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Copyright 2021 
Tidewater Woodworking  President: Fran Foster, Vice President: Greg Guertin, Treasurer: Chris Zuchristian, Secretary:  Larry Larue


TWWWG Heading imageman glitter
April 2021
 April in National Woodworking Month
Web Links At the Meeting Last Meeting Notes Tip of the Month Editors Notes

What's In The Newsletter?

  • Presidents Report
  • Free Woodworking Plans
  • SAPFM Meeting Updates
  • Guild Woodworking Projects
  • Moisture Meters

Presidents Report ...

April marks the fourteenth month the guild has been unable to meet as a group at Woodcraft.  It has been tough not being able to see the members in person and catch up with what they have been doing.  Since we went virtual, it has been better than nothing and did bring us back together.  I say it brought us back together, but only for those who would be able to join a Zoom meeting.  The average attendance at these meetings was around twenty which is approximately half the number we would have a an in-person meeting.  But it appears that we are getting much closer to meeting at Woodcraft again.  The changes that were recently announced for Virginia may allow us to finally come back together.  We will continue to make this happen.  We want to create a safe environment for all that will participate in person and more details will be forthcoming.  

Please stay tuned for an exciting virtual April meeting via Zoom from Canada.  You will not want to miss this presentation on finishes.

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Fran Foster

President TWWWG

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Free Woodworking Plans

Looking for free plans to build a project or ideas on how to build something?  To paraphrase a old college  mathematics professor, "The first step in woodworking is intelligent imitation".

I have used free plans from a web site called for years to get me started on some project, usually at the suggestion of my wife.  The plans were pretty straight forward and they involved using pocket hole screw joinery in the construction process.  The web site was owned by Kreg Tools, the pocket hole joinery innovator, but was separate from the Kreg Tools web site.

Kreg has now moved the web site to web site.  They created the Build Something web site to inspire people to build more.  It was so successful that they merged it into to create an even more compressive resource for project builders.

There is a library of over 800 free plans and projects on the web site.  They also have a library of over 100 learning video's and articles.  Check it out.


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Society Of American Periodic Furniture Makers

In case you missed the Zoom meeting of April 3, 2021 of the Society of American Periodic Furniture Makers presented by Roy Journigan you missed a very special presentation of making a a Chippendale chair and carving the intricate items on the chair.  The meeting was hosted out of the Woodcraft store in the JANAF shopping center and a special thanks go out to Ed Sontag for giving us this opportunity during the pandemic.

What you may not know is how much work went into the technical side of the presentation to make it all possible and it was all done by The Tidewater Woodworkers Guild members!  Getting this down to a science required three separate visits to the Woodcraft store plus multiple hours at home working out all of the kinks with Zoom, Open Broadcast Software, Zoom propagation delays and microphone feedback.

Special thanks go to Terry Nienaber, Gary Stephens, Corey Larson and Chris Zuchristian.  The photo below is what it looked like behind the cameras.


 Men At Work - This Is Rocket Science It Is Harder Than Woodworking!

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Guild Woodworking Projects

Our first projects for this month’s 2021 newsletter come from Scott Paris with his outdoor gardening bench.


The outdoor gardening bench is constructed out of Cedar.  Scott built it for his wife.  It is roughly 5' x 2' and has 3 compartments.  The first compartment is for holding potting soil in a large kitchen waste basket.  The second compartment is for mixing soil and various amendments in a medium sized tub.  The final compartment is used to house gardening tools and other items.  In the design Scott included a shelf and 5 hooks to hand items up off of the workbench space.  He used a wood burning tool to "carve" his wife's name across the top of the bench.


                                    Potting Soil Holding Tank                                                                             Mixing Tank


                Gardening Supplies Compartment                             Finishing Touch - Wood Burning His Wife's Name

Scott used General Finishes exterior oil to protect the Cedar wood. 

Our next project comes from Karl Bogot.  These three projects were all made out of a single slab of Sycamore and all with different characteristics.


                    Heart, Circle & Box From 1 Board                                                  Detail Of The Rectangular Box

Project 21 - 5 is a set of 3 bandsaw boxes cut from the same slab of Sycamore. We had no idea how beautiful it was until we planed it down from the rough cut slab. These are destined to be special gifts.  The rectangle 6 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/4 has a completely different grain than the heart, but came from the same slab.


                               Detail Of The Heart Box                                                    Detail Of The Circular Bowl

The 3 1/2 inch heart shows the true beauty of the spalting in the grain.  The 5" circle shows the diverse grain of the sycamore slab.


Moisture Meters

Back in June of 2015 I purchased my first moisture meter, a General Instruments LCD moisture meter.  While I really did not need a moisture meter I an on Home Depot's Special of the Day e-mail list.  On this day they were offering the General Instruments moisture at 50% off plus FREE shipping.  I said to myself this is a good deal as I have a lot of raw lumber drying out behind my workshop in the lean-to.  Well its 2021 and the moisture meter is still in my shop in the original packaging.  It has never been used (but it was a great deal)!

Fast forward to February 2021.  Not sure what I was researching on the web but all of a sudden my e-mail inbox was flooded with info on moisture meters.  At this point I decided to do a little research on moisture meters as I really did not know anything about them.

There are two types of moisture meters for the woodworker, pin and pinless.  They both measure the moisture content of various materials, including wood, but they do so using different technology.

Is one type better than the other? What are the benefits of each? What are the drawbacks?

Pin Moisture Meters

Pin moisture meters contain two small pins that need to physically penetrate the wood for a reading. 

When the meter is turned on, an electrical current flows between the two pins and measures the resistance between them. The technology behind pin meters takes advantage of the fact that water—with salts and impurities—conducts electricity, while wood doesn’t.

Therefore, the drier the wood, the more resistance there will be to the electrical current running between the two pins. The thing you have to remember with the pin moisture meter is the type of wood you are trying to measure moisture content.  Is it Red Oak or White Oak?  What flavor of Walnut is the wood.  They all have their own resistance measurements and you have to tell the moisture meter what type of wood you are measuring.

Pinless Moisture Meters

Instead of pins, pinless moisture meters use electromagnetic sensors to measure moisture content by scanning from the surface of the wood. 

In other words, pinless meters are able to measure moisture content without damaging the wood’s surface. This makes them valuable for measuring the moisture content of fine furniture and hardwood floors and for quickly scanning more wood in seconds. 

If you would like to know more about moisture meters considering going to Wagner Meters web site ( and download their PDF about all of the nitty gritty on moisture meters.