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Central California Woodcarvers

February 2012

Volume 20, Issue 2

In this issue

Club News

From the Meeting Minutes

On February 4th we had 30 members attending and the following matters were brought up.

Dues are due! If you don't get them in by March 1st you will sadly be dropped. Please contact Jack Lloyd to make yourself current. He is usually available at a meeting or carving session. Or you may mail your dues to:

Jack Lloyd
1584 Burl
Clovis, CA 93611

 The dues are $10 for the year.

The March Home Show has not contacted us about our usual free booth. They did offer for us to buy one. We have never gotten a single member from these shows so there is no reason at this time to pay for a booth. So be aware that unfortunately we will NOT have a presence at the Fresno Home and Garden Show this year.

Our elections committee head, Bud Sanders, is continuing his search for candidates. He stated that he found four volunteers for president but can't remember who they are. (The search continues. . .)

Don Lenz needs to recut the blanks of the eagle heads for the Vet Canes. They turned out to have the grain running the wrong way. Don plans on having the heads at the next meeting (March 3rd) and is still looking for more volunteers to carve the heads.

Bert Frazier continued giving out blocks of wood for egg carving. This time it was chinaberry wood from none other than Bert's own chinaberry tree. (Frankly, I would have been worried if he got the chinaberry wood from his mulberry tree.)

For those keeping track - in November Bert gave out Butternut and in January it was sugar pine.

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Show & Tell


CameraFive members brought in their projects for show and tell at the February 4th meeting.

Lance Leitch showed more than a few carvings. He started with his second attempt at a carved knot and a hollow spiral piece. He said the spiral was a lot of work.

The other pieces were practice faces done in remembrance of Dennis Fairchild. Dennis had often said that to do something well you need to do it 1,000 times. (Lance is on his way to 1,000. Just 900-some-odd more to go.)

Wally Imfeld showed one of his Santa Claus carvings. He's done about a dozen for his family and this is the only one left, or is at least allowed access to. This was one he gave to his wife. He brought in pictures of the others he did. They were carved from scrap pieces of wood and used Bud Sander's directions for making the faces.

Clarence Mattos had made an assortment of golf ball wine stoppers and brought a number of them in. To make it easier to cut and drill the balls, Clarence made a jig to hold the ball securely and at the proper depth and/or angle. After cutting the ball on the band saw, he repositions it in the jig and uses a forstner bit to create a shallow hole for the cork. With a dowel and some gorilla glue the cork is in perfect position and will hold fast.

Clarence also showed us a cane he made. Because the head of it didn't quite fit perfectly, he used QuikWood® to make a ring around the joint to hide it and leather dye to match the wood.

Lola Nelson brought in a couple of her rare miniature pieces, a bear and a mallard. Both are made from bass wood and although she usually uses oil paint on her bigger pieces, these are finished with acrylic.

Dick Nelson showed some of his lathe work he did on his Shopsmith, a couple of goblets and a candle holder. In addition, Dick had a work in progress. He had a piece, that is a bear in a forest-like setting carved from a tree round. An original was given to him by a friend and he is in the process of replicating it. Lola has carved the bear and Dick is carving the surrounding parts.

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Tool Demonstration


ToolsJim Hickey and Lloyd Moore demonstrated a number of power tools that can be used for carving. An important reminder is that respirators or masks and/or dust collection systems should always be used when power carving. Which one can depend on which tool is used.

Jim started by covering the plunge router, which he uses for removing the majority of the background in a relief carving, and the palm router for smaller spaces. Also for removing excess wood, Jim uses either a die grinder or quite often an angle grinder. Much of the rough removal of wood he does outside which also reduces or eliminates the cleanup process.

Once the rough work is done, Jim moves inside for the finer carving. He recommends a good vice that allows the piece to be securely clamped and held at any angle. The finer work can be done with a Dremel® or similar type tool, like the Gesswein® Marathon. (Using TWO hands for safety!) The Gesswein has a nice quick release for changing bits but is more expensive than the Dremel.

For super fine detail a Turbo Carver© works well but is expensive and only good for very small details. It's like a dental tool and works off of air power.

Lloyd recommended not to go too cheap when you buy your power tools. It will pay off in the long run. A good flexible shaft setup will serve you well. What ever you get make sure you know what sized shaft your bits need to be for your tool.

The bits that work the best are the Typhoon carbide bits or the Kutzall bits. Also you can use sandpaper head type bits for finishing and sculpting or a Scotch-Brite type head for smoothing or creating a desired roughened finish look.

The last piece that was discussed was a wood burner. Which can be used for feathering, scaling, or other kinds of finishing or even burning in your name/date onto the carving..

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    Lighter Side of the Wood


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