Minutes for July 15, 2014 meeting
of the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers


President Karen Browning called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

·       Tonight’s program: “Building the Godwin Table” by David Sapp

·       Members in attendance: (~60)

·       Guests: (2) Jeremy Anderson - Manchester, Jeremy Sellers - Manchester

·       New Members: (0)



·       President Browning asked all guest to see Henry Davis, sign the guest sheet, and pick up a copy of the Splinters newsletter.

·       Phil Bishop would welcome visits. He health continues to deteriorate, and he is confined to bed most of the time.

·       Congratulations to longtime member Ross Roepke. He recently was names as an AEDC Fellow for his many years of service in Long Range Test Facility Planning at Arnold AFB. His most recent work involved the Aero Propulsion Test Unit (APTU), the world’s largest test facility for the largest turbojet engines.

·       Loyd Ackerman will present a Segmented Turning Workshop on Saturday August 2 at UTSI Room H-111. The basics of designing a segmented vessel will be discussed, including how to layout and calculate segment dimensions. Cutting and gluing up the segments into disks and assembling the disks into one or more blanks for turning will be described. The calculations required for tilted stave vessels will also be discussed. Participants are asked to bring a pencil, eraser, straight edge, graph paper, and a calculator with trig functions. Food is not allowed in the room, so drink your coffee on the way.

·       The next meeting of the Splinter Carvers will be on the first Saturday of the month at the home of Jim Jolliffe at 201 Billingsly Drive, 2 ½ miles south of Tullahoma. See the Google map at:  https://maps.google.com/maps?q=201+Billingsley+Drive,+Tullahoma,+TN&hl=en&ll=35.317646,-86.211433&spn=0.015618,0.027208&sll=35.370823,-86.197946&sspn=0.124859,0.217667&oq=201+Billingsly,+tullaho&hnear=201+Billingsley+Dr,+Tullahoma,+Tennessee+37388&t=m&z=15

·       A Woodmiser sawmill and kiln has been set up just of of Hwy 55 near Manchester. The owner will custom saw your logs on site and kiln dry the lumber for a reasonable per bd ft price.



·       Falls Mill 50th Anniversary. On Sunday August 31 from 1:00 to 4:00PM, the folks at will be celebrating their 30th year of owning the property. TVW Club members have been invited to display or just come and visit. Live music and finger food will be available, and the restored antique wood carving machines will be operating. Chuck Taylor turned four finials for the restoration of the machines.

·       Shop Tours on Thursday July 24. Doyle MacConnell announced tours of the shops of Tony Murphy and Ross Roepke. Those interested should meet at 8:00AM at the Sunrise Breakfast Place behind the Co-Op in Dechard.


New Business

·       No new business


Show and Tell

·       Mike Zinser – brought a large off-axis turned wall hanging. The design involved mounting the piece at various tilt angles and at several different centers. The piece was painted black and sanded to expose the grain.

·       Loyd Ackerman – brought a three-level logo and name plate that he made for his son using his CNC router. Loyd also offered to collaborate with anyone who might be interested in exploring doing string inlay using the CNC machine.

·       Tom Gillard – brought an interesting section of oak tree trunk he found on Woods Reservoir. Both ends had been neatly chewed into pointed cones by an eager beaver that has lived in the area for some time.

·       Bob Leonard – brought a caricature wood carving of Cletus that was inspired by a wood carving magazine pattern. He explained his difficulty with carving faces and confessed that this, in fact, was the second head. He also cut his thumb during the carving process and reminded everyone to wear their safety equipment.

·       Tom Cowan – brought two Federal style lidded boxes that he made. Tom will present a program next month on the preparation for and installation of the inlays.

·       Jim Van Cleave – brought a deep framed floral carving inspired by a wood carving book pattern and rendered in basswood. Jim said that he bought the late Jim Wright’s stash of basswood and sold several pieces to club members at cost. He has recently run out of wood himself and would like to buy some of the pieces back.

·       Jim Acord – brought a garlic press that he made. His turned and finished the handle was attached to hardware purchased from Woodcraft.

