Steve's Shavings for August 2013

Where were you on Saturday, July 20, 2013, from 6:30-8:30? If you were not at the special Toys 4 Tots Pig Picking organized by T4T Chair Fred Ford with BBQ pork and all the fixings provided by Pete Hodges in Bond Pard, Cary, NC you missed a most special occasion. Many thanks to Fred, Pete, and others who helped setup, provide desserts, Show & Tell, and cleanup. Maybe this should become a TWA/T4T tradition?

Schedule of Upcoming TWA Events
August 20, 2013, Tuesday @ 7-9PM--TWA Regular meeting at Klingspor & Election of New Board Members
August 22, 2013, Thursday @ 7-9PM--TWA Board of Directors & Committee Chair Meeting at home of Fred Ford, 902 Queensferry Rd., Cary, (TWA Members welcome) Election of Officers, Budget Review, Program Planning and other business
DUES ARE NOW DUE for FY 2013-2014, see Kay Baker to renew your membership.

Woodworking at Oshkosh AirVenture 2013
One item that has been on my bucket list for decades has been to travel to Oshkosh, WI for the internationally famous EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture. During the last week of July and first week of August, 2013 I was able to travel over 2300 miles in our, new to us, motor home to AirVenture (#60) 2013. Oshkosh is truly the Mecca for any aircraft and flying enthusiast. For eight days we dry camped in the world’s largest (200 acres) temporary campground (Camp Scholler) and watched thousands of every type of aircraft imaginable land at the world’s busiest airport. What does all this have to do with woodworking?
    The original Wright Flyer Aeroplane structure was constructed of wood as were many other aircraft from the biplanes of the barnstorming era to the famous Hughes Aircraft “Spruce Goose” that continues to be one of the world’s largest airplane. [Note: The “Spruce Goose” was constructed mostly of birch.] I’m sure many will remember putting together and throwing a balsam wood toy plane kit in our youth. Even today, one can obtain plans to build an experimental aircraft from wood. While attending AirVenture, I was able to take in some workshops on using wood when building an aircraft.

    My first stop was at The Acro Sports, Inc. display and construction demonstration. I have always been fond of biplanes and now I have a favorite; The Acro II, an open cockpit aerobatic two seater biplane that is constructed of chromoly steel, spruce, and fabric with a laminated maple prop. It turns out that the Acro Sports Biplanes were designed by EAA founder and long time president, Paul H. Poberezny. Spruce is used to give the fuselage graceful lines and to construct the spars and ribs used in the wings.
    Why has Sitka Spruce become the preferred wood used in aircraft construction? There are multiple reasons including: light weight and high strength (high strength to weight ratio), very uniform, reasonably available, easy to form and shape, ability to handle bending loads during aerobatics, and it resists fatigue better than metal. Aircraft grade Sitka Spruce is less plentiful today and some aircraft builders substitute Douglas Fir, White Pine, and Western Hemlock. However, since these substitute woods have different strength and weight properties, design adjustments are required. Wood used in aircraft construction usually must comply with Mil-Spec-6073. Aircraft wood must be; free and clear of any defects, contain at least 6 rings per inch, straight grained, and quarter sawn.
    While attending a wood wing spar workshop, I found it quite interesting that almost exclusively, the preferred or recommended adhesive for joining and laminating is System Three T-88 Structural Epoxy Adhesive that is readily available from most woodworking suppliers. T-88 is a two part epoxy with good adhesion; unaffected by water, oil, gas, and most chemicals; immune to fungus and rot; cures without shrinking; requires light clamping pressure; and remains non-brittle. Gussets, cut from 1/16 inch baltic birch plywood, are applied to reinforce all wood joints using T-88. Strips of wood required for bending are simply soaked in a water bucket overnight and clamped in a wooden form until dry.
    Tools typically used include; bandsaw, belt and disc sander, snips/knife, many small clamps, and lots of patience. I found it quite amazing to see teenagers and adults alike building wooden spars during the EAA workshops. Seems wood is still being used and to some, the preferred method of aircraft construction.
    It was most interesting to observe the construction and shaping of wooden propellers. Wooden props are typically made from 1/16 inch laminated maple and shaped using a bandsaw, spokeshaves, and various sanders that follow patterns developed decades ago. Not once did I observe the use of a handplane when constructing the parts of a plane, go figure. Of course there are many more stories about the 2300 mile trip to Oshkosh, WI but I will save that for later.

