Tennessee Valley Woodworkers

Vol. 18/ Issue 4                       April  2003                            Editor: Tom Gillard Jr. 

Meeting Notice:
The next meeting of the TN Valley Woodworkers
Will be held, April  15 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.

                Design: Alice Berry 454-3815                                Finishing: Phil Bishop 967-4626
                Turning: Tom Church 967-4460                             Carving: Harry May 962-0215
                Sharpening: Bob Reese 728-7974                          Joinery: Ross Roepke 455-9140
                                                Health and Safety: Maurice Ryan 962-1555

List of Club Officers

                                                      President:          Doyle McConnell
                                                     V. President:         Ken Gould
                                                     Secretary:          Barbara Keen
                                                     Treasurer:          Henry Davis
                                                     Publicity:          Loyd Ackerman
                                                     Newsletter Editor  Tom Gillard Jr.


Please remember, in your thoughts and prayers, all our Troops heading for and in the Middle East.

Don't forget about the club give-away this year.
We have a Tormek sharpening machine for some lucky winner at the Christmas party.

APRIL 26th

“Tool Making for Woodworkers”

The Tennessee Valley Woodworkers will hold our Spring Seminar on April 26, 2003 at the Franklin County High School Vocational Education shop.The seminar will be on “Tool Making for Woodworkers” and will cover some very basic theory and a number of practical demonstrations.The objective is to have attendees leave the seminar able to make specialized tools in their own shop.Gary Runyon, Bob Reese, and Doyle McConnell will be the presenters.

Registration will begin at 8:00 AM with beverages and pastries.The first session will begin at 8:30.There will be a one-hour break at about 11:30 for lunch at your choice of the local restaurants.The first afternoon session will begin at 12:30.We expect to be done my about 3:30 PM.

Cost for the seminar will be $20 per person.

Address any questions to the seminar chairman, Hugh Hurst at 931-967-0507 or on the web at hughhurst@netscape.net.

This promises to be an excellent seminar.Woodworkers are constantly confronted with the need for a tool for special applications.Here’s some help on getting those tools without spending a fortune purchasing them and while having a little fun and satisfaction making them.


First the bad news---- Twenty-one of our members are in danger of NOT receiving "Splinters" next month because they have not paid their 2003 dues.

Now the good news--- Eighty-four of our members who have paid their 2003 dues will continue to receive this splendid newsletter. They will know of all the club activity, know what went on it our meetings, know about committee meetings, be reminded of the date of our next meeting, get the latest update on seminars, get timely information about their favorite hobby, and lots of other good stuff! Also those members in good standing who have paid their dues for the 2003 calendar year will be eligible for the Grand Door Prize.

Each year after the April meeting it is my unpleasant task to remove those who choose not to renew their membership from the membership rolls.

If you have not paid your 2003 dues please do so at the April meeting. If you can not be at the April meeting, call me at 393-3191 or email me, HENRY DAVIS , let me know that you do intend to continue your membership and your newsletter will continue to arrive. If you just can’t remember if you paid your dues or not, contact me and I will be happy to check my records.

Henry Davis, Treasurer

Joinery Workshop

Henry Davis plans to present and joinery workshop. The project will be an Arts and Crafts type Taboret Table/Plant Stand. You may recall seeing Henry’s plant stand at a recent meeting. The Workshop will be held at Henry’s shop in Tullahoma and he will be assisted by Tom Cowan. The time frame for this Workshop has not been set but will likely be during the first week of May. Each participant will be asked to provide his or her own material for the project, a material list will be provided. . Tom Gillard has agreed to provide a material package in Oak or Poplar at a nominal cost. It’s estimated the workshop will take two days, but please allow for a third day if needed. Henry will have more information and a sign-up sheet at the April meeting.



Live Oak

The tree that keeps you raking. 

Travelers through the Deep South marvel at theeerily beautiful live oak trees with their draping of Spanish moss.

From southeastern Virginia down the coast and along the Gulf of Mexico into Texas, this easily transplanted tree has long been popular as an ornamental. 

Homeowners and others charged with grounds-keeping chores soon learn how the live oak (Quercus virginiana) got its name. Because the tree constantly grows new leaves, it is forever green, and thus live. However, the new leaves replace those that fall, which means constant raking for the fastidious. And with a tree that frequently has branches extending three times as broad as its height, that's a lot of labor.

Although now seldom used for commercial purposes, the hard, strong, and heavy wood of live oak was historically quite important. When ships were made entirely of wood, live oak provided the material for the angular parts of a ship's frame called the "knees." These were sawn from the nearly 60° junction of the tree's trunk with its large roots. The natural knees thus had interlocking grain that proved much stronger than straight timber cut and joined to the same shape. The U.S. government thought the wood so valuable for the country's ships that by 1845 it had acquired about 250,000 acres of live oak timberland in the South as a future reserve. But as the days of sail and wooden ships passed, the larder of live oak land was returned to the public for eventual settlement.


