Viking Wood Carvers Association
Newsletter December 2002

VIKING Chapter
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Vol. 28 No. 10

*Bob Pitts
(612) 722-0449
*Jim Ayers
(612) 721-6074
*Myron Asper
(952) 445-7274
*Jeff Lippka
*Myrtle Brandvold
(952) 831-4361
*Dennis Mathiason
(952) 512-0073
*Jim Ayers
*Myron Asper
*Keith Fredrickson
*Leonard Kampa

December Meeting Speaker -
Chad McAnally -"Carving and Harpmaking"

Minutes of The November Meeting by Jeff Lipka

The meeting of November 11 was called to order by President Bob Pitts. There were 72 members and 3 guests present. The Treasurer’s Report was submitted by Myrt Brandvold. The current balace is $3388.34 with one Fall Show bill pending.

The Nominating Committee has met and presented the following list of candidates.
President - Jim Forrey
Vice President - Jim Ayers
Secretary - Nancy Dardis
Treasurer - Lew Forsmark

The Nominating Committee report was accepted. Nominations from the floor will also be accepted at the December and January meetings. The vote on nominated candidates will take place during the January meeting and elected members will start their office at the February meeting. A financial audit of this year’s activities will be made in January. It was also announced that Merle Erickson (Swede I) and Swede II Bengtson will co-chair the Spring Har Mar Show.

Pres Pitts requested volunteers for the Coffee Committee. Contact him if interested. Swede Bengtson then reported the results of the very successful Fall Show. Approximately 42 participants evaluated the show giving it an overall rating of 4.12/5. This is slightly better than the Spring Show. 91 % plan to return for the 2003 Spring Show. Some members had very good sales at the show. The Carving for Charity event was quite successful. (See results later in this issue.)

Jim Ayers announced some of the planned meeting activities for the next 6 months and indicated that he would serve for another year as Program Director. He has completed 7 years. After making his comments there was a well-deserved applause for his dedicated and active pursuit of speakers. (He has been very successful in lining up a varied list of speakers.)

The Digital Camera Use Committee was announced. The members will be Russ Scott, Ken Peterson, Todd Moucha, and Mike Morson.

Vendors were then provided an opportunity to identify new items. George Effrem has new books, John Krantz indicated he still had willow sticks but supply is limited, and Ken Peterson indicated that the Rockler Stores were having their annual woodworking contest. Contest details can be obtained at any of the stores in the metro area or on-line at the Rockler website. Local and national monetary awards will be made for selected woodcarvings. (Ed note: Could not find this information at their web site.)

New business. Merle Erickson suggested that we initiate a tool exchange at future meetings. Members would display their sale items for a half-hour prior to the meeting (ending at 7:00 PM) and also during the coffee break. The club would only provide the medium for the sale. The idea was accepted and we will try it at the December meeting. Other clubs have had similar sales with good results. (Ed Note: 1.The Forest Lake carving group has an annual donation auction. This year the club netted $851.00. 2. I believe items offered for sale are limited to wood carving/working tools and materials.)

The Business meeting was adjourned and Show and Tell then commenced. See listing later in this issue. Coffee Break followed.

Talk by Tom Flemming Tom, talked about carving and painting wood decoys. Finishing techniques involving matting with a sponge and hair comb texturing to create feather patterns were of great interest to the audience.

BALANCE - OCTOBER     1/02    4463.24
INCOME      395.30
EXPENSE      502.05
BALANCE - NOVEMBER 1/02    4356.49
INCOME       146.50
EXPENSE    1114.65
BALANCE - NOV                11/02   3388.34

December Speaker Topic by Jim Ayers

Chad McAnally "Carving and Harpmaking" Chad is a professional harpmaker and woodworker. He will bring samples of his work, tools, and plenty of harplore. I think we can even prevail on him to perform a song.

Our January meeting is still on for a Woodbutcher’s Buffet, and Jim is still scanning for members who might be willing to present. Jim will participate with a table on airbrushing. We will also have at least one, possibly two, tables on chip carving techniques (Walt Grittner and Darwin Kreuger). Contact Jim if you would like to be a presenter at the January meeting.

Carving For Charity
I am pleased to report that the 'Carving for Charity' event was very successful this year, thanks in very large part to the generosity and last minute contributions of the exhibitors. The 'Charities' table attracted lots of visitors who were very complimentary to the artist's works, but also quite impressed with the fact that such works were being donated to local charities. As a result, we were able to lead specific queries to the table of the responsible artist.

