Tidewater Woodworking President:Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer:Chris Zuchristian, Secretary: Don Newsome
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What's In The Newsletter?
It looks like the country is attempting to get back to some sense of normalcy. Businesses are reopening and more people are venturing beyond their comfort zone. Does this mean that we are really back to pre-pandemic activities? No. As we all know everything that what we were able to do earlier is not possible. One activity that is not possible at this time is meeting as a large group. This is having an impact on our guild’s ability to physically meet just like other large groups of people. Will this change any time in the near future? Only time will tell, but there may be options an available which we will continue to investigate. Until we can meet in some way, we are continuing to stay in touch virtually. We continue to send out our monthly newsletter, have weekly guild notes going out to the membership, and are having our first challenge of the year. We also post projects that have been completed by the members. We are doing what can be done to keep everyone aware of what is happening and stay safe. Take care and stay safe.
Home Phone 757-495-0283
Cell Phone 757-342-8363
What Type Of Wood Is It?
Last month’s newsletter discussed our generic use of word terminology used in woodworking such as walnut, oak or cherry. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter there were 21 different types of wood under the banter walnut wood. Can you still remember the 6 types of walnut lumber listed in last month’s newsletter? If not, here is a quick refresher:
This month’s discussion will revolve around oak lumber, particularly red oak and white oak. While in most instances you can tell the difference between red oak and white oak just by looking at the color of the wood but what are the technical differences between the two woods?
Oak trees come from a large group of trees called the Beech family (Fagaceae) that include beeches, chestnut, chinkapins and oak trees. Oak trees are also known as Quercus, and this includes as many as 60 species in the United States. The genus Quercus is a Latin word meaning oak tree. Within the Quercus genus, there are two divisions of oaks: white and red.
There are 12 different types of oak trees that make up the white oak category. The white oak group, which includes the white, bur, overcup, post, Chapman, chestnut, swamp chestnut, swamp white and chinkapin, grow on the eastern half of the continent. The Gambel, Oregon white and California white oaks grow in the Far West.
There are 10 different types of oak trees that make up the red oak category. Red oak trees have different eastern species called the myrtle oak, bear oak and turkey oak. However, red oak trees mainly exist in the western states alongside the blue oak, California black oak, canyon live oak, interior live oak, Silverleaf oak, Engelmann oak and Emory oak.
Red and white oaks are only found in North America, the main ways to tell the differences between the two are by examining the leaves, acorns and bark.
The Leaves of Red and White Oak Trees
Tree leaves are either pointed or rounded. The white oak leaf has rounded ends just like a bur oak tree. The foliage has rounded serrations on the margins, which is the same as various chestnut oak trees. The red oak leaf has a variety of leaf characteristics. Some trees have a pointed lobe that has bristles on the ends. Other red leaf trees have spiny teeth on the margins, smooth edges or edges that are smooth with just one bristle at the apex of the leaf. To keep things simple, look at the photo below for a general classification difference between the leaf types.
Wood Characteristic Differences
A closed grain hardwood, white oak is almost impervious to water. The pores of the heartwood of white oaks are typically plugged with tyloses, which is a membranous growth. Tyloses makes the white oak impenetrable to liquids and particularly suited for use in the boat industry. Because of its resistance to moisture, white oak is also widely used to construct outdoor furniture and whiskey casks.
White oak is fairly straight-grained and is a favorite material used in many types of fine furniture. It’s usually available quarter sawn, rift sawn or flat sawn. The grain in quarter sawn white oak has a striking ray flake pattern.
The coloring in white oak is varied. Separate boards of white oak lumber may be dark brown, light brown, or brown with yellow tones. Stain and wood sealer tend to beautifully enhance the appearance of white oak.
Red oak is porous and has open grains. It’s more prone to shrink than white oak. Compared to birch or maple, red oak finishes and stains easily and doesn’t have blotching problems. Because the open pores in red oak absorb stain, the grain patterns become very evident when a dark stain is used as a finish.
