Viking Wood Carvers Association
Newsletter November 2003

VIKING Chapter
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vol. 29 No. 8

· Jim Forrey
 (952) 831-2758

· Jim Ayers
 (612) 721-6074
· Myron Asper
 (952) 445-7274

· Nancy Dardis
· 952-888-3479

· Lew Forsmark
· 952-888-3650

· Jim Ayers
· Myron Asper

· Keith Fredrickson
· Leonard Kampa

· Carol “Swede” Bengtson
· Merle Erickson
Viking Web Site -

· New Meeting Location – Knights of Columbus, 1114 W 79th St., Bloomington,
· 4th Monday – Meeting Time – 7:00 PM
· NOTE – Meeting will be held in the basement this month!!!!!

November, 2003 Presentation – November 24, 2003
Holiday Project Carve –in.   If you have a holiday woodcarving project in the works, bring it in. Show off some of your carving techniques and pick up some techniques from others. We will set up similar to the woodcarver’s buffet where attendees can join a carver at any table, get the project pattern and see how it’s made.  Bring your project and share your ideas.


Meeting Minutes of Viking Woodcarver’s Meeting
October 27, 2003
By Nancy Dardis

President Jim Forrey called the meeting to order.  There were 77 members and 5 guests in attendance.  Even Iver Anderson returned this month – complete with a band-aid on his finger to prove he’s been carving.  Merle Erickson is still recovering slowly from the severe stroke he suffered over the summer.  If you would like to send a card, his address is 2012 Laurel, St Paul, MN 55104.

Treasury/Meeting Minutes
Treasurer Lew Forsmark provided the up to date Treasurer’s report.  The balance on October 1st was $4,850.45.  At the time of the show (Oct 24), the balance was $4,868.37.  The Treasurer’s report and September meeting minutes, as printed in the previous newsletter, were approved and seconded.

Newsletter Publication

A request was made to publish the Viking newsletter on our web page, rather than e-mail it to members.  Some individuals have experienced problems reading the electronic copy.  Editor, Russell Scott, noted that it would be easier for him just to put it on the web site.  The issue was opened for discussion.  Receiving the newsletter has been a benefit of paying membership dues.  However, the group determined that there are many benefits to allowing access to the Viking news for people outside the organization – speaking engagements, more visitors and potential members, offers from other clubs.  A motion was made to include the newsletter on the web site, rather than e-mailing.  This motion was passed.  Members who requested the newsletter via regular post, will still receive their mailed copy.  Members who had opted for e-mail will now access the web site ( and view the newsletter online.  Russ will add back issues of the newsletter to the web site as time permits.


Jim Ayers, Program Chairman, announced that November’s meeting will be a ‘holiday project’ carve-in.  If you have a project you would like to share, bring it along.  We will set up similar to the woodcarver’s buffet where attendees can join a carver at any table, get the project pattern and see how it’s made.  Sounds like a great idea!
Reminder:  We do NOT have to pay for the room PROVIDED we clean up the area and replace the tables and chairs the same way we found them – three chairs to a table, all tables in rows.  Please bring broom and dustpan if your holiday project includes carving.  Everyone should plan to help out with cleanup after the meeting even if you didn’t help create the mess.  We will need to move tables and sweep, then replace everything.

Jim does not have a speaker lined up for December or January yet, and he is always looking for more program ideas.  If you have suggestions, call him at (612) 721-6074.


February Meeting is OFFSITE
February will be a special meeting.  The Swedish Institute has a large carving exhibition open from February 11 through May.  They plan to use all three floors of the Institute to display 100-200 carvings.  The Director of the Institute asked if the Viking Club would like to hold our February meeting AT THE INSTITUTE.  We will have a presentation by one of the visiting carvers and have the opportunity for a special viewing of the exhibits.  The idea got resounding approval, so mark your calendars NOW!  Although parking should not be an issue at the Institute, we also discussed setting up carpools from the Knights of Columbus location for those already out in the area.  This will be discussed again at future meetings.

2003 Fall Show – Har Mar Mall
The show was held Oct 25-26 with 45 exhibitors at 79 tables.  The sales success was varied.
One notable comment:  You have to chat with people and get them involved before you will make a sale.  Several carvers simply worked, read the paper, or munched behind their tables as potential buyers passed by.  Walt Grittner isn’t talking sales, but he put on his special charm when he let three little girls gather up all the chips from his table to take home as a souvenir - at no charge!  Do you think those girls would be interested in helping with November Carve-In cleanup?


