We had a very informative and enjoyable meeting. First up was our own Jamie Buxton to give us a Tech Talk on how to construct a torsion box. "What's that?" you say. It is a box of any size, which is lightweight, stiff and very flat. It can be used as a bench top, a door, a bed platform, wide span shelving, large table etc. It is made with two outer skins with a cell like spacer structure in between. The skins can be plywood or MDF although plywood is lighter. The spacers are 1/8" plywood on edge (to your required height) with slots cut to just above the half height and every 2". They are then "slotted" together with spacers running lengthwise and another set at 90 degrees to form square cells. This arrangement is then glued with yellow glue to the bottom skin. The slots or spacer arrangement does not have to be perfect since everything is tied together by the skins. Jamie has an ingenious way of then correcting any warp that is in the box before the top skin is glued on. Solid lumber then can be used for the edging. Jamie has an excellent handout which explains the whole process and will be in our Library. See our Librarian Mike Cooper or look here.
Show and Tell
Richard Winslow showed a pair of Walnut tall candlesticks. He got the elaborate design from some antique candlesticks which are in a museum in London. He said that making a matching set of something this elaborate was quite a challenge but he was able to match the dimensions by eye quite accurately.
Old and New Business
Robbie Fanning showed us the new BAWA Membership brochure that she has developed. Craig brought up the subject of the Holiday Party. December is a hectic month. In addition, possible members that show interest at the San Mateo Wood Show in November then really don't have a meeting to go to other than the November one followed by a January meeting. Many then lose interest. There was some very lively discussion with a final vote taken. The members opted for having some sort of celebration earlier in the year. More details to come. Paul Reif and others talked about the Rebuilding Together project where a house in the Hunters Point area of San Francisco was being converted to educational purposes. People doing various repair work were literally on top of each other doing nailing, painting and sawing. Everybody survived with all 10 fingers to best of their knowledge.
Craig introduced 2 guests who found us on the web. Brian Harringtom did woodworking with his grandfather. He now has his own commercial 1-person wood shop. Fred Reicher also found us on the web. Fred is new to woodworking and has some tools and is eager to get started. Welcome to both Brian & Fred. Bud Ruby talked about being able to find Bessey and other types of clamps through www.coastaltool.com at a much cheaper price then all the other usual sources.
The main speaker for the evening was Jeff Traeger who gave us an excellent presentation on Rebuilding Old Stationary Power Tools. He started his slide presentation by showing us that he is in fact a woodworker. There was a "left-handed" workbench followed by a series of boxes, sushi trays, cutting boards, and some 4-story houses for pets that an architect designed for a charity auction. Each had around 600 mortises and the cost was about $2000. He then showed a series of tools that he rebuilt showing their original rusted state and their shining refinished state. It is impossible to describe them all here but he had done a 12" Parks planer, Wells & Davis horizontal boring machine, 24" Delta scroll saw, shapers, band saws and many more. Their ages were from the 1930's to the 1950's. He had interesting stories about many of the machines and how he acquired them. Some were very complicated such as the 12" Parks planer with a 5 HP motor and weighed 300 lbs and had a transmission. This was his first serious project. He studied the plans for months before tackling the machine. He has learned the history of many of the companies with their numerous name changes as one company would buy out another. He then showed the very simple tools that he uses such as a single-edge razor blade, 4½" grinder, wire wheel, brass brushes, Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover, and Rustoleum spray paint. Sometimes he has to use sand-blasting equipment or the services of a machine shop.
The secret is to have a lot of patience, scour the Internet looking for parts (that may come out of a barn in Iowa), try to get the parts manual and a lot of "elbow grease." Take photos at each disassembly step. He left us with a handout of web sites related to old woodworking equipment (now available in our library). A very satisfying evening although I left wishing that I had the knowledge, time and fortitude to do something like this. Thank you Jeff.
Door prize and Auction
The meeting was running late but before we were thrown out by HÄFELE, Stan had Jeff draw the winning Door Prize tickets for a Gift Certificate from Japan Woodworker and a Book Matched set of ¼ or 3/8 Figured Maple boards. Unfortunately, my notes are blank as to who won these items.
There were two items in the Silent Auction. The 2 finger planes without irons from the Czyzowsky's went unclaimed and the Portable Wood Planer from Jamie Buxton won with a $30 bid from yours truly. Stan reminded us of the raffle for the Zebra Wood is still going on.
A big "thank you" to HÄFELE for putting up with us into the night.