Regional Chapter Coordinator
Pattern Maker retired
We had another very successful Great Lakes Chapter meeting held at the Livonia Senior Center. There were 26 members in attendance, the largest group to date.
Ed Stuckey opened the meeting, welcoming everyone and giving an SAPFM update. Next Bruce Beck gave us an update on the Williamsburg conference. Bruce does this at all our meetings, which is very informative.
I invited Peter Gayner, who is not a member of SAPFM, to give a presentation on Gilding. He is extremely knowledgeable on the subject and his talk was well organized and very informative. Everyone learned a great deal from his presentation.
After lunch, Dan Reahard demonstrated carving a shell on the knee of a cabriole leg. Dan is a phenomenal carver and explained the process so that everyone understood the process.
Next, David Cook presented the use of chemicals in the staining process. He showed how to use Nitric Acid, Chromium Trioxide, Potassium Permanganate, Steel wool and Vinegar, and Sodium Hydroxide, in staining various woods. Since chemicals were used in period furniture for staining this was a very informative talk.
Ed Stuckey showed a DVD video of Steve Lash’s furniture which Ed had filmed earlier at the home of Steve and his wife Carol. This is an ongoing series of filming furniture at various members’ homes. It gives the members a chance to see what others have built and are currently working on. Steve was at the meeting to answer any questions. I would like to thank Steve and Carol for allowing me to video tape their beautiful furniture. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the video.
Dave Bailey and Jim Crammond gave a presentation on the construction techniques of banding used in Federal Style furniture. Jim gave a history in the use of banding and then Dave show how to make several styles. Jim finally showed how to set the banding into the field using a plough plane. This was another wonderful and informative presentation.
After the meeting on Saturday about 18 members and their spouses attended a dinner at Bennigan’s. We had a great time and a wonderful dinner.
On Sunday the first presentation was by Bill Rigstad who gave us a power point presentation on his shop. It was informative and gave members some good ideas in things they could incorporate into their shops.
Finally, we had a 2 hour round table discussion on how to do research when selecting a piece of period furniture to build. Dale Ausherman started it off by asking a number of questions on a Queen Anne table he would like to build. Where to find dimension, types of wood and source, period hardware, does have to a strict reproduction, or can it be changed. Types of glue, stains and finishes. How to develop plans.
This led to a lively discussion and interaction between the members. Ed Stuckey, Dan Reahard and Rich Eschebach, brought materials on pieces they are currently working on. They were a Newport Highboy, Philadelphia Highboy and a Philadelphia Tall Case Clock respectively. Each shared how they obtained the information necessary to build each piece. This session was facilitated by Bob Compton who had the original idea to have this format. Thanks to Bob, because this turned out to be a very successful session. In fact we plan to do another one at our Fall meeting.
We wrapped up the day with ideas and presenters for our next meeting in the Fall, 2008. One idea that Joe Trippi had was to select a piece that members could build and work on it collectively. For example, one group working on the legs, one on the drawers and one on the carcass, etc. As a collective we would select a piece, research it and develop plans for its construction. This would be a great learning tool for members just starting to build period pieces. This could take a few years to complete but well worth the effort. I had one more idea that I have not shared with the group yet. When we have completed the piece we would to donate it to Children’s Hospital in Detroit. They have an annual auction to raised funds for providing extra services for the children.
I would like to sincerely thank all of the presenters for their wonderful and inspiring presentations. We have such great talent in the group who are willing to share their knowledge and time. And thank you for all the members who attended.