Recent work

Fence Post Vase by Bob Aitken

As we head towards the next Jacaranda Festival Exhibition (Saturday 29 October through Sunday 6 November), our members are hard at work. The Jacaranda display and sales is the Clarence Valley Woodworkers Association’s major event of the year. All members are encouraged to participate. Members can display and sell made items or choose to just display only.

Here are some new pieces by Bob Aitken and Roy Ellery

Club Meeting and Demonstration – April 30-2022

Apologies – this article was written back in April, but someone forgot to press the ‘publish’ button!

Roy Ellery gives away his secrets!

The CVWA General Meeting of 30-April, 2022 was followed by a demonstration by President Roy Ellery. Roy brought in the range of tools he uses to carve and texture his turned and sculpted pieces. Roy’s demo generated a lot of interest, with questions from the floor. Some of Roy’s tools have a reverse switch option, apparently, that feature can be used to correct mistakes…

Roy fielding a question from the floor

As usual, the meeting featured the traditional Show and Tell section, with numerous items and plenty of discussion.

Bob Northam – Money Box
Steve Dodd – Medal box
Roy Ellery – Turned, textured and painted bowl
Alan Bishop – Un-square box with glass bird
Jim Morison – Burl table
Bob Northam – Olive wood bowl
Jim Morison – Mystery log – best guesses included Crepe Myrtle and Mulberry
Alan Bishop – Dragon Fly box – Coastal Cypress and Mango
Roy Ellery – turned and sculpted form.

The meeting concluded with a sausage sizzle and good conversation – thanks to Colin Lang.

Alan Bishop joins the Wood Symphony orchestra.

Realeaux #2
Time Machine

Congratulations to CVWA member Alan Bishop who has some of his woodwork items (photos above) in the current Wood Symphony Gallery Exhibition, ‘Turned and Sculpted Wood‘. The exhibition is made up of artworks by the most prominent masters of wood art.

The Turned and Sculpted Wood yearly exhibition has become a major event in the wood art world by presenting to the public the finest selection of contemporary wood art from around the world. The current exhibition features over 74 pieces created by national (USA) and international artists. 

Bob Aitken

Jacaranda Display

Clarence Valley Woodworkers display at the Link Arcade. (Steve Dodd photo)

The Grafton Jacaranda Festival is normally held during  late October and  early November. This year the festival has been  reduced in scope and postponed until December subject to the continuing Covid 19 health restrictions.

Following some discussions, there was consensus within the CVWA that we would not proceed with our (more or less) annual Jacaranda display – primarily due to uncertainty regarding restrictions and access..

The CVWA instead took the advantage of an empty shopfront in the Grafton Link arcade to have a ‘pop-up’ display of members work.

One of Bill Andrew’s model truck in the foreground. (Steve Dodd photo)

Steve Dodd, Roy Ellery and Colin Lang set up the display with more than 50 items of members work on show. The display highlighted the quality and diversity of members work – ranging from Steve’s wonderful music bench through Bill Andrew’s model semi-trailer, Bob Holder’s carvings and Roy Ellery’s turned bowls – plus more splendid work by other members.

The display ran for a month, from October 6 through November 3 and was well received, with club fielding many inquiries from the public.

Another view of the display. (Steve Dodd photo)

Rolls Royce of Table Saws?

Steve Dodd and the new Harvey HW110LGE table saw

It is with great pleasure we announce the arrival of a new Harvey table saw to augment the array of tools in the Ulmarra shed. Definitely ‘up scaling’ here….. a thing of beauty as well as performance. Reviews suggest that the Harvey HW110LGE table saw represents very good value for money.  

The Harvey HLG110LGE Table Saw

The necessary research and leg work was done by club members Neil Cryer and Steve Dodd.  Neil has a Laguna at home and Steve has a Harvey. Both are experienced and talented woodworkers regularly using their table saws particularly for box making. They both agreed that the Harvey ticks all the boxes (and makes them!) for the price range. So, Neil organised to purchase the Harvey for the CVWA.

 It’s very accurate, quiet, with a wonderful big cast iron table top and the fence glides and locks like a dream.  The 3hp motor means it has lots of grunt. It weighs a ton but Neil and Steve fitted a mobile base so that it can be moved around easily.  With a 250mm diameter blade rotating at 4300rpm, a ripping capacity of 750mm (with fence attached) and a maximum cutting height of 75mm it should be able to handle most jobs.

Neil and Steve spent some shed hours doing the assembly and finishing touches of fine tuning the fence (see photo). After taking measurements to make a zero tolerance insert, Steve used Boeshield T-9 to wax and protect the top.

Steve fine tunes the fence settings

It was agreed that ‘kid gloves’ and a metal detector would be close by at all times. Given that a number of newer members are interested in box making the new table saw should see a bit of use.

Olly Forman

Long Service Awards

Ron Moore (right) receives his Long Service Award from Colin Lang.

During this year’s AGM, Long Service Awards were presented to two members for distinguished long service.