Red oak will stain black when water penetrates the surface. If you have red oak flooring, be especially careful not to expose it to standing water. Red oak doesn’t have the water-resistant qualities of white oak.
The usual purposes for red oak are often quite different than those for white oak. Red oak, available at most home centers, is used as lumber. fence posts. mine timbers, railroad ties, veneer, pulpwood, boxes, pallets and crates, caskets and general millwork.
Workshop On Steroids
Several weeks ago Chris Zuchristian had me send out an e-mail blast about a woodworker in Pungo who had some wood to sell from his workshop. After about a week or so I made contact with Greg Horvath to go and look at the wood and take a look at his shop. This visit turned out to be one of the most interesting shop visits I have been to in years.
Greg, like myself, is a transplanted Midwest person from Michigan and still has ties to this neck of the country. He began collecting his power tools years ago, all used, but still in very good shape. They came from manufacturing facilities like GM that were changing their manufacturing processes and no longer had need for these big power tools. These tools, table saws, band saws, surface planners, jointers, lathes, etc. are all heavy weight industrial machines utilizing 3 phase electricity, 220 VAC or 440 VAC. You will not see them is most workshops as they are beyond the physical capabilities of most of the TWWWG woodworkers shops. The other amazing fact about his shop is that it is not a manufacturing woodworking shop but simply a woodworking shop for an individual!
I thought you might be interested in some of the pictures of the tools in Greg’s shop.
24”Oliver Surface Planner 16” Jointer
Giant 36” Band Saw (1 of 3 units)
36” Drum Sander
One of the most interesting tools I saw in his shop was his large Oliver No. 260 table saw. When I first saw the unit I asked him if it was a 12” cabinet saw and he said no, it is a 16” cabinet saw!!! Not only is it a 16” cabinet saw but it also has dual saw blades!
As I said in the beginning of this article I came down to his shop to look at the lumber he had for sale. Greg has a supplier out in the Midwest and usually buys the lumber either by the truck load or half truck load. The lumber in the pictures below are just some of the stacks of lumber that he uses for his projects and he sells off the surplus to people like the guild members. Just a couple of weeks ago he had Paul Garrity of our guild cut up some big pine trees from his neighbor who took down 12 trees. Also, Greg does not work with exotic woods but just woods native to North America.
Walnut Lumber For Sale Maple Lumber For Sale
Cherry Lumber For Sale Greg’s Current Walnut Project
Greg just received another truck load of Walnut and Cherry on June 17th. 12/4, and 8/4 stock all FAS quality, virtually no knots. If you ever come across a woodworking project that is too big for your tools or that of other guild members you may wish to contact Greg via the info below. He charges $75 / hour for his shop time.
Greg Horvath cell # 419-309-0062. Give him a call any time!
Lumber Milling Exercise
On June 22, 2020 guild members lead by Paul Garrity began slicing and dicing three logs into fine lumber to be used in future projects. The lumber was originally touted as Ash lumber but upon further inspection by Paul it was actually very nice Pecan lumber. Two of the logs were similar to the one shown in the saw below and then there was the monster log that is also shown below.
The first two logs proved easy to get onto the saw and they yielded some fine lumber that you can see in the photos below.
The monster log was very challenging. The guild members did not get to it until after lunch and it was already in the 90’s and very humid. The log was also bigger than the 40” cutting capacity of Paul’s saw. After much trimming of the base area with the chain saw Paul was able to get the log into dimensions that would work with his saw. Next came the challenge of the day, rolling the log onto the saw. This was not a “three men and a boy” job but a challenge to about 10 guild members. The guild members finally got the log rolled onto the hydraulic lift and the next question would be “is it too heavy for the saw to lift it up onto the cutting surface?”. It turned out that the hydraulic system was strong enough and we were a able to get the log onto the cutting surface.
Guild Woodworking Projects
It is nice to note that while we have been severely restricted on our movements since the pandemic and sequestering that many of us are still active in our workshops.