John Sargent brought in a large bowl he rough turned on July 11, 2002 at Hugh Hurst’s shop and than last week he finished it at Dean Lutes’s shop.He made it out of Ash.

Henry Davis brought in a plant stand and said he would do a workshop on how to make one like it.It has a lot of different types of joints incorporated in it.Next month he will have more details on the workshop.He also showed a picture frame, which will display a painting of scenery, and the frame represents a window.It was made out of fir and coated with white primer and finished with antique white.It was made out of 8 pieces of wood using lap joints and gluing them together.

Winfield Bennett showed a chain he made several years ago which has letters carved in it.

Tom Gillard brought in a table he made inspired from a Thomas Mosher catalog of furniture.He made it out of walnut and it has dovetail drawers.He rounded the corners since he dropped it so rounded them to make all sides match.The legs flare out and he used lacquer for his finish.

Phil Bishop brought in pictures of some of his work.One was of a repair of a sideboard out of rosewood.He showed a picture of a Wing Griffin dining room set, which he repaired, wings and replaced one of the feet.This set will probably sell for $25,000 to $30,000 at auction.He also designed and carved a piece for a 1700 to 1800 bed.

Doyle McConnell showed a Henry inspired box. He uses a piece of wood for the matched 4-section top that was originally destined for the wood stove.It was a very figured piece.He also put a drawer in the box.He turned a bowl out of Box Elder, which had lots of nice red grain through it.

Howard Coulson likes Blue birds and he showed an old TVA wildlife poster.He also showed a blue birdhouse he made that opens on the side for clean out.He feeds the Blue bird’s mealworms in a dish and he brought some of them to show also.He said by feeding them the mealworms he has almost made the Blue birds tame.He brought some extra patterns for those that want them.

Dan Wilkinson made a box with a very figured walnut top and the rest was Mahogany.He made the feet with a one-pass router bit.He also brought a picture of a fireplace mantel that he made out of Black Walnut. He also brought a piece of Box Elder that was out of the heart of the tree.He said his sawmill has no trouble cutting small lengths about 34 inches long.

Jim Van Cleave showed Maple bookends he hand carved. He brought a lot of different type bookends.He showed one where he had incorporated a busted automobile ring in the design.He also had several carved ones.

Bill Davis brought in an old piece of wood that had been in a floor and the members thought that is was probably Chestnut.He went to a class in Gatlinburg and made a box, which he showed.He showed a small oval box out of oak, which had a lot of interesting grain.He also likes blue bird boxes and encourages people to make them and they will attract blue birds and help to keep the population of blue birds growing.

Steve Shores brought in a turned mirror, which he carved a letter on.

Ken Gould said he has made about 6 or 7 Blue birdhouse and the people he gave them to painted them blue but Blue birds prefer Grey. He said put in a bottom that will slide out and if an unwanted sparrow starts to build a nest in it just slide out the bottom and dump the nest.He showed a Box Elder bowl that he turned. He also made a Spalted Walnut natural edge bowl.He used water based polyurethane spray on it but the can did not spray correctly and he was not satisfied with the results.

Bob Leonard made a wooden knife out of Spalted Maple with a Deft finish. He also made a couple of boxes for housing the knifes.He used 24 species of wood between the knife and box.

John Mayberry turned a bowl from Box Elder and used polyurethane hi gloss on it.He also made 2 Black Walnut bowls and he used low sheen polyurethane on them.

Bob Beswetherick showed a mandolin he built in his apartment bedroom.It was an A style with a Spruce top with cherry sides and cherry headstock. He used water base lacquer on it.He made another one that was an F2 type out of curly cherry and a Spruce top and Pupauk.It takes him about 100 hours to make one.On this one he used Shellac for the finish. 

Ross Roepke made a wall hanging for the church out of Black Walnut and Mahogany.He also made a portable podium, which the top tilts.He put an aluminum rod in the base for strength.He also made a slide for his table saw instead of using the provided miter gauge slide so that he knows it will always be square. 
Ray Torstenson showed some of his pencil drawings some from Mexico and some from Sewanee.

Tip of the Day
Throat Plate Prevents Small Part Losses

Scrollsaws excel at cutting small pieces. But the smallest of these wooden parts have an annoying tendency of falling through the opening in the throat plate of the saw. To prevent this problem, build your own zero-clearance throat insert plates for your scrollsaw.

Cut your auxiliary throat plate from a piece of 1/8" acrylic to the exact outline of your saw’s standard throat plate. If the 1/8" acrylic plate does not sit flush with your table, try a different thickness of acrylic, or shim the plate from below. Now, drill a 3/32" hole centered in the acrylic plate for the blade to go through. Then, scrollsaw a line from the edge of the acrylic plate up to the hole, and you’re ready to go.

—Tony Lammers, Grand Rapids, Mich.


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Tom Gillard Jr.