March 2001

Board Meeting News 

The Board of Directors met last month and made a resolution regarding the Festival of the Little Hills. There had been some question about continuing with our participation. The Board determined that we should continue. The action members are as follows:  

Jim Leifeld -- Chairman

(Not announced) -- Setup and Takedown

Don Wilson -- Carvings Coordinator

Charles Sapp -- Manpower Coordinator.

The Carvings Coordinator will be responsible for getting carvings to be on display at the booth. It is hoped that the club will be able to collect enough carvings to fill the booth with quality pieces. Last year, the shelves were a little bare.

Charles Sapp had the sign-up sheet available and will be taking names of people to man the booth. Feel free to volunteer for more than the usual two hour shift. There should be two people per shift.  

A full time carver would be a desirable addition. Any volunteers?


Greetings from the East Coast:  

From Bill and Evelyn Edwards.

Hello to all.  We are doing fine.  My eye has improved and I go Monday to see about glasses.  I have been using Evie's eyes and my feeling techniques to get anything done. I even soldered the lights on the sweeps today, which I wouldn't have attempted a week ago. 

I'm trying to get this new smaller carousel far enough along to put on display at Hershey Park, Pa. over Memorial Day week-end. A couple of weeks ago we went to Washington, N.C. (about 25 miles East) for a big Art & Wildfowl Carving show for working decoys. Carvers from up and down the East Coast were there. But there was very little in real carved birds and ducks, mostly paint jobs, and the way they float determined the prize. 

Tell all the gang "hello" for me and to keep carving. When you can't carve is when you realize how much you miss it. 

Show and Tell

Charles Sapp completed this Indian using the Jeff Phares book on Human Faces. The book has many of the wonderful faces Jeff produces and step by step instructions that really help. 

Russ Sears in always coming up with new and different tools to make his life easier. Here is his latest. It makes it easy to adjust the work on his router table by 1/64th inch. WOW! If I get my stuff to within 1/4th inch, I consider it great.

Bill Maguire has been at his lathe again. It seems that bud vases are the project of the month. Here are five of his latest.  I hope all you notice the new face of the newsletter. I caught both Bill and Russ in a very unflattering pose. A little cropping made a much better picture. I hope it's appreciated. I can go back to the former style of pictures if you prefer. 


Jim Leifeld brought in some of his works in progress. Here he is showing the in's and out's of bird carving to a new member. Jim turns out some really fantastic birds. I bet he would hate to have his works judged on how they float like the show Bill Edwards went to out East.

Red Cross brought in some interesting items. They are clamps and sanding tools to help out in the shop. The clamps are interesting and could help in many ways. The sanding bows are fitted with a variety of grits. They are easy to make so one for each grit makes changing unnecessary.

Red also makes a large variety of carving knives. They range from small utility knives with walnut handles for those that just want to cut, to larger blades with more exotic handle material for those that want a little flair in their work. The one shown here is made out of a plastic material and is almost too pretty to carve with. They are very reasonable. He buys the blades and makes the handles, so they are as good as any around.


I completed another cowboy. He started with an Enlow rough-out, carved with the Gerald Sears face, wearing Ray Clark's boots and carrying a Woodcarving Illustrated rifle. The final project was painted using the Woollard's method of "watered down" acrylic paints and finished with Tom Henke's antiquing solution. Three coats of Deft Wood Sealer, bagged between coats, was the final touch. Nothing is sacred when it comes to using information and ideas from other people. This is why I consider the Show and Tell section so important. Check out the Finishing section for the details and the Show and Tell section for ideas.  I also completed this very sedate bear from our campout last year. It's a hickory log by the way. A second bear managed to take the basement apartment. I call it, Before and After.


Dudley Jackson completed this very nice Nativity scene and two great spirit faces.

Jack Combs finished his latest bird project. Jumping between birds, Indians, and mountain men has him really huffing and puffing. Or was that the name of the birds. I believe he called them Atlantic Puffins. I saw him burning the feathers of this pair. It took him all day at one of our Saturday carving days to do just a small part of the back of one of the pair. Wonder just how many hours he has in the whole piece. Great job Jack. The Herring was a nice touch. Sorry it didn't show.


At the February 7th meeting, Wilber Brewton conducted a demonstration on carving spirit faces in tree parts. Here he demonstrates how to quickly remove excess wood and make the eyes recess back into the log.

After the February 21st meeting, I conducted a quick demonstration on acrylic painting using the Woollard's "watered down" method. Check out the details under Finishing.  Click on Acrylics.

Neither of these demonstrations were known in time to make the newsletter. So, you have to attend meetings to get in on these impromptu demonstrations. 

Don't miss out.
Be there or be square.

March Display Case - Jim Leifeld 

Affiliations: St Charles Area Woodcarvers. Formally in the Duck Club and is working on starting it again.