Time to Hand Over the Reins.  We need a new chairperson for the Spring (April) show.  Swede has done an excellent job for several years planning and organization this show, but needs someone else to take over now.  He has offered to provide assistance, computer files, recommendations, and his usual enthusiasm to help out the new chairperson.  Talk to your friends and co-chair the show – two heads (and four hands) are better than one.  Call Jim Forrey (952-831-2758) to volunteer.  Planning needs to start as soon as possible.

Caps and Patches
Viking logo caps and the new 3” patch are available at all meetings:  Caps = $15, Patches = $4.  These items and many more are available from EmbroidMe at 98th & Lyndale (Clover Shopping Center).  There are two ways you can get in on the action:
1. Lew will have an order form where you can select what you want from a large array of items (not just hats and patches!).  Pay for the item at the meeting and the Viking club will order it for you.  It should be available at the following meeting.
2. Go to EmbroidMe and tell them you are a Viking member.  Browse the catalog and select your item.  They will put the Viking logo on and deliver it to the club as soon as possible.  You pay for the item at the next Viking meeting.


Once again, we thank our faithful vendors for giving of their time to offer us some great deals:
· George Effrem (Woodcarvers Store and School)
· Jupe Houman – providing vices and blanks
· John Krantz (Krantz Wood Sales)

New Business

Esther Allen invited the group to attend one or more of the upcoming classes provided by the Forest Lake carving club.  The next class is on Jan 17-18, 2004 (9AM – 5PM), a Scandinavian Flat Plane Carving Class is being offered at the Forest Lake Senior Center.  Bill Jaeger, a former instructor at the Swedish Institute, will teach this class.  If you would like to sign up, contact Esther at 651-464-2087.  The cost of this class is $40, plus cost of the blank.

Meeting Refreshments
No more paying for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or cider.  Our annual donation to Knights of Columbus provides these liquid refreshments FREE to members during the meeting.  HOWEVER, if you want one of those delicious donuts, please put $1 in the kitty.  The coffee committee must bring these in special.

October Presentation:

Spoon Carving with Tom Dangler
Tom has been carving spoons for nearly 13 years.  His methods look a bit unconventional at first, but we were quickly mesmerized by his axe-swinging demonstration and the results.

Tom selects his wood carefully.  His primary requirement is that it is green wood.  He has used birch, cherry, hard maple, plum, apple, apricot, lemon, guava, breadfruit, buckthorn and lilac to name a few.  He even brought along a demo birch branch he found last week.  (It was so green it attacked Jim Ayers who was holding the microphone!)

Tom looks for a branch with a crook that is clean and free of knots (if possible).  The bend is used to create a naturally curved connection between the handle and bowl of the spoon.  By using the natural grain and keeping the bowl in line with this grain, issues of chipping and cracking are nearly eliminated.  If he cannot get to a particular piece quickly, Tom drops it into a large stock tank of water to soak until he is ready to use it.  This keeps the wood from drying out.

The demo:  Using a pruning saw, Tom sawed off and sliced up the piece he wanted to use.  Most of the vicious birch branch would not be used – just the interesting little crook.  A flash of the axe and the little crook was split in two.  Tom continued to trim the spoon to a rough shape with the axe.  He used a flexible straight edge to draw a centerline on the spoon.

Next he ‘free-handed’ the spoon design.  In most cases, the design is simple and has a boat-shape when laid upside down.  He continued to rough out the spoon with the axe, taking short chops at the wood to control the grain splitting.  Working slowly allows him to change the design, as needed, if a flaw is found in the wood.

Once the rough out was complete, Tom switched to a large carving knife and further refined the shape.  He completed the handle with long sweeping strokes to eliminate the need for sanding.  Tom’s serving spoons include the classic Swedish hook on the back of the handle to keep the spoon on the edge of a bowl.  When the handle was complete, he started work on the outside bowl edge again with the large carving knife.  Only when the exterior was done did he switch to a custom curved carving knife to thin the bowl from the inside working across the grain.  The walls of a finished eating spoon bowl should be no more than ¼” thick.  Serving spoons are thicker, but still have a delicate and classic line.
The secret to the perfect spoon is to keep the bowl depth low enough to eliminate cross-grain on the edge.  Let the grain work for you!

Completed carvings dry for 2-3 days before Tom finishes them with linseed oil or beeswax.  Tom ended his presentation with several slides of spoons from a gallery exhibition, his antique collection, and his own production.  We all went home wondering if we could truly carve something as delicate as a spoon with an axe – and still have ten fingers to show for it!