·       Bob Addington – brought a large box elder bowl that he turned. He used coffee grounds and superglue to fill a large void, but found that the material shrank after the final finish was applied.

·       Jim Everett– brought two large intarsia wall hangings featuring designs inspired by patriotic themes.

·       Doyle McConnell – brought an “in the works” segmented pepper mill that he is making for a friend. To personalize the piece, he made one of the segmented rings from a poplar board that came from his friend’s great grandmother’s home place. Doyle offered to host another pepper mill turning workshop if there are interested members.

·       Ross Roepke – brought an interesting variety of objects that he either purchased or made himself. Many of the items were created from recycled or repurposed materials. Ross also described two community service projects that he recently completed with the help of other woodworkers. One involved constructing ten “Little Free Library” units for local elementary schools. The other project provided ten large shelving units for a used book outlet.


Program:  “Building a Godwin Table” by David Sapp

·       David, who owns the Woodcraft store in Franklin, began by announcing a new “Tool Box by Woodcraft” store located in Chattanooga. The store is a satellite of the Franklin store, and as such, will serve as a showroom for the Woodcraft product line. Many items, especially the larger tools, can be seen and touched in Chattaooga, but when purchased, will be delivered from Franklin with a few days delay.

·       David also explained Woodcraft’s “Turn for the Troops” program, which provides pen kits free of charge to any woodworkers who are willing to turn and assemble the pens for our military personnel. Pens have been sent to troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and most recently, to those on an Aircraft Carrier sailing on the Mediterranean Sea.

·       For the evening’s program David described how he had constructed a faithful copy of what he calls the Godwin table for a client. The original 10 ft by 5 ft table was designed in 1905 by architects Charles and Henry Greene in their trademark California Arts and Crafts style specifically for the L.A. Robinson house in Pasadena, CA. An early photograph of the original table, light fixtures, and accompanying Craftsman décor in the original Robinson house dining room can be seen at the Berkeley University historical archive site:  http://dpg.lib.berkeley.edu/webdb/ggva/sid?level=3&filename=eda00001882_14a&x=1833&y=2934

·       David followed a set of Greene and Greene dimensioned drawings to reproduce the table and diligently documented the construction with a series of photographs as the work progressed. David designed the two accompanying arm chairs and eight side chairs himself, inspired by the Craftsman style.

·       The 500 board feett of Honduras mahogany required for building the table and chairs was purchased for $12 per board foot from Summers Lumber near Laverne before the company went out of business. One board that would eventually become parts for the table support structure was 4 inches thick by 16 inches wide and 12 feet long. The table top, leaves and apron were cut from thinner but equally wide stock.

·       The table includes several Asia influenced design elements common to many Greene and Greene pieces of the period. Each end of the table top was cut into the so-called “Tsuba” shape, while the “cloud-lift” contour was used in both the feet of the table base and most other horizontal components of the table top support structure.

·       An unusual feature of the construction, at least for modern practice, was the specification of shallow sub-mortises around the entrance of each tenon mortise in the table base structure. The sub-mortises were cut wide enough to house the shoulders of the tenon and deep enough to prevent light from passing through the joint if the fit was less than perfect.

·       Like many Arts and Crafts pieces, any metal fasteners and wooden pegs were hidden by square ebony plugs that were crowned and left proud of the surrounding surface. There were forty-four such plugs in the table, and twenty-seven in each side chair.

·       All cut-off pieces were labeled and saved in case a close grain match was needed for a repair. The pieces were also used to correct for color variation between the boards used for the table top and for the leaves. Several finishes and finishing procedures were tested before an acceptable match was achieved. Color mismatch was not a problem for the table base, since all pieces came from the same evenly colored board.

·       From start to finish, the project was in the shop for twenty six months, with much of the time near the end spent waiting for layers of finish to dry. Not counting the waiting time, David estimates that he cleared around $6 per hour for his labor.

·       David would not reveal how much he charged his client for the table and ten matching chairs, but he commented, “If you asked me to build another set like it, and I accepted the job, it would cost you at least $39,650.”


After a long but very interesting program, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.