Monthly Archives: December 2021

Newsletter Vol 36 / Issue 12


I have ambivalent feelings about December. The close of one year and the beginning of another. We’re looking back and remembering both good and bad of the past year, all the while knowing we can’t tarry there long. There’s a new year just around the corner that holds both unknown trials and joys. Whether we like it or not, we have to live there.

All in all, though, December is probably my favorite month. It’s a month of hope and promise. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. For that promise, I am truly thankful.

Now let’s get started with Splinters!

November Meeting

Fred Heltsley did a great job with his presentation of creating a production run of a small harp including creating a kit for the project. Production of a project is a different animal and involves a lot of forethought and multiple iterations of jigs and construction methods.

December Meeting

We will have our next meeting on Tuesday, December 21st from 6:30-8:30.  The December Program will be “Super Show & Tell”. So, bring in projects past and present. Maybe early Christmas presents you bought for yourself! (I hope I’m not the only one that does that 😊)

I’m also going to put out a challenge for a “Santa Look Alike Contest” Be forewarned, I’ve been in training since July.

November Show & Tell

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

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. Richard made a model out of MDF and reduced the slot a bit from the MDF thickness to tighten the joints. 

Richard has been busy CNC-carving “a gazillion” Christmas ornaments. Twelve sets of “Names of Jesus” each with thirty separate names. They were made from a variety of woods and finished with lacquer. He also carved (CNC) 66 chip-carved Christmas Trees for friends.  Finally, he carved some “Merry Christmas Y’all” ornaments.

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

Internet Links of Interest

Just one –

 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 your hand at carving!

Sweeping Up

More funnies from Pinterest this month. Here’s a few of them:

A refresher course in proper Southern English.

Merry Christmas to all you birds!

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!