It has been an honor to serve as your TWA President for the past year and I look forward to continuing to serve TWA as a board member. Due to a scheduling and travel conflict, I will be unable to attend the August TWA Regular Meeting or the Board of Directors Meeting but Jeff Leimberger, V. P., will provide most able leadership at these upcoming meetings.
    I will continue to contribute an occasional TWA Newsletter article entitled “Members Corner.” There are two article almost complete and if you would like to participate, please let me know.
    As always your comments, suggestions, and recommendations are welcome; just send me an email:

Now let’s get busy making some wood shavings.
President: Steve Steinbeck


Steve's Shavings in May

APRIL TWA MEETING: Thanks to all the TWA Members and guests who attended the April 16, 2013, meeting where we were rewarded with an engaging presentation on ‘Infill Plane Making’ by Tom Calisto, owner of Windward Woodworks in Chapel Hill. Also, a special thanks for those members who helped raise almost $200 by bidding on donated tools and new Irwin Marples Woodworking Saw Blades.  The money raised with these auctions, conducted by Pete Bucki, help defray the costs of Toys 4 Tots supplies.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING: On April 17, 2013, your Board of Directors and many of the Committee Chairs met at the home of TWA Treasurer, Hugh Fish in Cary. Ten board members and committee chair members participated in discussing a wide range of topics. First on the agenda was the ever important program for the coming year. If you have suggestions, please share them with Jeff Liemberger, Vice President. Some suggested programs included; hand finishing, pyrography, antique tools, Old Salem woodworking, hand planes, and national speakers such as Garrett Hack or Will Neptune. Please let Jeff know your preferences. Kay Baker reported that she is planning the Book Expo for TWA Members at the August 20, 2013 meeting. Kay will be working with Jeff and Roger Philyaw on upgrading our membership software for enhanced efficiency. Extra efforts will be made to keep the TWA Online Calendar up to date with Association activities. The BOD also approved a T4T/TWA RAFFLE of up to $300 with either a gift certificate or woodworking tool to be conducted by Pete Bucki. Let Pete know if you prefer a gift certificate to Klingspor or a special tool. Fred Ford has completed plans for the TWA/T4T pig pickin’ at the Cary Bond Park, Kiwanis Shelter on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Mark your calendars to attend this special meeting that will include some extraordinary “Show & Tell” by TWA Members. Finally, Fred Ford was appointed Chair of the Nominating Committee that includes; Pete Bucki and Joe Gorman. Please see one of these Nominating Committee members to volunteer in making TWA better.

LEG VISE WORKSHOP: What has one leg, a large fly wheel, a long Acme screw, can grip boards with robust force, and weighs approximately 30-35 pounds?  You guessed right, it is the venerable leg vise redesigned by TWA member, Mike Payst. Thanks to Mike, 6 more TWA members went home with a “must have” accessory for any woodworking bench. This was Mike’s second leg vise workshop and both were held at Cecil Raynor’s shop. Cecil also shared his woodturning skills by assisting the workshop participants in final turning and embellishing their fly wheel. If you are interested in building the Mike Payst design leg vise, talk with Mike and he may schedule another workshop.  
WOODWORKING SAFETY DAY, May 1, 2013: While May 1 has past it is never too late to work wood safety. For some outstanding woodworking safety links, go to: . Remember, it is your responsibility to practice safe woodworking everyday.

NEXT TWA MEETING, May 21, 2013: Please join us at the May TWA Regular meeting when Bruce Bradford from Winston-Salem will discuss his Maloff influenced furniture design. As always, plaese bring a friend who shares our passion for woodworking.

Now ~~ let’s go make some shavings~~
President: Steve Steinbeck


Steve's Shavings in April

This month’s column will include;

  •     Minutes from the March 2013 TWA meeting,
  •     Donation of New Irwin Marples 10 inch Saw Blades for review and T4T Auction,
  •     TWA members contributions,
  •     Announcement of TWA Board of Directors/Committee Chair Meeting.

Meeting Minutes
Several TWA members met with Cliff Greaves, and Tony Abbruzzi, President and Scribe (respectively) of the Triad Woodworkers Association before our March meeting. As a small club they contacted us looking for thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for enhancing their membership. There is a possibility of a future joint meeting. Cliff and Tony then joined us for our regular TWA meeting. With the support they received from our board and committee members we sure hope they had a lot to take home with them. Thank You one and all for representing our great club so well.
The meeting came to order at approximately 7pm with President Steve Steinbeck presiding. Approximately 55 attended including; 3 visitors, 4 new members (Tom Konsler, David Murphy, Duane Ryder, and David Stepp), and 3 returning members (Hank Heppt, Bill Kelly, and Leo Radzik).