Ron Moore joined the club (then the Northern Rivers Woodworkers Association) in 2005 after moving to Grafton from Bowral in the Southern Highlands. In 2012, he stood for President of the Club and was duly elected. He said at the time that he decided to stand because he had gained a lot from the Club, and it was time to pay something back. He was President for 3 years – 2012 through 2015. He was responsible for leading the Club to a sound financial footing. He instigated the CVWA involvement in the Bunnings BBQ program, which greatly increased the Club’s revenue. Further, the Bunnings BBQ served to increase the Club’s exposure to the public, to increase membership, and also to provide an extra social outing for Club members.

Ron’s woodwork covers the broad spectrum of skills, from earrings to tables, both new work and restorations. However, he is best known for his box making – both band-sawn and lidded boxes. His work is distinguished by his original and innovative designs, attention to detail and for superb finishing. Ron’s work has been exhibited and sold though galleries around Australia.

Ron has always found time to help others and to share his knowledge. He has lead many skill building workshops for Club members, and has always been generous with his time and knowledge.

Ron was also instrumental in establishing the Club’s first dedicated workshop at Hoof St, Grafton, and served as Shed Manager and coordinator.

Roy Ellery (Left) is presented with his long service award by Lyn and Tony Roberts.

Roy Ellery also joined the Club in 2005, and has achieved the milestone of 15 years service with the Club. Roy settled in Iluka after leaving Victoria. Roy is the current CVWA President, having served as President in 2015-16, and from 2017 to 2020.

Roy is renowned as a turner and carver. His work has been published in National and major US woodworking publications. He is best known for his thin walled vessels in Jacaranda, many of them finely pierced and coloured of textured. His carved ‘Log Books’ are something special and an article featuring his work was published in Fine Woodworking magazine. He has also received numerous awards for his work, within the Club and in open competitions.

Like Ron, Roy is also very generous with his time and knowledge. Roy is always more than happy to explain how a piece was made and to pass on his skills.

Roy’s output is prolific and wide ranging. He has been a major contribution to the Jacaranda Festival, as an exhibitor, a demonstrator and a volunteer.

The CVWA are extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of both Ron and Roy as members – we are all better for their contributions.

Website Upgrade and Video Tour

The Clarence Valley Woodies website has been upgraded. We now have our very own domain – clarencevalleywoodies.com. This does a few things for us – including the ability to add more features, like videos! Update your links now. (By the way, the old address will also continue to work)

Colin Lang, aided and abetted by Roy Ellery, have produced a couple of videos. One is a video tour of our Ulmarra Shed, the other is a brief description and history of the CVWA by Colin.

The videos have now been incorporated into the CVWA website.

Enjoy!

Free Workbench Book…

Lost Arts Press is a small independent USA based publishing house that specialises in publishing books about woodwork. Some of their titles are new, some are reprints of older books or magazine articles. They are mostly USA based, but many of the books are from other countries – UK, France even Latvia!

The books are stocked in Australia by Lie-Neilson Australia and by Carbatec. I have a couple of Lost Arts Press books – they are well made, usually with cloth bindings and quality paper. They are also well written and well designed.

Lost Arts Press is the brainchild of Christopher Schwartz, woodworker, teacher, journalist, author and former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. He is driven by his personal commitment to what he calls ‘Amercian Anarchy’ – and it doesn’t involve bombs and revolution.

Lost Arts Press have released the book ‘The Anarchist’s Workbench’ as a free download in .pdf format – which means that you can read the book on your computer, your tablet device or even your smart phone. Or you can print the book from your computer to your home printer – although at 316 pages, it will chew through a bit of paper and ink!

I haven’t read all of the book yet, but I have enjoyed what I have read so far. Chris Schwartz begins The Anarchist’s Workbench with a bit of history of his experiences with work benches and a bit about his personal approach to woodworking and life in general. He describes the bench that is the distillation of his experience with work benches, and then he describes the process of making the Anarchist’s Workbench. The book also has sections on historical work benches, bench hardware, fixtures and fittings – even using a bench with no vices!

Workbenches are a very personal tool. Some folks are workbench obsessed, and want the best ever workbench – they can turn their benches in to works of art, making them out of exotic timbers, fitted with exotic hardware and costing a mint. Some woodworkers use an old door on trestles as their workbench – I did for years. There are as many different points of view on what makes the ideal workbench as there are opinions on the ideal bench hardware.

The Anarchist’s Workbench is designed to be affordable, practical and highly effective, using construction timber to make the bench top and structure. And I’m sure it works very well. The book is written for readers from the USA, but the information and advice can be applied to Australian woodworkers.

The book also reflects the authors interest in historical benches and woodworking methods – that’s OK too. The reader can take or leave the advice, and make a bench to suit themselves.

For what its worth, my own bench (pictured above and below) was made mostly of oregon that was pulled out of a verandah and deck of our house at the time, as well as other odd timbers – recycled bridge timbers and even some treated pine 190 x 45 that we had lying around. I used low cost vices, and fitted them out with hardwood faces. At the back of my mind was the idea that I could always build another one if my bench disappointed. It may not be perfect, but I’m not disappointed with it, and I have no plans to replace or upgrade it.

If you are interested in workbenches, or you secretly want the coolest workshop, or you desperately need a bench of your own, down load the free book and start reading. Once you have read the book, sketch up the bench you want to work with, and start building. How hard can it be?

To download the book, click here and follow the links…