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From beginner to advanced craftsman, guild members understand the pleasure and joy of working with wood. WWGThe Washington Woodworking Guild (WWG) is dedicated to the preservation, enhancement and sharing of woodworking knowledge among ourselves and our community.
What’s Fresh Off the BenchGuild ElectionsAnnual Guild Elections will be held at the April meeting. With the recent doubling of the shop space and the potential for many more woodworkers to be running more machines at the same time, the need for hearing protection has come more into focus.
A friend of the Helena Woodworker’s Guild found this (almost) vintage t-mold applicator in the back of a semi trailer she bought.
It was made by Evans-Royal  in the 70s and was previously owned by a furniture-maker in Missoula, Montana.
If you are a guild member and you are interested in having a link to a gallery of your woodworking on your member listing -- please send some photos of your projects to our webmastress.
Greetings to all Helena Woodworkers Guild members: I have recently been trying to update our online membership directory and wanted to let you know that I am making progress.
Also, if you have not paid your dues, and you would like to be a member (having a listing in our directory) please send your dues check to Bill Pratt or give it to him at one of our meetings. Helena Woodworkers Guild members, Tim Carney and Maureen Shaughnessy are hosting a reception and artist talks at their downtown Helena gallery on Friday night, November 29th. Our awesome host will provide a pot of something yummy (chili, soup?)  Please bring food and beverage to share. Just for a little reference for your woodworking, here is a link to Fine Woodworking’s online Tool Guides Topics page. Also bring: a friend who might be interested in joining, or who just wants to check us out!
At our September meeting, we decided to go back to meeting on the first Monday of every month. At our September guild meeting, we decided to go back to meeting on the first Monday of every month. Al says, “Handsaws and all the related stuff is one of my current interests and also cleft wood parts for any and all projects. Location Al Flinck’s Shop at 7127 Raven Road, Helena, Mt 59602 (click on map below to go to a detailed google map. The guild has had a Facebook page since 2009, and we want you all to know it’s there.
Guild members and Montana or Helena woodworkers who have Facebook pages (though they may not all be actively using FB): Bill Pratt, Tim Carney, Bill Daigle, Lance Seaman, Dan McArdle, Al Flinck, myself (Maureen Shaughnessy), Bruce Ewals, Bill Roberts, Tom Herrin, Michael Gottleib, Al Swanson and quite a few more. Another benefit of having a facebook page for the guild is that it is another way we can communicate — build community. The Helena Woodworkers Guild will have our annual Art of Wood Exhibit at the Placer Hotel lobby on the walking mall, November 8th from 5 to 9 pm. At our September Guild meeting, attending members voted to go ahead and plan our awesome exhibit, the Art of Wood, during the Downtown Helena Fall Art Walk. Who: all members of the Guild are encouraged to come to the show at the Placer and mingle with the public. Please Help: we ask all guild members, even if you do not have a piece in the show, to come on down and help us set up the show. Anna Baker, one of the committee members who will be planning a guild-sponsored workshop this year. At last night’s Guild meeting, we set up a committee of 4 members whose task it will be to plan and organize a hands-on workshop that will be sponsored by the Helena Woodworkers Guild sometime this year. Through this furniture blog, I stumbled across a really cool video that fits right into our idea of teaching each other through a workshop setting. The craftspeople working today have inherited their skills from a previous generation and we’ve got a duty to pass those skills on to the next generation.
Thanks to everyone who completed our membership survey that was emailed out several weeks ago. The July Guild meeting will be held Monday, July 7th at Scott Walter's shop and lumber mill in Unionville.
You are invited to bring a log to the meeting if you would like to have Scott demonstrate cutting it on his lumber mill.Please do not bring a log this big, though. DIRECTIONS: Go through Unionville and his mill gate is the fourth left after the pavement ends. POTLUCK: Cort Harrington has graciously agreed to provide our main dish, Yucatan Pulled Pork.
