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!

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.
  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.



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.

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!



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!

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.



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.


Big log

Ginormous Log


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.


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.


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


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


Hawk by Chris Clearman


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


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: 


April Guild Meeting Features a Turner and a Carver

Guild-dave ashley and chris yavah

Our April Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting will be Monday, April 7th pmDave Ashley will host our meeting at Helena Hardwoods (3290 Centennial Drive.) We have a couple of first class wood artists giving a presentation on carved wood birds, and turned bowls.

Carved Geese by Chris Clearman of Wildwoods

Here’s what’s on the program:

  • 6:00 pm: Potluck dinner with your fellow woodworkers. Dave Ashley will provide our main dish: different meats to be grilled on his bbq, along with buns and condiments. 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 Chris Clearman and Tom Dooling. Chris will share his carved birds with us (see photo above) and Tom will show us some of his exquisite turned bowls. Both gentlemen use multiple species of woods to create gorgeous details and interesting patterns in their pieces. They are prepared to talk about processes, tools, woods and inspirations. They will also be happy to answer questions.
  • If time allows, Dave will give an educational talk about plywoods: the different cores, surfaces and the materials in plywoods, along with benefits of using plywoods.

Carved Hawk by Chris Clearman of Wildwoods Pheasant by Chris Clearman of Wildwoods

Meeting Details:

  • Date: Monday, April 7th
  • Time: 6:00 pm to around 8:00 ish
  • Where: 3290 Centennial Drive across US Highway 12 from the Subway sandwich shop, between Helena and East Helena. (click here to go to a detailed google map. Zoom out to see Helena on the map.)
  • Please Bring: side dish 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!
  • Dave Ashley’s Phone Number: 495-1066

See you at the meeting on Monday! 

GuildDaveAshley September Meeting Helena Woodworkers Guild GuildDaveinForklift



CNC Demo at March Guild Meeting

Crowd Around

Great meeting last night! We came in droves — in spite of the icy roads. But braving the snowy evening was well worth the drive out to the north Helena valley and Leonard’s shop.

Clock by Leonard Cloninger

Leonard’s shop is the cleanest woodworking shop I have ever ever seen. It’s even cleaner than shops I’ve seen in magazines like Fine Woodworking. OMG — before everybody got there and tracked snow and mud on the floor, you could have licked the floor, it was so clean. I didn’t see a molecule of sawdust anywhere. Tee-hee. And organized! Check out these nooks and crannies of Leonard’s space for organization:

Thank you to Leonard and one of our new members, Andy Sever, for the fascinating talk and CNC demo. These guys showed us how to use the CNC machine to cut and carve clock parts and a three-dimensional figurative carving. Andy demonstrated how the CNC machine can “scan” pretty much any three dimensional surface and convert that into data used by the CNC to duplicate that surface carving. Pretty cool.

Leonard also had several of his clocks on display, which both he and Andy claim are not as intricate as they look. Well, they sure seem complicated to me! The clocks are really cool to see in person. Here is a short clip showing a closeup of the gears ticking away.

Around the corner, I found a room devoted to Leonard’s model airplane hobby. Some views of his airplane “hangar.”

What a feast! Leonard says his wife Carol loves to entertain and cook for folks and boy did she impress us all last night with the pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches. But somehow I think her idea to serve beverages packed in snow in this tub was the piece de resistance of the evening potluck. Carol and Leonard, you realize that you have raised the bar for our potlucks now, don’t you? The food at these meetings just keeps getting more and more scrumptious.


In other business, I gave a brief tour of our website’s member directory and member galleries … I was hoping to build a fire under your member-butts to send me photos of your woodworking projects. I’d like to make more member galleries. 😉

Tim Carney gave us an update on the planned two-day Sketch-Up workshop with Phillip Pontillo. We are hoping to have the workshop sometime in late May. It will probably be two 6 hour days at the library computer lab. Fee for the workshop will be minimal, with a discount for guild members. We’ll promote the workshop to the whole community, not just woodworkers. Watch for more details via the email list and on our website.

Okay, more than enough for now. See you in April at the next guild meeting!




Progress on our Member Directory

Greetings to all Helena Woodworkers Guild members: I have recently been trying to update our online membership directory and wanted to let you know that I am making progress. Thank you so much, to everyone who has sent me web links, photos and personal information for the membership directory!

As of now, every paid member of the guild has a listing in the membership directory.

However … many of the listings are simply that — a listing — without a gallery of woodworking projects or a link to a personal or business site elsewhere on the web. There are still many members who have not sent me photos of their work, and I need these in order to make you a personal gallery page on the guild’s website.

This is just a screenshot of a section of our membership directory

The image above is just a screenshot of a section of our membership directory. Blue highlighted member names are links to their gallery or an off-site website of their own.

IF you are interested in having a link to a gallery of your woodworking on your member listing (see screenshot above,) please — please — send me some photos of your projects. Between 6 and 12 photos is ideal. These photos do not have to be professional photos, although that helps if you are trying to sell your work, and/or show off your work in the best light (pun intended, heh)

Check my member listing here for my email address to send digital photos. I am happy to answer any questions you have about how to take good photos and the best format for sending digital files to me. (Maureen)

Photo above is a screenshot of a member's gallery page. Each member who sends photos of their woodworking to me will have a page like this, with your name, business name (if applicable) phone and email address, photo of you, and a "gallery."

Photo above is a screenshot of a member’s gallery page. Each member who sends photos of their woodworking to me will have a page like this, with your name, business name (if applicable) phone and email address, photo of you, and a “gallery.”

Also, if you have not paid your dues, and you would like to be a member (having a listing in our directory) please send your dues check to Bill Pratt or give it to him at one of our meetings. Give your contact information to Bill Daigle and I will get all of this and be able to make you a member listing.

Thank you for your help in making our guild website a useful and dynamic site. The better we make it, the more you will want to use it to send to your friends, family members and clients, and to find helpful woodworking information. 

Ciao! — Maureen Shaughnessy, your web”mastress!” 😉


Guild Members host Gallery Talks and Reception

Helena Woodworkers Guild members, Tim Carney and Maureen Shaughnessy are hosting a reception and artist talks at their downtown Helena gallery on Friday night, November 29th.

Featured in the 1+1=1 Gallery are Tim’s furniture and Maureen’s paintings. Tim and Maureen will talk about their inspirations and media beginning at 6:30 pm, with a reception to follow the talks.

The gallery is located at 335 North Last Chance Gulch in Helena, Montana. If you are in town for the Thanksgiving weekend, please stop by their gallery Friday evening.