grown up around his work and to have inherited some of it, the story of which he shared with us tonight.


Clark Woodward was very much into the Arts and Crafts movement, where the artists and their crafts “became one.”  The style is also known as the Craftsman Style, Stickley, or Mission Style.  It was evident in the early part of the century, from around 1890-1925.  The style came about partly as a rebellion against the Victorian style, where the furniture was ornate and mass produced in factories developed during the Industrial Evolution.  It was a movement back to real artistry and hand wrought homes, furniture, lighting, and other fixtures.


One of the most well-known proponents and artists of the time was Gustav Stickley, who published a magazine promoting the Craftsman Style.  Clark Woodard used a Gustav Stickley plan froom one of those magazines to build a log Bungalow for his family in 1918.  It still stands on Tennessee Ave. in Murfreesboro.  For more information about it, Google “Murfreesboro bungalow.”


One of the outstanding features of his house is the front door, which is made of quarter-sawn, v-grooved white oak embellished with a hand forged door knocker and door latch, as well as metal panels of chase and repose work beside the art glass inset at the top.  He made the door in the shop at MTSU, and probably used his work as examples and demonstrations for the students.


Clark Woodard also made all the furniture for the house, all the light fixtures and lamps, and accessories, down to a letter opener which Tom passed around.


It is believed that Clark Woodard’s work was influenced primarily by Gustav Stickley, but also by Charles Rolfe, who included additional carvings and pierced work in his furniture design.  Clark Woodard used these elements in the furniture he built, as well as exposing his fasteners and joinery and chamfering the edges.


Another thing Clark paid close attention to was the use of grain lines.  He used quarter-sawn, rip-sawn, and flat-sawn efficiently in his pieces.  Faux joinery such as sawn pyramids at the joints were frequently used.  Clark was also a very talented metal worker, and included elements of hand-wrought metal in his designs.  Tom showed us pictures of 2 clocks.  The mantle clock had a metal face, hands, and numbers, and elaborate brass hinges which were obviously hand-made.


Sheet metal seemed to be another of his passions.  He showed us several copper pieces Clark Woodard had made, along with very Mission styled light fixtures incorporating metal, wood, and art glass.


Great job, and very interesting, Tom!  Thanks!