Author Topic: RE: 2nd Spring 2008 Meeting Report  (Read 1833 times)

David Conley

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RE: 2nd Spring 2008 Meeting Report
« on: July 22, 2008, 02:22:34 PM »
Society of American Period Furniture Makers
Ohio River Valley Chapter
2008 2nd Spring Meeting

This impromptu meeting was to take advantage of a wonderful offer made to Bob Compton and the Chapter by Jeff Headley.  Jeff Headley and his business partner “STEVE” Hamilton would be willing to make a stop by and talk to our Chapter in Columbus, OH on their way to teach a class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.  We graciously took them up on their offer and scheduled the Second Meeting Spring Meeting on the 17 & 18 of May. 

We also appreciate and want to thank Wood Werks for allowing us to use their facilities for our meetings and to Dan Reahard and Tod Herrli for their demonstrations on Sunday and to Charles Murray for coordinating all of the logistics at Columbus.   Thank you all!!!

At our first Spring Meeting in March, we had our largest gathering ever at 46 members.  At this impromptu Second Meeting, we had our second largest gathering at 43 members on Sunday and about 30 on Sunday!  The attendees were from seven states (IN, MI, WV, VA, KY, PA and OH). 
As always, I would like to thank each presenter for stepping up and doing a great job!!  In addition, we had a lot of lively discussions during the presentations.  Again, a BIG THANK YOU to all of the presenters and to all who added to the discussions.
For Show & Tell, we had some very nice and unique pieces including a Baltimore style federal card table by Dick Kammerer, a fire screen and a beautiful chair by Larry Bilderback, a small table and shaker oval boxes by Keith Mengel, and a bible box by Chris Tenney.

The Jeff Headley and Steve Hamilton brought several demonstration pieces of furniture that could be dissembled for teaching purposes including a tall clock, a secretary desk, a gate legged Marlborough huntboard, and a miniature highboy.  Several of the members recognized the secretary desk as the one that Jeff and Steve used for their demonstration during the Colonial Williamsburg Conference a couple of years ago. 

Jeff taught us many construction details as he was dissembling his demonstration pieces.  Some of the tips were just regional differences, and some were basic construction details and all were from the point of efficient production.  For example, if they are cutting the dovetails for a drawer, they would (brad) nail both sides pieces together and then saw out the dovetails as a set instead of doing each drawer side independently.  This saves time.  I also learned a neat and deceptively simple trick for aligning and marking the location for the “pins”.  Jeff used a drawer bottom template/jig that was about 12 inches long and about 2 inches wide that had the correct drawer bottom tapered on two sides.  He then stuck it in and aligned it so that the drawer bottom template was fully seated in both the drawer side and the drawer front with the right amount of side over lap on the drawer front.  This perfectly aligns the side to the front and you can mark it with your knife.  Those were the kinds of tips that we received for 4 hours.  It was a great presentation!!!  I understand that the Virginia Chapter will be holding their inaugural meeting at Jeff’s Shop.  For those that can make it, you will really enjoy their presentation and easy teaching style.

Jeff and Steve not only make period furniture for a living, but they also teach classes.  For more information, please visit their website at:   They are excellent instructors.

The Sunday presentations started off with Dan Reahard showing how to hand-carve a traditional Goose Neck Pediment.  Dan started his demonstration out by explaining the overall construction of the hood of his tall clock. Next, he emphasizing the importance of wood grain and its orientation and how it would later affect the carving.  He then proceeded to reduce the pediment in a series of hand carved rabbets to form the basic shape.  From there, he would carve the ogees, coves, and rounds.  The final tip was to not carve the goose neck at the miter corner (with the side molding) until after you had fitted and glued the goose neck and side molding to the case.  The final step is to carve the remaining lower section of the goose neck to blend into the side molding’s profile.  Beside the demonstration, we all enjoyed drooling over the hood of Dan’s clock. 

Our second scheduled presenter for Sunday called me on Friday night and told me he had a family emergency and was not going to be able to make our meeting.  That night, I called Tod Herrli and asked if he could do the second Sunday presentation on wooden planes.  So a special “Thank You” goes to Tod for volunteering to do a presentation at literally the last minute and unless you had known it was a last minute change, you never would have guess it by Tod’s presentation.  Tod did another fantastic job!

Tod presentation started out with the general construction details of molding planes.  He started with shaping the sides of the irons with a slight taper, like a mortising chisel.  He then talked about how to heat the steel to harden it, and then how to match the temper to the function of the various planes.  Tod then explained various tip about sharpening and using wooden planes.  He then explained why he makes some molding planes with two or more blades.  There are two main reasons.  The first reason is that it is very difficult to sharpen a blade when it makes a transition from round to a flat.  Tod separates the two elements by using two blades.  These blades are much easier to sharpen, and they create a very crisp corner.  The second reason is to reduce tear out.  In this example, Tod will skew the blade.  This is great for one side of the molding, but it increases the tear out on the other side.  His solution is to split the blade into two halves (or more) and skew the outer blades in opposite directions.  This will minimize tear out on both sides.  I also remember in a previous presentation where Tod used a three bladed plane of this style to shape the molding around a table.  The end-grain cut as easily as the front face.  It is amazing to watch these multi-bladed molding planes. 

I also want to thank Tod for presenting Jeff & Steve with one of his molding plane as a way of saying thank you to Jeff and Steve for going out of their way to help us.  It was a very nice and generous gesture by Tod.  Tod also teaches class and has a video on how to make molding planes.  For more information, please visit his website at:

This was another great meeting with impressive demonstrations!!  Thanks everybody!!!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 09:25:33 PM by David Conley »