May 4th Guild Meeting

Cartoon for Carving by Paul Anderson of Helena, Montana

Paul Anderson  will be hosting our May meeting.  He will be sharing a couple of boxes he has made using small scraps of wood, as well as sharing some really unusual wood that he has been using.

Paul is one of Helena’s most talented and inspirational woodworkers, with a house full of interesting work that he has created, from furniture to elaborate carving and so much more. He is a very humble woodworker who mostly builds for himself and his family, so a meeting a his shop is great opportunity to see what he has been up to.

Paul will have some hand planes for sale as well.  The main dish will be either be roast turkey or ham!  Yum!

MEETING DETAILS
Date and Time: Monday, May 4, 2015 6:00 pm to around 8:00-ish
Location: (click here to go to a detailed google map. Zoom out to see Helena on the map.) Written directions are below.
Potluck: A ham or roast turkey will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert  and beverages. Thanks!  

To get to Paul’s shop at 14 North Spike:
  1. Take the Interstate south from Helena and exit at the South Helena Exchange.
  2. Use the round about and continue to go south on Colonial Drive in the direction of Montana City (the frontage road will parallel the highway).
  3. Turn left at the first stop street  (Highway 282 that leads to the old Asarco plant).  You will go over the viaduct that spans the highway.
  4. The first subdivision on your left is Big Sky Acres.
  5. Turn left into the subdivision on Antler (you will pass a group of mail boxes on you right).
  6. Turn right at the next street, Brow Tine.
  7. The next street that intersects is Spike Street.
  8. Take a left on North Spike. You will drive to a cul-de-sac.
  9. From the cul-de-sac drive up the hill to a beige, two story house with dormers.
OR
  1. Take the Highway 12 to East Helena (from Helena)
  2. Turn right at the stop light (the American Chemet plant/old Asarco plant will be on your right)
  3. Turn right at the light, passing American Chemet (you will be on First Street/Highway 282)
  4. Go approximately 3 miles until you are almost at the viaduct that crosses Highway 15 going to Montana City.
  5. Right before the viaduct will be the Big Sky Acres subdivision to your right.
  6. Turn right into the subdivision on Antler (you will pass a group of mail boxes on your right).
  7. Turn right at the next street, Brow Tine.
  8. The next street that intersects is Spike Street.
  9. Take a left on North Spike. You will drive to a cul-de-sac.
  10. From the cul-de-sac drive up the hill to a beige, two story house with dormers.

 

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April 6th Guild Meeting

All Wood Designs Custom KitchenKevin at All Wood Designs has generously offered to host the April meeting. It should be a good opportunity to see a productive shop that puts out some great products!  Hope to see you on Monday.

MEETING DETAILS
Date and Time: April 6th, 2015 6:00 pm to around 8:00-ish
Location: All Wood Designs shop at 1310 Boulder Ave, Helena
Potluck: Fried chicken will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert  and beverages. Thanks!  
Directions: All Wood Designs shop is just east of Montana Ave near malfunction junction.

Map: 

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January 5th Guild Meeting

Anna-Cedar2Anna Baker will be hosting our January Guild Meeting at her newly built house!  Anna’s new house is at 3996 Springhill Road. The meeting will take place on the first Monday in January (January 5). She is excited to show off her small and intentional house project, built with many recycled woods and parts. She has learned a bit about patina in the process of building cabinets, trim and refinishing old doors and a workbench and is anxious to share with us.

MEETING DETAILS
Date and Time: January 5th, 2015 6:00 pm to around 8:00-ish
Location: Anna Baker’s House at 3996 Springhill Road, Helena
Potluck: Anna will provide stew or chili. Please bring a side dish or dessert  and beverages. Thanks!
Program: Anna will show us her new new house, which incorporates many reused and recycled materials.  
Directions: Go ~3 miles south of the Lewis and Clark Library, staying left at the split of grizzly and oro fino. Spring hill is the second road on the left after the split.   Go past arrastra and turn left on springhill, which has a row of mailboxes.  Follow springhill up and around to the very end.  Anna’s driveway is at the end of the road on the left. Parking is limited, so probably best to park in the turn around rather than up the driveway.   Springhill can be slick, four wheel drive is highly recommended!

Map: 

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December 1st Guild Meeting

Wooden boat project at Fred Goughnour's shopFred Goughnour will host our December Guild meeting on December 1st, at his shop in Montana City.  Fred has been restoring wood boats for over 20 years.  He currently has two boats that he working in his shop.  One is almost finished and will provide an opportunity to talk about varnishing and final assembly. The other boat is in the early phases, so should provide some talking points on structure and wood replacement.