Finally, I wish to thank and specifically recognize the following artists, for without their generous contributions we would not have had a successful event. The contributors, in alphabetical order, are:

Dick Allen                   Indian & Feather
Ivan Amman               Bear in Intarsia
Jim Ayers                   Flying Cardinal
Donald Cragoe           Voyager
Gary Fleming              Walking Stick
Jim Forrey                  Skier
Lonnie Gay                 Puppy in Intarsia
Ray Gritche                Santa Christmas Ornament
Bill Jaeger                  Horses' Candle Holder
Leonard Kampa          Irish Gnome
Luther Kliche              Celtic Cross
Phil Lagarde                Various Fretwork Articles (Dogs and Religious)
Dennis Mathiason       Gov's Last Hurrah - A Tribute to Jesse
Todd Moucha              Small Wolf
Ken Peterson               Leprechaun
Bob Pitts                      Waving Raccoon
Bob Ristow                  Immigrant Preacher
Elaine Stenman           Cardinal Plate
Joe Stepka                   Sitting Girl
Stan Wenker                American Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk)

I also want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the two people who assisted me with the booth. You know who you are. Without your generous assistance, I would not have been able to personally enjoy the show or view it as a positive event. As it was, these individuals, coupled with Swede's capable support and guidance, made my active participation in this show a pleasurable experience.

Additionally, participation in this event allowed me the opportunity to meet and interact with many good people, who incidentally are also talented woodcarvers. My personal best wishes to all of you.

Good Carving,

Dennis Schuster
Carving for Charities, Fall 2002 Show

Editor’s Comments
WE had a great FALL SHOW!!!!

The Fall Show provided me an opportunity to talk with many present and former club members about their carving interests and what they hoped to achieve by belonging to the Viking Club. I also recently took some time to review newsletters that were published in the 1990’s. Several observations pop out of these information gathering opportunities.

  1. Most carvers joined the club because they thought they would get some help in learning to carve, and find out what the various carving approaches were.
  2. A significant number thought there would be “hands on” opportunities to help develop skills.
  3. Many hoped there would be significant interaction between members pursuing similar methods.
  4. A significant number also indicated that they dropped out of the club because they found other clubs more willing to address individual needs.
  5. Brief comments: e.g. “Why can’t we have workshops like other clubs?” “Why don’t we socialize like…” “Why aren’t there opportunities for younger members?” “How come Vikings are not associated with the other carving clubs?” Etc..
I think it is time we discuss these questions and similar concerns. If you look at our membership you can see we have declined while other clubs have had modest to spectacular growth. For example, the Newport club is a rapidly growing club. Most of us have limited awareness as to who is in our club and their interests. The Carvers Bazaar that Jim Ayers will have at an upcoming meeting is an excellent way to share ideas, and build camaraderie. Merle Erickson’s proposal for a used inventory sale is also a good idea. But we need more interaction if we are to strengthen this organization. How about having a roster of names with coded carving interests listed? Our current roster has names, addresses, and phone numbers. If we cannot carve at our present site, maybe we need to identify other sites in the metro area. Maybe we should affiliate with school districts so that the younger generation will have a chance to carve. How about summer carving and socializing opportunities? Should we again affiliate with the Minnesota Wood Carvers Association again? Why is our club never featured in “Chip Chats”, the publication of the National Wood Carvers Association? These are only a few questions that should possibly be raised. There are more.
Remember: Great organizations don’t just happen. They require commitment! Or as I would tell my chemistry students “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!” For those of you wondering what this has to do with chemistry, it is a simple statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (But I digress too much.)

So I look forward to a discussion at the next meeting. Or if you want to email or call, I welcome your comments.

As I was driving in South Minneapolis the other day I came across Beaumont’s Quality Tools located at 3539 West 44th St (approximately 4 blocks east of France Ave. Found a very interesting shop with a good supply of power tool bits, abrasives and sharpening supplies. The shop owner is Beau Battle, former Viking member in the early 90’s. Beau seems to be well informed when it comes to sharpening techniques. I now know that there are at least 15 kinds of rouges on the market. If you want a good understanding of diamond surfaces, he is a good person to talk to. There are various diamond particles and binders used. Let the buyer beware.


