March 2004


President's corner

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President's Corner

Changes Afoot

Well, we said we were going to make some changes to our club to better serve our members. Starting the Answer Guys, Mentor Program, Educational Programs, and re-starting the Shop Tours are just the beginning. Thank you to all of you who have volunteered to run and participate in these programs! We hope you like these new programs. The Board has some other ideas in the works too, but we still want to hear from you. If you have an idea for a topic to be presented at one of our meetings, tell one of the members of the Program Committee. We're still looking for ways to improve our club. If you have an idea for a new program or something you'd like to see us try that we haven't done yet, tell any of the officers of the Board, or me so that your idea can be discussed at a Board meeting. Don't know who the Program people are? Well here they are: Jay Perrine at or 408/378-1585, Fred Reicher at or 650/991-1766, Stan Booker 510/522-7879.

Cutting the Really Big Stuff

As many of you know, I am desperately trying to find the time to finish my drawings and submit them for a permit, so that I can build a new, large, timber framed shop and studio building right next to my house. How big? Well, I'm probably gonna' have to scale it back from the 2,200 square feet that it is currently drawn at. (Its somehow just kept getting bigger and bigger as I have tried to fit every function in that I can think of. My aim is to get someone to pour the concrete in the next few months, which is difficult because all the good contractors are very busy. At the same time I have to get someone locally to saw really high quality timbers.

Ideally I should be cutting the timber frame and erecting it somewhere about June or the first part of July, but it ain't gonna happen that quickly. I'll be doing well if I get to this part in August (yeah, I know right when it's very, very hot here.) The reason I'm discussing this is that I will need some help about then to cut all the joints to connect the posts and beams, and then to raise the frame. In timber framing we really use much of the same techniques as the joinery used in building furniture -- it's just a much larger scale! Mortises and tenons are large: some 2" x 10" by 10" deep, and often some scarf joints and other intricate ways of joining wood are used. It gets very involved.

I don't know if I can pull this off this year, but I'd sure like to try. So if you're interested in finding out how to cut and join the really big stuff, let me know. We can have a couple weekend events of cutting joints and raising the frame. Since I just did this in Maine last month, I know what a satisfying experience this can be, and you can learn a lot about joining wood! Talk to me at our meetings or you can reach me at or 209/928-5900.

April is Box Contest Month!

The Box Contest will arrive before we know it! By now you should be picking the wood for your box and beginning the design. What size and type of box will you do this year? We'll be judging your box based on many categories of achievement. So don't be afraid that your box may not be good enough! Enter it and see what happens! You have about a month and a half to complete your entry for our April meeting.

Craig Mineweaser