September 2020 Newsletter

Dedicated to the art of woodworking since 1984.

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Next Meeting:


September 16th

Meeting Start
7:00 PM




Meeting Location:

Moolah Shrine Center
Oasis Room
12545 Fee Fee Road
St. Louis, MO  63146


YouTube LiveStream Link HERE for online starting at 7:00 PM

Link to Directions to Moolah Shrine Center

Face Coverings Required

The SLWG leadership requests that in-person attendees at the September 16th SLWG Meeting comply with the Order issued by the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health which requires face coverings for generally all attendees at this meeting.  Please click HERE for the link to more detailed information concerning this directive.

President’s Letter — September 2021

Well, another month is behind us, and I continue to be optimistic about the future.  If you were at our August meeting you may remember how thankful I was for all the guidance members give to one another, and to strangers, when they have questions or need advice on a problem.  I’d like to share a short story of my finally being able to give guidance and help.

As President, I get many calls and inquiries from non-members looking to sell wood, power tools or needing help to repair a treasured family item.  Well, a couple of months ago I received a call from a young mother needing help cutting wood with angles and circles. She was trying to build a bed for her 3-year old son’s birthday.  I went through my spiel about joining the Guild, taking the Safety Glass, taking a few classes OR I could send out a message to all members to see if anyone was willing to help her.  Well, she really didn’t have that kind of time. His birthday was in a few of weeks, and she is a mother of 3 kids!  I understood so suggested she bring the wood to my house, and I would help her.  No big deal….except she was coming the Sunday after I incorrectly used the edge sander, and it sanded my thumb instead of the wood….another story and lesson learned the hard way.

Well, she came over, unloaded the wood, and retrieved her spiral bound downloaded 36 pages of  instructions (which were very detailed and easy to follow).  She had some experience using a miter saw but cutting the eight 23” circles for the wheels and some angled cuts on 2×4’s and plywood was more than she could do (geometry wasn’t her best subject she admitted).  No problem, I mean, I had my trusty DeWalt 12” Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, I had a jigsaw AND I was good with geometry.

Knowing she was under a time crunch and wanting her to do as much as possible, I had her start cutting a circle ( for the wheels) after I showed her how to lay it out.  She was tensing up and going very s l o w l y so I offered to take over. She started breathing easier and instead did the layout work for the seven remaining circles. Well, we managed to get all the “wheels” cut the first night and made a date for a second time to cut the other pieces.  It had to be after 8:00 at night when she got all her kids to bed.  I made an executive decision to make all the other cuts before she returned so she could start construction sooner (his birthday was a couple of weeks away remember and time was something she didn’t have a lot of). She arrived as planned and was very grateful for not having to do the difficult cuts.  I did show her how to use a “stop” on the miter saw so she could more easily make the 80 – 2×4 treads all the same length and encouraged her to buy an orbital sander to expedite the sanding before she started painting. 

She wanted very badly to pay me for my time.  Of course, that was out of the question.  All I asked was for her to “pay it forward” and do something kind for someone else AND send me a picture of the finished bed.  She promised.  A couple of weeks later, I was totally surprised to receive a handwritten thank you note AND the amazing pictures of the finished bed – she did a fantastic job! In her note she shared that she was able to keep her promise and pay it forward, not once, but twice.

I share this story for two reasons – first, always buy the best tool you can afford because it’s an investment in more ways than one and second, imagine how better the world would be if everyone would do acts of kindness and expect nothing in return…something I know I’m preaching to the choir about.  So, I say again, thank you to each of you for all you do to help strangers and friends when asked….it’s always a good thing!

See you soon,

a.k.a. – 1abWdWrkr

P.S.  –  I wanted to take a moment thank all those who have made a generous financial donation to the Christmas Toy Program. As a result, the Elves have been able to complete several hundred toys and have several hundred more under construction – thank you!

(In-Person and Online Presentation)

Woodworking Joinery


Adam Connors

Basic types, advantages of each, jigs, hand vs machine

Link to Online Presentation


at a
Boat Building Shop


Presented by Elly Lang and Cal Maginel

A really interesting presentation by two of our members who have been through the apprenticeship program at The Carpenters Boat Shop in Pemaquid, Maine.  Elly and Cal gave their presentations, and then responded to a host of questions from attendees.  Our great meeting location had the capability for Cal to bring in his Catspaw Dinghy for members to get a closeup view.

See the August Meeting on the SLWG Website HERE.


Vickie Berry visited two member’s personal shops, Joe Turner and John Bronson, which were on tour last month and gave us a report on her findings.  We look forward to putting more of our member’s shops on tour in future months.  Please let Bill Schuchat know if you would like to put your shop on the tour.

