Copyright 2019
Tidewater Woodworking GuildSite by President:Jim Francis Vice President: Scott Fell Treasurer:Greg Guertin

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November 2019
Running out of time to make holiday woodworking projects?
Web Links At the Meeting Last Meeting Notes Tip of the Month Editors Notes
Product Reviews

What's In The Newsletter?

  • Presidents Report & Program Info
  • Meet The TWWWG 2020 Candidates
  • Shellac & Wax Finishing
  • Notes From The News Room
  • Holiday Dinner Party

From the President ...

The traveling/chainsaw/school season has ended, so I'm settling back into shop work.  Unfortunately the drawer fairy didn't come while I was gone, so these past weeks have been filled with tails and pins.

Be sure to come out to this month's meeting; its election time and we need a quorum (25 members) to make the obvious official.  I think this year's slate (Fran - Pres., Greg - VP, Chris - Treas.) will bring a lot of new energy to the Guild, and I'm excited about all the neat ideas brewing.  However, there's still room for one more.....Secretary.  Think hard; you'll be joining a very strong team and will have a lot of fun.  One more comment; a special thanks to Gary Stephens for all the work he's done this year.  In addition to handling the newsletter and audio/visual items, he's generated some very informative/interesting newsletter articles.  He's certainly a key player in the Guild.

The program for this month is hinges (types, selection, installation), and was a request by Larry LaRue.  I've found that vendor/store literature generally lacks good information (i.e. load and application), so this session hopefully will give you better information/insight.

Finally, bring in your treasures for a raffle; as well as your creations for show/tell.


Jim Francis

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Meet The TWWWG 2020 Candidates

A few weeks ago I asked each of the TWWWG candidates to provide some biographical info on their background and their interest in the guild.  These are their responses.

Presidential Candidate Fran Foster

I attended a very small school, grades 1-12 in the same building in Littleton, NC.  My experience with woodworking began in high school.  The school did not have Industrial Arts, but did have an agriculture class that had a half year of agriculture instruction and the other half year working in the woodworking shop.  We started with hand tools and progressed to equipment as the year progressed.  I took this class for two years which led me to East Carolina College, (yes “college” it became a university in 1967) in 1965 with a major in Industrial Arts Education.  I had to declare an area of concentration so I chose drafting and woodworking.  I stayed and received my master’s degree.

After graduation, I was ready to enter the workforce as an Industrial Arts teacher.  I was fortunate enough to land a job teaching at Plaza Junior High.  I taught the following areas: woods, metals, ceramics, plastics, photography, graphic arts, power and transportation, construction and manufacturing.  I stayed there for nine years then opened up Green Run High School as the woodworking teacher.  Taught three levels of woodworking for seven years.  I was given an opportunity to work in the maintenance department for the school division for the next, very rewarding, twenty-five years.  I retired in 2001 after completing forty-one years all with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

My interest in woodworking went beyond teaching.  I have built many additions and renovations to our house which we have lived in for forty-six years.  I have a “Swift Garage” that I have used as my woodworking shop.  I used to build reproductions of antiques, tilt-top tables, lowboys, drop-leaf tables.  I have also built most of the built-ins and other furniture for our home.  After filling up our home with stuff, I started building things for our three daughters and the nine grandchildren.

What I would like to do if selected as president of the guild is to continue the direction that has been established by the previous presidents.  We need to not only continue to increase the skills of the current members, but also need to demonstrate that woodworking is a rewarding and worthwhile hobby for people that may show an interest.  We need to provide programs that are both interesting and something that will spark interests.  We need to continue to show Woodcraft that their support is appreciated.

Vice-Presidential candidate Greg Guertin

I graduated from Western Branch High School in 1978. While in high school I was a member of various organizations including but not limited to the Key Club and Student Government where I was treasurer for 1 and 2 years respectively. I was also an active many other clubs and organizations. I retired from Norfolk Naval Shipyard January 3rd of this year. After taking about 6 months and enjoyed retirement I decided I was too busy and went back to for QED Systems Inc as a government contractor in Logistics which the same thing I was doing for the past 15 or so years at NNSY.

I have enjoyed making splinters and sawdust ever since I was a kid. I thank my Dad for exposing me to woodworking. I took shop classes in high school and they were my favorite classes.

