THE CHARLOTTE SAWDUST         March 1999


March’s Meeting

“Hand-Cut Dovetails”

by David Waters and Bob Reading


March’s meeting topic will be a presentation by Jack Coobs on hand-cut dovetails.  Jack is a professional woodworker who works on a commission basis. Jack’s also been running classes on hand-cut dovetails at the Woodcraft store in Matthews.  In the recent past, Jack has given us presentations on inlay work and veneering.  Jack’s work is also featured in our gallery of members’ work. 



Members’ Gallery

by Dave Lewis


A note of thanks to Larry Edwards, Bob Meunier and Bob Lacy for contributing photographs of some of their projects to the Member’s Gallery Notebook and the Web Page Gallery.  Check them out at the next meeting or on the web at:

Your fellow members are doing some very interesting work.  Take a look for ideas and share photos of your projects with us. 



Pick Up That Pen

By Dave Lewis


When you folks come up with a new fixture in your shop or have a new or different way to accomplish a task, how about jotting it down and sending it to me so we can put it in the HOW TO section of your WEB PAGE?  If you wish to include photographs, that would be great.  Sketches are welcome.  We will draw them up for publication.  Let's share those ideas even if you think they aren't too important.



Last Month’s Meeting

“Claw & Ball Carving”

by David Waters


We would like to thank John McAlister for February’s presentation on Claw & Ball Carving.  About 89 members and guests attended.  John began the presentation by showing the two-step process for bandsawing the legs, which includes the re-attachment of the cutoffs before rotating the leg 90 to cut the remaining stock.  The re-attachment can be done with brads or double-sided tape.  This provides stability of the piece on the worktable and makes everything square for the second set of cuts.  The stock begins at 15/8 inches square, and the leg ends up at about 1 inch square after shaping.


Once the general shape of the leg has been realized, one draws the talons or foot, followed by the ball, which gets centered around the remaining stock at the bottom of the leg.  Then the creative process really begins – carving.  Some of the tools John uses for this step include chisel and mallet, parting tools, #3 sweep (in and 3/8 inch sizes), and sandpaper.  John shapes the ball first, then moves on to the talon.  The knee of the leg is then relief carved from the stock.


John says that the old masters used both relief carving and applied carving on their projects.  Real antiques experts can even tell who actually did the carving, so distinctive are the styles used.  John estimates approximately one hour of carving per foot.


John had recently made a reproduction of a Goddard-Townsend secretary, for which Fine Woodworking Magazine honored him with the back cover.  He was featured in the April 1998 issue (no. 129).

Classified Section




For Sale:  15” Task Force Scroll Saw.  Price: $50.

Dual Squirrel Cage blower, ideal for making a shop dust filter system.  Price: FREE.  Call Dave Lewis at 541-0411, during the day please.


Wanted:  The Charlotte Woodworkers Association is looking for a librarian.  This position needs to be filled, and soon.  Please see any of the officers at the next meeting if you are at all interested.  Thank you!


The Classified Section welcomes your ads in these four departments: 

for sale, wanted, help wanted, for trade.  Please send your request to the editor by the 5th day of the month for inclusion in the next newsletter.



Support Our Supporters

by Jeffrey Hollis


Our supporters provide an important benefit to the membership of the CWA.  There are two categories of businesses that support the CWA: 

Contributors support the CWA by hosting meetings and providing raffle and giveaway items. 

Sponsors offer members a discount on merchandise or services.

- this month’s featured supporter -

Woodcraft, (704) 847-8300

In addition to the catalogues Woodcraft sends many of us on a regular basis, they also have a retail store located in Windsor Square in Matthews, NC.  Besides carrying approximately 90% of the 7,000 items you’ll find in the catalogue, Woodcraft also carries things you won’t find in the catalogues.  Dennis Kent says the store offers classes every month, and carries a selection of hardwoods and exotics available as dimensioned wood and as small blanks for turning or other projects.  You’ll find hand tools, clock supplies, workbenches, finishing supplies, dust collection equipment, and a variety of power tools and accessories.  They also sharpen carbide saw blades.  The store is open weekdays from 9 AM to 7 PM (except Thursdays, until 9 PM), Saturdays from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays from 12 PM to 5 PM.  Please support this supporter!


Please note: DUES ARE DUE!!  This is your final notice to bring your $15.00 to Dave Terpening at the next meeting Monday night.  If you have not paid dues by March 31, 1999, this will be your last issue of the Charlotte Sawdust.  Thank you!




c/o The Woodworking Shop
116 M Freeland Lane
Charlotte, N. C. 28217

revised October 17, 1997

Purpose:          The Charlotte WOODWORKERS Association, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1983 as an informal association of interested woodworkers.  It is the aim of the association to promote excellence in woodworking by teaching techniques, developing individual skills and fostering interest in our craft. 