Joe Turner’s shop is a wonderful use of every nook and cranny…he even created many nooks and crannies.  He uses space between wall studs, between ceiling joists, under stairs and everywhere you can think.  He’s extremely organized and has all his tools and supplies logically laid out. Dan Sudkamp, Tom and Leslie Tupper were at Joe’s the same time John Mutrux and I were there.

Both guys spouses prepared delicious snacks and food for visitors.

I believe John Bronson built his shop from ground up in 2019 – it’s gorgeous.  He did lots of research and said it’s exactly what he always wanted and wouldn’t change a thing.  It’s light and bright and has a great view of his pool backyard.


Editor’s Note:

The St. Louis Woodworkers Guild encourages its Members to share their projects at the in-person Guild meetings.  If you can’t make it to the meeting, please send items you would like to showcase in future SLWG Newsletters to


At the August meeting, Jerre Baynes showed us a walnut and maple coat rack that he made using raw walnut.  He says that it was originally planned to be 6′ tall, but he had to make several modifications along the way due to bowing and checking.  The end product turned out nice, though.

Also at the August meeting, Keith Lissant showed us some ornaments that he make for sale at craft fairs.  Mostly intarsia using aircraft plywood with acrylic paint and a lacquer final finish.

I made an addition to my house last winter and access to it was the enlargement of an existing window opening.  It was an old thick exterior brick wall, so I built 17″ wide red oak rail and stile panels to match the interior trim for the sides and top of the passageway.  I also made the interior pediment to replace the old one which was pretty beat up after 114 years.  Finish was an oil-based stain with 3 coats of Waterlox satin tung oil finish.

Grady Vaughan


We are looking for videos of interest to our Guild Members.  Please send us links to your favorites and we will publish them here.  These can be videos that you upload yourself to our website or see on another site.


 Here is a link to a site that lists safety recall notices for woodworking tools.  LINK

The Normalization of Deviance
Now that the Guild’s woodshop is open almost without restriction, I have become increasingly concerned about a disturbing trend regarding workshop safety. We have safety rules for the shop, which are well established and in place to avoid major life changing accidents. One example is the requirement that everyone without exception must wear safety glasses in the shop at all times. If we were to permit anyone to go without safety glasses, that would be the normalization of deviance. What is the normalization of deviance? NASA engineers have defined it as a series of actions outside of normal practices. This institutional indifference directly led to the 1986 Challenger tragedy. In other words, NASA did not completely follow their own established steps and procedures to provide for a positive outcome, which resulted in the death of seven astronauts and the loss of the space shuttle. While the loss of an eye or a finger cannot be compared to this avoidable loss of life, it is still a major life changing event which not only affects the individual, but the entire Guild as well.

The single safety rule which seems to be violated most frequently is the 3-inch rule. There is always a way to handle stock on any woodworking machine or operation without placing your fingers within 3 inches of any guard or blade. True these safety practices may take more time but the Guild as an organization cannot permit the normalization of deviance to take hold to save a member some time. For ten years the Guild’s shop has operated without a serious injury because we refuse to deviate from our established safety principles.

How long has it been since you have attended a Safety Class? If it has been a few years perhaps it is time for each of you to take refresher class. Anyone who has attended in the past may come for refresher training at any scheduled Safety class without prior reservation and at no charge. These classes are almost always held on the first Thursday evening of each month. Check the web site or newsletter for up-to-date information.

What can we as Guild members do to ensure that the normalization of deviance does not occur? Speak up if you see an unsafe practice. The person or persons may not realize that their actions may be putting themselves or someone else at risk. Now that the pandemic restrictions are being lifted the Guild is undertaking a lot of activity in the shop. Toy projects, other community projects, work for the County and so forth are being conducted almost weekly. The organizers of these events must ensure that every participant has attended the Safety class. The only exception to this rule is for the attendance at Guild sanctioned workshops or classes. Safety class attendance is not required because the instructor is responsible for insuring a safe working environment. If you have not attended a safety class, you may not use the shop for any activity other than classes or workshops. Guild community projects such as toy building; manufacturing desks etc. do not fall into the category of classes/workshops and thus require Safety class attendance prior to your participation.

No matter what your experience level the safety rules are there for everyone’s protection.  Don’t normalize deviance.

Wayne Watson
Shop Manager


St. Louis Woodworkers Guild contributions to the local community

Christmas Toy Program


Who doesn’t have scrap wood laying around? The Christmas Elves are looking for good pieces of scrap wood to make items for our Christmas project. The wood (1 bys or 2 bys)  can be good pine, popular or maybe oak and as short as 6 inches. You can bring wood to our next meeting or drop them off at the shop.  We’ll have a designated bin for them.

