Author Topic: SAPFM-ORV Fall 2014 Meeting Minutes - Part I - Corrected  (Read 1345 times)

Dale Ausherman

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SAPFM-ORV Fall 2014 Meeting Minutes - Part I - Corrected
« on: November 04, 2014, 12:08:52 PM »
Society of American Period Furniture Makers
Ohio River Valley Chapter
2014 Fall Meeting
University of Rio Grande

(As reported by Dale Ausherman)

Friday afternoon traffic jams and heavy rain were long forgotten by the time the Ohio River Valley (ORV) Chapter opened the meeting doors on a beautiful fall Saturday in southern Ohio. Meeting on October 11 and 12 in the wood-shop facilities of the University of Rio Grande, we had another awesome meeting with socializing, tool sales, shared project experiences, learning of new methods and materials, and great evening food and drink. Fortunately Chapter lead David Conley had not been put off in scheduling by the occurrence nearby of the annual Bob Evans Farm Festival, as hotel rooms and restaurant space proved readily available. And the Bob Evans event proved a great side activity for accompanying spouses. We had over 30 in attendance, including nine students from the University of Rio Grande Fine Woodworking Technology program.  The ORV Chapter has a great collaborative relationship with Rio Grande, as we benefit from great shop facilities for the meeting, and tremendous meeting facilitation and instruction by their talented staff, while their students benefit from seeing professional and amateur woodworkers pursuing the recreation of period furniture.  Special thanks to Eric Matson, Mark Nelson, and their students for meeting set up and support. Their advance work in meeting preparation allows us to focus on meeting content during our precious hours together.

The meeting started with a session of socializing and informal “hands-on” discussion of member’s recent efforts, and any project results or tool/jigs they brought to the meeting.  As part of this session we generally have a couple of members with a variety of tools for sale, and due to the inherent good nature and cooperation of SAPFM members we have avoided fistfights over who gets to buy the real gems. I have never come home from one of these ORV meetings without some treasured item. Following this informal “mixer” the meeting continued with round-robin member presentations of projects, jigs, and special methods. The meeting included a bandsaw demonstration lead by David Boeff and joined by Rio Grande staff, including jigs, re-sawing, compensating for drift and other techniques. This was followed by an in-depth presentation by musical instrument maker Dean Posekany on the construction and finishing of a steel-string guitar. Sunday sessions included discussion and demonstrations of re-conditioning a (flea market) plane by Don Wood and descaling and electrolysis by Mike Holden.  The meeting concluded with an open discussion on Mahogany. (Meeting photos are posted nearby in the Forum.)

Charlie Watson kicked off the formal show and tell with discussion of a pair of beautifully executed Goddard inspired Queen Anne side chairs. These chairs were inspired by the pair of chairs described in the Keno brother’s book, Hidden Treasures. Those chairs were found in a chicken coup in about ten separate pieces, with a couple of missing pieces.  Even in this condition the chair pair sold for a six figure price (this was back in 1986!), and were restored for a top-end collector. Charlie made some modifications to suit his requirements, such as using a similar splat design from a Goddard corner chair he made previously.  He also made the ball and claw feet a little larger, and used the same stretcher shape but reduced in size for improved appearance to fit Charlie’s taste. He did a masterful job on matching grain patterns for the knee blocks, and the carvings were superb. The mahogany lumber came from Shiel’s Lumber in Cincinnati ( Charlie had put green felt on the bottoms of the legs to preserve his wood flooring at home.

Next up was Tod Herli, who has been contributing to many SAPFM chapter meetings across the country by giving demos and displaying his superb wooden molding and other planes. Tod was on his way home from his three-day plane-making class at the Olde Mill Cabinet Shoppe in York, PA. While Ted was not on the meeting agenda for a formal demonstration, we could all try out his planes. And throughout the meeting Tod showed the great performance of his planes by taking a swipe or two on any interesting piece of wood arising from other presentations. Tod had his plane-making DVD’s for sale, including a new one on Ogee planes. His work, products and advice are always a super addition to our meetings. John Herrel followed Tod with a presentation of inlaid wooden trays. John has made 16 of these trays in a variety of sizes, wood species and marquetry designs. He donated some of these trays for a silent church auction, and also some for the Artistry in Wood Show auction (Dayton), the proceeds of which support scholarships at the University of Rio Grande.

Doug Moulder (not Dave as I originally erroneously reported) picked up from John and continued the theme of hand-built molding planes. Dave’s interest in wooden molding planes was stimulated by Matthew Bickford demos at the 2013 Amana Handworks Woodworking Tools and Traditions meeting in Iowa. Dave followed up by making a full half set of hollow and rounds, 18 planes in all. He makes them from European beech with plane irons from Lie Nielsen.  He showed photos from a wood plane storage chest he made from excess Beech and some Walnut. Dave also had a panel raising plane he built from plans in the Willard “Bill” Anderson article “Make a Panel-raising Plane” in the November 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Dave used a split block method to simplify construction. He also had his version of a beautiful Thomas Jefferson lap desk, and showed photos of other projects including a spice box and a Queen Anne lowboy made from Norman Vandal plans in the February 1990 Issue (No. 80) of FWW Magazine.