  1. TO AVOID A SORE OR STRAINED BACK, place your woodcarving so that your elbows are at the height of the area being carved.
  2. The next time you walk into your carving area, ask yourself this question: Is this a safe, uncluttered area for you and others?
  3. Is your respirator properly stored in a container or is it gathering dust?
  4. Is there a First Aid kit in your work area? A Bandaid?
I recently reviewed my area before the grandkids arrived. To my chagrin, I realized that the nifty tool rack I had constructed so that my tools would be hanging next to the bench now posed an eye level hazard for children about 3-4 feet high. Rather unsafe! So I barricaded the shop door so that they could not enter.(As I think about the grandkids I am reminded of a query, “Opa, what’s it like when I am not here?” My response, “Quiet.”)

And now for those of you who have too much free time (never true for the editor),
In this puzzle each letter stands for another. If you think Q = B, for example, then it would equal B throughout the puzzle.
To begin, let S = T for this puzzle





The solution will be in the next newsletter or provided at the December meeting.


GREGG McCABE , a Stubai dealer, has a holiday “getting to know ya” promotion. See vendor section for more information.

New Members:
Georgiann Jensen, 805 -11th Ave S, Hopkins, MN, 55343. (952-939-8033)
Kermit Mundahl, 456 Overlook Pass, Hudson, WI, 54016. (715-381-2731)

Vendor News

Stubai Christmas Sale - Gregg McCabe
10% off any individual tool plus I'll pay the sales tax for a total of 16 1/2% discount.
15% off any tool set or group of 5 or more individual tools plus I'll pay sales tax for a discount of 21 1/2%. This sale is limited to what I have on hand at the December Viking Woodcarvers Meeting. If you are looking for a specific tool call Gregg McCabe at (612)379-9342 and I will do my best to have it at the meeting. For sets or groups of 5 individual tools not on hand, these will be sent to member’s house.


SNOW DAZE CARVE IN Jan 3-5,2003 at the Green Lake Bible Camp on Green Lake, Spicer, MN. Cost is $124 plus materials. Contact Gen Jansen for more information, ph 320-252-3966, email Note: 4 Vikings (Ayers, Grittner, Jansen and Moe) will be instructors. Krantz will have wood at the show on Saturday. Previous participants have indicated this event which is presented by the Central Minnesota WoodCarvers is a well run, fun weekend.

Feb 18-23. Gretna (near Omaha,NE) Resident carver will be Marty Dolphens. Cost is $170 (includes lodging, meals, carving and entertainment). A great place to see noted carvers in action, for relaxation and for sharing ideas. The Gretna Experience is sponsored by John and Nancy Burke. Area carvers that regularly attend: Jim Burk, Dale Martin, Dennis Mathiason, Midge Johnson, and Harley Smitgen. (Contact Dennis for more information if you are interested.)

Mar 15, 16 Central Minnesota Woodcarvers Show, St Cloud, MN. Contact Gen Jansen for more information.

March 22-23, MWCA 37th annual show at Brookdale Mall in Brooklyn Center, MN

March 22-23, 27th Annual Carving Show, Rochester Woodcarvers Club. At Fairgrounds.

Apr 5, 6, Viking Spring Show, Har Mar Mall (CONTACT the Swedes (co-chairs) early so that you can be a volunteer. Positions limited!) (Jag taler inte Svenska.)


NAME                        CARVING             WOOD             FINISH        COMMENTS
JIM FORREY                  SNOWMAN                BASSWOOD        ACRYLICS
LEONARD KAMPA         PAIR DECOY             WHITE PINE        ACRYLICS     2/3 SIZE
                                            MALLARDS                                                                      DECORATIVE
JEFF LIPPKA                   AFRICAN HEAD       SUMAC,                ACRYLICS     ACRYLICS STONE
                                           KNIFE HANDLE        WALNUT                                       INLAY
                                                                                  & ANTLER
                                                                                                                  WAX               SMITGEN DESIGN
MARV MEYER               3 DUCK CALLS          WALNUT               SPAR              USED GOUGES
                                                                                                                  VARNISH      AND CHISELS
LEO MIELKE                  BODY WITH 13          BASSWOOD         WAX               MALE HEADS
BOB RISTOW                 TEACHER                    BASSWOOD         ACRYLICS    LLOYD MENG

Ed Note: Member display forms need to be completely and clearly filled out for proper inclusion in the newsletter. Oral comments do not get referenced. As Samuel Butler advised, “The advantage of doing one’s praising is that one can lay it on so thick, and exactly in the right places.”

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients on which to operate. The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table; when you open them up, everything inside is numbered." The second responds,"Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded." The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order." The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would." But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, and no spine, and the head and butt are interchangeable!" ( Wonder what they think of carvers.)