Tidewater Woodworking President: Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer: Chris Zuchristian, Secretary: Larry Larue
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What's In The Newsletter?
Presidents Report ...
The guild is alive and well. We have had some outstanding demonstrations and programs at our monthly meetings and there are more to come. The program committee continues to find topics that are meaningful and educational for the membership.
We now have over 50 members in the guild and the numbers continue to grow. We had had many new members join in the past year and it seems like more people are taking up working with wood as a hobby or something to bring in a little extra money.
Our calendar year goes from January to December which means we will be having an election of new officers for the upcoming year. We are always looking for members to get more actively involved by taking on one of the four elected positions. There are also different committees that members can join to help improve the operation of the guild.
If you are not a member or have not been to one of our meetings recently, we would welcome you as a guest. If you like what you see, then you can decide if this organization is what you would like to join. We meet the fourth Monday every month at Woodcraft.
Chippokes Plantation State Park Sawmill
Back in the February TWWWG newsletter I wrote about the old sawmill located at Chippokes Plantation State Park located in Surry, VA. On October 15, 2022 they held their annual Harvest Days Festival and my wife and I drove up there to see the sawmill in action along with other attractions. As you will see in the photos below the sawmill did a very good job of cutting up the pine logs just like Paul Garrity and his portable saw mill. What really got my attention was the amount of labor involved in cutting up the logs on this old saw mill. Paul and his sawmill lift the log off the ground and do the positioning all with hydraulics. This sawmill uses man power to move the logs. Before the log hits the saw blade three men get beside the log and roll it onto the saw sled. They then lock and position the log in place with man power and manual clamps. In front of these three men is the sawyer who works the controls on the sled to get his desired cut. In speaking with the sawyer who is out of Virginia Beach they only do flat sawing.
On the other side of the saw blade you have two men grabbing the boards as they come out of the saw blade. There is no blade guard on the saw blade and the one person grabbing the board gets awfully close to the big blade. Finally there is one more person behind these two men who takes the wooden slab off of the roller assembly and puts it on a wagon. That makes seven men required to cut up a log. They also had one more person standing by the power plant monitoring its operation and the PTO (Power Take Off) belt system.
Left - Logs On Platform Ready To Be Sawn Right - Sawmill Sled For The Logs
Left - Power Plant Right - Pulley And Belt System For Sled, Blade & Saw Dust Removal
Left - Sawyer In Foreground, Hydraulic Men In Back Right - Pulley & Blade, Pulls The Log Into The Blade
Left - Log Encountering The Saw Blade Right - Log Exiting The Saw Blade
Left - Note How Close He Is To The Blade Right - It Takes Three Men To Handle The Cutoff
Elections for the new slate of officers for the Tide Water Wood Workers Guild will happen in November. As required in the TWWWG By-Laws, a list of candidates for the 2023 year must be published. Jim Francis and Bret Lancaster have been working hard on getting volunteers to lead the guild in the next year. Below is the list of candidates that they have put forward for 2023. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor.
President: Terry Nienaber and Greg Guertin
Vice President: Chris Zuchristian
Treasurer: Cheryl Davis
As you can see the guild is still looking for someone to step forward and volunteer for the position of guild secretary and become a working member of the executive board.
Woodworking In Early Times
While enjoying the beautiful day at Chippokes Plantation State Park I stumbled across an exhibit called Crafts On The Farm which really relates to our guild members who do not work with power tools but enjoy their hand tools. The craftsman was called a Wheelwright. The Wheelwright build and repaired wooden wheels found on early carriages, wagons, carts and other vehicles. Because the hubs, spokes and rims were made of wood, the Wheelwright used many carpentry skills. He used a Wheelwright saw to cut spokes or rim pieces and a shaving horse as a combination work bench and vice. The Wheelwright straddled it like a horse (Hence the name) and worked the clamp with his feet. This left booth hands free to use spoke shaves and other draw knives.
At first all parts of the wheel were made from hardwoods like Oak, Ash or Hickory. By early 19th century, however, hubs were metal lined and rims iron-strapped for greater strength. After the civil war, iron wheels were made in factories and the Wheelwright trade gradually disappeared. In the early 20th century, wheels were rimmed with rubber to produce a smoother ride. The modern pneumatic or air-filled rubber tire was developed in the 1930's. Below are pictures of their shaving horse work bench and various tools which still look very familiar to us in late 2022.
Left - Item 20 Is The Shaving Horse Right - Tools Of The Trade. Look Familiar?
Greg has been actively looking for vendors that will provide a discount to guild members for various supplies. A basic listing of the vendor will be published in each months newsletter. To keep this from getting too complicated for this newsletter the list will only contain the most basic information on the vendors. To get to the real meat of the vendor discounts you will have to go to the TWWWG web site www.twwwg.com and click on the tab marked "Member Information". Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Previous icon. Once on the second page click on the previous link one more time. This should take you to the article called TWWWG Vendor Discounts.