Tennessee Valley Woodworkers
     Vol. 17/ Issue 11         November  2002         Editor: Tom Gillard Jr. 

Meeting Notice:
The next meeting of the TN Valley Woodworkers
Will be held, November 19th, at 7:00 p.m. in the
 Duck River Electric Building, Decherd, TN
All interested woodworkers are invited!

The following people have agreed to serve as contacts for their particular skills.  If you have questions, suggestions for activities, or other comments relating to these skills, please call these folks.  Their interest is to help the club better serve their area of expertise.  Your participation with them will help them achieve that goal.

           Alice Berry      454-3815   Design                 Phil Bishop          967-4626      Finishing
           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

   List of Club Officers
                                                     President:  Bob Leonard
                                                     V. President: Doyle McConnell
                                                     Secretary: Barbara Keen
                                                     Treasurer: Henry Davis
                                                     Publicity: Maurice & Ruth Ryan
                                                     Newsletter Editor: Tom Gillard Jr.


We are getting a new home for the newsletter...   Richard Gulley is spearheading this effort in hopes that we can catalog more of the things that we woodworkers like. Nothing else about the newsletter will change. Click  HERE to go to the new address for all things concerning the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers.

- Christmas Potluck - December 6th at the First Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall, address: (4th & Cumberland).    I'm sure we'll discuss the Christmas pot-luck at our next meeting. We've been asked to bring a little something from the shop to use for door prizes - Look around and see what you have. We'll also need to know how many to plan for, so take a count of family and guests that are planning to attend. We'll try to get a total at the November meeting.

The November meeting will be a program by Tom Gillard on glue. This presentation is  to complement the joinery theme we have covered this year. Tom is a professional woodworker and owner of Branching Out a Tullahoma business.

Elections are coming up soon!
If the nominating committee calls you and asks you to serve, PLEASE consider it.  They wouldn't have asked you if they didn't believe you would do a good job.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Steve Savelle said that he had gotten a lot of basswood from a friend and anyone that could use some should contact him

 Yesterday's Tools: Crown Molder

This yellow birch crown molder dates back to the late 1700s. A furnituremaker probably used molding of this size and style.

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.

(Wood On-line:  http://www.woodmagazine.com//11-1-02.html)


 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.

Doyle showed 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

                            Sweet Gum

In the old days, youngsters throughout the rural South went to the woods, not the grocery store, for their chewing gum. There, they sought out a tree with unusual star-shaped leaves and bark resembling alligator skin. From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). Little did they know that this natural confection, called liquidambar, had been in demand for centuries.

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.
(Wood Online)

Craftsman 10 in. Table Saw $250.00
Craftsman Wood Shaper $175.00
14 Shaper Cutters $100.00
Central Machinery 8 in. grinder $75.00
Contact Henry Davis    393-3191

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


Members sites:

Resourse Sites:

 The Leitz Tooling Systems has moved to Muscle Shoals, AL but will still do the sharpening. The blades will have to be shipped UPS as the salesman doesn't call on me as much now that the company has moved.  This cost will have to be passed along.  Sorry.
                                                         Call (393-0525) or stop by for details.


10 % OFF Fine Woodworking
Books from Taunton Press
…We’re open Monday thru Saturday

                Carl Playing a tune        


  SEE YOU ON THE 19th!

Tom Gillard Jr.