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!