Woodworkers Club of Houston

May 2017 Projects

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Fred Sandoval - Cradle

Rocking the cradle Fred Sandoval explained how he carefully mortised and aligned the joints to accommodate the slats for the side of the cradle.  The posts, from four inch stock, required a larger than typical lathe.  The cradle is of red oak which Fred found hard to turn unless you have sharp tools. Fred finished with Hydrocoat.


Charles Volek, WWCH Vice President and Program Director, spoke about the deck restoration of Galveston’s tall ship, Elissa, that occurred in 2012 and 2013. In these photos Charles demonstrates the "horsing" technique for installing caulking.   Read more

Peter Doe - Outdoor Table

Using ipe for its weather resistance capabilities, Peter Doe crafted this outdoor table topped with glass mosaic tile pieces.  The tiles were glued to the top with Titebond 3 and epoxy then sealed with three coats of epoxy finishing with three coats of spar varnish.  The tiles were cut with a carbide tipped wheel cutter and cut to fit with a nibbler.  For the legs Peter used three jigs to make four angled  cuts on the bandsaw with a carbide tipped ¾ inch blade.


Chuck Meeder - Scroll Saw Pieces and Yarn Bowl

From a Sue Mey moon pattern and Wooden Tedd Bear Collection Catalogue, Chuck Meeder scroll sawed two projects of curly maple and mahogany then finished with spray lacquer.  The yarn bowl, finished with Mylands Friction  Polish is a gift for his daughter who likes to knit otherwise Chuck would use it for his collection of tall tales and whoppers.  The cutout allows the yarn to be pulled out without the ball of yarn “running” away. 

David Janowitz - Display Case and Bowls

Taking a lot of time to peel off the bark from a water oak burl, David Janowitz was able to craft this oddly shaped bowl that he finished with linseed oil and wax finish.  The smaller bowl, which he calls “floor” wood, came from a piece found on his father’s workshop floor. The other bowl is of osage orange.   The display case is of osage orange and walnut finished with four coats of water borne polyurethane.

Steven Ellis - Compound Angled Step Stool

WWCH welcomed Steve Ellis as a new member as he showed club members his simple step stool - simple being a relative term – the compound angles required seem to defy a lot of people.   The only power tool that Steven used was a pad sander – the rest were hand tools and helpful jigs (Steven was a carpenter).  Download Steven's instructions for compound angles (PDF file). Download Steven's write-up on differences between hip/valley rafter (PDF file) and crown molding angles.

Rick Spacek - Scroll Sawed Cross and Picture

From a Rick Hutcheson pattern Rick Spacek scroll sawed this beautiful cross out of inlayed oak and purple heart.  The scroll saw picture is painted with acrylic and finished with spray clear gloss.

Larry Wenner - Etagere

The original version of the etagere was made for a tall ceiling so Larry Wenner built this shorter version. Larry designed the granite shelf then had it cut first. The etagere is all solid walnut and heavy enough so it won’t fall over.  It is finished with sprayed on lacquer and is for sale for $1700 – a bargain, folks.

Rich Bajenski - Dovetailed Box

Rick Bajenski crafted this Shaker inspired candle box using dovetail joinery and finished with six of seven coats of milk paint which Rick admits is way too much.    

Bob Wink - Folk Art From Fan Blades

Being a “fan” of the Day of the Dead, Bob Wink repurposed ceiling fan blades to show off Day of the Dead faces.  Bob got an “agreement” from Norm Nichols and laughs from club members when Bob explained that one was supposed to …. uh…. resemble Norm.

Dave VanDewerker - Moxon Vice

Dave VanDewerker crafted this Moxon vise from white oak then finished with linseed oil.  Dave clamps the vise to the work bench and he says it works quite well.  I'll bet it helps him get a grip on things.

Steve Wavro - Scroll Saw Clock

Steve Wavro departed from his usual intarsia work to craft this fretwork clock of walnut and cherry intended as a Christmas present for his daughter who recently married a Dutchman.  Steve explained how he had to make adjustments to the measurement to the pattern with overseas dimensions to accommodate the clock and the moving parts.  The pattern came from a scroll saw magazine.

Mike Turner - Marking Knives

While visiting a resale shop Mike Turner became inspired to craft layout and marking knives from standard kitchen knives.  The blades are blued rather than tempered.

Mike explained how he adapted a pattern from the Internet that can be used for crafting simple models of the Space Shuttle. 

Mark Womack - Bench

Following an existing plan rather than creating a design using SketchUp, Mark Womack made this bench for his niece to place under her window.  Mark used poplar and plywood with a walnut top and then assembled with pocket screws.  Mark used a mallet to drive 3/8 dowels into the pocket hole spaces then used a flush-cut saw to cut away excess.

John Gay - Beads of Courage Boxes

Using new sewer pipe John Gay crafted these boxes for the Beads of Courage program.  Seniors, at a special senior center, did the painting.  The Viking and teddy bear are crafted from aromatic cedar.  For the Viking’s beard John used a mixture of potpourri and cedar shavings from a lathe.

Denis Muras - Dominoes and Pen Maker Tool

After having read an article about woodworking without power tools for persons with Alzheimer’s, Denis Muras crafted a hand-operated disk sander that can be used for sanding pens.  Denis showed various other jigs that can be used to make pens without using power tools.

Denis made a set of larger and easier to see dominoes of maple and walnut for his father then finished in a wax oil finish.  Denis explained how he set up his drill press to drill the pips.


Charles Volek, WWCH Vice President and Program Director, spoke about the deck restoration of Galveston’s tall ship, Elissa, that occurred in 2012 and 2013.

Replacing and restoring the decking was a major restoration project.  The project required around 9000 lineal feet of vertical 3 ½ x 5 inch Douglas Fir, the tight grain at about 40 rings per inch. The quarterdeck and the deckhouse had to be demolished before new decking could be installed.

Of particular interest was the caulking of the planks which consisted of one pass of cotton followed by two passes of oakum.  The caulking is “horsed” into the joints using a large mallet called a beetle.  Horsing the caulking in requires just the right amount of pressure lest you drive the caulk all the way through the joint.   The decking was then paved with Jefferies #2 marine glue (pitch).

Charles brought samples of the new deck with materials and tools necessary to caulk between the deck planks and showed numerous photos of the restoration as it progressed.



Photos and commentary:  Gary Rowen; Janowitz display case: David Janowitz; Wenner etagere: Larry Wenner 

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