Newsletter November 2021

Fellow woodworkers

As you will read in the Newsletter it is membership renewal time.

If you are not a member but enjoy joining our Zoom Meetings or reading our Newsletter, it would be great if you would also consider becoming a member; it is only $60 per year.

In the last 20 months we only managed to have 2 physical meetings:
August - when we had our first BAWA Annual Picnic, which at the time we hoped was going to be a prelude to the resumption of in-person meetings
November when we had our first Hybrid, On-line / Zoom meeting

Last year our costs were lower than usual as we did not have to pay room rental but even with only Virtual meetings we still paid many of our speakers (most professional woodworkers that we should support) and we had spent more than our income.

Next year we will have to pay for speakers plus room rental and insurance so we need to increase our paid membership. We appreciate your support.

For a complete change of topic: it is always good to come across new ventures that are promoting woodwork.

I can across one the other day: Wood Thumb

They have a reasonably sized workshop in San Francisco and offer both Virtual Workshops and (Covid conditions permitting) in-person workshops on making things such as small wedge tables and cutting boards.

The workshops are aimed at beginners and cover skills such as using table saws and routers.

A low cost way for beginners interested in woodworking:

They also sell and make small wooden gift items.

Enjoy your woodworking.

(Contact at:


November 21st 2021 BAWA Hybrid In-person / Zoom Meeting

The meeting was called to order by President Frank Ramsay

Guests: Laura and her neighbor Max.


Next Meetng:: Sunday 12th December at 6.00 pm

Agenda tbd
(Note; Due to the pandemic we will not be hving our normal pot luck this year, just bring your smiling, masked, faces.)

BAWA Membership Fees:As mentioned at our Annual Members Meeeting we have had to raise our membership fee to $60

Please send by check (payable to BAWA) to:

c/o Mr. Jon Kaplan,
682 Georgia Ave.,
Palo Alto,
CA 94306.

or you can click on the PayPal DONATE link below:

As noted at the meeting, membership dues alone are not enough to cover club expenses.
If you are able, please consider donating an amount above the basic membership dues.
And if you have any tools, wood. or other items that members might want and you no longer need,
please consider donating those to BAWA for auction to benefit the club.


Jason Forster
Japanese Woodworking

Jason is a member of the KEZUROU-KAI USA Japanese woodworking group.

He has taught classes on Zoom and in person.

He plans to teach at Laney College after Jay van Arsdale retires.

Meeting in progress with attendes socially distanced

Jason does most of his woodworking by hand, using the tablesaw, thickness planer and router only to rough out a project. He brought a couple of planes, marking tools, squares, a saw, and an adze.

He showed the locking mortise and tenon joint that uses a tapered ramp and wedge to lock the pieces together. The joint is strong and yet flexible.

Some of Jason's very tight joints

In laying out the joint, mark fine lines on the centerline of both pieces. All measurements are made off the reference to the center line for height and width for both the mortise and tenon.

When cutting dovetails, make them small enough so as not to weaken the strength of the joint. Add a sloping line to the exterior for reference. Be sure to mark the waste portion of the cut for clarity. The strength of the joint comes from carefully controlling the compressions of the wood and orienting the grain of the wood. Use a chisel to mark the end points of the "stop cuts" of the marking lines, then proceed to cut angle cuts for the dovetail cut. He uses a small saw to cut the slope and finishes the cut with a chisel.

Layout, cut-out, and fitting are the three phases of the project.

Cutting the Mortise and Tenon

For tenons, cut the rip cuts first. Rock the saw from the top to the end grain. Shoulder cuts - use a crosscut saw on the cutout lines. After cutting with the saw, clean up with the chisel. Test fit the mortise and tenon for width. Adjust fit using a chisel and/or finger plane which has the blade set right to the edge. They come in right hand and left hand versions.

Sharpening stones: he uses 1200, 3000, 8000, & 10,000 grit. Sharpen chisels to 8000, and planes to 10,000 grit.

He gave a short demonstration on how to adjust and use Japanese planes. These planes have no adjusting screws or levers, so adjusting the blade is done by tapping the blade into position.

Jason normally uses poplar for his projects.

Cutting the Mortise and Tenon


Show and Tell

Harry Filer

Harry showed one of his small boxes he recently made out of maple with a Redwood handle.

Claude Godcharles

Claude made a presentation on how he designed and made several serving trays which he made out of Elm

Minutes by Burt Rosensweig and Harry Filer