2009 Programs

January Meeting
"A Norway Turning Cruise"

Lyle takes a turn on a pole lathe

Lyle Solem Presents

With a slide presentation, Lyle took us on board a Norwegian cruise ship with some of the world's most famous woodturners. Cruising the coast of Norway, Lyle and wife Donna, along with club members Dennis and Marjorie Holt, experienced individual hands-on instruction, broke lefsa, ate herring, and did some fishing with professional turners Richard Raffan, Jimmy Clewes, Stewart Mortimer, Gavin Phillips, and others including experts in wood burning, rosemaling, and carving.

March Meeting

Bonnie Klein Threading Jig

Mel Turcanik Presents

To speed things up, Mel had two small lathes, one to turn the box, and the other for threading with Bonnie Klein's jig. Using maple, he turned a box bottom. Then, moving the project to the other lathe, he showed us how to turn threads with a 60 degree milling tool mounted in the headstock, and the box bottom mounted in the threading jig. The jig replaced the tailstock, and was set for a 16 tooth-per-inch thread. Mel then turned the cover, threaded it, and showed us how to work the threads to match the grain.

ZVW Demonstrates at the Rochester Woodcarvers 33rd Annual Show

Duff makes a top for a mesmerized boy.

On March 28th and 29th, ZVW displayed their turnings and demonstrated turning tops at the Rochester Woodcarvers Show. Kids waited patiently for a turner to complete a top and then hope to be the one asked to choose colors. This meant that the top would be theirs to keep.
Some of the turners had their first shot at top-turning. We all enjoyed the interaction with the woodcarvers and the crowd.

Cheryl turns a top for the first time.

April 16th Meeting
"Everything You Wanted to Know About Finishing"

Tim Sullivan demonstrating French Polishing

Tim Sullivan Presents

In 90 minutes, Tim Sullivan took us on a complete tour of the why, what, and how of finishing. With a table full of finishing products in front of us, including various pigments, shellac sticks, color wheels, sample boards, a film thickness gauge, a viscosity meter, a piece of a dining room table, and much, much more, we leaned about solvents, evaporative finishes, reactive finishes, water-based finishes, and waxes. Tim told us of the challenges in fixing dings and matching colors, and gave us a demonstration on French polishing, a technique of building up a shellac film with a pad to get the ultimate table-top finish.

April 30th Meeting
"Chain Saw Safety and Techniques"

Harmon demonstrating chain saw techniques

Harmon Pierce Presents

The weather was favorable, the demonstration went smoothly, and everybody that wished went home with a section of cherry, thanks to Harmon's generosity.

May 23rd Meeting
"Tour of Three ZVW Turners' Workshops"

We started the tour in Oronoco with coffee and doughnuts at Wayne VanEvery's garage shop. Wayne has 5 lathes ranging from a huge Oneway to a Bonnie Klein mini, and all the widgets that go with them.

Wayne ready for the scary part of turing a 40-inch bowl
Wayne's 2436 Oneway with extensions on both ends

We then drove to rural Zumbrota to the garage shop of our agronomist, Bill Beckman. Perhaps, as interesting as his creative turning accessories on the cheap, was his lecture on his experimentation on short-season white corn, and his wife Sherry's extensive flower and ground cover endeavors.

Bill describes his home-made vacuum chuck system
Bill beside his seed dryer, which he also uses for drying bowl-blanks

Our last stop, at Bob and Karin Post's, was just a few doors away from Bill's. Their huge storage and guest house building, anchoring a corner of a gigantic garden, is so full of greenery, etc. that it has no room for Bob's woodworking. His machinery is wheeled on to a patio. This also keeps the dust out the building. However, there was room to shelter us from the rain as we ate our picnic lunch prepared by Donna Solem and others.

Bob and his one-of-a-kind lathe
Bob's rock garden with spillway and fish pond in progress

June 25th Meeting
"Open Shop Q&A."

The intense heat did not discourage attendance, and fortunately, Harmon Pierce had set up an air-conditioner in a shop window.

Show-and-tell presenters provided a lot of tips along with their showings.

