February 2009



President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting



Last Meeting

BAWA held our meeting at the Northern California Manufacturing Facility of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Berkeley, California. The meeting began at 7:00pm and was called to order by Frank Ramsey, BAWA's president.

Guest: Helder Parreira from Waterside Workshop, a wooden boat shop in Berkeley. He heard about us from Paul Mueller, an old BAWA member.


Per Madsen announced that two Sketch-Up classes with Tim Killen have been scheduled for March 5 and 12 at the San Mateo Garden Center. The cost of the two classes is $70. People interested in attending should contact Frank Ramsey. The classes will begin at 6:30 pm and adjourn at 9:30pm.

Dan Goodman donated a hollow chisel mortising set for the Silent Auction.

In an effort to recruit new members, BAWA representatives will be on hand at the Saturday Woodcraft classes to talk about the goals and mission of BAWA.

A new contest was announced in association with the "Bring a Friend to a BAWA Meeting" campaign. Everyone who brings a friend during the year will be entered into a special year-end raffle drawing. The prize has yet to be determined. Any ideas?

The suggestion was made that BAWA sponsor a class on cutting hand made dovetails.

Lie Nielsen Woodworks, the maker of high end hand planes will be appearing at the Crucible in Oakland on February 13-14.

Per Madsen announced the future BAWA meeting lineup:

19 February - Laney College, Oakland; Wood Technology Department

19 March - Colma Historical Association; bench by Arnold Champagne

March 5, March 12 - Sketch-Up classes with Tim Killen

16 Apr - Three Dimension Puzzles, George Bosworth


Stan Booker has a beautiful myrtle board that will be awarded in the raffle tonight. Buy your tickets. The door prizes include a mystery sack. The speculation is that it is a liquid refreshment.

Featured Speakers:

Per Madsen introduced the featured speakers for the evening: Larry Mandel, Facilities Director, Kevin Plimmer, woodshop Superintendent and Kim, the CNC operator.

There are 19 Kaiser facilities in Northern California that are supported by the woodshop in Berkeley. Kaiser has a construction budget of $3.6 billion a year in this area. A separate, larger facility supports Kaiser's operations in Southern California.

The Kaiser woodshop is an enormous facility. Although the exact square footage was not given, a good estimate would be in excess of 20,000 square feet. This facility makes cabinets, reception desks, and ramps for Kaiser's building programs and retrofits. The principal sheet goods are melamine coated particleboard and Corian. The facility employs a staff of 26 people, including carpenters for installation work and cabinetmakers in the shop. Two years ago, the shop acquired a Bosellato CNC panel processor. It cost in excess of $200,000. Both Kevin and Kim went to North Carolina to receive special training in the operation of the machine. We were given a demonstration of its capabilities. Two melamine sheets were processed to produce the sides, top and bottom of two cabinet cases. The sheets are held in place on a vacuum table while the programmed cutter head cuts the pieces from the sheet. A dust extraction system evacuates virtually all the sawdust. Once the parts are cut out and while they remain on the vacuum table, another cutter head drills all the required holes in each piece. At the conclusion of the operation, the sheets are removed automatically from the vacuum bed.

The shop also has a huge press that enables them to apply plastic laminates to raw particleboard. There is a dedicated spray booth, even a more traditional wood working area with table saws, planers and shapers. Yes, we did see real wood, but not much.

Kaiser likes to use Corian because it does not stain, can be refurbished, if necessary and they are able to purchase the product with good quantity discounts. Kaiser is able to make its cabinet products for about half of what it would cost them to go to commercial shops.

One of the most interesting aspects of their work is that they are frequently called upon to make prototypes of cabinetwork for the Sidney Garfield Center. Sidney Garfield was a principal founder of Kaiser and this independent center researches ways to deliver healthcare more efficiently to the patient.

An interesting tidbit for all you woodworkers --- the Kaiser Woodshop uses a special glue almost exclusively in its cabinetwork, Roo Glue. It sticks to virtually everything and is commercially available from EB Bradley in Hayward, right off the San Mateo bridge.

At the conclusion of the shop tour we returned to the conference room because everyone was anxious to continue devouring the treats that Kaiser had so graciously provided. As everyone ate we had Show & Tell.

Show & Tell

Mark Rand presented some turned pieces he had picked up on his trip to New Zealand and Australia.

John Blackmore showed two bed stands he had made from Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Arnold Champagne recommended that when making drawers with a soft wood it is generally advisable to install hardwood runners to ensure longevity of the drawer function.

Neal Didriksen won the Silent Auction for the hollow chisel mortising set. Fred Reicher finally won the raffle and walked away with the myrtle board. Some said Stan Booker bought his ticket for him, but that has not been confirmed. And, yes the mystery door prize was a liquid --- Corona no less.

John Blackmore