    Steve Steinbeck reminded the attendees to support Klingspor as our host by "picking up, putting up, and cleaning up" following each meeting and please, NO water on iron.
    Fred Ford gave a brief update regarding Toys for Tots and reminded members of the planned T4T kickoff/pigpickin’ in July. More details will be shared in future.
    Mike Payst advised the members that he is planning another workshop for constructing his special leg vise. Mike has perfected this ancient vise and your shop is not complete without one. See page 5 for more details.
    Kay Baker reminded members to check out the Roy Underhill DVD series from his early Woodwright Shows. She also announced that woodworking book and DVD donations are still needed for the planned ‘Book Expo‘ at the August meeting.
    Jeff Leimberger gave a program schedule update and introduced O’Neal Jones of Cotton Wood Studios in Graham, NC who gave a fascinating presentation on the design and construction of Shoji Screens.
    Following the refreshment break, Mike Payst conducted the gift card drawing and Pete Bucki quickly auctioned off some tools, raising more funds for Toy for Tots. Irwin Tools donated new Marples Woodworking Series Saw Blades. Jeff Amrein (, Senior Product Manager, contacted me a few months ago to announce an opportunity for TWA members to receive several newly designed saw blades. I immediately responded without objection, and the request for blade review would be stressed to all recipients. Jeff felt the support to our T4T program was bonus.
    Your chance to try out the new Marples Series of 10 inch saw blades will occur at the April meeting. Pete Bucki will auction; 1 general purpose blade, 2 rip blades, and 2 combination blades. If you are fortunate enough to obtain one of these blades your only obligation is to use the product and write a product review for their R & D team. Reviews should be submitted to:
    Everyone submitting a review by July 1, 2013 will be entered in a drawing to win a $500 IRWIN Woodworking Prize Pack including saw blades, chisels, clamps, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to test drive some new saw blades and help raise funds for the Toys for Tots Program.

The success of TWA requires the support of many. During the Chris Schwarcz workshops I asked TWA Member, Jack Kite, if he would consider submitting an article for our April Newsletter summarizing the workshops. He has exceeded all expectations by providing an excellent overview with detailed drawings. Jack exemplifies why TWA continues to be a successful woodworking club when other clubs are losing members.
    A special thank you to Jim Olesen for preparing the refreshment table, filling in for Chuck at the March meeting. Thanks Jim for stepping up at the last minute.
    Long time TWA member and old friend of the Steinbeck family, Mike Payst is another TWA member who continues to contribute to the craft of woodworking and has been active in supporting numerous TWA efforts.
    The regular meeting of the TWA on April 16, 2013 will have another TWA member, Tom Calisto, who will be presenting his finely crafted infill planes. You may remember Tom from his presentation on hand made woodworking saws. We are fortunate to have him as a TWA member who contributes his unique woodworking and tool making skills.

Please bring a friend who shares our passion for woodworking to our next TWA meeting, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop at 3141 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh beginning at 7 p.m.

Now ~~ let’s go make some shavings~~

President: Steve Steinbeck


Steve's Shavings in March

Steve's Shavings

Last month we were privileged to have Christopher Schwarz, hand tool woodworking aficionado and Editor of Lost Art Press, visit the Triangle Woodworkers Association. He discussed his Dutch Tool Chest at our regular meeting on Friday. Amazingly, the tool chest fits (barely) in the back seat of his Scion Sports Coupe he drove down from Fort Mitchell, Kentucky near Cincinnati.

On Saturday, Chris led a handplane tuning workshop. Participants were able to adjust their planes for scrubbing and fine tune other planes for making gossamer shavings. He also took time to demonstrate his well-researched method of tuning a hand scraper. Sunday was a real work out for the TWA Workshop participants. Chris coached us through the creation of three layout tools. We started out making a mahogany straight edge that, believe me, took a significant amount of hand planing to get all the surfaces flat and edges true. Then we turned our attention to making a pair of winding sticks out of cherry with maple inlay. The third wooden hand tool was a Roubo design, try square in maple.

We made bushels of shavings and learned from an incredibly talented individual. I think everyone left the workshops with a better appreciation of hand tool working and some very nice layout tools. I must admit, at times, it was tempting to just turn on the power jointer to obtain straight edges or the thickness planer to obtain parallel surfaces. However, with the use of sharp and finely tuned hand tools, the tactile marriage to the wood made this experience gratifying. Maybe we can talk Chris into visiting us annually.

