September Newsletter


Bruce is planning an advance table saw class where he will teach how to make raised panels box joints etc.

One Special Christmas is fast approaching. We encourage our members to make and donate “something” which is auctioned off to raise money for a local family. The money is then used for various items such as electronics/school laptops and supplies.

The Christmas Party is set for December 18 at Brixx Restaurant uptown (225 East 6th St). Free parking is next to the restaurant. Just save your ticket and have it validated inside.

It was a busy month for the Club. We had exhibition booths at both Matthews Alive and Festival in the Park events. Our participation serves as a membership drive and to promote woodworking. The Club owes many thanks to the people who donated their weekend time as demonstrators or greeters. We expect to acquire many news members due their efforts of the volunteers. When you see a new face in the shop shake their hand and welcome them to the Club. Make them feel at home.

Matthews Alive

Mike Smith Showed kids the proper use of the Japanese Pull Saw. He made his T-puzzle and challenged the kids to assemble it. After they were frustrated he gave them a hint.

There are videos on the website on how to make both his Box and T-puzzles

Fred Miller did double Duty at Matthews Alive. He demonstrated how to make hand-cut dovetails (above) and explained the purpose and use of the Shaving Saw Horse.

2X4 Contest

Show & Tell

Mike Smith with mesquite clock
For show and tell Mike showed off his clock made with mesquite wood. Because the wood is rated at 2345 on the Janka Hardness scale it is difficult to work.  The tar from the wood also has many medicinal uses.

In addition to the contest Mike Smith showed off his clock made of mesquite wood. Since mesquite wood is 2345 on the Janka Hardness scale (twice as hard as oak) it is difficult to work. On a side note the black tar of the wood, when diluted with water has many medicinal uses such as eye wash, antiseptic for open wounds, chapped lips and as a sun burn lotion.

2X4 contest
Angled dovetail box

Bruce also described how to make the angled dovetails on his box. He also spoke on the differences between dye and stain. Dye is absorbed into the wood fibers. It gives a more consistent color but not recommended for wood food utensils. Stain is actually made of particles that stay in the grain. Color can be built up with each layer and is most effective with open grain woods. One reason to use a stain or dye is to make one type of wood look like another.

Festival in the Park

George Thomas, Christian Bettendorf, and John Arnaud, gave demonstrations at the Club’s booth at Festival in the Park.

While bands played in the Amphitheater at the Festival, George Thomas displayed and spoke about making a guitar at our booth.

Bob Fields gave a demonstration on how to use this Shaving Horse and draw knife. After making a doorstop, he gave them away as souvenirs of the Festival

Hand Made Guitar
George Thomas shows off his award-winning handmade guitar. He remarked it takes about 328 hours to make one
Scroll Work
Christian Bettendorf shows off his scroll saw work
John Arnaud
John Arnaud
Shaving Horse
Shaving Horse

In the Shop

Fred Miller showing a new member (Nifemi Ogunro) how to use a lathe. In no time she was on her own making small bowl type containers.

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Due to the limited number of repair shops in the area, Doug Rink is making a repair on his planner


Board Nominations & Elections

At the October club meeting, we will be taking nominations for board members.  If you have an interest in serving the club, talk with someone about getting a nomination.  All terms for office are for one year beginning with the fiscal year.  There are seven board positions including Four officers, past president, two At Large Members.  Nominations will occur at the October meeting and we will be voting at the November meeting.


September Presentation: Making Furniture from Live Edge Wood

Demonstrating a Live Edge Slab

Presenter: Damon Barron

Damon Barron from Carolina Urban Lumber / Treecycle America presented at our September meeting.  Live edge slabs are very popular and Damon has delivered 4 tables just in the last month and has completed more than 290 to date.

We learned that in our region, bark will come off of the piece about 99% of the time. The only exception to this is when a tree is felled in February and when not working with wood more than 12 feet above the trunk.  This the period when the tree is dormant and the live part of the true essentially forms a glue that helps the bark stay on a dead tree.  For this reason, Damon removes most of the bark from his tables.

Preparing a piece involves cleaning the edges where the bark was located.  The easiest and best solution is to use a stiff bristle brush after removing the bark with a putty knife and mallette.

In flattening a slab, one of the most difficult things to work are knots.  They are always present and will usually result in some form of movement in the wood while it is drying. Sometimes it will crack.  Other times, it will crack the entire slab if it is in the right spot.  These can also cause the wood to curl. When working with a curl, it is generally a good idea to take the same amount of wood off both sides of the slab.  Otherwise, a cup will form due to the change in the wood stresses.  Leaving a slab in the sun will also result in a cup.

Demonstrating the finishing process of a live edge slab.

Damon shared a story with us of a large slab he put in the sun which resulted in a huge cup and it took a number of days of flipping the slap to resolve the issue, but he was eventually able to get the cup reduced enough to finish the piece.  The sun can do a lot of damage and can create a lot of extra work in dealing with large slabs of lumber. The choice of wood does make a difference. Cedar almost never warps and rarely moves.  It also has a very low moisture content so it is an ideal wood for these projects. Large slabs require a lot of drying and therefore patience.  Keep it out of the sun, wind, and rain. Once the moisture content is down to 20% put it in the kiln. Never put different sizes in the kiln at the same time because they will dry at different rates.

Live edge slaps are very heavy and will require a hefty base.  Damon uses metal frames for most of his tables, but trestle bases are also popular.  When fastening the legs, it is important not to over-tighten the screws and washers.  The weight of the slab will generally keep it from moving and the screws are simply there to insure it stays in the right place over the legs.

The picture to the right shows the various levels of sanding that Damon performs on his pieces.  This demonstrates a rough CNC surface, 25 minutes Rough Sanded, 25 minutes of 80 grit sanding, 25 minutes  of 120 grit sanding and finally 35 minutes of 150 grit sanding before wrapping up the finish.

Damon finishes his work with a two-part conversion varnish, but will sometimes use a water-based varnish instead.