October 2003


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President's Corner

The Results Are In (Part Deux)

This month I'll continue discussing what you've told us in the BAWA MEMBERSHIP SURVEY and the changes that we're making in response to these comments.

Question No. 5 on Meeting Improvements resulted in a lot of good ideas. Several members suggested that we move the officer's reports to our Board meetings to save more time for the presentations. So we've started this as of last month. An additional change we've made at your suggestion is to have our main speaker right after the Tech Talk. (We'll continue to have the Tech Talk first, as this will allow time for the members who can't arrive at 6:30 to get to the meeting and not miss the main event.) This change puts the Show and Tell, announcements, etc. at the end of the meeting. This will prevent us having to cut the speaker short due to time constraints. We'll try this rearrangement for a few months. Let me know what you think.

Question 6, "Let's Have More Of" and Question 12, "Tech Talk Topics" are related. About a third of the membership has asked for more demonstrations of hand tools and skills, information on wood types, plus finishing and other techniques. Only a couple people asked for more competitions, in addition to our annual box contest, which says we are not a very competitive group. Many commented that they'd like to see more actual demonstrations (as opposed to just talking about a technique), such as the excellent one given by Neal White at our last meeting. Be patient. We will try to have these as often as we can in both our Tech Talks and our main speaker's topics --- especially when it's a hand tool operation. However, please remember that for safety reasons we can't have power tools running at many of our meeting locations. We do have demonstrations as often as possible when meeting in a shop that is someone's place of business. Many excellent suggestions were given for topics for our Tech Talk series that we'll incorporate in our planning. These include, for example, Jamie Buxton's demonstration of a method he's developed for doing curved joinery. Our Tech Talk series has become very popular, so next year Jay Perrine will have a committee to help plan for the Tech series and the main programs.

We received a few really good suggestions for additional tapes for our library, and our Librarian, Mike Cooper, is off buying these and more. If you want any additional books or tapes added to the library let Mike know (510/471-6934 or mLcooper@aol.com). As for copying our video tapes to DVD, since there's no one industry standard DVD format for copying and because the Board is concerned about copyright issues, it was decided to table this for right now.

And finally, the last question we asked was about other things that we could do to improve our club. You've given us many good ideas here, such as having members give more information about wood species, finish used, etc. at Show & Tell time (I'll emphasize this in the coming months) and also a reminder for all of us to wear our name tags at every meeting.

So to sum up the changes I've discussed in this month's column: We'?re going to experiment with the agenda in our meetings, we've got a plate full of topics for our Tech Talk series (we'll set up a committee to program these), we're adding tapes and books to our library, and we'll ask members to give specific information on their work during Show & Tell.

This leaves 5 remaining questions to discuss next month, and I'll be talking about exciting changes to come, with a "help line" and other new programs. Thank you again for the great feedback you gave us in the survey. It will help improve our club!

Craig Mineweaser