I could have purchased the decoys, but most of what’s available for duck hunters is plastic and that really saddened me. So he decided after a couple of years of hunting birds with plastic stuff, that he wanted to make his own.
If you have ever wanted to know more about building a *comfortable* strong, beautiful chair or have ever felt intimidated by the idea of building a chair, come to the May meeting of the Helena Woodworkers Guild to learn some tips and see some chairs in progress. So … how many of you are interested in learning more about what, to many woodworkers, seems a difficult if not impossible challenge?
The Helena Woodworkers Guild meeting for May, 2014 will be Monday, May 5th pm. Tim will host our meeting in his woodworking shop at 3025 East Bozeman Avenue.
Even the most basic chair must support a body comfortably and be strong enough to take lots of rocking and rolling. As a member of the Helena Woodworkers Guild, and co-owner of a little gallery that exhibits woodworking, I have been thinking about how our use of wood impacts the environment. I’m sure you have thought about using fewer of the endangered or threatened tree species in your woodworking. So in the spirit of Earth Day, I hope this post inspires you, both educationally and visually. List from CITES of the critically endangered tree species that are typically used for lumber. The Wood Database looks like a really useful website. Check out their list of articles about woods, including wood allergies, and gluing up oily woods.
It seems like every month lately, a handful of woodworkers who are new to the Helena Woodworkers Guild, come to our meetings. Tom Dooling shared his beautiful turned bowls and lidded containers with the guild last night. The program was inspiring: Tom Dooling and Chris Clearman showed us their absolutely beautiful wood art.
Please enjoy the photos, and click on the smaller thumbnails in the gallery at the bottom of this post to see other pics of the fun we (always) have at our guild meetings.
The April 2014 meeting for the Helena Woodworkers Guild will be hosted by Dave Ashley at his shop, Helena Hardwoods. At our December meeting, Bill Pratt led discussion about the types of iron and steel that woodworkers can use for hardware and tools. At our August meeting, Al Flinck gave a great demonstration on making Japanese-style chopsticks by hand.

The June 1st meeting will be held at the MOP shop in the old state nursery building on route 12. Paul is one of Helena’s most talented and inspirational woodworkers, with a house full of interesting work that he has created, from furniture to elaborate carving and so much more.
Paul will have some hand planes for sale as well.  The main dish will be either be roast turkey or ham!  Yum!
Use the round about and continue to go south on Colonial Drive in the direction of Montana City (the frontage road will parallel the highway). Turn left into the subdivision on Antler (you will pass a group of mail boxes on you right). Go approximately 3 miles until you are almost at the viaduct that crosses Highway 15 going to Montana City.
Turn right into the subdivision on Antler (you will pass a group of mail boxes on your right).
A big thanks to Kevin and Gary at All Wood Designs for hosting last week’s meeting at their shop. Program: Anna will show us her new new house, which incorporates many reused and recycled materials.
Directions: Go ~3 miles south of the Lewis and Clark Library, staying left at the split of grizzly and oro fino.
Fred Goughnour will host our December Guild meeting on December 1st, at his shop in Montana City. Important Note: September Guild Meeting takes place on September 8th instead of the first Monday, because … the first Monday is Labor Day and we bet most guild members are going to be out playing with their families! Matt Schmidt will host our September Guild meeting on September 8th, at his brand new shop.
Program: Matt will talk a little about how he does his inlays, and how excited he is about his new shop. Our July meeting at Scott Walter's sawmill featured a fascinating demonstration of cutting big logs on a "small" mill. These meetings consist of a short business segment, a show and tell of our work, a time for socializing and networking, and a monthly presentation by guest woodworkers from the woodworking community as well as members. Gabriel is associated with Professional Hearing Center, a division of ENT Associates of Greater Kansas City, and is the daughter of member Dan Robidoux. This Evans Royal T-Mold Applicator was made in the 70s and was previously owned by a furniture-maker in Missoula, Montana.
