Monthly Archives: November 2021

Minutes 2021-11


Meeting 11/16/21

Meeting called to order by President Carl Blumenthal at 6:30 PM.

Carl welcomed all those online and to those present in UTSI’s H-111 Conference Room to our November combined in-person and online Zoom Meeting.  We appreciate UTSI’s generosity allowing the club to use H-111 and their broadcasting capability.

We had two visitors.  TVW Member Marcos More introduced Wendell Copham and Roxy Majors.

Officers and Committee Reports:  Vice President & Program Chair Gary Runyon noted tonight’s Program will be by our own Fred Heltsey presenting “Making Miniature Harps”.  December’s program will be our annual Super Show and Tell.  He noted that Don Farr will present a program on Making a Grandmother Clock in January.  Gary requested members email him any future 2022 program ideas to  He noted that programs don’t necessarily need to be from local folks due to the ability of Zoom to connect us with anyone around the world!

The 2021 Calendar is correct with monthly general meeting dates and first and third Saturday Carving meetings as well as the UTSI & Zoom annotation for the monthly meetings.  The special events column included “placeholders” for the special events. The special event leads will need to discuss the timing (if at all) of holding special events and update the calendar accordingly.

Paul Jalbert announced that this was his final meeting as Club Treasurer.  Darren Earle is his replacement.  Many thanked Paul for the outstanding 7 years as our treasurer!

Richard Gully reminded members that the annual Tool/Craft Sale is this Saturday November 20th beginning at 8 AM at the Church of the Nazarene in Decherd.  Set up will be Friday afternoon from 3:30-6:30 or at 7 AM Saturday. Richard passed along thanks from Jack Kincella to those members who help apply oil to the pews of the Lynchburg First United Methodist Church!

We discussed a December Christmas Party.  Chairman Karen Browning announced the luncheon is December 4th beginning at 11 AM – 2:00 PM at the Decherd Church of the Nazarene. The Club will provide ham and soft drinks.  Members need to bring sides/desserts to share.  Set up is Friday.  Please email Karen at to let her know if you will attend the party and if you want to help set up.

Matt Brothers and Vince Zaccardi noted that member Jack Kincella  and his wife are moving to New York state and have sold most of his shop.  They presented a slide show of Jack’s finishing supplies that the club bought as a central store for our members including a variety of stains and finishing pens.  The supplies are being stored at Matt’s shop.  Matt is trying to get Jack to present a finishing workshop early next year before the Kincellas move.

Once the general meeting announcements concluded we moved to the Show & Tell portion of the evening.

Show and Tell (all photos are posted on the website):

Matt Brothers presented pictures of live edge walnut that he planed for a friend.  The walnut starting dimensions were 2” thick, 20” wide and 8’ long.  They turned out beautifully.  His friend is working with a table maker from the Stones River Woodworking Club to build his live edge table.

Matt also presented an island top he made from hickory.  It had a space for an undermount farm-style sink.  He finished top, bottom and sides with pre-catalyzed lacquer and paste wax to try to protect it from the moisture from activities around the sink.  He advised the client to periodically apply wax to protect the wood top.

Matt’s third project was a white oak door made for a house located on the University of the South grounds.  The house was built in 1910 so the door needed to match that style and finish.  Jack Kincella provided the finish to match the existing house trim.  The door looks beautiful and perfectly matches the home’s trim.

Jim Jolliffe showed two bark houses he bought from a friend, Steve Rogers, who carved them both from 175 year-old cottonwood bark.  Steve is an outstanding carver, who has moved back to the Chicago area from St Louis.  Steve has studied with Rick Jensen, the “father” of carving cottonwood bark houses.