Fred Goughnour applying finish

Chili will be provided for the main course.  Please bring a side dish (green salads, baked beans, chips are some ideas …) or dessert. Also bring beverage to share. If you are new to the guild and just checking us out, please be our guest at the potluck — there is always plenty of food!

MEETING DETAILS
Date and Time: December 1st, 2014 6:00 pm to around 8:00-ish
Location: Fred Goughnour’s Shop at 14 Ponderosa Rd, Montana City
Potluck: Chili! Please bring side dish, dessert, beverages. Thanks!
Program: Fred will talk about a couple wood boats he is in the process of restoring.
Directions: Take I-15 to the Montana City exit (exit 190). Travel west towards the roundabout.  Exit the roundabout onto Hwy 282 heading north. At the first intersection, turn left onto South Hills Road.  Turn left onto Ponderosa. Fred’s house is the second driveway on right. Look for two Easter Island heads guarding the entrance! Shop is on left, narrow driveway with limited space, suggest parking on street.

Map:

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September 8th Guild Meeting

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Guild Member, Matt Schmidt, will be hosting our September meeting

Important Note: September Guild Meeting takes place on September 8th instead of the first Monday, because … the first Monday is Labor Day and we bet most guild members are going to be out playing with their families! Hope you all have an awesome holiday on the 1st!

Matt Schmidt's New Shop

Matt Schmidt’s New Shop — pretty clean, eh?

Matt Schmidt will host our September Guild meeting on September 8th, at his brand new shop. He has already finished a new pulpit cross out of his new shop, for his church, and is slowly putting things in their place from his old shop. Matt will talk about how he does his inlays and give us a tour of his new digs.

Inlay work in progress by Matt Schmidt

Inlay work in progress by Matt Schmidt

Matt will provide the main course, classic Montana pulled pork and buns. Maureen and Tim will bring coleslaw to go on the buns and pork. Please bring a side dish (green salads, baked beans, chips are some ideas …) or dessert. Also bring beverage to share. If you are new to the guild and just checking us out, please be our guest at the potluck — there is always plenty of food!

MEETING DETAILS
Date and Time: September 8th, 2014 6:00 pm to around 8:00-ish
Location: Matt Schmidt’s Shop at 3855 Pioneer Park Drive, Helena
Matt’s Cell: 406-266-1194
Potluck: Pulled Pork & Coleslaw with Buns. Please bring side dish, dessert, beverages. Thanks!
Program: Matt will talk a little about how he does his inlays, and how excited he is about his new shop. He might even give us a demo since he is currently working on a couple of inlays.
Directions: Take York Road Exit off Custer heading east, go about 4 miles. When you see the convenience store on the right hand side of the road, Pioneer Park Dr is a half mile on the right from there. Turn right,  My house is the first house on the left that is on Pioneer Park Drive. You will see the shop. It has a brown metal roof with brown siding. My house is a two story light tan/gray color with a camper out front. You can park along side the road and in the driveway.
Map:

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July Guild Meeting – Sawmill Demonstration

Very Big Log

You are invited to bring a log to the meeting if you would like to have Scott demonstrate cutting it on his lumber mill.
Please do not bring a log this big, though. 😉

 

The Helena Woodworkers Guild will meet on July 7th at 6:00 pm. Scott Walters will host our meeting this month at his mill in Unionville.

Meeting Details:

  • Where: Unionville, Scott Walter’s place
  • Date: July 8th
  • Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00-ish
  • Potluck: main dish Yucatan Pulled Pork. Bring a sidedish, dessert and beverage
  • Program: Lumber mill demonstration. Bring a log if you have one
Anna, Scott and Cort hobknobbing at a Guild meeting

Anna, Scott and Cort hobknobbing at a Guild meeting

PROGRAM: Scott will demonstrate his lumber mill with a large green ash log. Members are encouraged/welcome to bring a log to have milled as well.

DIRECTIONS: Go through Unionville and his mill gate is the fourth left after the pavement ends. He will put a sign at the entrance.

CARPOOLING: Due to lack of parking space, we encourage you to car pool. Meet in the federal building parking lot at 5:40 pm and we’ll figure out the carpooling from there. People who can walk a bit may also park by the historical marker at the top of Unionville. It is just short quarter mile from there to the mill yard gate. If you are bringing a log you will need to drive in at the mill yard. We might end up doing some vehicle shuffling if there are a few logs.

POTLUCK: Cort Harrington has graciously agreed to provide our main dish, Yucatan Pulled Pork. Yummm! Bring a side dish, dessert and beverage to go with the pulled pork.

Sounds like a very interesting and fun evening program. We’ll probably be making alot more sawdust than any of us usually do! See you on the 7th at Scott’s mill.

