May’s Meeting


by David Waters

May’s meeting will be a presentation and demonstration of the Multi-Router by Tony Bradley, manager of the Woodworking Shop of Hickory. This meeting will be held at the usual time and place (the Woodworking Shop of Charlotte, 6:00 PM on Monday, May 17).

This presentation promises to be chock-full of information for us. We hope to see you there.


Members’ Gallery

by Dave Lewis

A note of thanks to Jeffrey Hollis for contributing photographs of some of his projects to the Member’s Gallery Notebook and the Web Page Gallery (ash artist’s easel). 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.


Program Committee

by Dave Waters

In a continuing effort to improve the association’s agenda, the CWA Program Committee is in dire need of presenters and sources of information. If you have a name or an idea, please provide it to David Waters at the next meeting. We are still in need of several programs for upcoming meetings, and your input can help.

Last Month’s Meeting

"Charlotte Hardwood Center"

by David Waters

We would like to thank the Charlotte Hardwood Center for hosting April’s presentation on the hardwood industry. Pat Altham of Hickory Hardwood spoke to us about the process that provides us with the lumber we use, from the selective harvesting, through the final milling and sizing. Hickory Hardwood is a wholesaler to CHC.

Once trees have been harvested, they’ll go through a debarker, a head rig, an edger, and a double end trimmer before being set out to dry. Wood is then air dried to a moisture content of 26% to 28%, then kiln dried to 6% to 8% MC. The whole process takes up to 13 months for lumber in this region.

During the presentation, we learned that CHC is not just a local retailer, but is also the flagship of a group of seven stores throughout the region. These are all brought together under one name on the web at

CHC surprised about 80 of us by providing a veritable smorgasbord of refreshments. Thanks go out to CHC, and to Guy Bradford for organizing the meeting.

Bonus Presentation!

Dick Thomas also spoke with us briefly on the perils and pitfalls of case hardening. Having recently completed a project in which case hardening in walnut ruined his work, Dick found himself the resident expert and warned us to check for this before utilizing the wood in question in a project. Dick stressed that the wood did NOT come from the Charlotte Hardwood Center.

Classified Section


For Sale: Delta 12" Portable Planer with new and used knives for the machine. Price: $150. Call Richard Curley at 597-8530.

For Sale: Grizzly 6" Jointer with new and used knives. Has a mobile base included. Price: $250. Call Richard Curley at 597-8530.

For Sale: Chestnut lumber for sale - quite a bit available. Priced according to how much you want to buy. Call Hank Moon at 846-1671.

Services Available: Do you need your chisels or plane blades ground and squared up? Done with a water-cooled stone so there is no burning of the steel. Call Jack Coobs at 821-9737.

Services Available: Wide drum sander available, I can handle up to 36" wide. Bob Reading 821-7868.

For Sale: Ware Schiefer has a Hammond GlideSaw in good to excellent condition that he will give away if someone will pick it up from his garage. If you are not familiar with the Hammond saw, it is a sliding table saw (8") that was used in the old printing industry to cut lynotype. It is extremely accurate for crosscutting and was highly sought after by precision woodworkers. This saw is solid cast iron and therefore is very heavy - it would take several strong people to load. The saw is powered by a 1HP – 3 phase motor, which could be replaced by a single phase motor fairly easily. Call (704) 366-7249, evenings and weekends.

The Classified Section will run ads in these departments: for sale, wanted, services available, help wanted, for trade. Please send your request to the editor by the 5th day of the month for inclusion in the next newsletter.


New Librarian

by Jeffrey Hollis


A note of thanks and congratulations go out to Ralph Lombard, who has graciously volunteered to be the CWA librarian. Members are reminded that book titles can be checked out for a month free of charge, and that videos are $1.00 a month for rental.



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  


Working Wood in the 18th Century

by Donald Richardson

CWA member Donald Richardson recently attended a seminar called "Working Wood in the 18th Century", presented by the Williamsburg Foundation. This was advertised in Fine Woodworking, and was attended by over 200 people from as far away as California and Canada. Donald says it was a very good experience and you got to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff at Williamsburg, including the raw timber all the way to tool making.