Carl Blumenthal showed a large cedar live edge sign he sand blasted to hang over a driveway entrance.  He discussed the challenges of sand blasting walnut and cedar.  He noted that cedar is easier to blast.  He has to carefully watch the sand blasting penetration into the wood based on knots, heartwood,  and sapwood density.  He uses a vinyl-type matte for his blasting design templates that are cut to cover all the wood that won’t be blasted.  He said the paint type and style varies with the piece’s design.  For exterior projects, Carl finishes with water-based Varathane Exterior Poly that is slightly thinned with mineral spirits.  Carl highlighted a safety note with sand blasting based on recent experience.  He had to create a “blasting room” for this large piece.  He wore full personal protective equipment (PPE) during the blasting.  After the piece was finished, he had removed his PPE and wanted to go back into the chamber to look at the piece.  The high pressure air was still on and attached to the blasting wand.  The wand is actuated by a foot switch.  As Carl approached the piece, he accidentally stepped on the foot switch causing the blasting hose to fire and whip around the chamber!  The gun whipped past Carl’s eyes, blasting sand into his unprotected eyes.  He scratched his cornea and was still in discomfort during tonight’s meeting.  He’s thankful he is healing and knows it could have been even worse.  Lessons learned including wearing PPE whenever you are around tools and to turn off/depressurize high pressure air systems when finished.

Richard Gulley showed a deer sign he CNC-carved into a pine slab for Jack Kincella.  Jack will apply the finish to the piece.  Richard showed a “puzzle chair” or “pack chair” that is a child’s rocking chair that can be assembled and disassembled easily.  The pattern was provided by visiting woodworker Steve Tracy at a previous meeting.  Steve recommends carving ½” slots to assemble the chair.  Richard made a model out of MDF and reduced the slot a bit from the MDF thickness to tighten the joints.  Richard has the pattern for members.

Richard has been busy CNC-carving “a gazillion” Christmas ornaments with the nearly two dozen names for Jesus.  They are made from a variety of woods and finished with lacquer. He also carved 66 chip-carved Christmas Trees for friends.  Finally, he carved some “Merry Christmas Y’all” ornaments.

Mike Layfield showed a tic-tac-toe boards he made from a variety of hardwoods including red oak, white oak and cherry.  He finished them with lacquer.

Program – FC-22 Harp Mass Production – Fred Heltsey

After a short break, we held a very interesting program on building a low-cost but functional 22-String, 3-Octave Harp.  He then described the production set up for 14 kits and then organize an assembly workshop.  His presentation was extremely interesting.  He noted the harp joinery is critical becaused the 22 strings impart 435 pounds of force to the joint!  The volunteer work Fred and his team provided to support his church’s Harp Choir is inspiring!

Meeting adjourned at 8:43 PM. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, December 21st at UTSI’s H-111 Conference Room (our standard meeting location).  We hope to see you all there or on Zoom!  The December Program will be “Super Show & Tell” by our members.


Newsletter Vol 36 / Issue 11


I’m thankful for Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday you can sink your teeth into – figuratively and literally. Folk seem to be wanting to change the name of everything theses days, even doing away with things we love and hold dear – even Thanksgiving! If it were up to me to change the name of Thanksgiving, I’d change it to Thanksliving, and change its duration to 365 days. I consider myself and my family to be blessed of God and I want to live like it every day..

Now let’s get started with Splinters!

October Meeting

When it comes to Show & Tell, all our members are above average. Be sure to check the online newsletter for pictures.

Program – Geoff Roehm and assistant Christian Carroll are determined to bring music to the masses. The program “Building a Box Dulcimer” was a great step in accomplishing that goal.

 November Meeting

We will have our next meeting on Tuesday, November 16th from 6:30-8:30.  Fred Heltsley will present “Mass Production of the FCC-22 Harp Kit”. The program will cover the design and assembly of a low-cost but functional 3-octave harp.

A Tool/Craft Sale is scheduled for November 20th at the Decherd Nazarene Church gymnasium. Bring your surplus tools and any handmade items you wish to sell. We will set up on Friday the 19th afternoon – evening. Setup time will be discussed at the November meeting.

October Show & Tell

Here are the items that were shown in last month’s Zoom/Live meeting. See pictures in the online version.

