June 2009


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting


This 'n That


Last Meeting

Our Vice President Jay Perrine started our May meeting. First there was a very short Tech Talk by Claude Godcharles. He showed two sample dovetail joints (through and half-blind) that he had made in John's class a few years ago. He also mentioned that, unfortunately, these are the only dovetails he has made so far...

Arnie Champagne brought a bag of small pieces of wood to give away. They were swallowed away almost immediately. Some traces of wood dust on the floor were the only traces left. Arnie also brought a small table saw (7-inch blade which he announced can disappear for $20. (It was not a CNC machine).

Stan Booker our Raffle Meister showed 3 Quarter Sawn White Oak long boards that are the raffle items. Tickets will be sold until enough money is paid for the cost of the boards. Tickets are $1 or 6 for $5. See Stan for a block of 100 tickets, he will give you a fair price.

The 3 door prizes to given out were the usual wealth of items with a gift certificate to Japan Woodworker, Gorilla glue, a small tool organizer and a compartment type organizer, a BAWA t-shirt and a ¼-inch short Lacewood board with incredible figure. He also had a bag of ¾-inch dowels which were free for the taking. They also disappeared. Stan also showed some post cards of some turned work in a Seattle Gallery. For more information check out http://www.nwfinewoodworking.com/. Some of the objects were by past members who have chosen to concentrate exclusively on turning.

The next Toy Workshop was announced by Harold Patterson which will be on May 30th at Jamie Buxton's shop in San Carlos. Contact Harold for details at haroldp16@comcast.net or 650-349-7922.

There were 2 Silent Auction items. Dan Goodman kindly donated a 6-inch Flex Hose and John Wilson donated a Grizzly Oscillating Sander where the sander rotated but does not oscillate.

Dan Goodman gave a report on the recent Rebuilding Together project. There was much to do and many members stayed well into the evening to finish the project. Katie Koberg took photos, several of which are shown here. She has posted more at Rebuilding Together Photos .

Mark Rand checked who at the meeting was a "HEY YOU" person -- that is, without a wooden name tag. Mark has pieces of wood ready for a felt tip written name and clasps. See Mark.

Fred Reicher talked about the June meeting at Rockler in Pleasant Hill. See the This Month's meeting section for details.

During all of the pre-meeting socializing, the Announcements section and the Main Presentation members gobbled cookies baked by the famous Dessert Chef Fred Reicher who trained at the Ecole de Desserts in Paris, North Dakota.

Main presentation

We were fortunate to have John McCormack as a speaker this evening. John gave a little background about himself. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Biology at S.F. State and away from that field, he began to design and construct canvas products and started a small business. He was interested in various forms of making and took classes in woodworking at S.F. state. From a professor there, John Kassay, he heard about the Cabinet and Furniture Making program at the North Bennet School in Boston. He graduated from there in 1988. His first rented shop space was at Cambridgeport in Massachusetts, in a co-op of art-furniture makers. He became interested in art furniture and did a mix of traditional work and art furniture on both coasts. In 1994, he was in a Furniture Design program at the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with an MFA in 1996. As a teacher and writer his philosophy is give students a sense of range and importance of both design and making together with the joy of performing both well. He has published in Fine Woodworking and also in publications about sea kayaking on the North Coast of British Columbia.

He then started his slide show first showing some beautiful scenes from British Columbia where he had done extensive kayaking and showing photos of wild animals, sunsets and Native Peoples' artifacts. He also included photos of some Native Indian artifacts at the B.C. museum. (Editor's note: I have visited this museum and it is incredible).

He also mentioned that Canada is not as restrictive as the US in logging and it is hard to find old growth forest near sea level. He showed big floating booms of logs which were towed by powerful tug boats to wood mills. He showed photos of one mill where they were peeling the logs to make plywood and he showed the machinery used to make the plywood.

Then he showed photos of a friend's shop where the building was extensively renovated and new woodworking machines were installed. Unfortunately, electricity was not connected for months so the machines could not be used. He showed work benches that were being made once electricity was provided using his "Ultimate Cross Cutting Sled" (Fine Woodworking July/August 2008) and other items being made.

He then showed some of his students' work as well as his own unusual, intricate pieces. He has a vast collection of photos and we could have spent until the next day watching them all. Unfortunately, the Foster City police would have routed us out of there.

He has a comprehensive web site that the membership may be interested in at http://www.johnpmccormack.com/iWeb/Site/John%20P.%20McCormack%20-%20Furniture%20Designer%20%26%20Maker.html

Jay then presented John a Certificate of Appreciation from BAWA.

As the meeting came to a close three lucky Door Prize winners (including Mark) clutched their prizes. The White Oak boards went with Stan to an undisclosed location to protect from ne?er do well woodworkers who want to resort to stealing.

After some frantic bidding in the Silent Auction and a fist fight, the flexible duct went to Harold Patterson and the oscillating sander went to Dan Goodman.

Members then slowly shuffled home thinking hard as to where to find a Cedar tree to make a canoe and explore British Columbia ala John McCormack.

Dan Goodman & Mark Rand