The guy at the Evans Royal website told them the current model is #1050 and that this one is probably model#1000. Thank you so much, to everyone who has sent me web links, photos and personal information for the membership directory! There are still many members who have not sent me photos of their work, and I need these in order to make you a personal gallery page on the guild’s website. Blue highlighted member names are links to their gallery or an off-site website of their own.
I am happy to answer any questions you have about how to take good photos and the best format for sending digital files to me.
Give your contact information to Bill Daigle and I will get all of this and be able to make you a member listing.
Tim and Maureen will talk about their inspirations and media beginning at 6:30 pm, with a reception to follow the talks. If you are in town for the Thanksgiving weekend, please stop by their gallery Friday evening. Check it out and if it looks like it might be a helpful resource, bookmark the page so you can go back to it in a jiff.
You might want to consider it if you haven’t tried it out, although some of you may just rather eat a cockroach! Last year we were snowed out (or so we thought) and cancelled the exhibit at the last minute, but it turns out the folks at the Placer cafe said many people came into the Placer looking for the Guild show and when they found out it had been cancelled, seemed very disappointed. This is a way for us to promote our membership, and tell people what the Guild is all about. There is some moving, as well as arranging, lighting, signage, bio-boards, food table, etc. This year the Helena Woodworkers Guild will sponsor a hands-on workshop on a yet-to-be-determined topic. This is about passing our skills on to others, not holding them close to the chest, but giving our knowledge to younger generations so that the beautiful craft of woodworking stays alive.
At 4:43 the video features Graeme Douglas who, through Impact Arts has worked with 368 unemployed youth, teaching cabinet making, product and furniture design and selling products in their own Glasgow shop. I love his accent! The meeting will be June 2nd (first Monday of each month) at 6:00 pm starting with a potluck. Ralph Yaeger will show us examples of his hand carved duck decoys and duck calls and will lead a discussion about the rewards of designing and carving these tools of his avocation. In the old days, so many guys made as much of their own equipment as they could and to me, that was just so much more beautiful. Lance will provide the main dish, some kind of hot sandwich like pulled pork or sloppy joes. He will give us tips and show us techniques for building chairs and stools, with a goal of trying to make chair building seem less intimidating than most woodworkers believe it is. Tim’s shop is on the south side of the big tan building (See the detailed google map below. How many of us use exotic hardwoods in our woodworking, or have furniture in our homes made of these trees? As woodworkers or consumers of wood items, this is one way we can make an impact on environmental health that isn’t really inconvenient at all.
If you haven’t already done so, how about making a change in the types of woods you use in your shop? Take a look at these micro-images of wenge below (and the featured photo at top.) Aren’t these fabulous designs?
Chris Clearman and Tom Dooling joined us to share their talents in wood carving and wood turning.
We have two talented wood artists, Chris Clearman and Tom Dooling giving a presentation on carved wood birds and turned bowls.
Dave Ashley will provide our main dish: different meats to be grilled on his bbq, along with buns and condiments. Chris will share his carved birds with us (see photo above) and Tom will show us some of his exquisite turned bowls.
He demonstrated the “spark test” for identifying mild and high carbon steel and will discuss how carbon content of steel, hardening and tempering can be used for creating small tools for woodworking. Bill trained as a blacksmith in the late 1970s at Skunk Hollow Forge outside Denver, and worked at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site as a living history blacksmith before setting up his own shop in Durango, Colorado. He is a very humble woodworker who mostly builds for himself and his family, so a meeting a his shop is great opportunity to see what he has been up to. It should be a good opportunity to see a productive shop that puts out some great products!

He has already finished a new pulpit cross out of his new shop, for his church, and is slowly putting things in their place from his old shop. When you see the convenience store on the right hand side of the road, Pioneer Park Dr is a half mile on the right from there. We were all invited to push a big log through Scott Walters’ outdoor sawmill just to experience the rush. These presentations commonly deal with skills and techniques, and may take the form of hands-on learning events for the members.
