January 2003


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Last Meeting

Don Naples gave us a Tech Talk on selecting band saw blades. He went through the names of the different parts of a band saw blade and the different types of teeth available in the blades. Also the different metals that they are made of. He showed a board that had examples of the different types of teeth available. His main points were to use the widest possible blade for re-sawing. Check the weld to make sure it's good. Dress the back of the blade. He recommends that 3 teeth be in the wood at any one time. He recommended Hastings Saws in Rohnert Park as having excellent blades. They give a volume discount. So, if you are interested contact Don at d419naples@attbi.com or at 707/433-5234. If enough members respond, he will buy at the discount. He provided an excellent outline of his talk which is available in our library.


Outreach: Harold Patterson reported on the Toy Workshop at Jamie Buxton's shop on 11/23. It was reported on in detail in the December newsletter. The next one will be on 12/13 at Bill Henzel's shop. Rocking horses will be assembled since Harold had passed out plans and members will be making the parts ahead of time. There was some discussion as to where to donate these toys. Arnie Champagne suggested that one place should be the church where we got the "Holy Oak".

Raffle: Stan Booker showed a nice piece of Padauk and had only a few more tickets to sell before raffling it off.

New Members Introduction: A number of new faces were at the meeting. Steve McCarthy started in Jr & High school shops and got serious when he had to put up a shelf at home. After $8,000 worth of tools, he has a number of completed projects and is hooked on wood-working. Nancy Baer has a Jet Supersaw and enjoys woodworking. She also has some Redwood burl for sale. See the Classifieds for information. Ray Link retired 3 years ago and ready to risk fingers for woodworking. Milo Hanke used to be a member and came back. (BAWA members don't fade away, they come back!) He is doing carpentry in his apartment and taking courses at City College. Herve Blondel likes wood (our sort of guy) and hopes to get into it. Dorothy Edwards never touched a power tool and is now hooked. Also a member of the Diablo Woodworkers. Mike and I'm sorry we did not get his last name also started in Junior High school and found us on the internet. A big welcome and a healthy round of applause was given to these folks.

Announcements: Craig mentioned that he saw an article about Fred Socher a past president of the club who now volunteers at a school. Richard Winslow announced that short blocks of Teak were available in Mt. View. There may be some left at this writing. Contact Richard at 408/733-9465 or at yukon106@attbi.com Arnie Champagne announced his schedule of classes. See the Classifieds. Someone mentioned that Post Tools in San Carlos on El Camino at Britton is closing and has a big sale. George Bosworth found an alternative to feather boards sold by Wood Haven Co. Check them out at www.woodhaven.com Yeung Chan will be teaching at the College of the Redwoods in Mendocino from 6/2 to 6/13. Also at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana. Here is your chance to learn from a true master.

Elections: Craig read off a list of candidates for all the positions. We seem to have every position filled and some new faces besides. Since there were no contested positions, the list was quickly approved before any of the candidates had a chance to bow out. See the list at the BAWA CONTACTS section.

Show & Tell: Mike Bray showed a stool that he made. One he called a sketch model. This is to look at it critically and make any modifications that you want and then the final stool. He actually sat on it and looked comfortable.

Main Presentation

Our host for the evening was Dave Kent one of the partners at Berkeley Mills. The company started about 15 years ago when a group of friends got together to share tools and customers. Dave enjoys working with customers so he does a lot of that. The salesroom is open seven days a week because as he said "we have to be here when the customer wants to come in." They have a large showroom exhibiting many pieces of furniture. Their designs come from their 15 years of experience and from ideas brought by customers. He described one idea of a customer which would have been impossible to build. He had to tell him so. They have been using a lot of veneer in the last few years because this is where the best wood grain can now be found. They are a production shop so they work in groups of 2 to 4 craftspeople but form bigger or smaller groups depending on the jobs. They had a job to make 250 chairs so all the groups worked together for about 6 weeks to finish the job. Their goal is to work fast and have a good end product since this is the way to make a profit. For a table top, they try to make it out of one board so that it ages evenly. On veneer furniture, they use Russian or Finn plywood and veneer both sides.

We then toured the immense shop where he showed us the various very sophisticated machines. Most are computer controlled and some are huge. He would describe the machines and tell us the country of origin of the machine. When someone asked him why he did that, he replied that each machine had its own character which also reflected the country of origin. German machines were sturdy, precise and no nonsense sounding. French and Italian machines were more lyrical in their sounds but all the machines are well made and very accurate. He showed us the lumber room which was large but he said not large enough. So they have a warehouse in another location where more lumber is stored. The finishing is also done in another location which is dust free.

Dave said that the goal of their company is to produce a nice piece which was done quickly and be affordable.

The meeting ended a very satisfying and informative evening. I heard some members talking about buying up their neighbors' properties and expanding their shop to be able to move in some of these huge machines. I wonder if I can computerize my Shopsmith.

A very satisfied Gene Wagg won the door prize and Dale Chorney, the Padauck.

Toy Workshop Report

The toy workshop on December 13 held at Bill Henzel's shop in San Mateo, went very well. We had George Comstock, Bob McGowan, Gene Wagg, Doug Ryan, Stu Hoffer, Mike Roth, Scott Bloomquist and Per Madsen.

We machined and assembled parts for three full size rocking horses. The completed horses stand at 27.5" to the seat and 40" to the top of the head. The runners are 46" long. We got the machining done for all the body parts and laminated some "church oak" for the runners. All the parts were cut and sanded and assembled.

It got pretty crowded in Bill's shop especially as it was raining pretty hard for most of the day, but being troupers all, the show went on. Bill provided pizza and coffee and Per brought dessert. The workshop ended around 9PM and we cleaned up. One of the horses and the six xylophones went to the First Presbyterian Church in Petaluma for their school. And the other two are going to Samaritan House in San Mateo.

Thank you Bill for the use of your shop and the hospitality. To all the above members who participated, thank you very much. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

Harold Patterson