Sawmill

Big log

Ginormous Log

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June Guild Meeting — Duck Hunting Tools

Mallard Decoys by Ralph Yaeger

There is a certain mystique associated with wildfowling, or waterfowl hunting. We hope to shed a little light on the tools of the trade, so to speak, on Monday evening, June 2nd at our next Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting (scroll down for details on the meeting.)

We have a fascinating program lined up for the June meeting. Ralph Yaeger will show us examples of his hand carved duck decoys and duck calls and will lead a discussion about the rewards of designing and carving these tools of his avocation.  He’ll also bring his hunting outfit and his tool kit, which he claims fits in a shoe box.

Duck Call by Ralph Yaeger

Here, Ralph talks about what got him started carving these small works of functional art:

I could have purchased the decoys, but most of what’s available for duck hunters is plastic and that really saddened me. In the old days, so many guys made as much of their own equipment as they could and to me, that was just so much more beautiful.

So he decided after a couple of years of hunting birds with plastic stuff, that he wanted to make his own. It took several years to make a full rig for himself. He also collects hand made duck calls.

Most guys use a drill press to bore a blank and a lathe to turn it down. I make mine with hand tools. It turned into something much more than just making my own decoys and calls. I only make about 6 calls a year because it takes a long time and my hands get sore from carving.

For Ralph, the main value in making his own duck hunting gear hasn’t been monetary (saving money by making his own.) It has been the reward of making and designing something he never dreamed he was capable of … thinking of the next design, the next carving, is very relaxing and satisfying for Ralph when he’s lying awake at night. I guess you could say Ralph counts ducks instead of sheep. Quack!

“It is a gift to create something that you never dreamed you would be capable of making. I never dreamed I would do something quite this good, and it makes me very happy.”

Duck Calls by Ralph Yaeger

The Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting for June, 2014 will be Monday, June 2nd at 6:00 pm. Lance Seaman will host our meeting in his woodworking shop at 21 Jackson Creek Road in Montana City. 

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the evening:

  • 6:00 pm: Potluck dinner with your fellow woodworkers. Lance will provide the main dish, some kind of hot sandwich like pulled pork or sloppy joes. Please bring a salad, dessert or side dish to share, and a beverage of your choice. If you are super busy — or if you are new to the guild and just checking us out — don’t worry about bringing a dish. There is always enough food!
  • The evening’s program will be presented by Ralph Yaeger.

Meeting Details:

  • Date: Monday, June 2nd
  • Time: 6:00 pm to around 8:00 ish
  • Where: Lance Seaman’s shop in Montana City — 21 Jackson Creek Road  (See the detailed google map below. Zoom out to see Helena on the map.)
  • Please Bring: side dish (anything that goes with hot sandwiches) Also a beverage to share
  • Also bring: a friend who might be interested in joining, or who just wants to check us out!
  • Lance Seaman’s phone number: 442-8459

See you at the meeting on Monday! 

Map to Lance’s shop at 21 Jackson Creek Road, Helena, Montana:

Directions to Lance’s shop: drive south on I-15 or Colonial Drive (Frontage Road) to Montana City roundabout. Head west on Jackson Creek Road about 2/10 of a mile. His shop is on the south side of the road (left) directly across from Guardian Kennels. Lance will put a sign out on the road, but says you really can’t miss his brown shop building. See you there!

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Come to May Guild Meeting to Learn About Chairs

Tim Carney

A poll of woodworkers at The Wood Whisperer, asked, “which do you think is the most challenging project?” Of a total 1069 votes, 796 woodworkers said “building a chair” was the most challenging. (For the other projects on the list, and poll results, see the screenshot at the bottom of this post.) Many of the commenters also mentioned building musical instruments as their most challenging woodworking project.

Dining Chair by Tim Carney of Timothy's Fine Woodworking

A chair is a complicated piece of furniture to build. It should be pleasing to the eye, and pleasing to the butt (and back!) and if it’s not both of those things … well, then it’s not a well-designed chair and doesn’t fulfill it’s true purpose.

So … how many of you are interested in learning more about what, to many woodworkers, seems a difficult if not impossible challenge? You’ll get your chance on Monday May 5th at our next Guild meeting. Tim Carney will be demonstrating and talking about chairs, stools and tips and techniques for building them.

The Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting for May, 2014 will be Monday, May 5th pm. Tim will host our meeting in his woodworking shop at 3025 East Bozeman Avenue.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the evening:

  • 6:00 pm: Potluck dinner with your fellow woodworkers. Tim and Maureen will provide the main dish: Slow-cooked Bolognese Sauce on Fettucini. Be prepared for garlic and taste-bud-popping flavors! Please bring a salad, dessert or side dish to share, and a beverage of your choice. If you are super busy — or if you are new to the guild and just checking us out — don’t worry about bringing a dish. There is always enough food!
  • The evening’s program will be presented by Tim as well. He will give us tips and show us techniques for building chairs and stools, with a goal of trying to make chair building seem less intimidating than most woodworkers believe it is. Who knows … maybe someday we will convince Tim to do a workshop on building a simple yet comfortable chair (comfort is the trick.)

