July 2009


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting


This 'n That


Last Meeting

Last month BAWA was meeting at the Rockler Woodworking store in Pleasant Hill. Frank Ramsey, BAWA's President, called the meeting to order shortly after 7:00pm. It was difficult to round up all the shopping members.

We welcomed Pam Pope as a guest this evening. She had found us from the web site and she is interested in becoming a member.


Frank had had an inquiry from an Army Vet who had returned from Iraq with a traumatic head injury who is interested in learning woodworking. Mike Bray had volunteered to instruct him.

The Board of Directors recently formulated a policy for charitable giving for the club. Frank distributed it to members at the meeting for comment. Other members can find it on the web site.

John McCormick, who headlined last month's BAWA meeting will be giving a couple of classes this fall on how to hand cut dovetails. Details have yet to be worked out, but eleven members have expressed interest.

Jay Perrine talked briefly about the July meeting when Ken Forden will be our speaker. He runs a business near Clear Lake making wood flooring, large wood slabs and specialty milled wood products.

John Blackmore discussed plans for the August meeting that will give attendees the opportunity to get hands on experience with various types of hand planes, spokeshaves, and wood scrapers. Several stations will be set up so that everyone will have the opportunity to learn the basics, even to become proficient. Attendees will receive a diploma certificate designating them as a Master of Hand Tools (M.H.T.) We will need benches on which to set up each work station. If anyone has a WorkMate bench, please bring it.

Stan Booker brought three matched planks of White Oak that will be raffled off in the next go round. Door prizes for the evening included the ever present BAWA t-shirt, the bit organizer tray that no one has selected for several months, mini clamps that look like roach clips and of course, that bottle of glue. New additions to the list include gift certificates for $10 from Rockler and the Japanese Woodworker, an Italian plastic organizer box and a push stick and a 1954 Cadillac convertible.

Tony Fanning has sneaked over to visit the Diablo woodworking club. Since he never wins anything in our door prizes, he thought he would give the door prize at Diablo a try and he won the lathe. Stand by for his announcement of a 3-week intensive lathe use course for a pittance of only $600. Congratulations, Tony.

Show and Tell:

John Blackmore brought a prototype of a table leg set he is beginning to make. John had purchased two quartersawn Maple slabs measuring 4" x 18" x 96" from Arnie Champagne. The top will be the Maple slabs joined with a center of Bird's Eye Maple. The base and connecting stretcher will be made of Bubinga. The table has two leg sets. Each leg set consists of two paired legs, each pair attached to either end of the base rail and holding an upper rail that will be joined to the table top using threaded screw inserts.

Main Presentation:

Matt, our host for the evening from Rockler gave us a detailed description and demonstration of the Rockler Dovetail Jig. The jig sells for $129 and includes a template for making ½ inch dovetails, a dust collector, along with a straight and dovetail router bits. Optional items include templates for 1/8" and ¼" dovetails and a measuring gauge for accurate jig setup.

Matt demonstrated cutting half blind dovetails with the jig. Set up was quick and easy. There is a dovetail bit profile inscribed on the template to facilitate setting the bit depth. The pin and tail boards are placed in the jig at the same time, one vertically and one horizontally. The dovetail bit is set to depth and the cut made in both boards at the same time. He advised us to cut sample boards first because it is always necessary to fine tune the joint by adjusting bit depth slightly. The joint he cut was clean and tight.

Then Matt discussed how to modify the process for cutting through dovetails. It requires cutting the pin and tails boards individually each with a separate template. Setup time is longer, but when cutting multiple joints the time is well spent.

It was an informative demonstration and the opportunity to visit the Rockler store was well appreciated by all. Stan discover a pile of walnut boards on sale and could not resist buying a stack for the next raffle. Many thanks to Rockler Woodworking for hosting this informative meeting.

John Blackmore