Membership: Membership shall be open to anyone with an interest in woodworking.  A person shall be considered a member upon submitting a written application for membership and payment of annual dues. 

Dues:               In order to provide for the administrative costs of the association, it shall be necessary to assess annual membership dues.  To maintain membership in good standing, dues must be paid by January 1st each year, past due February 28th.  Those individuals joining the association after February 1st. will be assessed dues on a pro-rated basis. Only paid-up members will receive a monthly newsletter of upcoming meetings.  Dues may be adjusted as necessary by the elected officers of the association.  Current annual dues: $15.00.

Meetings:        Meetings shall be held monthly.  Meetings will be scheduled for the third Monday night of the month. The social period will start at 5:30 PM and the meeting will begin at 6:00 PM.   Meeting  locations will be announced in prior months’ newsletters.  Special events and activities will be scheduled on occasion and members will be notified by newsletter.

Officers:          Association officers will be nominated from the members in good standing and elected by the membership to serve for a term of one year.  Elections will be held in November and the term of office will run from January 1st to December 31st.


                        President: who shall have the overall responsibility for the administration of the association.

                        Vice-President: who shall be responsible for the scheduling and arrangements for programs.  He will also serve as chairman of the program committee.  He will perform the duties of the president in his absence.

                        Secretary: who shall be responsible for recording association activities.  He will also maintain the association mailing list.   He is responsible for writing the monthly newsletter and for mailing the newsletter ten (10) days prior to the meeting.  He will maintain the official association calendar.  

                        Treasurer: who shall be responsible for all financial matters of the association, including the collection of dues, disbursements of funds and preparation of necessary tax documents.  He will keep an annual record of dues collection and advise the secretary monthly of delinquent dues payments.

Succession: In the event an office is vacated, an election by the membership shall be held at the next scheduled association meeting to fill the vacancy, excluding that of the president whose position shall be filled by the vice president.  An election would then be held to fill the position of vice president.

Program Committee: shall consist of at least five (5) association members in good standing who shall be responsible for planning programs for monthly meetings as well as special activities.  They will meet as required to prepare programs.  Monthly programs will be planned at least three (3) months in advance and the vice president shall advise the secretary of planned meeting dates, topics and location.

Storage Space Rental Revisited

by Jeffrey Hollis


Robert Reading approached the CWA back in January with the idea of the CWA renting a storage space (probably 10 ft x 20 ft) to store bulk quantities of lumber for the Association.  This would allow the CWA to acquire large volumes of lumber at a savings which can be passed on to members.  Due to time constraints, we were unable to present this at the February meeting.  The issue will be brought up for a vote at the March meeting, so bring any questions or concerns with you at that time.




by Jeffrey Hollis


Since the beginning of February, the CWA has attracted an additional 13 new members. We’d like to welcome the following:


Posey Downs

Maxine Pennell

Reginald Lanier

Doug Davis

David Hamelink

John Lake

Donald Bynum

Tony Lamb

Wayne Goodwin

Dick Thomas

Jim Dotson

Mike Hinson

Charles Hovey


Some new members have not filled out an application.  Please stop by the secretary’s table before or after the next meeting and do so.  This will allow us to better know your interests and skills.  This, in turn, helps us to plan a better schedule of programs for you.  In addition, you’ll need your membership card to receive sponsors’ benefits.  Please see Dave Terpening, CWA Treasurer, for your card.



1999 CWA Officers


President :              John Graham          704-588-8450

VP / Programs :      Dave Waters          704-871-1609

Treasurer :              Dave Terpening      704-541-5729

Secretary :              Jeffrey Hollis           704-596-2874


Turn a Hobby into a Business?

By Joel Stopha


The following article, originally entitled “Two Paths to Building Your Business, the One You Choose Could Make All the Difference”, is reprinted here with the author’s permission from Woodshop News’ December 1998 issue.


Many woodworking Professionals began their business the same way – as hobbyists who wanted to make a living (or at least a partial living) doing for profit what they do for pleasure.  For some, the transition is straightforward and immediately profitable.  But for the vast majority it is challenging and often frustrating.


Why is it a simple process for a few and challenge for most?  Two reasons:  research and planning.  The first step is to thoroughly understand why you want to make the transition in the first place.  Sit down and write out your reasons.  Then prioritize, using numbers to assign degree of importance.  For example:


Why do I want to start my own woodworking business?

         To replace lost income (unemployed or layoff potential) (7).

         I receive compliments on work I’ve completed (8).

         I would like to diversify my income (1).

         I always wanted to be my own boss (3).

         There is a market opportunity in the area (5).

         To make more money and set my own worth (2).