Meeting Details:

  • Date: Monday, May 5th
  • Time: 6:00 pm to around 8:00 ish
  • Where: 3025 East Bozeman Avenue. Tim’s shop is on the south side of the big tan building (See the detailed google map below. Zoom out to see Helena on the map.)
  • Please Bring: side dish (salad, garlic bread would be great) or dessert. Also a beverage to share
  • Also bring: a friend who might be interested in joining, or who just wants to check us out!
  • Tim Carney’s Phone Numbers: cell: 461-8621 shop: 449-2730

See you at the meeting on Monday! 

Map to Tim’s Shop at 3025 East Bozeman Ave, Helena, Montana:

Comments on the most challenging part of woodworking:

Hal P. — Putting the tools away and not tracking sawdust in the house

Jim H. — Wait, you do this? I tried once, but then forgot.

 

Esoterica:

Even the most basic chair must support a body comfortably and be strong enough to take lots of rocking and rolling. This likely involves angled joinery; add some grace to the design and you’re probably working with curved parts as well. Alot of woodworkers shy away from making chairs. But there are many good reason for building them. Design a dining table or desk and it seems only fitting to complete the project by building the chairs too. Dealing with angled joinery and curved parts exposes you to making patterns, full-scale drawings, mock-ups, and thinking in three dimensions. Also, chairs are great for improving hand skills such as fitting joints and smoothing curves. — from Fine Woodworking article, “Chair Making Simplified”

Pinterest links to images of chairs (some more comfy lookin than others …) and other woodworking stuff:

 

This is just a screenshot of a poll on Wood Whisperer. Sorry. This doesn’t allow you to vote. Poll Results Wood Whisperer

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April Guild Meeting: Out of the Woodwork Like Magic

It seems like every month lately, a handful of woodworkers who are new to the Helena Woodworkers Guild, come to our meetings. I am constantly amazed at the talent in this town! Where have all these wood artisans been hiding? Like magic, they are coming out of the woodwork to join us and the guild is so much richer for the diversity of skills and visions they bring. Thank you all for coming last night! And thank you to Dave Ashley, for inviting Chris and Tom to do last night’s presentation.

Tom Dooling shared his beautiful turned bowls and lidded containers with the guild last night.

Tom Dooling shared his beautiful turned bowls and lidded containers with the guild last night.

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Chris Clearman shared his stunning bird carvings with guild members at our April Meeting

Turned Bowl and Container by Tom Dooling

Salad Bowl and Lidded Container by Tom Dooling

Canada Goose -- a work in progress -- by Chris Clearman

Canada Goose — a work in progress — by Chris Clearman

Dave Ashley hosted a fantastic Guild meeting at his shop, Helena Hardwoods, on April 7th. Grilled brats and TONS of smoke from the grill, anchored our as-usual-delicious-potluck. We hope all you guys who came for the first time last night, decide to join the Guild and come to future meetings. Thanks for being there!

The program was inspiring: Tom Dooling and Chris Clearman showed us their absolutely beautiful wood art. Chris carves birds from many different wood species. The detail was incredible! We found out he is self-taught and has never seen anyone carve birds like this before. You have to see them in person to believe the intricacy and accuracy, but check out the photos below for a little taste.

Tom’s turned salad bowl and lidded container are amazing — so much thought and planning has to go into gluing up the main chunk of wood (my non-woodworker way of saying it) in order to have the different components of the bowls “turn out” the way he envisions them. And man, do they turn out! The salad bowl is comprised of satin wood, maple, wenge, walnut and cherry and is so light and thin, yet very strong.

Please enjoy the photos, and click on the smaller thumbnails in the gallery at the bottom of this post to see other pics of the fun we (always) have at our guild meetings.

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Marissa examining a lidded container by Tom Dooling

Tom Explains his Technique

Tom explaining the techniques he uses in his turned containers and bowls

Showing off this beautiful turned bowl

Turned bowl by Tom Dooling

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Guild members listen intently to Chris as he explains his carving techniques

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Hawk by Chris Clearman

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Chris gives tips on how he chooses the woods for his birds, along with his carving techniques

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Detail of Pheasant feathers by Chris Clearman

Our next guild meeting will be held on May 5th at the usual time, 6:00 pm. Meetings are always on the first Monday of the month. Meeting host is to be determined. Watch our blog here, for meeting details. We usually post an announcement of the meeting location and program 1 week before the meeting. If you would like to receive an email with meeting announcement and a link to the post, please send your contact information to Bill Daigle by email: daigle.bill@gmail.com. 

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