The first project is from Chris Zuchristian who built a beautiful box to hold a bottle of bourbon for a Marine leaving the command. He used quarter sawn white oak and walnut for his choice of woods. He sealed it with Shellac and finished it with three coats of lacquer. To complete the finish he gave it a light coat of finishing wax and buffed it to a high gloss.
Chris’s additional projects include making an Adirondack chair plus a unique head board for his son’s bedroom. The chair comes from his class at Woodcraft and taught by Mike P. Chris said Mike was a great instructor and he highly recommends the class to anyone interested in building a Adirondack chair. For the head board Chris used 2 x 4 white wood studs to make the frame and then a herringbone pattern to fill in the balance of the headboard. His wife and son helped glue and paint the boards.
Our second group of projects comes from Karl Bogot.
These two sets of nested router trays are made of maple and jatoba. All of them were made from one 60" glue up. One set is 'symmetrical', the other 'asymmetrical'.
Once laid out, the majority of material is hogged out with a Forstner bit. Then a 1 14" bowl bit is used to shape the inside. Once at the desired depth, I cut the shape and sanded them round. Sanding and a 1/4" round over bit finish the shaping, to be followed by a coat of bees wax and mineral oil.
The next projects comes from Gary Stephens.
The first project is a walnut cross that my wife designed on paper and used hand signals to help me with the architectural dimensions. The pewter ornaments hanging from the cross came from Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada during our 2019 vacation. The upper part of the cross is made from Black Walnut while the base is made from Claro Walnut (came out of my attic that way).
The second project was the repurposing of a glass globe from a chandler that used to hang in our hallway. Rather than pitch it with the rest of the lamp we decided to keep the glass with the possibility of building a base for it and filling it with items like sea shells or Christmas ornaments or something else. I had a left over piece of Paduk lumber that I used when I constructed my US national parks quarter display that seemed to fit the glass globe nicely. My biggest challenge was how I route a small grove in the wood to accommodate the glass base. The circle cut in the wood is smaller than the base of my router and while I have both a home made and commercially purchased circle cutting jig, it would not allow me to cut small circles. I came across a circle cutting kit from Milescraft that allows me to cut small circles from 1.5” to 12” in diameter and large circles from 10” to 52” in diameter. For $40 it was a good purchase. If you are interested in the product check it out on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9d5X6yA2dE.
I finished the Paduk with 4 coats of General Finish’s semi-gloss oil and urethane finish.
The last projects that were in time to make this month’s newsletter come from Larry Sticklen and Ron Nixon.
The first from Larry is a wooden cross cut on his scroll saw using a number 2 blade. Larry makes lots of these crosses and gives them to friends.
The second project is a cutting / serving board made out of Pin Oak from an old plantation he and his wife visit yearly. During their last visit he asked for a log from the plantation and they agreed. It was Larry’s first attempt at making a project from fresh wood and then getting it down to dimensional size. The two pieces are joined and strengthened together with bow tie inlays. He also used epoxy to fill in the rough spots on the wood. He finished the project with three coats of Tried and True food safe finished. He will be returning the project and other projects made out of the same log to the plantation where it all started.
His last projects are wooden Tulips that he cut out on the scroll saw. The stems are made of Poplar wood, The blossoms are Cherry and Yellow Heard. He finished the shaping of the Tulip with a Dermal tool and drill press. The finish was achieved without using any finishes but by buffing the wood on a buffing wheel.
Ron just finished up his keepsake box just hours before publication of the newsletter. Ron built this beautiful keepsake box out of Tiger Maple and Poplar as the secondary wood. The project measures 17” W x 11” H x 9” D.
The design consists of a dovetailed box with drawer openings with applied moldings and feet. Traditionally, the front feet would have exposed dovetails but he used splined mitered feet for a more refined look.
The drawers are lipped. The upper compartment of the box is divided by a removable tray. The lid has breadboard moldings. The finish consist of tung oil, followed with shellac, then General Finishes Arm-R-Seal topcoat. The hardware is period reproduction from Ball & Ball. The brass were received bright but he fumed them with ammonia to mimic age. Both machine and hand tools were employed in the fabrication process.