We’re also happy if anyone wants to make items at home and turn them in at a meeting or drop them off Friday afternoons at the shop. Want to know what to make? I found a couple of projects in The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking, 150 Easy Projects by John A. and Joyce C. Nelson. 

The first project is made using a 2 x 4 and it would be great to get 15 of these. The Committee will provide the crayons and a coloring book.  We also have wheels and axles and can paint any pieces that may need painting. If you want us to do the painting, please don’t put the wheels on. A gentle reminder is to rout all the edges to eliminate sharp edges and corners.

If you have small pieces, Toy Blocks is a great project to use them up. I think oak or other hardwoods would make perfect blocks. Mixing the woods is another thought that would provide interest. We could use a minimum of 10 sets.

Another item for someone who wants to use their CNC or justify finally getting one…  How about a wooden toy computer? There are many examples out – I found this idea on Pinterest.  A good size would be 7-1/2” x 11” for each hinged piece. We could use a minimum of 12 laptops.

If you have questions, please get in touch with Supervisor Elf Wayne Humphrey.

Vickie Berry

Once more the Toy Table is set up at the Guild Meeting to receive completed toys and give out toy parts to toy builders.  Rich Weitzman is the Toy Committee Chair and is available to help toy builders with their questions.

  Toy Committee Update

Delivery of Toys is still down. If anyone has toys to donate, they can bring them to the August Guild Meeting on Thursday.

If you need any Toy Parts, I will have them with me at the meeting, or contact me at the number below.

We plan to move the Toy storage to Faust Park as soon as the new storage building is ready.

Rich Weitzman

Toy Committee Chair

2021 Toy Report

Toy Tally

September — 482
YTD — 3,561

September — 160
YTD — 2,065

Since 1994 — 77,277

2021 Toy Program Major Contributors

Over 1000 Club
Bill Meuth – 1055

Over 700 Club
Wayne Humphrey — 741

Over 600 Club
Rich Sanders — 656
Linda Turner — 646

Over 100 Club
Hal Donovan – 147


None this month

2021 Target and Challenge

Target for Delivered Items:  6,000


10% Member Participation Target

14 Members

Toy Pattern Library is Growing

Keep checking the website for new patterns throughout the year as well as the schedule for donating seasonal items.  We’ll continue to add new and interesting patterns for all levels of woodcrafters so check back often.
Find patterns at:

Organizations that we currently donate toys to include:

Toy Committee

Rich Weitzman, Chair
Paul Bailey
Vickie Berry
Hal Donovan

Dan Lender
Steve Mettes
Bill Schuchat

Please contact us with comments, suggestions or if you need to arrange pickup or delivery of toys. Individual contact info can be found on the Members Only section of the SLWG website.

Desks for Kids Program

First want to thank all of the members who have helped to build the 80 desks built to date. We have at least 45 – 50 more desks to build for LifeWiseStL.

An email will be sent with Shop Workday dates and times information. We build 10 desks each session. And we need 5 member participants each session. 

Bring Me A Book Team News
The Book Box Program is currently in a holding pattern until BringMeABook St. Louis advises that they need more boxes.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements.

Book Box Committee

Tom Tierney: (314) 412-1817
Jack McKay: (314) 435-2232

Charles Schrock: (314) 822-3709

Check out the Events Calendar on the SLWG website HERE.

Woodworking Classes

Held at Faust Park Workshop

Woodworking Classes

Upcoming Classes
See the Schedule on the SLWG Website HERE.

Next few months:
Date                    Teacher                     Subject                                           

2-Oct Mike Sistek   Leigh Jigs
3-Oct Wayne Watson   Half blind dovetails
7-Oct Wayne Watson   Safety Class
8-Oct Don Turner   Build a Cabinet with a Face Frame
9-Oct Don Turner   Build a Cabinet with a Face Frame
30-Oct Bill Schuchat   Adirondack Chair
31-Oct Bill Schuchat   Adirondack Chair (day 2)
4-Nov Wayne Watson   Safety Class
6-Nov Mike Sistek   Squaring up a Board by Hand
7-Nov Wayne Watson   Splined Miter Joints
20-Nov Bill Schuchat   Girl Scouts Class
2-Dec Wayne Watson   Safety Class
4-Dec Brad Bernhard   Bowl Turning Class
5-Dec Wayne Watson   Biscuit Joinery

Faust Park Workshop Information

  • To participate in the Workshop Safety Class or use the shop, you must have paid the current year Guild dues and have your current membership card with appropriate marking.
  • To use the Guild Workshop during open hours, you must have passed a Workshop Safety Class. 

