Craftspeople show off at the Woodworkers Show

By Robin Dudley of the Leader
Posted 11/3/15

Turners, carvers, boatbuilders, furniture and instrument makers – Jefferson County is rich with people who make beautiful and useful things out of wood.

Some of their creations are on display …

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Craftspeople show off at the Woodworkers Show


Turners, carvers, boatbuilders, furniture and instrument makers – Jefferson County is rich with people who make beautiful and useful things out of wood.

Some of their creations are on display this weekend at the Woodworkers' Show at the American Legion hall. Admission is free. The show is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8. The American Legion Marvin G. Shields Memorial Post 26 is located at 209 Monroe St., Port Townsend.

The Woodworkers' Show is organized by the SplinterGroup, an informal association of woodworkers in Jefferson County. This year, the show includes work by students from Chimacum and Port Townsend high schools.


Chimacum HIgh School's (CHS) woodworking class, led by Todd Miller, plans to bring at least one boat to the show.

Junior Cianna Boyd, 16, is working on a 15-foot lapstrake rowboat. She was mixing epoxy and applying it to seams on Oct. 15. She started the boat last year and hopes to finish it by this spring.

"Originally, I didn't have a project last year, and Mr. Miller was like, 'It's a wooden boatbuilding class, so you can build a boat," Boyd said. "I kind of fell in love with the project."

She's done most of the work on the boat herself. "Mr. Miller's helped me a lot, and there were two students last year who kinda sorta helped me sometimes." As she built the lapstrake hull, the "hardest part was getting all the boards to cooperate."

Boyd is in the Running Start program with Peninsula College, and all of her other classes are at Fort Worden. She's determined to finish the boat. "I really want to try to get it done by the end of this year," she said.

Of the woodworking class, Boyd added, "Although it's a challenge, it's a really fun class."

Nearby, sophomore Sam Justis, 15, was working on a Ruth rowing shell.

"I wanted to build a boat," he said. Miller had told him that a previous year's student had already cut out the ribs and frame pieces, so Justis took on the project. "I put it all together," he said.

On Oct. 15, he was using a Japanese pole saw and file to shape 3-inch slots for the floorboards, which he had cut with a router. "They have to be exactly 3 inches," he said.

The boat is to be covered with a skin of polyester fabric, like that used on fabric-covered airplanes, Miller said. It can be painted or varnished.

Justis has been working on the boat himself, but said other students help sand if they don't have a project. He likes to row and sail. "I might build a hydroplane next year."

Many more projects are under way in the busy CHS wood shop. A pair of students work together at a table saw; another uses a band saw to shape an archer's bow; others are working on skateboards and model airplanes.

"Skateboards are big this year," said Miller.

Michael Kreider, 17, a senior, is working on a longboard deck. He's also ready to get started on a large maple tabletop, and last year made a pine bench. "I'm the owner of a studio," Kreider said. "I'm trying to build some furniture for it."

He was articulate as he explained the process by which he used air pressure to bond the surface to his plywood-and-epoxy longboard. He's not sure if he wants to pursue woodworking as a career. "I'm debating, because I don't know what's out there," he said.


At Port Townsend High School, students in an Introduction to Maritime Manufacturing class worked on dovetail boxes Oct. 22. Together with the marine trades class, the projects are based on beginners' classes at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding and the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, explained teacher Kelley Watson. The maritime manufacturing class is going to build a Skunk Island skiff, work with the schooner Adventuress and also take part in a green woodworking project with Steve Habersetzer, starting with a whole log and using hand tools to convert it to three-legged stools.

In the marine trades class, students are to also build a skiff, learn some outboard motor maintenance and rigging, and work on restoring a 1939 sloop.

Sophomore Bella Lusk, 15, was in the girls' boatbuilding program last year, and helped build an El Toro dinghy. She shared a table with Cody Morgan-Erfle, 17, a senior, who said he likes the class. "It's fun working with wood ... I didn't know what a dovetail box is." He's also learned about different saws. "The rip saw teeth are all aligned," he noted.

Senior Caleb Weathersby, 16, was busy sharpening chisels. "Make sure your chisel is straight in the jig, and make sure there's enough water," he explained.

"Practice makes perfection," said Wil Gale, 16, a junior, as he used a hand drill to make some vertical holes, which he'll drill for the handle on his dovetail toolbox.

Senior Zach Judd, 17, worked on his dovetail box. He explained how he could use either dividers or a benchmark to ensure the spacing is correct. "I transferred the width of the wood onto here, so I would know where to cut it," he said.

The Woodworkers' Show has drawn more than 1,800 locals and visitors over the course of the weekend. This year’s show features new and returning professionals as well as students.

SplinterGroup members are professional woodworkers Steve Habersetzer, Michael Hamilton, David Kellum, Tim Lawson, John Marckworth and Seth Rolland. This year’s sponsors include Carl’s Building Supply, Edensaw Woods Ltd., Henery’s Do It Best Hardware, the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and the SplinterGroup.


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