From the Carvers' Companion - Woodcarver Online Magazine
Loren Woodard, editor of Notes From the Net
From: Rick Jensen
July 1998

Get a small spray bottle and fill it halfway with rubbing alcohol and the rest with good Minnesota lake water (any water will do). When working on a piece of wood that is difficult to carve because of the end grain or hardness of the wood, spray a little of the alcohol and water mix on the wood and let it sit for a minute and then carve away. It works extremely well. The results will surprise you. I've been doing this for several months and have had no ill effects. It may raise the grain a tiny bit but that shouldn't be too much of a problem if your tools are sharp. The only problem I have is that it smells like the doctor's office. Give it a try.

Material from Woodcarver Online Magazine is copyright protected and is reprinted with permission. Visit for more information.


(SHOW AND TELL) – October, 2003

NAME                 CARVING          WOOD         FINISH                 COMMENTS
Jupe Houman            Trapper                     Basswood        Acrylics                        Carved out of 3” X 3” X 12”
Clarence Moe           Kachina Clown          Basswood       Acrylics                        2nd Place at Chicago WCS
Aaron Ionta               Oumpa Man              Basswood       Acrylics, Oil, Stain
                                   Work in Progress     Cottonwood Bark
Duane Edwards         Snowman                   Basswood        Acrylics/ Poly              Mike Shipley Pattern
John Jensen              Loon /w Crayfish       Basswood        Oil
Hugh Salisbury         Hunting Scene           Butternut         Unfinished                    Combination of 3 Pictures
Lew Forsmark          Two Bluegills             Basswood        Acrylics/Deft                Butternut Base
Ray Gritche              Snowman                   Basswood         Acrylics
Nancy Dardis           Woodburning             Aspen Paddles WaxWatercolors
Vangie Krueger        Santa Face                Basswood          Oil/Krylon                    Wall Hanging
                                   Santa Face                Old Spool          Acrylics                         Liquid Wax
Leo Mielke               Troll                           Basswood         Acrylics/Wax                “Carving Characters” Pattern
Esther Allen              Santa w/ Presents      Basswood         Acrylics/ Poly
Dick Allen                Mountain Man           Basswood         Acrylics, Oil                 Harley’s Class
Jack Tortillotte        Eagle                           Butternut          Acrylics/ Poly
Bob and Mary          Knight                         Basswood         Acrylic
Erickson                   Dancer                        Basswood          Acrylic

Color pictures, click <HERE>



Woodcarvers Store and School
3056 Excelsior Blvd., Minneapolis, MN  55416-0127 (612) 927-7491 (

Jim Abicht, Fine woodworking
Specializing in bases for carving projects  (651) 451-7217

Ivan Whillock Studio
122 NE 1st Avenue, Faribault, MN 55021  (507) 334-8306 (

 Krantz Wood Sales - Carving & Specialty Woods
 16748 Stanford St., Forest Lake, MN  55025  (651) 464-5632 (Evenings)

David Lindroth, Custom Cut Woods for Woodcarvers & Artists
8150 – 137th St. W.  Apple Valley, Mn  55124  (952) 432-7066

Nelson-Johnson Wood Products, Inc.
3910 Bryant Ave No., Mpls., MN  55412    (612) 529-2978 - cell phone (612) 644-4567

Chris Thompson, Carver and Instructor, (651) 457-4130

Gen Jansen, Carver and Instructor, (320) 252-3966

Bob Masse “Ruff-Cuts”
4930 Whitcomb Dr, Madison, WI  53711  (608) 271-2883

Brad Oren Sculpture Supply
Complete source for stone, wood, clay, abrasives & tools.

Rockler Stores:
Maplewood, MN  (651) 773-5285; Minneapolis, MN  (612) 822-3338;
Burnsville, MN  (952) 892-7999; Minnetonka, MN (952) 542-0111

Woodcraft Supply
9741 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN  (952) 884-3634

Gregg McCabe, Stubai tool distributor
425 Madison St NE, Minneapolis, MN (612) 379-9342

Garry N. Kolb - Woodcarving Supplies
2528 24 Ave NW, Rochester, Mn. 55901 (507) 289-9138

Copperhead Road Logging and Lumber
Joe Jewett – 54852 Great River Rd. Palisade, Mn. 56469 (218) 845-2832 Ron Fisher
Duck Decoy Blanks. 1-800-231-7370


Please be advised that Eugene N Mayer passed away on October 21, 2003 after a long battle with Cancer.  Gene was a past Newsletter Editor for Vikings Woodcarvers