One of the outcomes of this seminar was a follow-up letter discussing the possibility of creating a Society of American Period Furniture Makers. The letter reads (in part),

At this point, the Society is in its earliest stages, and is soliciting input and support from woodworkers with an interest in making and reproducing period-style furniture. The Society of American Period Furniture Makers Founders’ Committee can be reached by contacting either W. Mickey Callahan at 703-449-8549 ( or Steven M. Lash at 248-851-6255 ( Since this society is in its infancy, I’m sure they would welcome any questions you may have.


by Jeffrey Hollis

Since the beginning of April, the CWA has attracted an additional five new members. We’d like to welcome Richard Felkner, Don Frangenberg, Mike Getter, Sam Watson, Jr., and Paul Wyse.

Please stop by the secretary’s table before or after the next meeting if you have not filled out an application. This will allow us to better know your interests and skills, which 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.


Are You Prepared for Y2K?

a Woodworking Contest

Picture yourself in the workshop. Not a difficult task, I’m sure. It’s getting late on December 31, and it’s chilly outside. You don’t mind though, because you’ve got the electric heater and the lights are burning bright. You’re busily working on the latest project for your spouse, because it’s the only way you can justify being in the shop. The Unisaw is humming along as you prepare to rip some quartersawn oak. Suddenly, it’s LIGHTS OUT! Your saw is winding down, the heater’s getting cold, and you’re in the dark. Welcome to Y2K!

Okay, maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but what happens if you lose power in the shop? Spend quality time with your wife? (Eww, girl germs!)

Seriously, what kind of projects could you make that could become invaluable items, should the worst happen? Here’s the contest: design a practical Y2K-oriented gift to be given at Christmas. Use your imagination: wall sconces for candles, storage racks or cabinets for provisions, lighting alternatives...

The best idea (and effort) will receive a $50 gift certificate redeemable at the sponsor of your choice. Second and third place prizes will be awarded as well, and we’ll publish our findings on the net, thus sharing our knowledge worldwide. The tentative due date for entries will be at the August meeting (August 16, 1999).

Government Leftovers

How to Buy Government Surplus

Portions of this article originally appeared in Popular Woodworking (March 1998).

Every US military base in the world has to build things from wood. Many of the bases even have woodshops that personnel can use for pleasure in their spare time. What happens to all those woodworking tools when a base closes or if there isn’t enough interest in the hobby shop to keep it open? Once a base decides it can no longer use the tools, they go into a system where they eventually end up for sale to you.

The US military sold more than 600 woodworking tools to private citizens in 1996, according to the US Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service. The military sells everything you would need for your home shop: cabinet saws, mortising machines, power sanders, routers, jointers, planers, band saws and lathes. The quality, of course, runs the full range – some are still in the box, some have been broken in (some more than others), and some are good only for spare parts or melting down.

The hardest part about buying tools from the government is finding the tools and figuring out how to buy them. Some tools are available in military-run retail stores that are either on or near the bases. Some are for sale by sealed bid. Still others are sold at auction. Here’s how to hunt them down and get in touch with the folks who’ll sell them to you.

If you’ve got a computer and you’re on line, you’ve got a good start. [If not, read on. You can still get information by phone.] The easiest way of finding surplus tools is to visit the web site of the US Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service ( ). This is the central clearinghouse for all surplus military equipment that is going up for public sale. This is where you can buy cargo trucks, clothing, printers, bricks, fire hose, you name it!

