International Wood Collectors Society

A Dedicated Group of Wood Collectors and Crafters

The last week in February brought a change from the record cold weather that had plaguing Florida to inviting and balmy conditions for our annual Woodfest get together at Lake Yale. The 80-degree temperatures stayed with us for the entire Woodfest, February 23-27, 2011, which gave attendees demonstrations, educational presentations, wood identification sessions, craft activities, and lots of camaraderie. We had about 160 attendees who participated in 45 sessions.

The Lake Yale Conference Center grounds are picturesque. They are dotted by large live oaks draped with Spanish moss and pine trees and situated by the lake. The area hosts many different types of flora and wildlife including nesting eagles, sandhill cranes, egrets, and great blue herons. The McGuire Education Center has a large auditorium that was used as an exhibition hall for IWCS members to show off their talent and share their ideas.

Elaine Hunt did an outstanding job in organizing and carrying out the registration process. Her attention to details and member needs was terrific and greatly appreciated by the attendees. Lucy Cruise and Joyce Symonds assisted her. Chris Nothnagle was the Program Director for the meeting. He did a great job in finding both members to lead sessions as demonstrators and presenters to share their knowledge and skills, and in locating some excellent evening and afternoon guest speakers who were experts in forestry and wood issues.

Registration began on Wednesday afternoon and the opening session was that evening. The first plenary session included a welcome and announcements by IWCS President Garry Roux, an overview of the program by Chris Nothnagle an update on the Lake Yale arrangements and supporting activities by Elaine Hunt., and a greeting from Tom Kinney the Southeast Trustee. The first evening guest speaker was Dr. Ed Bernard who gave a presentation on the history of Florida forests including an interesting historical section on "liveoaking" -- the cutting of live oak trees for keels and structural members of ships. He was a great speaker and started our meeting off well.

On the second day, the portable sawmill cranked up in the spirit of Manley Hunt. We did not have the amount of wood donated compared to the last several years but we had a good quality and a variety interesting woods. We had a lot of Camphor as well as about 30 other species, either to saw or select at the Wood Auction. We want to thank the many members and others in the community for their contributions.


During the meeting some members heard about an available Camphor tree at the nearby Trout Lake Nature Center, so Bob Nunan and Garry Roux took a truck, barrowed a tractor, wagon, and chain saw, and retrieved it. The sawmill was provided by Ed Bryant and Bob Schrepter, John Roper, Alex Sutton, and Dave Mather worked on sawing the logs and preparing other wood for the Wood Auction.

John Davis provided carving classes in walking sticks and flutes. A basket weaving workshop was conducted by Ted Spangenberg. Skip Dickens and Chuck Krieger gave a session on tying rope handles for walking sticks. Joe Sanders gave a lathe demonstration on how to turn ornamental mushrooms. Bob Vaughn gave his demonstration on his hand made rose engine lathe that would cut out designs, such as the pedals of a rose, onto lathe turned bowls.

Chris Nothnagle gave a presentation on tools of a WW2 patternmaker from Newport News Shipyard including the history of the Buck Brothers chisels.

Bob Vaughn demonstrated the Rose Engin Lathe

Art Lee presented a session on how to build a kayak , while John Burris demonstrated on constructing a lathe turned duck call. Rhonda Vaughn led a cross-stitching session. Shelly Roux oversaw several sewing projects during the meeting. Kris Troyer gave a tea bag folding session, while Bunnie Gronborg conducted a session on potting plants.

The following day Arnette Sherman led an Audubon Bird Walk. Jack Rogers demonstrated how to cut threads into lathe turned boxes and lids. Bob Chastain had a class in which you made a band sawed box in one day. Robert Hansen demonstrated how to make scrolls sawed boxes and use micromesh for sanding. Dave Barriger showed how to turn a natural edged bowl.

We had a class in a Rosewood and Mahogany study conducted by Steve Bartocci, Duane Keck, Ed Hurst,and Alan Curtis, using about 40 different specimens brought Alex Sutton. Garry Rouxprovided a session on Shaker Box construction. Nick DiMona from the Hands-on-Woodturners Club did a demonstration on turning a winged box. Don Geiger demonstrated how to turn a natural edge bowl. Marilyn Noonan led a workshop on soap making and Pam Munger provided a session on knitting hats. There was a wood carving demonstration by members of the Nature’s Coast Woodcarvers. Sonia Barriger led a class on beading and Judy Chastain did a session on making occasional cards. Alan Curtis narrated slides of the Tasmanian meeting and side trips to investigate local woods that he and Skip Dickens attended. Joanne Schrepter led the Bingo session that was followed by the traditional Red Hat Tea.

Our evening speaker the second day was Dr. Alan Long who gave his talk on woods of Florida and changing needs and wood products over the past 300 years. The third day we had two speakers during the day. Pete Richardson form Viable Lumber did a presentation on urban wood recovery in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. His company made a sizable donation of different recovered woods to the Wood Auction. Dr. Michael Penn provided an update on forest management and restoration. Our final speaker was Dr. Jason Smith provided insight on the loss of a number of treasured trees from our forests due to invasive species and diseases.

On Saturday, we had our Wood and Craft Auctions. They went very well under the guidance of the auctioneers -- Harry Wheeler and Jerry Zipprich.

The auctions were assisted by Marilyn Nunan, Theresa Burris, Joyce Symonds, Anne Lee, Dee Kriegler, Millie Zoellner, Connie Wheeler, and Bunnie Gronborg. Garry Roux and Jerry Zipprich ran the silent auction.

There were a number of companies that supported the meeting and provided catalogues and door prizes, including Grizzly Industrial, Inc., Packard Woodworks, Inc., Eagle America, Highland Woodworking, Workshop News, Keepsake Quilting, Lee Valley Tools Ltd., Mountain Woodcarving, Oneway Manufacturing, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, Wood Carvers Supply, Inc., and Woodcraft Supply, LLC.

An array of photographs on the meeting are posted on the IWCS website.

Next year, our host for the Lake Yale meeting will be Tom and Linda Kinney. We hope to see you there!