Newsletter Vol 37 / Issue 05


Friday the 13th is my birthday. I’ll be seventy years old. I can tell you getting old is not for sissies. But, as far as I know, there’s no good alternative to getting old. So, I’m praying for good legs, that my back will hold up, my mind will stay clear, and I’ll have a lot more days with my family and in the shop.

We’d better get started with SPLINTERS.

April 2022 Meeting

The following is from the April minutes found on the website:

 The program started by recognizing members of Tom’s family in attendance. Darren Earle gave a brief resume of Tom’s work and pointed out a number of Tom’s work here on display. Tom was one of the original members who started our club in 1985. He along with Henry Davis, Ross Roepke and 5 others attended first meetings. Showed a picture of Tom’s first tool, a scroll saw Tom owned at age 11. Some of items on display included a scale model of a spinning wheel he made and gave to his teacher. She gave it back when she retired. Windsor chairs, carved sea chest, spinning wheel, large plan drawings and number of other items. Darren and other members talked about his use of nail method of decorating items, cutting dovetails by hand and making his own tools. Showed lots of pics of Tom’s works including Good Shepherd Church Baptismal Font, Woodward House furniture refinished, and many others. Tom was a great teacher. He really enjoyed sharing and working with kids. Tom was a talented woodworker, turner, and teacher. Tom’s daughter, Emily, told of secret compartment in a cabinet her dad made for her. He often asked if she ever opened and she told him no. Later it was discovered that he had left her and her two daughters a secret message in the compartment. The program was a great success and all appreciated by Tom’s family in attendance.

Editor’s note – I’d like to mention a group of Tom’s work that I found fascinating – his Civil War reproductions. He made folding chairs, officer’s field desks and many other items. The one I liked best was the canteens he turned as 2 dished sides and then assembled. I don’t remember the process, but I thought it pretty neat.

May 2022 Meeting

We will have our next meeting on Tuesday, May 17th from 6:30-8:30.  David Mathis from Gallagher Guitars will discuss making guitars with woods indigenous to Tennessee.

One-on-one Sharpening

Gary Runyon is offering one-on-one classes on sharpening scrapers and planes at his shop by appointment. Contact Gary via email to set day and time.

April 2022 Show & Tell

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

Ken Gould sent pics of few projects. 1) Double cottonwood bark carving with electric burning detail on oak mounting boards. Explained burning technique using a solution of baking soda and vinegar and high voltage probes at different spots on the boards to create a fractal effect. 2) Turned bowl burned with the same process.  Pretty diamond willow walking stick.

Tony Murphy showed pics of 2 sideboards he made. Plan was featured in Fine Woodworking which he modified to fit in his designated house spaces. Made of white oak with stain and shellac finish. (Pic1, Pic2, Pic3, Pic4, Pic5)

Fred Heltsley spoke of items he saw in Maui, Hi. Bottle nose dolphin wall sculpture of monkey pod explained what carving represents. No finish. Eastern red cedar bowl from Sandra Bailey, finish Odie’s Oil and polish. Todd Campbell twice turned bowl with a lacquer oil mix, then hand rubbed. Todd Campbell has 9 month twice turning process. Pics of shop and lathe that can handle very large pieces. (Pic4, Pic5, Pic6) For more information visit:

Jim Jolliffe had a carving of a wood spirit from a pine knot finished with rattle-can satin lacquer.

He also showed a couple red oak burl power carved vessels. (Pic3)Used power grinder with various bits/wheels. Finished with Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner.

Gary Runyon brought osage orange threaded box with spinning wheel dizes inside. Each diz was from different woods including from mesquite, red bud, maple, and cherry and finished with Dr Woodshop walnut oil and shellac.

Paul Jalbert displayed a take apart rocker from plan he obtained at a previous meeting. Made out of cherry and finished with Danish oil. He carved his nephew’s name in the chair’s back and painted the letter grooves and acrylic paint. He shared a tip to use yellow paint when doing paint highlights for color blind persons as they can see yellow best.

Vince Zaccardi talked about table saw jig he brought. Explained clamping wood to obtain any angle.

James Rice had three items for show and tell.

  1. Had pics of hutch he made for his daughter-in-law. Made of oak with golden oak finish.
  2. Pic of crocheted flag that he made frame to hold. It was mounted to plywood using double sided tape. To be placed in Lulu’s Restaurant in Estill Springs.
  3. Small embroidery rolling cart with spindles to hold up to 216 spools of thread. Explained procedure of building including jig made to hold wood while drilling.

Chuck Taylor showed mushrooms done by offset turning. Made of spalted maple and lacquer finish.

He had a cherry bowl made by Tom Cowan with rim decorated by Tom’s nail method. Also showed a miniature English tilt top table Tom made of cherry and finished with lacquer.

Janie Lovett brought her spinning wheel Tom Cowan made for her. She uses it at Falls Mill to demonstrate spinning. Made with maple, ash and cherry. There was also a small spinning wheel made by Tom on display.

Richard Gulley had sign made from request by Fred Heltsley. Sign said Raus Kitchen In Loving Memory of Lewis E. Rittenhouse. Black matte for CNC still adhered to the top of the wood.  Wood was unfinished.

Internet Links of Interest

Thanks to Fred Heltsley for the links to two Hawaian woodworkers:

Loyd Ackerman created a video of the PowerPoint presentation of Tom Cowan’s work. I posted it on our YouTube channel.

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

This month’s funnies:

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.