May 2008


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting

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Last Meeting

WIn the absence of our President Frank Ramsey, our VP began our April meeting. Announcements were first with Rafflemeister Stan Brooker showing the new Jatoba board for the raffle and there will be three door prizes drawn this evening. Raffle tickets are $1 or 6 for $5. You can't get such a deal at Ticketmaster!

Per announced that the SketchUp class on 5/22 and 5/29 with Tim Killen is filled. If there is still interest, a fall class could be scheduled. The May 15 meeting will be a follow up with people who attended Yeung Chan's class on fixture making using the table saw. Yeung will probably attend. The June BAWA meeting will be at McBeath Hardwoods in Berkeley. You are invited to attend if you can pronounce the name correctly. First, Per must win his bet for the correct pronunciation.

The July 17 BAWA meeting will be at Joinery Structures in Oakland. They did much of the work on the Ellison estate in Woodside.

Stan brought up that the Oakland Montera Middle School has a wood shop that has fallen into disuse and is in need of tools and a teacher. Please feel free to donate as you are able. If you know of a wood shop teacher who needs a job then contact Stan at 510 522-7879.

Mark announced that there will be a name tag contest at the July meeting. Start working on your unique name tags. He will have clips and wood scraps at the May meeting. The pre-printed tags will be eliminated. If you have no name tag by July, you will be escorted to the nearest exit.

John Blackmore in a fit of cleanliness or just cleaning out his shop, donated many items for the Silent Auction including a Dewalt 733.

A call for guests to identify themselves was next. Jordan Brown came with his father. Also, Arden Hill who shares Karl Felperin's shop. A warm welcome to both.

Craig Mineweaser reviewed the Tag Frid DVD from the BAWA Library. Tag came to the United States in 1948 and became an icon in American woodworking. He worked mostly in solid wood, using floating tenons and 45 degree corners. The DVD contains a useful design segment featuring many of the pieces found in his house. He also talks about his chair designs. Craig recommends the DVD highly and it is available in the club library.

Dan Goodman, our muscular Librarian, hauled in the library goodies. He mentioned that there were many books, magazines, DVD's and tapes that could be borrowed.

After a short break our featured speaker, member Karl D. Felperin of Felperin Designs was introduced. Karl spent most of his career with SRI in Menlo Park. He is the guy we can thank for the federal 911 tax on our telephone bills. Thanks Karl. He bought his first Powermatic 66 table saw in 1973. Then in a career change, he began designing furniture in 1978. From 1980 to 1985 he designed and sold furniture as KMW Furniture Makers. It was knock down solid wood furniture. The company eventually went bankrupt in spite of good sales. Because he owed money to one particular customer, they agreed to accept his furniture design services. They made the furniture and he sold it. Eventually this company went out of business and he sold his designs to an individual in Indiana in 1986. At this point in his career, Karl was designing furniture for several companies. Then two years ago, he sold some real estate he owned and found himself with a nest egg. He could not resist the temptation. He started Felperin Designs, specializing in an Arts and Crafts style of furniture, inspired by Greene and Greene. He designs his furniture on AutoCad, then makes the pieces in either walnut or mahogany. His business occupies 1280 square feet of space in a larger building also housing an autobody shop and sundry other eclectic ventures. He and Aden describe the environment as a present day "Sanford and Sons."

Karl says his customers as "over 50 years old, Republican, not liberals, who love America and not Ikea."

He uses his AutoCad to plot paper templates of the components of his furniture pieces. A master template is produced onto MDF using CNC. The full size paper templates are taped to milled lumber that is then cut to each component size. He buys rough lumber and mills it in-house. He has a stroke sander, a sanding table and pin overhead router. Aden has contributed the Powermatic and sundry other pieces of woodworking equipment. Aden describes himself as an eager learning amateur. Karl and Aden have discovered Harbor Freight, the discount tool seller. A retail outlet is nearby in Newark. He claims to be one of the few guys going in there who still possesses their front teeth. He showed us a very satisfactory $35 belt sander. A similar Bosch sander sells for $225. His motto in buying hand power tools is: "Festool be damned." Who needs all that expensive precision engineering anyway.

He bends the chair back slats in a clamping press. When asked if he had considered using a vacuum bagging technique, he replied "it strikes me as effete." There is nothing like good old muscle power. A brief discussion ensued and after hearing of the vacuum press merits, he conceded he might try it.

Upholstery work is sent out to King Cover, "the upholsterer to the stars" on Mission Blvd in Hayward. He provides the Perelli rubber webbing to King Cover for the seat bottoms. He uses an oil/varnish finish on his work, but he would love to find someone to do it for him. Does anyone from the club have any suggestions or nominations for Karl?

He has prepared and printed a product brochure showing pictures of his tables and chairs. Also he advertises in two magazines: American Bungalow and Style 1900. He also attends the SF Arts and Crafts Fair. He says his web site continues to get more and more hits.

He buys his wood from McBeath or is that Macbeth and from Higgins. As he grows, he will consider buying larger lots on He loves the Wood Slicer skip-tooth band saw blades he buys from Highland Hardware. He uses the ½" blade, cranks the tension way up and ignores all admonitions about maximum tension on the blade.

Jay Perrine, standing in for Frank Ramsey who is in China, thanked Karl for one of the most entertaining presentations to the club ever. If humor helps to achieve success, Karl is well on track.

Next was Show & Tell. John Blackmore showed the finished backgammon board he has made for the Pacific Union Club. It is made of Live Oak harvested from the property of one of its members. See the attached photo. An interesting challenge was to make the checker well that required a concave bottom and flat ends. Following up on a suggestion from Ken Rauen, a club member, John routed out a rectangular box with flat ends and bottom. Then he routed a 1 ¾" diameter groove in a separate piece of wood, trimmed it to size and placed it in the flat well, thereby crated a concave well for the checkers. Thanks for the idea, Ken.

Lastly, the Silent Auction results were quite successful as our Treasurer, Mark was showered with dollar and hundred dollar bills. Several items were sold including three sets of planer blades, and a box of sandpaper for the last Ryobi disc sander in existence. Thanks Craig Mineweaser. Stan Booker took the Dewalt planer to donate it to a school. The three door prizes also had happy winners.

The meeting ended as happy members went home dragging their purchases and prizes and Mark left with money falling out of his pockets too engrossed as to which horse to pick in the 5th with all this money.

John Blackmore & Mark Rand