July 2002


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Last Meeting

Paul, the store manager at Lowes welcomed our group into their training room for our meeting.

Board member's reports was next. Gene Wagg will take over the Treasurer's job. Jay described his plans for future meetings. The September meeting will be our Fall Kickoff party (see details elsewhere in this newsletter) and October will feature a Tech Talk on copyright protection and Jamie Buxton will do a presentation on veneering using a vacuum press. November will bring all those Jigs and Fixtures that you, our members have been dreaming up all year. December, Jay hopes to have a real blockbuster for the hundreds of prospective members who will come streaming in after seeing us at the November Wood show. (Suits & ties will not be required for this meeting).

Connie of Hospitality reminded that Harold Patterson volunteered to do the refreshments for the July meeting, David Heim for August, Harold Patterson for October, Cheryl & Gary Bentson for November and Connie Voos for December. If these individuals cannot do the meeting that they signed up for then please find a replacement.

Robbie of Membership reported that we have 79 members. She is also looking for ideas for the November San Mateo Woodworking Show (See the We Need Your Ideas column).

There were a number of Announcements as follows. Arnie Champagne mentioned that he will start his dovetail and planes classes again in September. (See the Classifieds page).

Connie said that that we can always use more money for the Refreshments so put you your buck or two or three into the Refreshments box. Neal White a new member had a tilt-top table in the new Taunton Press book on dining tables. He'll sell to BAWA members for the author's half-price of $15.

Stan described the great items in the raffle and the door prize.

Jay has some BAWA hats for sale for only $10. Be the first one on your block to sport one!

Silent Auction-Craig had some antique saw blades that had belonged to his father.

Craig presented three new members. Fred Reicher of Daly City describes himself as an amateur woodworker. He is interested in box making, small furniture and is volunteering for Outreach and community projects. Neal White of San Jose is also an amateur. He is interested in furniture. Andre Sobieski of San Carlos is interested in furniture and chairs. He has volunteered for the Wood Show. A big welcome to all. We hope you will find our meetings productive in furthering your skills.

Show and Tell

Bill Henzel showed a Windsor chair of Cherry and Maple. The hoop was a bent lamination. The tapered spindles in the back, which looked like they'd been lathe-turned, were actually done with a router and sanding jigs.

Arnie Champagne showed photos and templates of a Mahogany tea cart he'd built for a client who had found him by inquiring through BAWA.

Yeung Chen showed a set of fine wood chisels he designed, and were made by Paul Beebe of 01 tool steel. These chisels are designed for hand force only. There are 3 dovetail-style chisels, bevel edged, one trimming chisel and a 1/16" executed in a mortise-chisel shape. They are hand made and well honed. Individually, they cost between $23 and $27. A boxed set of five is $119. They are being offered by Lee Valley Tools. Their phone number is 800/871-8158.

Carl Johnson and Arnie Champagne showed photos of a downsizing project for furniture. A company in San Francisco had furniture that was too large for their new offices, so Carl and Arnie made them smaller by cutting sections out, and fabricating new legs.

Main Presentation

Yeung Chan made a presentation that was both humorous and at the same time very serious. Many of the 40 dues-paying members present at the meeting site (Lowe's) made positive comments about Yeung's talk on woodworking joints. There were also two guests present that Yeung had invited, both of whom were familiar with his work. Yeung first told us that his book will cover much of what he was about to discuss. He mentioned that the photographer from the book company stayed at Yeung's house and began work at 10 AM each day and continued until 2 AM each night -- this went on for like a week or two. They discussed, sometimes with great animation, how each of the shots should look and from the description we will each be able to own a quality book filled with great photographs and illustrations. Yeung wanted to expand the topics and include more joints but the publishing company had limits and no amount of persuasion would move them. He said the book will include approximately 100 joints in 175 pages. Maybe Yeung can get a few dozen copies of the new book and then offer to the club at a discount since it appeared most of us at the meeting would have purchased one on the spot! One of the major themes is that improvements in machine tools in the last 20 years (like biscuit jointer, plunge router, hollow-chisel mortising machine) have enabled most joints to now be made by machine, rather than the tradition of making by hand. Yeung started by showing us dovetail joints made by table saw with a wee bit of clean-up with chisels. (At which point he showed us chisels designed by him that are now being sold through one of the finer tool catalogs.) Next he showed us a miter joint with a clever "finger" of wood that goes into the opposing piece in such a manner that one person can assemble with ease and not depend on having a second set of hands. With the sample joint in hand he remarked that miter joints actually keep tighter joints because the wood is expanding and contracting in unison (unless the joint is made of dissimilar species).

Yeung Chan pointed out that joints can be catagorized as Mechanical and Non-Mechanical. A lap joint is non-mechanical while the dovetail joint is mechanical. He went on to demonstrate a simple lap joint and then he showed two variations that initially looked difficult to make, but he was able to dispel that concept with some wise instruction. "Good things don't come easy" he remarked and later repeated it with the following on that good joints do "come with hard work".

Yeung gave several recommendations: first, make a sled for the table saw on which you can mount guides to give you 45 degrees, and later showed us we could use the same sled with a little modification to give 30 and 60 degree cuts. Then near the end of the talk, which most attendees wished would last longer, he suggested we take one circular saw blade and get it ground flat – that is so when you make a cut the tip of the blade provides a flat cut – as you would need for a lap joint for example.

One of the most interesting joints he showed us was a 3 way miter joint and yours truly embarrassed himself by asking to see the joint with his own hands! When asked if you should cuts the ends a little long to ensure that the triple miter will work out he told us of an old Chinese proverb: If you are a woodworker cut pieces a little long; if you are a blacksmith cut a little short (since you can pound it longer on the anvil)!! That kind of story really made for a good presentation that some of our guest lecturers can't match in quality of format! It became clear why many people pay to learn from Yeung for a weekend or week long seminar led by him. We are very fortunate to have him a member of our club and from the responses we need to have him back AFTER the book is published for a follow-up talk!

The meeting ended with a cocobola board going to a raffle winner and a diamond sharpener to the door prize winner. Then the members rushed out to use their 10% off coupons at Lowes.