Once at the site, go to the "Private Company or Individual" section, then to the "DRMS Property" section. You’ll then be asked how you want to search for the inventory. The best way is to use the DRMO Site, then the Federal Supply Class (FSC) number. Woodworking equipment generally falls under these three FSC categories:

Once you get this far, you’ll find a list of tools with their locations, stock and document numbers, quantities for sale, RSC codes, and condition codes. The stock and document numbers are specific identifiers for the individual item, like a serial number. The RSC code indicates how the tool is to be sold ("J" indicates retail sale through a military-run store, "A" or "B" indicate the tool is up for bid or will be soon). The condition code indicates roughly the shape it’s in. The best tools are in condition "A1" (not used). "A6" means that the tool will soon need repairs. As the letters get higher (C, D, E, up to H), the condition of the tool gets worse. Any tool with a code higher than "D6" needs repairs.

When you’ve found what you’re looking for, it’s time to call the Defense Reutilization Marketing Office (DRMO) at the base (check the web page, the phone book, or call 1-888-352-9333). The people there will be able to tell you if the tool is to be sold at auction, through sealed bid, or by some other means.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still contact the local DRMO (as above, or check the blue pages of the phone book). The office should be able to tell you about upcoming sales that include woodworking tools. Some DRMOs actually print up catalogues prior to auctions. Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble getting through – some of these offices are only open a few hours a day or on weekends.

This is just one way to fill out the spaces in your workshop. Be prepared to travel, because the web site lists tools at bases all over the world. At last count, though, there were over three dozen tools of varying quality shown, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Shop Health & Safety

by Jeffrey Hollis

Several months ago, I began a column devoted to health & safety in the shop. After discussing this topic with the CWA officers, we’ve decided to focus more attention on shop safety. One of our future meeting presentations will be devoted to the subject. In the meantime, I plan to continue this column as a series dedicated to your safety.

I’d like to discuss hearing protection and conservation. While OSHA regulations allow for up to eight hours continuous exposure to of up to 85 decibels, I think that you’d get a headache being at that level for any significant length of time. To put this in perspective, some relative noise levels are presented as follows:

Obviously, this presents an AVERAGE noise level experienced for each of these activities. Fine Homebuilding recently rated belt sanders, showing a range of 92 dB to 104 dB among nine different brands. And a drill press is going to be much less noisy than a router. What can you do?

Well, I hope you’re already using hearing protection of some form or another. Hearing protection falls under two major categories – earmuffs and earplugs.

Earmuffs consist of two padded cups that have a flexible bar connecting each one and serve to squeeze them against your ears. A plastic seal and the foam padding prevent much of the sound from reaching your inner ears. Some earmuffs allow the user to rotate the band to the back, keeping it off the top of your head. Some users complain that earmuffs slip too much when you’re working up a sweat, or that they squeeze too tight against your head, causing headaches when worn for long periods of time. Another problem using earmuffs is that they don’t form a tight seal around your ear if you’re wearing safety glasses. A new product called the Optimuff fits like standard earmuffs, but have a built-in frame for replaceable lenses which wearers may find more comfortable.

Another option for hearing protection is earplugs. Usually made of an expanding foam, earplugs are rolled tightly, then inserted directly into the ear canal. They allow for the comfortable use of safety glasses, and don’t squeeze against your head. However, some complain that the expanding pressure of earplugs can cause discomfort inside the ear. Also, earplugs are easy to misplace, and you may not want to wear them more than once or twice. Some earplugs, however, have a thin cord connecting the two pieces, allowing you to drape them around your neck when not in use.

Both types of products have varying degrees of efficiency, ranging from 21 dB to 33 dB noise reduction. You can double up by using plugs with the muffs, but the additional improvement in noise reduction is only about 3 dB. Earplugs generally provide better noise reduction, by an average of 3 dB.

A little-recognized advantage to using hearing protection in a noisy environment is that you can actually hear conversation better with your tools running. Earmuffs and earplugs are most efficient in the upper frequencies, where power tools make their most noise. This allows lower frequencies, such as the human voice, to reach your ears fairly easily. Of course, this may not be an advantage when you’re being told it’s time to come in for the night!


Remember – May’s Meeting will be at the Woodworking Shop of Charlotte at 6:00 PM on Monday, May 17, 1999


CWA Supporters



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!