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Chad Awalt Doug Hall Interviews Chad Awalt
Chad Awalt is a third generation woodcarver who was inspired at an early age by his grandfather. He has spent the last 20 years continually studying and expanding his knowledge of classical design and traditional art. His abilities range from classical woodcarving to traditional oil painting. Drawing on his degree in Anatomy and Physiology, he specializes in rendering the human figure.

For over 10 years, Chad has been producing beautiful furniture and creating works of art that are sought after by clients and galleries all over the country. His work is part of many corporate and private collections, including Usher, Disney, Caesar's Palace, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Georgia State Capitol.

Chad has been called on many times to create unique works for the center pieces of resort hotels and major regional restaurants. He usually accomplishes this by designing a spectacular piece of furniture or by working an exceptional architectural carving into the design of the interior. His sculptures are currently exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, and he continues to produce custom pieces for private collections.

Highland Hardware is pleased to present Chad's class, Classical Carving (991308), in the Tage Frid Seminar Room from January 27th to 29th. We had the opportunity to speak with Chad from his studio in Tucker, Georgia.

Read Doug's interview with Chad

Visit Chad's website

  Highland Hardware Woodworking Gifts    

Great Holiday Gift Ideas!
Don't know what to give the woodworker in your life this holiday season? We have some great gift ideas for you!

In the Highland Hardware Gift Guide our staff share some of their favorite woodworking items. We've also put together some of our most popular items and grouped them by price range. Browse our Gifts Under $25 , $50 , $100 and For Those Who've Been Exceptionally Good!

Or, you can skip the guesswork altogether and give them a Highland Hardware Gift Certificate - it's the present that's bound to be appreciated, even by the woodworker who has everything.


Featured Classes

Last Minute Gifts from the Lathe 991244 Last Minute Gifts from the Lathe with Hal Simmons

Dec. 11
Class Size: 8
Tuition: $95
Item# 991244


Make a Veneered Letter Box 991248
Make a Veneered Letter Box with Suzie Tindall

Dec. 16-18
Class Size: 8
Tuition: $315
Item# 991248

See Our Other December Classes

View slideshows of classes

Alan Noel Alan Noel's Finishing Corner
Oxalic Acid
When stripping furniture or architectural woodwork, often there are various stains and discolorations on the surfaces, especially on the tops and around screw and nail holes in moldings and case work. Plus, strippers tend to darken the natural color of wood and some even add a grayish cast to the surface.

To restore the natural color and to fade water rings and black spots caused by nails and screws, lightly sand the wood and then apply oxalic acid to the surface. Sanding helps with the penetration of the acid into the wood. After this has dried the surface must be completely washed with clean water. Usually one application will fade the dark areas; however, you may have to repeat the process for deeper discoloration.


1. Wear stripping gloves and eye protection when mixing and applying oxalic acid.
2. Oxalic acid should be mixed with warm water in a glass container. Add the crystals and stir until the water is completely saturated and you see the crystals start to collect on the bottom of the container.
3. Always apply the acid with a clean rag, starting from the bottom and working your way up. This way any acid that drips onto an already wet surface will do no harm. This is true for stripping and staining also.
4. On tops and moldings/case work, saturate the entire area as fast as possible.
5. Wearing a dust mask is a must when sanding after the washing and drying. If you experience ANY shortness of breath, there is still acid left in the wood and this should be completely washed with clean water again.
6. Use disposable brushes for moldings and crevices and let the rags and brushes dry before disposal.


Holiday Greetings from Our Owner
Dear Woodworker,

December is a special time for families to come together in celebration of that which matters most. Here at Highland Hardware, we join you in this celebration, and wish for you a holiday season of peace, joy and prosperity.

We're glad that you've chosen to rely on us as an always-dependable source for the world's finest woodworking tools along with essential advice on how to use them. One of our staff's greatest source of satisfaction has always been helping our customers grow more skilled at the craft of working wood.