I would be remiss without thanking Jeff Leimberger for coordinating the visit by Chris Schwarz and preparing workshop materials. Jeff was assisted in the workshop prep by Mike Payst and Allan Campbell. Mike also coordinated the use of several leg vices made by TWA members. TWA sponsor, The Hardwood Store in Gibsonville, NC, supplied the lumber used to make the layout tools at a discounted price. Finally, a special thanks is extended to Allan & Joyce Campbell for housing our guest, hosting the workshop, and preparing some delicious food.

Since joining TWA and participating in club sponsored workshops conducted by Will Neptune, Chris Gochnour, Garrett Hack, and Chris Schwarcz; I have become a convert to picking up a well tuned hand tool when possible as opposed to flipping the switch on a dust generator. In my early years of woodworking, I was most fortunate to have a grandfather (B. H. Bailey) who could sharpen any edge tool. With his passing, I not only lost a friend but my woodworking mentor. I could not sharpen my plane blades, chisels, or hand saws to the degree necessary to make using hand tools a pleasing and safe woodworking experience. As these tools dulled, they were put on the shelf to develop that special patina old tools gain through non use. I suspect other woodworkers have had a similar experience until they have the opportunity to use a hand plane that makes gossamer shavings or pare dove tails with a mirror finish and razor sharp chisel. Sharpening is truly a gateway skill. Sharp and finely tuned hand tools are necessary to make precision joinery and finely finished wood surfaces. Additionally, really sharp tools are easier and safer to control, plus it is healthier for you. There are several sharpening systems available to today’s woodworker. Some are as simple as a jig with training wheels on sand paper affixed to a flat surface to a slowly rotating special wheel for sharpening and honing.

Until you pass through the gateway into the world of truly sharp tools, you will be missing out of that special tactile marriage between wood and the human hand. The difference is like carving wood with a chain saw or a dedicated set of wood carving gouges and chisels. Yes, you can create some awesome woodworks with a chain saw but you will be missing that special feeling of a sharp gouge or chisel slicing wood. Learning to work wood with properly sharpened tools will open unlimited avenues. Sharpening is not hard. Woodworking with really sharp and finely tuned handtools can be a wonderful experience. Try it, you might like it.

Please bring a friend who shares our passion for woodworking to our next TWA meeting, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop at 3141 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh beginning at 7 p.m.

Now ~~ let’s go make some shavings~~

President: Steve Steinbeck


Steve's Shavings in February

I continue to be amazed at the local talent of woodworkers and their willingness to share some incredible works of wooden art. January’s meeting of the TWA featured Erik Wolken of “Works in Wood” from Chapel Hill. Eric demonstrated his unique style of functioning sculpture in wood.
    If you know of a local woodworking artisan for a future program, please share with our Program Chair, Jeff Leimberger.
    This month Chris Schwarz is visiting us and providing a FRIDAY, (the 22nd) meeting followed by 2 workshops on Saturday (the 23rd) and Sunday (the 24th). Even if you are a power tool woodworker, I assure you that you will come away with an enhanced appreciation of the many capabilities of using hand tools. Besides - using hand tools is safer and they don’t make fine dust. My philosophy of woodworking; "whenever possible, making wood shavings is better than making dust".
    I was reminded recently of the need to be ever vigilant about safety. A devastating fire at the home of a long-term friend that started in his shop which is located on Walnut Street in Cary. The fire apparently started in one of the shop electrical fixtures. This also got me thinking of our personal safety when doing  woodworking projects. I am often reminded of my Grandfather who operated a flooring mill in West Virginia before coming to this area, here .he ran a saw mill in Morrisville. He was replacing the cutter knives on the flooring machine when the power was inadvertently turned on and he lost two fingers. Later, he lost the sight in one eye when a sliver of wood become a projectile. After retirement, he had continuing loss of hearing and developed a respiratory disease. I recall as a kid going to these mills and hearing the wood processing machines screaming loudly and brown snow covering everything in sight. Today we know better...we are responsible for our actions and being responsible means thinking before doing. Safety starts with mental processes. Woodworking as a hobby or profession can be very dangerous and no amount of safety gear or advise can replace thinking safe. Always visualize and rehearse your actions when working with tools. If it seems uncomfortable or awkward it is likely unsafe. Focus on the task at hand, without distraction, being overly tired, or in a hurry. This is when mishaps occur...not accidents. ALWAYS wear eye protection, protect your ears and lungs from long-term impacts from noise and dust. This is why I try to use sharp, properly tuned, hand tools whenever possible. Safety should always be #1 on the list of things to do when startin g all projects.

Please bring a friend who shares our passion for woodworking to our next TWA meeting Friday, February 22, 2013 at Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop - 3141 Capital Blvd. - Raleigh, beginning at 7 pm.

Now ~~ let’s go make some shavings~~

President: Steve Steinbeck