Interests: Birds and Fish

Training: Self taught with the help of many club members.

Awards: Best of Show in 1999 Wonders of Wood. Blue ribbon in the World Duck Show, Ocean City, MD. Numerous blue ribbons in other Wonders of Wood Shows.

Background: Retired from construction work with McDonnell. Also woodworking as a hobby.

Thoughts: Club members are always willing to pitch in to help new members and share "tricks of the trade" to get them started in the hobby. That's how I got started.

The Rest of the News

New Members: We have had a lot of visitors at our meetings this year. As a result, we have 6 new members. They are: Martha Byron, Greg Rowland, Milton Sogez, Joseph Spoto, Sal Amato and Jeff Vaughan. Welcome aboard.

The Ukrainian Egg burning and painting class is under consideration for the weekends of 3/31, 4/7, or 5/19. The cost is $20 and will be at Rita Blanton's home in Ballwin. If you are interested, come to the March 7th meeting for additional information and help pick the date.

New Patches Available: A new supply of patches are in. These are top notch and not discernable from the originals. See Charles Sapp at meetings. Cost: $5.

Art Center Relocation: The time is getting closer. The last schedule I saw showed the ownership would transfer this month. Remodeling would begin and the move would be in May. I think this schedule is still accurate.  We have been notified that the Display case must be empty starting in May. Red Cross will display in April and then we will play it by ear until we find out when and if there will be a display case available.

The John Engler Seminar scheduled for August 25-27 is full. However, plans change. Contact Don Wilson to be put on the waiting list. You may still luck out. John is a great instructor and I guarantee you will learn a lot just sitting around with him. Of course, he doesn't let you sit very much.

New Membership Category: Two long time members who have moved out of the area and are no longer able to attend meetings were the first to be named Honorary Life Members. Chick and Jessie Meyers, who now reside at the West County Care Center due to declining health, were active for many years and are sorely missed. The membership voted to adopt this new membership category and bestow it on the Meyers. Welcome back, from all your friends.

The 22nd Annual North Arkansas Wood Carving Show and Sale will be held in Mountain Home Arkansas, May 5th and 6th. There is prize money for all blue ribbon winners and 46 categories to enter. Admission is free. There is a Saturday night Banquet with awards, plus a carving contest with money and awards. Larry Yudis with Woodcraft will be main Vendor and Tex Hasse will be judging. Live hands on Arbortech demonstrations both days. 
Tables cost $30.00, Vendors $40.00. For full information contact Co-Chairmen Dick Dulaney 1219 Meadowcrest, Mountain Home, AR 72653 (870) 424-3976, e-mail, or Jay Nottingham, 2706 McCracken Ridge Rd. Mountain Home AR. 72653, e-mail  Len Dillon

Free Wood: Arnold and Joyce Fritz still have a large supply of Catalpa wood stored at their home. Anyone who needs some, give Arnold a call (636-462-6344) and make arrangements to pick it up or maybe brought to a meeting. 

Carving Meeting: President Adams reaffirmed that we will set aside the second meeting of each month primarily for carving. He volunteered to conduct a class in carving a Gnome. Blanks will be furnished, $5 to $10, depending on cost of wood. 

Thank You: Glenn Remington sent a note thanking us for our donation to his Christmas Dinner for the homeless. We have contributed to this cause for the past several years as part of our philanthropic objectives.

Finally, the bucket got full!  Much to the pleasure of those attending the meeting on the 21st, the bucket that President Adams challenged us to fill with chips was not only full, it was overflowing. I don't know who did all the chipping, because I was busy painting. But, good job and congratulations. The club is $5 better off and the Prez is out looking for a bigger bucket.

Bring it on Prez!
We'll fill anything you bring! 


Carving Fun with just a knife.  It's called Whittling. You can make chains, caged balls and many other things that seem difficult, but are really simple if you have a sharp pocket knife or a regular carving knife. The secret of good whittling is to keep your knife sharp enough to make clean cuts without breaking the wood. 

Need help with sharpening, just ask some of the more experienced carvers at a meeting. They will be happy to assist you and explain the principals of sharpening. You might even get them to sharpen one for you.

Need ideas or help in making a chain or caged ball? The club has a library of whittling ideas. Chains and balls are pretty easy and any of the experienced carvers can help with this, too.

Of course, anything you do, can be overdone. Take Adolph Vanderte, Green Bay, Wisconsin. He had one of the finest collections of "whittles" ever. Chain was his favorite. He wound up with one that was 217 feet long, containing 2821 links, but it weighed less than two pounds. You don't have to go this far, but give it a try. You'll like it.


Upcoming Events and Activities

March 2001

        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
March 7 Regular monthly business meeting
March 10 Saturday Carving, 9 to 2
March 21 Regular carving meeting.  Carve Gnomes with the Prez
March 24 Saturday Carving, 9 to 2

Return to
John's World