A lot of the discussion centered around the tool-making meeting coming up in August. It looks like many of us would like to know more about how to choose and order tool steel stock.

One of the options in the tool-making meeting is a beading tool. Irv Miller brought 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch beading tools and described what could be done with them. He then demonstrated their use not only for beading, but as non-threatening skews, and as wide parting and peeling tools. Harmon Pierce showed us how to make handles for such tools which included ferrules out of rigid copper water pipe.

Irv holding a 3/8 inch beading tool

July 30th Meeting
"Herring Shop and Garden Tour"

Vince Herring demonstrating embelishing a cylinder with imitation gold leaf

Fellow club members Vince and Mary Herring entertained ZVW members with a garden party, complete with a garden tour, a shop tour, and refreshments.

A good part of the evening was spent in aw of the unbelievably large, elaborate, and colorful garden surrounding their homemade artificial Lake Anxious fed with a waterfall and stocked with Koi (ornamental Japanese) fish. As we toured, we listening to Vince and Mary explain how the garden was created with a lot of love, sweat, and the slave labor of their son and several x-friends.

Vince's shop is well equipped with top-of-the-line woodworking equipment. He gave us a short presentation on embellishing turnings with paints, bandings, and gold leaf. We then retired to a garden patio to socialize and have refreshments.

Lake Anxious framed by a multitiude of foliage
A masterpiece of color along a walkway leading to a religious grotto (cave)
Club members socializing on one of the garden patios

ZVW Displays Turnings at the Rochester Public Library During the Month of August

Click to zoom

August 27th Meeting
"Making and Using a Beading Tool"

Peggy Schneider at the grinder

With sparks flying from well over a half-dozen grinders, Mel Turcanik guided ZVW members in shaping tools from bar and round high speed tool steel in the metalworking section of Mel's Barn. Meanwhile, Irv Miller, using a recently acquired variable-speed lathe of Mel's, helped members try out their newly fashioned tools in the woodworking section of Mel's Barn.

September 3rd Picnic

Mel Turcanic wins the spalted maple challenge

The weather was perfect, the turnout was excellent, and the hamburgers were grilled to perfection. Show and Tell included a turning challenge judged by the attendees. Spalted maple had been given to all takers at a previous meeting, with the challenge to turn something, anything, and bring it to the picnic. For the event, a traveling trophy was commissioned in honor of our ZVW agronomist and newsletter editor, Bill Beckman, who does research in short-growing-season white corn.

Click to identify entries

October 29th Meeting
"The Curly/Fuzzy Christmas Tree"

Mel holding up a curly/fuzzy Chirstmas tree.

Mel Turcanik Presents

Mel's version of a Christmas tree as a tree ornament is unique, clever, and relatively easy to turn - provided you have the right material at the right moisture content. Starting with a basswood log or firewood size with 18% moisture content (the key to success) Mel splits the log into quarters with a hatchet. He then removes the bark, mounts a quarter section in a lathe, roughs it to a cylinder, and then shapes it into a cone. This is routine spindle stuff. Next, with the heel of a small skew, working up-hill about a quarter of an inch, he forms the lowest branch ring.

The first row completed. The skew is held back for clarity.

Backing up, he repeats this operation until he has reached the tip of the cone.

Pratice, practice, practice.

That's it, except for any spray painting or glittering and adding a hanging wire. Absolutely no sanding.

November 19th Meeting
"Small Items"

Dave watching Tom Paska following Dave's instructions on using his chatter tool.

Dave Dunn Presents

Dave Dunn, with his typical humor and worn-out glove, showed us how he makes some of those little things that are his most popular sales items. Giving away secrets was probably not part of his business plan, but Dave apparently is too busy joking to do much planning. First he showed us his new collet chuck. Dave was previously known as Skewless Chuckless Dave and was proud of it. I don't think he will swallow his pride altogether and start using a skew. Dave demonstrated his top, which included chattering and coloring; his shallow-domed disks, used for decorations including Christmas ornaments; bottle stoppers; and refrigerator magnets. We were able to crowd around the Jet mini-lathe, provided by Wayne Van-Every so that Dave would not have to struggle with that big mother of Harmon's, and get some very detailed instruction.