All of us here are excited about the many learning opportunities to be found in our schedule of workshops and seminars in the months ahead, and invite you to add one or more of these events to your holiday wish list. A Highland Hardware Gift Certificate also makes an excellent gift which can be used towards any of our classes or for a purchase of woodworking tools or supplies.

We would especially welcome a leisurely visit from you here in our store during the holidays. If a visit to Atlanta is out of reach for you, please enjoy browsing our information-packed website and woodworking catalog.

Best wishes for the coming year.


Chris Bagby, Owner
Highland Hardware, Inc.


TV Cabinet with Antique Paint, Paul Bennett

Ask the Staff
E-mail us at woodnews@highlandhardware.com with your woodworking or finishing questions. Selected questions will be answered in future issues. If your question is selected for publication, we'll send you a free Highland Hardware hat.

Question: I have a kitchen table and chairs that have the original stain and finish on them, and I would like to give them a worn, distressed look. A friend suggested I use milk paint. Is such a product suitable for furniture and functional pieces? How do I create a distressed appearance?



Employee Contribution
The Woodturning Lathe: A Brief History
by Elena Vega

The lathe is among humanity's oldest and most important machine tools. It can shape, drill, bore and grind. In Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, Vol. I , John Jacob Holtzapffel terms the lathe 'the engine of civilization'. He points out it is unique among machine tools in that not only is it the only machine capable of replicating itself, but it is also capable of manufacturing all other machine tools.

Ancient drilled beads The lathe most likely evolved from the potter's wheel and the bow drill, which may have been used to bore holes even before fire was discovered. In fact, fire may have been accidentally discovered by someone trying to drill a hole in a piece of wood. The presence of stone, shell, ivory and bone beads with what appear to be drilled holes suggests that the bow drill may have been used as early as the Late Stone Age.


  California Industrial Woodworking Expo  
California Industrial Woodworking Expo

Thursday, Jan. 26, 9am-5pm
Friday, Jan. 27, 9am-4pm

Los Angeles Fairplex
Building 4
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 623-3111

The Inaugural California Industrial Woodworking Expo is the first woodworking/manufacturing exposition held in the region in two-and-a-half years. Hundreds of woodworking and furniture suppliers will be there sharing their products, services and expertise. You'll find fully operating machinery, equipment and supplies to test, and you'll have the opportunity to talk to the people who make, service and sell the equipment. You'll learn more in a single day at this expo than you could in a whole year of looking at product literature and catalogs!

For detailed information on the expo, including exhibitor information, directions and lodging, and events and education sessions, visit the California Industrial Woodworking Expo website.
  Delta/Porter-Cable films at Highland Hardware

Coming Next Month!
Highland Hardware partners with Delta/Porter-Cable to promote their power tool lines. Read more in our January issue of Wood News Online !

Plus, find out how the Georgia Association of Woodturners' entry fared in this year's Atlanta Festival of Trees competition!

Learn more about the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Festival of Trees.

  3D Square

Hot New Item!
PK/2 3D Squares

We discovered these gems while helping a customer clamp a table that had no aprons, which made the glue up extremely difficult to keep square. 3D Squares made an awkward job almost effortless. Now we use them for everything from temporary jigs and fixtures to keeping carcasses aligned during assembly. They are perfect to use in conjunction with pocket hole joinery for interim support until all the screws are in.

3D Squares are made from 5/32" thick aluminum so they won't bend and deform like the plastic versions. You can actually trust them to be square because they are milled to within .002" over their length (we checked them against a Starrett square to be sure). All surfaces are smooth and burr free so they won't scratch. If they do become dinged, a quick stroke of a file or sandpaper is all that's needed.

Legs are 6" long outside corner to end, and clamp surfaces are 1-1/16" wide. Each square has six 3/16" holes for permanent jig attachment or for temporary fastening when a traditional clamp won't work. Sold in pairs.
Item# 163608

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