June 2007


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting


This 'n That


Last Meeting

Tool Talk:

John Blackmore gave a short presentation on the Bridge City Tool Works BP-18 Bevel Protractor. The large protractor is composed of a 4" x 6" head plate with three angle scales and a rotating, 18" adjustable pivot arm with a hairline cursor to point to the desired angle on the head plate. The pivot arm is locked in place with two brass knobs. There are three angle scales etched into the head plate. The top scale reads from 180 degrees on the left to zero degrees on the right. The center scale is just the opposite. The bottom scale is set at zero degrees at the top and 90 degrees to either side. The plate also has etched icons showing the most commonly used angles for multiple sided figures, and dovetail ratios.

Some of the typical uses of the Bevel Protractor include:

    1. Transferring angles from a sliding T-bevel

    2. Bisecting angles from a T-bevel

    3. The inch ruler is divided into 10ths

    4. Setting angles on a table saw miter gauge

    5. Using the shop formulas etched onto the back of the head plate

    6. Checking the square of the table saw blade to the saw table

Stan Booker pointed out that the tool is large enough so that it does not easily become misplaced in the shop.


Dan Goodman will be finishing the kitchen cabinets for his house soon and could use some help installing them, probably in July.

Tony Fanning has not heard Ethan Sanford at Sequoia High School. His wife is expecting and we are waiting to reschedule the work day at Sequoia until after the baby arrives.

Frank Taylor knows someone in San Rafael who has free woodworking equipment to give away. Included are a 17" Craftsman drill press, a 12" sander, a 10" radial arm saw, a pottery wheel and kiln.

Stan Booker described the raffle items. The two pieces of bird's eye maple have reached the raffle hurdle and will go tonight. Door prizes for the evening include a board of Alaskan cedar donated by john Olsen, wood blanks donated by Frank Ramsey, 1 BAWA T-shirt, a block of manzanita, English sycamore veneers and 80" band saw blades.

The tools donated by BAWA members that were mailed to Africa have arrived and it took 5 months to make the transit.

Bill Henzel has received city building inspection approval on his new wood shop. He is holding an open shop this Saturday and everyone is invited to a Pot Luck party at is house on Saturday, May 19 to celebrate.

Main Presentation:

Don Segale -- Segale Brothers Wood Products, Inc.

Don was an early member of BAWA, starting way back in 1982. The Segale Brothers business started in 1976, first growing house plants for sale, then offering wood accessory items such as planters for the plants. Many of the wood accessory items were sold at craft shows. In high school Don took many shop classes and was fortunate to have been taken under wing by the well known wood worker, Sam Solomon. It was Sam who inspired him. Today, 31 years later, Don's brother operates a separate landscaping business and Don operates the wood working business. Don carries on the tradition imparted by Sam Solomon. He shares his experience and knowledge.

Segale Brothers Wood Products has 55 employees in a facility with over an acre under roof. Don bought the building in Hayward five years ago after being forced to move from Menlo Park in an eminent domain process. The advantage is that the new building is completely insulated and heated, whereas the old metal building in Menlo Park had been drafty, cold in the winter and blazing hot in the summer. The company manufactures, sells and installs high end kitchen cabinets, libraries, closets and garage storage units. In addition, the company does cabinet re-facing, countertop installation and reps the Medallion kitchen cabinets, a mid-priced range product. Moving to Hayward has opened new geographic markets for the company. Now, many sales go to customers in the East Bay as well as the Peninsula.

Don took the BAWA group for a tour of the facility. In the back room, raw materials are received and stored, then machined. An old 20" Powermatic planer that was purchased years ago from El Camino High School has been painted a Coca Cola red and sits proudly center floor. New equipment abounds -- rip saws, molders, mills and two frame assembly tables. Frames are cut for one cabinet at a time, avoiding component mix-ups, and then assembled immediately. There are two triple head wide belt sanders, a double miter saw that has a wireless gauge to measure boards and communicate directly to the saw. Several shapers are used, most of which are preconfigured for special operations. The company does make some doors, but buys most of their doors from California Doors in Salinas.

An enormous, 3 axis CNC Router with a vacuum lift sits center floor. It is used to process sheet goods for frameless cabinets, cutting 40 sheets per work shift. A Homag horizontal panel saw can cut four sheets at a time. The blade comes up from below.

Waste management is an important part of the operation with many materials being recycled. Even more important is safety management. The company has a dedicated Safety Committee and regularly scheduled meetings.

The closet department manufactures all the component parts for high end residential closets. The closets are knock-down and assembled on site.

Before assemblies and components enter the Finishing Room, many are processed in the Quick Wood System, an enclosed flat panel sander that uses an air borne slurry of abrasives to finish sand the panels.

The Finishing Room has five vented and filtered bays where a Becker Acroma conversion varnish is spayed onto the manufactured products. Segale Brothers is beginning to switch to water based stains.

In the Final Assembly area were numerous finished cabinet cases being fit with mated doors and drawers. Don pointed out that many of the cabinets are made of Lyptus, a sustainable wood being plantation grown by Weyerhaeuser in South America. It has many of the same working characteristics as mahogany, but is priced at the level of maple. Because of vagaries in color, it is usually stained.

Don took us through the Show Room to finish the tour. We got to open doors, pull drawers, and saw the Segale Brothers TV commercial that airs on Comcast -- Fox Network and Home Network. Don is a avid collector of memorabilia. An old gas pump listed gasoline at 13.9 cents per gallon. Old Coke machines still dispense sodas and the cabinets were beautiful.

The meeting was concluded with a duel between Tony Fanning and Craig Mineweaser to see who would lay claim to the Alaskan Cedar door prize. Craig won.

John Blackmore & Mark Rand