Woodworkers Club of Houston

December 2017 Projects

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Chris Schwartz attended a school in Maine in 2006 on wooden boat building and learned how to craft a kayak.  Chris spoke about the class and the efforts and skills required. His presentation is available in PowerPoint format. Mike Turner presented awards to club members for their service to the club.  Larry and Pattie Page are shown in this photo with Mike Turner, President Woodworkers Club of Houston. Other recipients are featured below.

Gary Rowen

Denis Muras

Ron Kirchoff

Roslyn Hager

David Janowitz

Steve Wavro

John Lastrapes

Charles Volek


Norm Nichols made four of these Sister plaques, sealed with Shellac then coated with polyurethane. The type of wood is unknown but probably gumwood.

Using a program called Inkscape Steve Wavro crafted door plaques of poplar as gifts for friends getting married. Getting the “T”s of the Texas Tech of oak and backed with black felt just right required a few practice runs.

Gathering scrap wood Katari made this stand for holding a laptop computer for the kids.

From a Charles Hand pattern Rick Spacek scroll sawed this winter scene from Wink wood.  Rick sprayed on the white paint then painted over with the green and yellow paints.

From the images imprinted on beer cans Bob Wink created an owl and a lawnmower – where’s the pussycat – on a pea green boat somewhere?  Inspired by an outrageously priced piece at a flea market Bob fashioned this catfish with small nails for teeth.

Denis Muras constructed two train cranes (rhymes nice, doesn’t it?) and a car.  Please read Denis’s write up.


From Steve Good patterns Charles Volek scroll sawed several figurines of people and animals.  Charles said that they were fun to make.


From Osage orange, walnut, and curly maple scraps David Janowitz crafted cutting boards, bottle stoppers and rolling pins.  David “eyeballed” the straightness of the rolling pins – good eye, David.  The boards and rolling pins are finished in mineral oil, the others in urethane.

From plywood Chris Schwartz scroll sawed these two animals stained with Early American.  Just starting out in scroll saw woodworking, Chris received help from Charles Volek in picking out a scroll saw.

Starting with a vision but ending up with something different Larry Barron turned a spittoon made of end grain pecan.  The other piece is of Eucalyptus with felt flocking material.

Mark Womack used recovered oak from the St. Francis church renovation to craft a changing table for his son’s nursery – no, it’s not a disguised phone booth.  This was Mark’s first use of mortise and tenon joints and it all came together quite well as you can see.

Andy Anderson brought in examples of the toys that club members crafted this year for the club's toy program.

Denis Muras Projects - This is probably the last car I build for my mother-in-law to give to her great-grandsons. I had built up a train for her, locomotive and tender, caboose, passenger car, flat car, box car, gondola, and tank car. The crane car was all I could think of making.

The plan is based on an old Shopsmith plan for a play train. The cars are made from walnut with the special formula from Andy Anderson, 50/50 beeswax and mineral oil for child safety.

The unfinished car is a Toymaking Plans design of a 1961 MINI Cooper. I am building it to give to my stepson who just bought a new MINI this summer. It is mahogany and walnut. This will have a lacquer finish to make it shine like a car.

-- written by Denis Muras

Wink Wood - Bob Wink lives near a commercial woodworking facility that gives away what they consider to be scrap pieces of commercial grade plywood and misc hard woods.  Bob rescues this wood before a Grinch comes and takes the scrap for firewood.  Many woodworkers in WWCH have made good use of these excess pieces by making jigs, toys, and incorporating them into their projects as you’ve seen in many Show n Tell projects. This source of wood is what has become known as “Wink” wood.  


Photos and commentary:  Gary Rowen

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