You can share woodworking related things that are important to you, with the 430+ people who are friends of the Guild, by sharing on the guild’s page. Included are the who, where, when and why of planning the exhibit (we need your help, all guild members) and some other news that came out of our last meeting. Four of our members have generously agreed to give of their time and creativity to plan and organize a workshop. Our program will be presented by Ralph Yaeger, who will show us his duck calls and duck decoys. He's in the middle of making two sets of dining chairs and stools, and will share his extensive knowledge and skills in chair-building with us.
Tim Carney will be demonstrating and talking about chairs, stools and tips and techniques for building them. Let's look at how our use of wood (in woodworking, in our homes) impacts threatened forests. Dave Ashley hosted the meeting and tried to smoke us all out of his shop with his brats-on-bbq-grill-inside-the-shop.
We hope all you guys who came for the first time last night, decide to join the Guild and come to future meetings. The salad bowl is comprised of satin wood, maple, wenge, walnut and cherry and is so light and thin, yet very strong.
Parking is limited, so probably best to park in the turn around rather than up the driveway.   Springhill can be slick, four wheel drive is highly recommended!
Please bring a side dish (green salads, baked beans, chips are some ideas …) or dessert. Prospective members are encouraged to attend a meeting in advance of joining to see if the Guild is a fit for them. Please join us for a potluck dinner, a report about the Art Walk planning, election of new officers, and our treasurer's report. Hope to see you at the Art Walk -- our exhibit is always the most popular, and we serve the best food in town that night! Our show has a reputation for having the best food on the art walk so, hey — we gotta live up to that, eh? Please check back to see what your peers in the guild think about membership and our activities.
I only make about 6 calls a year because it takes a long time and my hands get sore from carving.
Lance will put a sign out on the road, but says you really can’t miss his brown shop building.
While we're at it, check out Nature's complex artistry -- aren't these micro-images of wenge fabulous?
How about starting a conversation in the comments below this post — or at our guild meetings — about this topic?
Like magic, they are coming out of the woodwork to join us and the guild is so much richer for the diversity of skills and visions they bring. She is excited to show off her small and intentional house project, built with many recycled woods and parts. If you are new to the guild and just checking us out, please be our guest at the potluck — there is always plenty of food! A couple of members brought logs to mill, including one gorgeous Russian Olive chunk from Anna. We are dedicated to advancing the understanding of tools, equipment, processes, and procedures used to create your masterpiece. Or, more likely, it’s the diversity of amazing woodworking the art-walkers come to see.
This year, the cafe owners have promised us they will get help to move the furniture into the basement, to make room for our displays. If you subscribe to updates via email (the subscription box, right) you will be sure to get a reminder when we post the results. Design a dining table or desk and it seems only fitting to complete the project by building the chairs too. Dealing with angled joinery and curved parts exposes you to making patterns, full-scale drawings, mock-ups, and thinking in three dimensions.
For example, do you have alternatives to dark — almost black — endangered accent woods such as Ebony or Wenge?
You have to see them in person to believe the intricacy and accuracy, but check out the photos below for a little taste. We usually post an announcement of the meeting location and program 1 week before the meeting. She has learned a bit about patina in the process of building cabinets, trim and refinishing old doors and a workbench and is anxious to share with us.
The other boat is in the early phases, so should provide some talking points on structure and wood replacement. All of us attendees got to take home a beautiful green ash live-edge slab to make into whatever we want! This web site is intended to introduce you to our guild, provide related links, and dispense information on membership. We welcome all guild members, and anyone interested in joining the guild or seeing what the guild is all about.
Also, chairs are great for improving hand skills such as fitting joints and smoothing curves. Woodworkers could cut way back on using Wenge and it wouldn’t be the least bit inconvenient.
Anyway, if you missed the meeting and the brats, you can drool over the photos in this post.
And thank you to Dave Ashley, for inviting Chris and Tom to do last night’s presentation.
In fact, Wenge is notoriously difficult to work with: it splinters, sands unevenly and blunts tools.

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