Bryan Koppert, an industrial arts teacher from Loudonville, OH presented next. Bryan teaches woodworking, drafting, and electricity to students in grades 9 through 12. Bryan was invited to our meeting by David to share his work, as encouraging younger woodworkers is important to the future of SAPFM. He brought a hanging wall cabinet, a project he uses to teach the construction basics including raised panel doors and dovetailed drawers. The cabinet was made primarily of butternut with other secondary woods, and was designed to be hung with a French cleat. Bryan has graciously agreed to give us a drafting-by-hand refresher at our next ORV meeting.  Following Bryan Rio Grande student Chris Hedges shared with us a set of furniture plans from the shop of Albert Hudson. Mr. Hudson, in his 90’s, is a woodworker from Knoxville TN who has been building furniture for over 75 years. An interview with him can be found at He is a member of SAPFM and has a major desk/secretary posted on the SAPFM Member Gallery site. Mr. Hudson taught for many years at the local Woodcraft, and offered Chris these plans. Chris was offering these plans to anyone interested.  Another Rio Grande student, Eric Rauschenback, next described the period wall cabinet he will be building as part of the university program. He showed a photo of the original curly maple piece with key measurements. Eric indicates he will be constructing his recreation out of walnut or cherry. This will be a wonderful piece when completed.

I wait with great anticipation the arrival of Don Wood at the ORV meetings, as he invariably has unique and interesting tools for sale. Due to Don (and others) my wallet gets a lot thinner at these meetings. For show and tell Don had a version of a shop-built double-stemmed mortising gauge built from plans originally provided by Jim Crammond. Jim’s original design has the wedge enter from above, whereas Don’s latest version had the wedge enter from below. Dick Kammerer next described an on-going project to build the Federal sideboard recently published by Steve Latta in Fine Woodworking Magazine. (Build a Serpentine Sideboard; Part 1 #222 September 2011, Part 2 #224 December 8 2011.) Because of the difficulty in transporting such a large piece, Dick brought only a finished drawer, along with several photos. The challenges of this piece were the concave door fronts and the convex drawer fronts. Dick took a different method than Latta for the curved pieces, using laminated bendable plywood glued up with urea formaldehyde cured in a vacuum bag press, with veneer added front and back. Dick’s friend and SAPFM member Dick Reese had given Kammerer good advice on a UK source for the drawer pulls, saving about one half of the cost. As a finish Dick used Bartley Classic Reproductions ( gel stain (Pennsylvania Cherry and Yellow Pine), then sprayed lacquer. To keep the stain from coloring the white holly stringing and bell flowers, he used a small artist brush to pre-coat these surfaces.

Dan Pleska then took us in a musical direction with his report on the dulcimer he built for his wife. The sides of the instrument were made by laminating two layers of 1/16 in material, clamped onto a form.  The soundboard was made of figured Cherry, the fret board of Cocobolo, and the nut and bridge are made of Ebony.  (The nut is the string bridge at the tuning end of the dulcimer.)  The instrument was finished with Danish Oil (Natural) and 600 grit wet sanded with Danish Oil as part of the finishing process. Dan hand carved the volutes on the end.  The coolest things about this instrument were the sound holes – shaped liked cats in honor of his wife chose name is Cat!

Dave Boeff wrapped up the show and tell with his latest project, a Goddard card table. The inspiration table was in one of Albert Sack’s books, and Winterthur has a Newport table of this design, but one not attributed to Goddard as the Ball & Claw talons are not open. (Winterthur Book American Furniture Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods, Fig 348.)  And there are three of these Goddard card tables depicted in Master Craftsman of Newport, with some good shots of the undersides on pp 228-230. It is very similar to the Goddard Tea Table which Larry Bilderback showed at the Spring 2014 ORV meeting, only it is a card table with folding top and swing back legs to hold the top when opened. The genius of Goddard and Townsend design shows in this table, as the cyma curve used to form the aprons is the same in the vertical and horizontal directions. Dave used an Alan Breed plaster cast of a Newport Ball & Claw foot as a guide when carving the feet, only Dave chose to carve only two knuckles for the toes, instead of the three in a classic Goddard foot. Dave acquired the mahogany from Irion ( as two 22 inch by 10 ft boards, which will support making a future lowboy as well. Dave got the cabriole leg carving patterns from Larry. As to finish, Dave started with mahogany-colored aniline dye, followed by four coats of Waterlox Tung Oil Finish with 0000 steel wool in-between coats and wet-dry sanding the last of these first four coats. Then he completed with four more coats followed by paste wax. A final fitting touch was to “clock” all the screws holding the hinges, as Chris Schwarz claims all high-end builders have done. To "clock" the screws means to align all of the slots in the same direction, in this case vertical as I recall.

(see next post for Part II)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 10:12:19 AM by Dale Ausherman »