January 2011

Mountaineer Woodturners

A chapter of the American Association of Woodturners

New officers take office

The officers elected to serve the Mountaineer Woodturners assumed their roles at the January meeting. They are:

John Sheets – President

Byron Young – Vice President

Bill Sands – Secretary

John Gregor – Treasurer

Jim Morrison – Librarian

A special thanks goes out to past president Joe Smith and his officers for all their hard work and dedication to make the club a success.

Thanks ,past officers.

Joe Smith–President

Tom Schottle – Vice President

Jim Smith - Secretary

E J Ulland Treasurer

Jim Morrison – Librarian

Joe wore many hats in his role as club president and he turned most of them himself.

An English gentleman with bowler.


Club business

Our president, John Sheets, called the meeting to order with 18 members and 3 visitors present. He asked each of the new officers to summarize their thoughts regarding their new positions.

Byron Young, vice president, suggested that the club should consider hiring Sara Robinson to demonstrate her specialty, which is chemically spalting wood for turning. The particulars of her craft and her presentation requirements are listed on her web site at:


Bill Sands, secretary, reported that there is a significant amount of knowledge that he needs to acquire to properly maintain the Mountaineer Turners web site and publish this newsletter. He vowed to work toward gaining that knowledge.

John Gregor, the treasurer, reported that his name has been added to the club's bank account at BB&T as treasurer and the necessary paperwork is completed. The club has a balance of $2117 in the treasury.

Jim Morrison, club librarian, suggested that the videos, donated from Dave Mays' estate, which pertain to carving should be donated to the Gepetto Carving club, since they do not pertain to turning. The members present approved the suggestion.


AAW symposium contest

The members present balloted to select one of the five entries submitted to represent the Mountaineer Woodturners at the AAW symposium. All the entries were well designed and well executed. Jerry Smith's natural edge burl piece was chosen as the winner.

The Winner


Other Entries


Huntington Museum of Art

Ervin Jones reminded the club of an upcoming event scheduled April 10th to June 19th at the Huntington Museum of Art. Turning Wood into Art is the theme for the display which features Jane and Arthur Mason's turnings collection. Ervin suggested that the club might consider holding a regularly scheduled meeting at the museum. That option will be decided before the display opens. More details of the collection are available at:


Chapter Challenge

The February meeting (Saturday, February 12th) is the deadline to submit entries for the club's Chapter Challenge. The challenge is to turn a pen and wooden display base. There are two categories, pro and non-pro, with different requirements for each. The members will choose the winner of each category from the entries submitted. More details of the challenge are available in the January club newsletter.

In conjunction with the Chapter Challenge, Stan Cook demonstrated the method he uses to apply an attractive and durable finish to the pens he turns. He began his demonstration by explaining how to view the pen's finish and detect any flaws. He holds the pen in a horizontal plane, just below eye level, and at a 90 angle to the tubes of a florescent light fixture. He observes the band of light reflecting from the pen's finish, and by tipping the pen slowly from the horizontal plane, any flaws in the finish are visible in the reflection. Sanding-rings and sand-through spots are evident if present. Point sources of light such as the sun or incandescent bulbs do not work as well, since they do not create a band of reflected light.

Stan then demonstrated his finishing procedure on a pen blank mounted on a mandrel in the lathe. Stan applies ~10 coats of CA glue by wiping on a thin coat of glue and misting the surface very lightly with CA accelerator. The glue dries almost immediately and he quickly repeats the glue application with a light sanding between coats. The resulting finish holds up well under heavy use.

Show and Tell

There were a number of fine turned items to look at, touch, and appreciate. I know that I missed Jim Withee's nice acrylic pen. I apologize to Jim, and I hope that I have assigned each of the other pieces to its rightful owner. Putting together this newsletter has given me additional insight into the work that past-secretary, Jim Smith, carried-out quietly and behind-the-scenes. He seemed to always "get it right."

John Sheets

Tom Shottle

The bowl on the right is an exotic wood from Laos

Jim Morrison

The top left bowl is Catawba wood. The oak burl, left, has an added walnut bottom. Lower left is a platter from a cherry burl.









Mike Ellison

A segmented salad bowl that Mike made as a Christmas present for his mother. He borrowed it for show and tell. He better return in soon.

Ervin Jones

Byron Young

Joe Smith

Jerry Smith

They're twins, but not identical twins. The one on the right is on its way to the AAW symposium.

Bob Lett



With all the club business completed, John adjourned the meeting for lunch. He requested that the club officers meet briefly after lunch to discuss club related issues and ideas.

At the meeting, John Gregor advised that the club should update the corporation and tax-exempt paperwork with state and federal agencies. He is working to accomplish that.

Jim Morrison voiced the need for a better system to track the club's library materials and insure the timely return of borrowed items. That problem is not yet resolved.

The officers discussed some options to raise funds for the club treasury. Ideas were presented and these will be discussed at future club meetings.

John adjourned the officer's meeting.

Next Meeting

Saturday, February 12th 10:00 AM


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