         I really enjoy making wooden products (4).

         I want to spend more time around home (6).


A word of caution: If “enjoy making wooden products” is your highest priority, find a job with a wood shop that makes those products.  If you start a business, you’ll quickly find you spend far less time “making wooden products” and far more time handling business details.  This is the biggest surprise to the hobbyist turned business owner.


The self-discovery process of listing and prioritizing your reasons will reveal some areas that need research.  A few concerns might be:

         How do my prices and work compare to the competition’s?

         Can I keep my present job or business and do woodworking part-time until I grow the business?

         If I am unemployed or become unemployed, how quickly can I begin to generate an income?

         What are the opportunities in the local/regional markets?


You can add a multitude of concerns, so make sure you explore all factors that are important to you.


Once you can confidently answer some or all of the concerns, consider what you are getting yourself into.


Are you prepared for a significant change in lifestyle?  Revenues in business don’t come in with the regularity of a weekly paycheck.  Will you be able to make the car or truck payment (or any other payments) if you go a month or two without income?  If not, consider selling the vehicle  (or whatever) and buying something you can pay cash for.  If you are not willing to live well below your norm for a period, business ownership may not be for you.


Are you willing to give up some of your privacy?  When you are getting started, you may have to use your home phone line as a business line, as well.  Are you willing to be interrupted at 9:30 on Saturday evening by a potential customer?  If your shop is located next to your home, are you willing to have people knocking on your door early in the morning, late in the evening and on weekends?


When your business is young, you never leave it mentally (and seldom physically).  Are you prepared for long days?  A 40-hour week is almost nonexistent for the owner of a small business.  Sixty to 80 hours is more typical.


It almost goes without saying, but your family’s unconditional support is crucial.  They must understand why you are doing this, that you’ll be working many hours, that they will be expected to answer the phone politely and take messages, and that there may be a loss of privacy at your home.  Support and encouragement are vital when a business is struggling, and could be the difference between success and failure.


Marketing research and planning are critical, too.  You must get solid answers to these questions:

         How big is the local/regional market for my product(s)?

         What are the purchasing trends?

         Who buys the types of products I am considering making?

a)      What are their income levels and trends?

b)      What lifestyles do they follow?

c)      What associated products are purchased with my products?

d)      What are their age ranges?

e)      What is their gender breakdown?

         What price do customers pay for similar products?

         Why will customers buy my products over those of my competitors?


There are many publications dedicated to market research technique.  One I would suggest is “The American Marketing Association’s AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Marketing,” by Kenneth J. Cook.  You’ll find step-by-step instructions and forms.  To help nonprofessionals with simple consumer market research.


Once you’ve identified a market, a business plan should be developed to determine the financial feasibility of your venture.  A business plan forces you to look closely at the future – the potential for profitability and the possible challenges that await you.  Writing this plan will put you in touch with the realities of your new business.  You’ll also be creating a guide that you can use and revise for yourself and share with others who may have financial interest in your business.


One skill that must be honed if you are going to turn your hobby into a business is the skill – or maybe it’s an art – of developing relationships.  When it’s a hobby, woodworking is practiced at a leisurely pace, but when it’s a business, deadlines must be met.  Your attitudes about people and about your work must change if you are going to succeed.


Customers can be very demanding, and the rapport you develop with your initial clients can have a long-term impact, because word-of-mouth referrals are crucial.


We haven’t even touched on the issues of taxes, tax reporting, employees, zoning, and all the other legal requirements that must be considered and which often deter the average Joe from starting a business.  However, I hope you have started to understand the importance of research and planning.


Joel Stopha can be contacted at

CWA Supporters

a Complete Listing



Mr. Ron Davis

4250 Golf Acres Drive

Charlotte, NC  28208

704-394-9479                (contributing / sponsor)



Mr. Richard Williams, President

420 West Palmer Street

Charlotte, NC  28203

704-333-0527                (sponsor – sharpening only)



Mr. Larry Hinshaw

3230L Piper Lane

Charlotte, NC  28208

704-357-9929                (contributing / sponsor)



Mr. Robert Boland, Manager

4115 Monroe Road

Charlotte, NC  28205

704-333-3130                (sponsor)


Mr. David Boyuka

1725 Windsor Square Drive

Matthews, NC  28105

704-847-8300                (contributing)



Mr. Marc Saunders, Manager

116M Freeland Lane

Charlotte, NC  28217


(contributing / sponsor – except power tools & lumber)



Mr. Martin C. Dowdy, General Manager

4200 Barringer Drive

Charlotte, NC  28217

704-527-4071                (sponsor)


Show your CWA membership card at any of the listed places to receive benefits (except for Woodcraft, which is unable to provide sponsorship in the form of discounts). 


Remember to support our supporters!