Berry 454-3815 Design
Tom Church 967-4460 Turning Harry May 962-0215 Carving
Bob Reese 728-7974 Sharpening Ross Roepke 455-9140 Joinery
Maurice Ryan 962-1555 Health and Safety
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Craftsmanship was on the rise in the prosperous English colonies of North America by the middle of the 18th century. Many colonists, enjoying affluence after struggling to civilize the new world, sought more refined surroundings.
Colonial carpenters and furnituremakers obliged them with English-style work, featuring ornate moldings. The largest were crown and cornice moldings.
Crown molding fits on an angle across the junction of the wall and ceiling inside a building; cornice molding, where the roof overhang meets the outside wall. Similar moldings also graced cabinetry and even picture frames.
To make these fancy moldings, carpenters and furnituremakers used crown molders—sometimes called cornice planes—like the one shown above. The crown molder's curvaceous blade usually measured 3–4" wide, but some were as wide as 8". The blade of the crown molder shown measures 3-1/8" wide. The plane's body is 3-1/2" wide and 12" long.
In practice, woodworkers didn't start on flat stock with these wide planes. The general form of the molding would be roughed out first, using adzes, gouges, and smaller molding planes. Only then would the craftsman bring out his big crown molder.
As often as not, a master and apprentice would team up to plow the wide, deep blade through the wood. The master guided the plane as the apprentice tugged on a rope tied to an eye screwed into the plane's front. (Though the eye is long gone from the plane in the photo, you can see the hole for it in the front of the plane.) Though it sounds simple, the actual procedure was anything but a romp in the shop. Often, the planing was accompanied by much hot-tempered give-and-take between the master and his apprentice.
Surviving crown molders date as far back as the mid-1700s. Some were made as late as the 1890s, but machine-milled moldings, which became common after the Civil War, finally ended the reign of the crown molders.
Because cornice planes and crown molders were tools of master craftsmen, they were uncommon items. That also means most didn't suffer neglect and abuse, so surviving tools are often in very good condition.
Today, collectors covet these fancy molding planes. "Marked 18th century models can be worth $2,000–$3,000," according to antique-tool collector and dealer Philip Whitby. "A pair of early Philadephia crown molders, one with a blade more than 6" wide and the other more than 7", sold lately for $10,000," he reports.
Jim Van Cleave brought a Walnut table for maps that he put together to show how it was done.
Richard Gulley brought wooden spoons he had made, 2 of which were put together with a wooden chain with each of his daughters names on them.
Tom Gillard Jr. showed a turned pen that were a gift for the Boy Scout adult training course. There were 80-85 made. He also showed an octagon top of a game table he made out of quarter-sawed oak with a tar stain and a checkerboard in the center.
Loyd Ackerman brought a lamented curve piece that was made out of 5 – 1/8 inch pieces of door skin and with veneer lamented on each side. He said it was from a program Ray Cole had given on curved pieces about 7 years ago. He also showed a box he made out of Mahogany and said he found out the hard way that you have to lower your pressure on pneumatic guns when using on Mahogany or they would blow a hole through the piece as he did.
Harold Hewgley showed a chip and dip bowl he made out of Cherry and sprayed with a water based acrylic.
Henry Davis made a keepsake box that had a drawer in it and was made out of maple with a spalted maple top. The lid has a space for letters or pictures.
Bob Beswetherick brought back his finished Mandolin made out of Spruce for the top, Canary wood, yellow heart, purple heart and popular. He finished with Tongue oil. The second Mandolin he brought in was made out of spruce, popular, African mahogany, yellow heart, Purple Heart and canary wood. He has 100 hours in each instrument.
Dave Whyte made 2 holders for scrappers. He made the brass adjustment by using a ¼-20 screw and epoxy on a brass knob. They were made out of oak and as usual they were both functional and pleasing to the eye.
John Brewster our newest member turned a bowl out of cherry. He also made a bowl out of Dogwood.
Karen Kerce turned a bowl out of spalted maple and another out of Cedar that would have been firewood if she had not rescued it.
a vase he had turned out of Box Elder. The finish was gloss polyurethane
thinned with Mineral Spirits 60/40 and wiped on while lathe was turning.
He let dry between coats
John Mayberry made a stool out of cherry for his daughter and he weaved the seat at the fair.
John Sargent brought
in a guitar he made from a kit. It was Rosewood, Spruce, Ebony, and
Mahogany. A second guitar was shown that was made by Earl George
completely out of maple
As reported by historians traveling with the explorer Cortes in 16th-century Mexico, the Aztec emperor Montezuma relaxed by puffing a cane stuffed with a mixture of tobacco and a flavoring of liquidambar from a tropical variety of sweet gum. But even before that, in Europe, liquidambar was obtained through Asian traders for use in perfume, incense, and for treating diphtheria and flatulence.
Despite the world demand for liquidambar through the centuries, little was done with the yield of the North American sweet gum tree. It did serve as a curative for Confederate soldiers' dysentery, and was harvested during the Second World War when Asian supplies were cut off.
Sweet gum wood, though, has been another story. The often beautifully
figured stock can resemble walnut. And when quartersawn, it passes as the
costly Circassian walnut fancied for fine furniture and gunstocks.
12” Sears Wood Turning Lathe.
36” between centers, ½ hp motor, 4 speeds;
Comes with the following items:
6” & 12” tool rest, 4” faceplate, table and a speed reduction assembly.
Contact Tom Gillard (455-6651 or 393-0525)
Heavy duty wood turning lathe, 18 3/4" swing, 35" between centers, made by J.A. Fay in
Cincinnati in early 1900's, on heavy timber frame, 3/4 hp single phase motor,
3 different length tool rests, two faceplates, can be rigged for outboard turning, labor intensive, not for sissies,
Contact: Jim Van Cleave 455-8150
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SEE YOU ON THE 19th!