I have been a member of the TWWWG about 11 years. I joined at fist to see what is was all about as I have always been a joiner of clubs. Anyhow it has been a great ride. Where can you spend $20 and get the education you get from our fellow members? There is so much knowledge in the guild. My parents instilled in me at a young age that you will reap what you sew and they were so right. With that said that is why I am running for vice president. Part of my duties will to be to help find programs for our monthly meetings and I believe that will be fun. I want to help make TWWWG more fun than it already is.

Treasurer candidate Chris Zuchristian

I was born and raised in Illinois. Graduated Barrington High School in 1985.  I joined the Marine Corps reserves in 1987, commissioned in 1991, and retired in 1 Sept 2010.  My Wife Wendy, our three children and I moved to Virginia Beach in Sept 2010 and I started working at Marine Forces Command in Norfolk.  I am a readiness officer as well as the contracting officer representative.  I have an MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School. 

I got interested in woodworking about 15 years ago when I started building shadow boxes for people retiring from the Marine Corps and civil service.  Since than I have expanded into all woodworking except turning.   I have not purchased a lathe yet; maybe Santa will be good to me this year.  I joined the TWWWG to learn from more experienced woodworkers and to meet people with similar interests as myself.     

Secretary candidate ????

Your name could be here.  You still have a chance to volunteer your name at this month’s meeting.


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Shellac & Wax Finishing

 The following article was submitted by Jim Frances.  It is his notes on a shellac and wax class he took in late October of this year.

In late October I attended a one day shellac and wax training session hosted by W. Patrick Edwards (antique restorer, developer of Old Brown Glue, owner of the American School of French Marquetry) at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.  Following are highlights.  Also, check out his web page, blog and videos at


•  Use alcohol with only 5% methanol ("good alcohol", used for cleaning glass) for mixing with shellac, and use the bad stuff (alcohol with 45% methanol) for cleaning brushes.  Both are sold at big-box stores.

•  Shellac (both solid and dissolved) has a shelf life of about a year.  Shellac crystals beyond their shelf life won't dissolve, and liquid shellac beyond its shelf life won't dry completely.

•  Zinnser seal coat is about a 1 lb cut (one pound of shellac for every gallon of alcohol), and regular Zinnser is about a 2 1/2 lb cut.

•  After purchasing, put shellac crystals in a glass jar with O2 absorbers to prolong useful life.

•  If mixing shellac, use about a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of shellac crystals to alcohol for a nice brushable mixture.  Grind the crystals in a coffee grinder before mixing to speed dissolving. 

•  Put dates on your shellac; when bought, when mixed.

•  Use a good brush to apply shellac (i.e. ox-hair), and clean it properly.  A properly cleaned brush will last a very long time.

•  Sand between coats (i.e green Scotch-Brite, 400 to 600 grit sandpaper), then use a tack cloth to remove dust.

•  One coat a day for three days, followed by waxing is a good recipe.

•  Renaissance wax is the only wax that won't change the color of wood.

•  Trewax is a good brand of wax that is available from big-box stores.  Its solvent is turpentine.

•  Other waxes may have toluene or acetone as solvents.

•  Apply thin coats of wax.  Let each coat of wax dry 24 hours before rubbing it out.

•  Rubbing wax out first with a shoe brush, then wool will give a semi-gloss finish.  The "glow" that folks like comes after five or six coats.

•  To remove shellac from a piece of furniture; cover an area of the piece with paper towels, pour "good" alcohol on the towels, and cover the area with plastic.  Wait 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub the area with a green Scotch-Brite and wipe off the residue.  This method will not affect color/patina, and won't lift the veneer.

•  Old Brown Glue has a larger working temperature range (100 to 160F) compared to other hide glues.

•  Hide glues are transparent to stains/dyes, they cure by drying, and cleanup is accomplished with cold water.

•  Hide glues respond to water/heat.  For an old, deep joint; soak the joint first, then apply heat.

Jim Francis



Notes From The News Room

It’s been one year since taking over the newsletter and web page.  I have learned a lot about Joomla and HTML over the course of the year plus web page formatting.  Still a long way to go on the internal workings of your web page but I am sure Karl will get me there in 2020.

I am looking for ideas to put into your newsletter for next year and I would appreciate any ideas you might send my way.  You don’t have to be very specific and if you want I will also research any of your woodworking topics for inclusion into the newsletter.  If you have any thoughts or articles, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gary Stephens

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Holiday Dinner Party


Please mark your calendar for the annual TWWWG holiday dinner party at Logan’s Steak House.  The date for the party is Tuesday, December 10, 2019.  More details to follow in an e-mail later in November.

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