September 2002


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Last Meeting

Brian Harrington of Harrington Woodworking Exotic Veneers and a club member gave us a very spirited presentation on veneers. He was surrounded with dozens of different types of veneers some in bundles and many pieces over 6 feet long. His approach to his presentation was to involve everybody by talking and describing and then asking his audience questions and seeking responses. He was holding everyone's attention by rewarding with huge amounts of veneer as people responded. Brian described veneer as a thinly sliced wood which is economically efficient and ecological. A tree can yield a lot more veneer than solid lumber. It is also much cheaper to use than the same species in solid lumber. Veneer can be cut in a rotary fashion around a tree or in other ways as well. The best trees usually go to veneer manufacturers and there are only 3 major ones and they are all in Europe. In addition, many woods are so rare now that veneer is the only way to go. Bryan showed us all types of veneers most with beautiful grain. He said that most of the greatest pieces of furniture are veneered. He maintains that learning to veneer is easy and one doesn't have to have a vacuum press to do it. There are several other ways to do it. However, a veneer press is easier with more consistent results. He added that some maintain that a vacuum press is expensive but so is a Unisaw or Bessey clamps, he added. Throughout his presentation he kept asking folks to identify pieces of veneer. Most of us failed miserably. He then had a Grand Challenge to identify certain veneers dividing the group into the "pros" and "hobbyists" Neither did well but he was just giving away veneer. Several times he mentioned that he would be glad to help someone learn veneering or even sell them veneer. He also mentioned some sources for veneer on the Internet. You can find the addresses as well as a good outline of his presentation in our library. After giving away literally hundreds of pieces of veneers, he left us with these words....VENEER IS COOL! Thank you Brian for a great presentation and all that veneer.


Treasurer Gene Wagg reported that we had about $2,400 under his mattresses.

President Craig Mineweaser wearing Program Director Jay Perrine's hat described our October and November program. Details can be found in the Meetings column.

Shows Chairperson Robbie Fanning described all the planning that she is doing for the November Wood Show in San Mateo. Details are elsewhere in this newsletter.

Don Naples with input from others is ready to build the display case that we will use at the Wood Show. Does anybody have a source for discounted ¼" tempered glass and also Lexan? Let Don know at 707/433-5234 or at

Craig also mentioned that our own Carl Johnson is featured in Woodwork magazine showing his built in Kitchen cabinets. In addition, Yeung Chan's book "Classic Joints with Power Tools", published by Taunton Press, is now available at and other retailers.

Arnie Champagne described his schedule of classes. See the Classifieds for details.

Neal White still has books on Dining Room Tables for $15 which is half the published price. Neal is better than Amazon Books!

Stan Booker showed the two Bird's Eye Maple boards that are in the raffle. There was also a right angle screwdriver set in the Silent Auction.

New members

We welcomed Julia Ryan who is a beginner wood turner and wood worker. Larry Hoffman is also a beginner in furniture work and the lathe. Hope both of you enjoy our meetings and be able to further your skills.

Show & tell

John Steiner showed an end table made from Madrone with a Red Elm top. It has two drawers and turned handles. He had some interesting joints that had both the original wood and a dark wood showing.

Mike Bray showed photos of a trestle table that he built using some Cherry that he has been storing and moving for years. To avoid metal fasteners, he used some dovetail keys for the joints.

Bud Ruby had an article that Fine Woodworking published in their Ideas section showing a clever splitter for a table saw. He also showed a plane he made from Bloodwood which looks nice but stains when it gets hot. He also showed a curved Pearwood Wall Cabinet which he worked on at his 6-week course at the College of the Redwoods. There were many challenges trying to fits curves together and he described his method. Some pieces he had to do over and it always took less time the next time around.

Main presentation

Guy Bovie of Alpha Restoration where our meeting was being held was very patient with us since our preliminaries were taking much longer then usual. His shop was quite large and there was furniture of all sorts waiting or in the process of being stripped. Some were waiting for staining. He showed us the various work areas such as the wash tank where pieces were washed with Methyl Chloride, the sanding booth where the pieces were then sanded and then the spray booth for the application of the finish. He mentioned that most old furniture is veneered so the various processes had to be made carefully. He then showed us two Eastlake Design armchairs that had come in parts and had been completely stripped. Worn or broken or missing parts would have to be replaced before the project could be finished. Actually, he was looking for a wood turner to turn some decorative pieces. There was a good discussion on how to loosen joints from old furniture and the use of glue. They use semi-gloss natural cellulose lacquer and an oil based stain. They make their own stain colors using Miniwax and other products. Since we had started the tour quite late, the meeting ended at this point. We thanked Guy for his hospitality and for providing his own coffee and cookies as well as our own goodies provided by our own Hospitality crew.