Paul Jalbert presented the results of our support of Tim’s Ford Heritage Days Saturday and Sunday October 9th and 10th.  He noted that Chuck Taylor and Vince Zaccardi demonstrated turning tops and honey dippers, respectively. Jim Jolliffe allowed visitors to carve their own 2-3” tall cottonwood bark pumpkins and take them home.  Paul had a large sweet gum log with a rope pattern that allowed multiple carvers at a time with great results.  The log, when finished, will be donated to Tim’s Ford State Park.  Paul has an “artist’s log” of all who carve.  When a piece is complete, the “artist’s log” is attached to the carving as a record.  He noted that he has supported the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Tim’s Ford with seven large carving activities over the past 10 years.  He counted up the artist’s signatures over the multiple efforts and was pleased to announced that he surpassed 1,000 carvers logging the respective “artist’s log” this past weekend!  Outstanding results, Paul!!! Here’s all the Heritage Days pics.

Jim Jolliffe showed a 16” gnome carved from basswood (Pic1, Pic2, Pic3) finished with a base coat of rattle-can lacquer, acrylic paint and finish coats of rattle-can lacquer.  The large hood, beard and robe (with hands in the robe’s pockets) eliminated the need to carve eyes, ears, a mouth and hands which made the carving pretty quick and easy!

Dennis Finney showed two beautiful pepper mills and multiple pens he turned .  All were finished with Mohawk sanding sealer and lacquer.

Mickey Knowles showed a variety of inlay and segmented salt shakers and pepper mills.  He described the inlay process and some lessons learned.  The description included raw stock that he used to inlay the turning blanks.  All but one of the shakers/mills were finished sanding sealer and lacquer. The other was finished with MinWax Polyurethane which was very easy to apply and worked well.   Mickey also showed a large mimosa bowl he turned and finished with teak oil.

Matt Brothers and Pete Cokenmueller showed a birdseye maple blanket chest they had built together.  This was the third chest they had built.  Matt previously made a walnut chest for his daughter and Pete made a cherry one for his oldest daughter.  This chest was for Pete’s younger daughter.  The chest had dovetail joinery on the drawers and chest which were made with a Leigh Dovetail Jig versus the hand-cut dovetails on the previous two.  The drawers and blanket compartment were all cedar lined.  The top was plywood with 1” solid birdseye maple banding and birdseye maple veneer based on lessons learned from the walnut chest top that warped as it aged.  Helical head joiners and planers were used with no tear-out of the birdseye maple.  They finished the chest with nitrocellulose lacquer.

Steve Tracy showed a two-foot, or slightly larger, coniferous tree made from pallet wood.  Steve rips the boughs to 2-1/2” and then “steps” the boughs every 2-1/2” beginning from 5” long to 7.5”, 10” and so on.  He says they sell great and can be used for Christmas and any other holiday.  The largest tree he’s made is 10 feet tall!  No finish is applied as each buyer has their own finish opportunities and decorating schemes.  He noted one client attached mug hooks to her tall tree that is on her front porch year-round.  She decorates it for multiple holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas and St Patrick’s Day!

Internet Links of Interest

*Fine Woodworking has a simple tip for aligning pins, tails, and drawer bottom groove in hand cut dovetails.

*From Woodcraft magazine – A free PDF article on maintaining your router. I think maintenance is too often overlooked in our shop.

Carver’s Corner

The Splinter Carvers continue to meet first and third Saturdays of the month from 8:30 am to 10:30 am (whether Jim’s there or not).  The shop is located at 201 Jolliffe Acres Ln, Tullahoma. Tools and wood are available at the meetings, just bring yourself and try you

r hand at carving!

Jim Jolliffe joined the Leiper’s Fork Carvers at Franklin TN on Saturday Oct 30th to carve pumpkins for a real estate company to raffle and give away.  Kay Huey, Vic Hood, Tim Wright and Jim carved 12 or so pumpkins.  Pic1, Pic2, Pic3, Pic4, Pic5

Sweeping Up

I found several funnies from Pinterest this month. I’ll share a few of them:

Watch out for SPLINTERS!

Submissions to the newsletter are more than welcomed. Send funnies, tips, or other content that may be of interest and you may see it in a future edition of SPLINTERS.

Newsletter Information

Splinters is a publication of the Tennessee Valley Woodworkers. For submissions, email editor, Richard Gulley ( .)

Membership Information

If you change your phone number, email address, etc.; please notify Chuck Taylor, membership chairman (931-728-7086 or This will allow the membership listing on the web site to reflect current and up-to-date information of all our club members.