Woodworkers Club of Houston

July 2014 Projects



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Heiko Weiner, owner of HWR Decorative Woodworking, spoke Saturday, July 12, on the European woodworking techniques he learned at his grandfather’s knee in Germany that he uses now, crafting decorative objects and fine furniture.

Since coming to the U.S. in 1994, he travelled extensively, honing his skills, and expanding his creativity. His beautiful works of art are shown in fine arts shows across the country.  He mixes styles and materials, which include other natural products like essential oils, semi-precious stones, bone and metal. He creates segmented decorative bowls, vases, wooden jewelry, and customized items for fine and exceptional decor.

Segmented wood crafting led him to search out gnarly pieces of wood that he pieces together into fine works of art, some of which he keeps in his shop as a reminder of how his art is continuing to evolve into his prestigious craftsmanship.




Charles Volek crafted this intarsia church scaled down 80%.  The smaller pieces made the project more difficult and time consuming and getting the 3D effect wasn’t easy.  Charles used a dozen different woods.


A friend of Steve Wavro’s daughter asked Steve if he could make something for his parents who were Dutch.  So Steve went looking on the Internet for windmills and found a pattern from a scroll saw magazine.  Steve admitted that he should have increased the size by 50% because the small pieces were more difficult to work with then it should have been.  He used walnut, maple, bloodwood, poplar and some others.  The bottom is blue spruce.


Rick Spacek scroll sawed his cross from red oak then applied spray paint for coloring.  The basket, also of red oak, was scroll sawed.  Rick painted the inside with a brush.


This fine skiff was crafted by Chris Schwartz from balsa wood.  He painted the Texas flag on it.  Chris says the boat does float.

With the help of Tim Shaunty, Chris made this pen of oak.


Bob put together this whimsical Liberaci tribute and then added the candelabra after his wife suggested the ensemble needed one.  Bob stated that he did not make the piano.


Bob Wink wanted to join the Woodcarver’s Club and they said he had to make something that made a lot of noise so Bob came up with his “Blue Note” Orchestra.

When Bill Rowland’s father passed away five years ago he inherited a 15 year old scroll saw and a collection of blades.  His father was an artist and had hand sketched a tiger.  Bill turned that sketch into a scroll saw work of art.  He finished it with a can of “shiny” spray.

John Gay built this locomotive doghouse, he calls “Chew-Chew Train” as a donation for the Citizens for Animal Protection annual auction to raise money.  John used wood that had piled up in Roslyn’s back yard.  A solar powered strobe light fits inside the smoke stack and “spits” out sparks at night.  John used deck stain to finish it.  The money collected at auction for this dog house will be used for animal protection.  John receives nothing but a thank you and some doggie treats – he has cats.

Norm Nichols scroll sawed all but the BBQ plaque with “found” wood.  Norm scroll sawed the BBQ plaque from red oak.

Bill Hoffmeister showed club members some toys he made for his grandchildren although these particular items are for display in his home and have been played with very little.  Bill made them of walnut and hard maple.  He purchased plans and hardware kits because collecting the hardware would take some time.  He bought wheels.  Bill commented that he used a lot of cutoffs that were a challenge to mill and work with but was half the fun.  The finish is polyurethane.


Fred Sandoval explained how he constructed his reeding (also known as decorative fluting) jig.  The column turns and can be locked into place.  The cutter blade is made out of steel using a file.  Fred demonstrated his method of using the cutter tool to make the flutes in the column. 

Showing an example of French polishing, Fred explained his steps for French polishing.  After five coats of shellac Fred starts the rubbing process progressively with, pumice, rottenstone, and tripoli.  At this stage Fred will take an old t-shirt, sprinkle some tripoli on it plus a little bit of olive oil and rub.  Following that you put on another coat consisting of 6 drops of shellac and 3 drops of olive oil and rub – only don’t stop or it gets sticky.

To prepare the Shellac, Fred mixes the Shellac flakes in the ratio of 2 oz of shellac to 8 ozs of Everclear alcohol.  Fred recommends not using the hardware store alcohol as it contains additives.  Fred strains the Shellac by rubber banding a lady’s panty hose over an open jar.  Fred then drops a marble into the center which creates a depression over which he will pour the shellac mixture.

Lon Kelley made these cars from 2x4s from local house projects in the neighborhood.  Lon rips the 2x4s and planes both sides to get rid of dings and splinters. He then saws them into individual six inch blocks.   Lon places 9 at a time in a clamp and then makes the saw cuts for the shape.  This is usually two passes. Without removing the clamps he’ll round over in the router.   He has eight clamps so Lon can do 72 at a time.  Each car is done individually to drill holes and round the corners.  Using this production method Lon and his wife, Pam, have completed about 500 toys so far this year.


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