Short subjects


Last April 7 a group of antique tool collectors from the Central Hudson and Eastern Mohawk Valley areas of upstate New York met at the Knox Firehouse in Knox, NewYork, to form a new tool collecting association. With an initial membership of some forty plus members, the group voted to call themselves the Hudson-- Mohawk Antique Tools and Trades Association. Dana A. Sherman was elected president of the new organization and Vail Pulliam was elected secretary/treasurer. Meeting dates were tentatively established as the first Sunday in April and the first Sunday in October.

Meeting places and times will be announced by the officers. Ralph MacLachlan was requested to develop a mission statement. Annual membership dues were set at $10.00 (fee includes spouses).

Meeting day events are to include swap tables and a Whatsits session, as well as opportunities for members and guests to bring along tools for display and discussion. It was also agreed that the association would prepare and distribute a newsletter, publication scheduling to be determined at a later date. Ralph MacLachlan was "volunteered" to produce the first issue while efforts were initiated to secure a full-time editor. The newsletter will include items for sale and wanted to buy as well as articles to be submitted by the membership.

Willis (Skip) Barshied invited the membership to an interim meeting on May 11 to view his Dutch Barn and tool collections and John Ackner is making arrangements for the October meeting at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam, New York.

For additional information regarding this new antique tool collecting organization, contact either President Dana Sherman, 228 Drumm Road, Delanson, New York 12053 (e-mail: ) or Secretary/Treasurer Vall Pulliam, 584 Bozenkill Road, Altamont, New York 12009. E-mail:


It has been called to Shaving's attention that its numbering is slightly off. Would you please turn to page 1 of the March/April 2002 issue and change Number 165 to 166? Would you also please turn to page 1 of the May/June issue and change Number 166 to 167? The numbers on the outside jackets are correct. Thanks to Erin Kampmann of ProQuest for spotting this.

Terry Hansen

Shavings Editor


As of this writing there is still room in the EAIA-Eastfield program, July 29-August 2, at East Nassau, New York. It provides a unique hands-on learning experience through five one-day workshops in a variety of traditional wood, metal, stone, and other trades in a nineteenth- century setting. Not only is this a great learning experience but it is also great fun. For further information and a reservation form, call Elton Hall at (508) 993-9578 or e-mail him at .


The tool tour runs from September 17-27 with the David Stanley tool auction an option at the end. The annual EAIA tour has always been an enjoyable and educational expedition with the chance of adding to one's tool collection along the way. A comfortably paced, yet rich and varied tour, participants enjoy travel freed from many of the usual hassles at a good value in the good company of fellow EAIA members. For full information and a registration form, call Discover Europe, Ltd. at (866) 563-7077.


At the annual meeting, the four new members elected to the board were announced: Lisa Pollak, Dan Morse, Willie Royal, and Jim Parker. Shavings extends congratualations to them. Jim Bovay resigned as 2nd Vice President, and Phil Cannon was elected to complete his term.


Shavings wishes to thank those who, over the past few months, have suggested name changes for the feature Short Subjects. One possiblity was "bits," as a shortened form of auger bits; another was "chips" since they are smaller than shavings, and a third was "smatters," referring to "small matters" and even "spatters." Shavings appreciates these ideas. Short Subjects will keep its name for the time being but is still open to further suggestions.


In answer to the query from Craig Dunn in the last Shavings about British vs American finishes on wooden planes, Jane Rees offers the following.

"Traditionally, wooden planes in Britain were treated with linseed oil. When a new plane was purchased, the mouth would be sealed, the well filled with linseed oil and it would be left until all the oil had been absorbed. However, if a plane has a surface finish of old oil, application of further oil is not desirable. To obtain the finish that Craig Dunn wishes there are two possible methods. One is to use what is here known as "unembalming fluid" or, less colloquially, restorer's mixture.

"To make this, mix equal quantities of linseed oil, white spirit or turpentine, and vinegar in a bottle and shake well. Apply with a rag or very fine (000 or 0000) wire wool. Finally burnish with a rag. Alternatively, restorer's wax polish (there are several proprietary brands available) also applied with very fine wire wool and then polished with a rag gives an excellent finish. This latter was the method that Mark & I always used. Further details can be found in our book Tools - A Guide for Collectors."

Mrs Jane Rees

Barrow Mead Cottage, Rush Hill, Bath BA2 2QP, UK

Tel: 01225 837031; Fax: 01225 835470



This summer, Old Sturbridge Village has expanded its regular woodworking demonstrations to include carpentry. Starting on June 29, visitors to the cooper shop at the living history museum may encounter a cooper carving staves for a wooden bucket or a carpenter working nearby, hewing a beam or demonstrating other timber-- framing techniques. The cooper shop itself has been reconfigured to accommodate the year-round interpretation of the two trades, each of which might have been practiced part-time by a farmer and his son or a couple of neighbors. A second workbench and a set of reproduction tools specific to carpentry are among the additions. For more information, call the Village at 800-SEE-1830 (TTY 508-347-5383) or visit www.osv.org.

Susie Bonta, Public Relations Manager

TEL: (508) 347-3362, ext. 338


Eugene L. Klingler, Sr., 94 of Landis Home Retirement Community, Lititz, Pennsylvania, died there Sunday, May 5, after a brief illness. Klingler worked for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corp. for many years as a wire rope products salesman and was involved in developing wire rope technology. He traveled throughout the United States and Bolivia, selling wire screen for use in the tin industry. After retiring in 1971, he moved to the Lancaster, Pennyslvania, area and opened antique shops in Smoketown and at the Antique Market-Place, Ronks. He was an expert in antique woodworking tools and was published up to the age 92 in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, which he had joined in 1972. A member of the Masonic Lodge in Palmer, Massachusettes, Klingler enjoyed woodcarving, photography, fishing, and spinning yarns.

Lancaster (Pennsylvania) New Era


Philip C. Whitney, 72, of Fitchburg, Massaschusetts, died Thursday, April 18, at home after a short illness. Whitney was a Korean War era Navy veteran, serving with the Seabees in French Morocco. He worked for the Rockport Shoe Company, retiring in 1992. He joined the Early American Industries Association that year. He was a former president of the Lunenburg Historical Society and conducted trolley tours for the Fitchburg Historical Society. Besides his involvement with the local historical scene, Whitney ran archaeological digs for students. He was a member of the Nashua River Watershed Association, the Stream Team, as well as other tool collecting organizations, historical museums, and societies. He was most known for conducting authentic demonstrations of cutting and harvesting ice for local historical groups. He had articles published in magazines and taught specialized fire, rescue, disaster, and rigging workshops across the country.

Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel.


Shavings will be closed July 23-August 8 for a muchneeded vacation. Messages, correspondence, or advertisements should reach me before July 23.