Woodworkers Club of Houston

August 2016 Projects



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 Mike Dietrich - Band Saws and Band Saw Blades

Our guest speaker for the August 2016 meeting was Mike Dietrich of Hawk Saw Blades. Mike spoke about the basics of bandsaws, common problems with using a bandsaw and how to remedy them.  Mike stressed to NOT wear gloves – a nick on your finger is far better than have the blade catch your glove and pull your hand into the blade.  Mike fielded numerous questions from the members. 


      Norm Nichols, playing with different woods, crafted a cross and a dog.  Norm showed members his piece of the dog that he scroll sawed out of the wenge - the largest single piece that that he has ever pulled out of a project.

     Steve Wavro’s sister saw this bird and nest in a scroll saw magazine and asked him to make one for her.  Steve, being the wonderful brother that he is, explained how he put together the intarsia bird with eggs in nest.  Steve could not find any wood approximating the blue of the eggs so he painted them. Everything else is natural wood.  Steve boiled some twigs and then put them in a clamp to bend them to create a more natural nest look.

With a daughter marrying in October, Steve was asked to make a door plaque commemorating the event. To help design the letters and numbers, Steve found a downloadable shareware program, Inkscape, online for his Mac (numerous tutorials are available on YouTube).  Steve used a Sandflea sander (looks like a jointer but has a roll of sandpaper instead of blades) to sand the project without damaging the fragile fretwork.  Steve finished with multiple coats of spray on Spar polyurethane. 

       Keeping up with his tradition of mostly using “excess” lumber, John Gay rescued some presswood underdecking for his wooden platter.  The gold gilding was not panned by John in Colorado.

After having crafted a tool box with tools for a Masonic order, John made a tool box and tools for himself.  Once again “excess” wood shines through his tools.  Of historical interest is that John had some leftover white oak that came from a Danish boat under restoration at the Houston Holocaust Museum (this boat was used by Danish fisherman to ferry Jews and other minorities out of Denmark to escape the NAZIs during WWII). 


        On a trip to Colorado, Chuck Meeder visited a couple of sawmills and came back with some cottonwood that was turned into a bench with maple legs.  The joinery was mortise and tenon and half blind dovetails.  Chuck used two coats of Armorseal then five coats of finish.  The butterfly substitutes for a crack.  One member suggested several butterflys “in flight” – the, um, butterfly effect? 


    Bob Wink, known for his whimsical creations, dazzled members again with a short puppet show, a rodeo display and a well-known somebody giving the peace sign.  Like John Gay, Bob makes excellent use of “excess” wood.

     Rick Spacek showed a cross of Corian and an antler.  Using a 2/0 spiral scroll saw blade Rick carved out the take-down details into the horn of a buck.  Rick stated that he carefully held the antler while scroll sawing, not using clamps or a vice. 

  Ron Matherly showed his first of eight chairs of mesquite.  At least Ron will have one to sit on while resting.  The leather is stamped to look like ostrich – real ostrich leather is expensive.  Ron praised his Festool Domino machine for all the mortise and tenon work, “like shooting fish in a barrel”.  The inlay for the back was made on a CNC machine.  Ron will seal with shellac and finish with polyurethane – done to match a table that Ron also made. 


A friend of Charles Volek asked him to make a horse for his granddaughter.  So, from a Kathy Weiss pattern, Charles crafted this intarsia girl on a white horse with black mane.  Since polyurethane tends to darken the maple Charles used polyacrylic.

With only a camera to capture the pattern Charles made some owls and then more owls with the leftover wood.  Now Charles has something to hoot about.

  Keeping up with the toy effort, Bill Harris showed a few from about 200 toy cars that he crafted from “excess” wood.  

    George Alderete purchased some postal box doors from ebay and repurposed them into coin banks – with working combinations, no less. George used zebrawood, mahogany and walnut then sealed with Armorseal.  For joinery George used his Domino machine.


  A very nice cutting board crafted by Mark Womack is his first attempt at detailed woodworking – well done, Mark!  Mark cut all pieces to dimension on his table saw, stressing the importance of a straight fence – a reminder that we all need. Intending to install feet to the board, this board will be a Mother’s day gift – yes, for his Mother. 



Projects shown at an impromptu Show n Tell preceeding the July 2016 Jim Heavey seminar:


David Janowitz - Rolling Pin


Rick Spacek - Scroll Work Cross


Rebecca DeGroot - Wood Sculpture



Lon Kelley - Bowl


Photos and commentary:  Gary Rowen            

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