October Shop Hours
October 5 & 6      10 am – 2 pm
October 9 & 10      9 am – 5 pm
October 12 & 13  10 am – 2 pm
October 16 & 17    9 am – 5 pm
October 23            9 am – 5 pm

Safety Class attendees must register online and bring their current Guild membership card.

Directions to the shop on the SLWG website HERE.

Next Shop Safety Class

       Thursday, October 7, 6:30 pm
           Faust Park Workshop
           Plan for 3 Hours
         $20 for Current Members

Visit the SLWG website for Safety Class Signup HERE.

The Shop is OPEN!

The Faust Park Shop Rules

Keeping in line with the latest St. Louis Department of Public Health requirements, face coverings are required for all Members using the shop See Link to Public Health Department Order.

Safety glasses will continue to be required as in the past.

Wayne Watson
Shop Manager

Join or Renew your Guild

Membership Today!

Annual Dues Renewals

Remember that letting your membership lapse will result in having to retake the Safety Class ($20) prior to using the Open Shop at Faust Park.


Annual membership renewal is available online (click on button below) with PayPal or any major credit card, or mail a check for the appropriate amount with member’s name in the memo line to 
St. Louis Woodworkers Guild
P.O. Box 411766
St. Louis, MO 63141-9998

Current membership status is required for use of the Faust Park Shop.
Annual Membership Dues:


Basic Membership            $40
Full Shop Membership      $75
A Basic Membership entitles the member to four (4) uses of the Guild Shop during the membership year.  
A Shop Membership entitles the member to unlimited use of the shop during open shop hours.

Member benefits also include:

                      > Discounts at Guild sponsors
                      > Access to Project Workshops 
                      > Access to a local community of woodworkers
                      > Access to the secure portion of the website

See the SLWG Website for signing up!

Click here to pay dues online


Amanda Blakely
Carolyn DeVaney
Liz Johnson
Thomas Kircher
Edward Kunst
Michael Lewis
William Marsek
Lowell Rush
Emily Villano
Ken Ward

If you are a current or retired Boeing employee you can now contribute to the St. Louis Woodworker’s guild through the Boeing Gift Match program.  The guild is now an approved charitable organization with the Boeing program.  As an employee participant, your donation of $25.00 USD or more or the equivalent volunteer hours of 25 hours or more will be matched 1:1 by Boeing.  The maximum individual contribution is $6,000.00 or 6,000 volunteer hours.  Your contribution is tax deductible as long as you follow three simple steps:

Step 1:  Eligible Boeing employees or retirees first make a contribution directly to the guild

Step 2:  After making your donation go to Total Access and click on My Community Giving – GIVE – Gift Match on the Boeing Gift Match page.

Step 3:  Register your donation whether it’s monetary or volunteer hours and select The St. Louis Woodworker’s Guild and enter the total amount and the date of the contribution.

It’s that easy, you get a great tax break and it benefits the guild directly.  If you have any questions, please email Vickie Berry at and if I don’t know the answer, I will try to find it for you.

The St. Louis Woodworker’s Guild is now listed with Amazon Smile.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite woodworker’s guild every time you shop at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the St. Louis Woodworker’s Guild. 

Simply go to and select the St. Louis Woodworker’s Guild as your organization that you want to receive donations from your eligible purchases.  The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.  You don’t make the donation, Amazon Smile does.  It truly is at no cost to you.  Just make sure you go to instead of  If you have any questions on how the program works, just send an email to Vickie Berry at .

SLWG Officers, Board Members and Committee Leaders

Vickie Berry

Vice President:
Bill Schuchat

Adam Connors

Tom Tierney

Dan Sudkamp (exp. 2022)
Don Turner (exp. 2023)
Jay Noffsinger  (exp. 2024)
Dan Lender  (exp. 2025)

Immediate Past President:
Wayne Humphrey

Marketing & Membership Chair:
David Schindler

Membership Coordinator:
David Schindler

Woodworking Show Coordinator:

Book Box Committee Chair:
Tom Tierney

Outreach Coordinator:

Legal Counsel:
Bill Hobson

Newsletter Editor:
Grady Vaughan

Al Carlson

Toy Committee Chair:
Rich Weitzman

Shop Manager:
Wayne Watson

Assistant Shop Manager:
Dave Gronefeld

Classes and Workshops Coordinator:
Bill Schuchat

Web Master:
David Zemon

Media Coordinator:
Brian Ellis

Our Sponsors

The St. Louis Woodworkers Guild relies heavily on sponsorship to execute on our mission statement of education, community service, and local development. Please support our sponsors. 

(In-store only)

Kohler City Hardwoods
Walrus Oil

Photo Credits
Mortise and Tenon photo from The Joinery Plans Blog

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