September 2009


President's corner

Next meeting

Last meeting


This 'n That

Last Meeting

In the absence of President Frank Ramsay and Vice President Jay Perrine, Program Director opened our August meeting. He called for guests to identify themselves. Jim Tham and Bob Larsen both from Alameda and are beginning woodworkers interested in furniture, cabinets and wood turning. They have also joined. Welcome to both. There were two other guests. Katy Koberg who has attended several meetings and Bill Hubacek. They were also welcomed.

Next was a Tool Talk by George Bosworth. Several months ago George showed us a jig he had made to cut narrow strips of wood on the table saw. The challenge in cutting thin wood strips is that when cutting the strip between the blade and fence, the strip is likely to be propelled backwards towards the operator. When cutting outboard of the blade, it is difficult to obtain identical cuts in width. George's solution was to design a jig with a ball bearing advanced by a thumbscrew with 16 threads per inch. By turning the screw to advance the ball bearing by the thickness of he blade, he could cut precise and reproducible thickness strips of wood. Tonight George showed us a new jig introduced by Rockler Woodworking. It costs $22. It does not have a precise dimensioning gauge, only lines. In addition, there is only one adjustment for establishing the thickness of the cut and it is not secure. Reproducibility of cut is not assured. George does not recommend the tool.

Show and Tell was next. Frank Taylor makes mini saw horses to be given as gifts at Christmas time. Then he realized they would be useful for making a glue-up platform for making panels. He placed a crossed frame on top of the saw horses and put a pipe clamp holder at each of the four corners of the frame. A pipe clamp rested in the concave groove spanning two holders on both the left and right of the frame. Panel boards to be glued are placed on the pipe clamps then tightened.

Then Frank was perplexed by what exactly constitutes a wooden breadboard. So he made one. It is in fact a board looking exactly like a piece of toast. He cut a board to resemble the shape of a slice of bread from a loaf of sandwich bread. Then he burned the edge to resemble the crust. The result: a true Breadboard! But, he could not stop there. He created a BLT. Yes, two slices of wooden bread with layers of wooden lettuce, wooden bacon and wooden tomatoes. If anyone wants to bite into it, he knows a good dentist! Frank then donated six pipe clamp holders to the Silent Auction.

Per Madsen has been fascinated by the Golden Ratio. As all woodworkers know, the Golden Ratio describes the proportion of design elements that many find to be fundamentally pleasing. The ratio is 1: 1.618. It is famously derived from the Fibronacci sequence of numbers, where the sum of two preceding numbers is equal to the third number in the sequence. The sequence begins: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc. Dividing 21 by 13 equals the Golden Ratio of 1.618.

Related to the Golden Ratio is the Golden Spiral. If a square is plotted on graph paper, then a second square drawn amplified by the Golden ratio and plotted adjacent to the preceding one, then it is possible to construct a large box of spiraling progressively sized smaller ones. By drawing quarter circles along the edges of the smaller boxes, a continuous spiral line is created. They never taught us that in Math 1A.

Per also made several wooden puzzles at the urging of George Bosworth. Per plans to make puzzles in the Toy Workshop.

Mark Ferraro showed a spring loaded gizmo that trims shot gun shells to size. His takes more gauges then the commercial ones.

Announcements was next.

Per had several announcements. First, there has been talk that the Peninsula Woodworkers are discussing some sort of reorganization because of diminished interest in the membership. Per will investigate.

The Labor Day event at Woodcraft in San Carlos needs BAWA volunteers to staff our booth. A sign up sheet is being circulated.

On Saturday, Oct 10, BAWA will visit the Martinez Lumber Mill operated by California Urban Lumber. A sign up sheet was circulated. Attendees will have the opportunity to see how urban trees are milled into lumber and boards will be available for purchase.

A two-day class on Hand Cut Dovetails will be taught by John McCormack on Oct. 31 and Nov 1 to be held at the Woodcraft Store in San Carlos. If you are interested in signing up contact Per at or 415-928-4509.

The September BAWA meeting will be a panel discussion on Improving Your Woodshop, hosted by Jay Perrine.

The October BAWA meeting will feature a return of Neal White and Don Naples to present the third or fourth installment of the Hand Plane Seminar. This has been a very popular meeting in the past so plan to attend.

Don Naples announced that the Sonoma Woodworkers' Guild currently is holding a juried exhibit of woodworking at the museum in Santa Rosa. Carl Johnson won an award for best work by an amateur. He recommends the show. The best of show is a bed, the construction of which defies the imagination.

Mark Rand identified several "HEY YOU" members. That is ones without a wooden name tag. He peddled his free clips and wooden name tag material which would only require a felt tip pen (not provided).

Silent Auction:

Several items were donated to the Silent Auction that was postponed until the next meeting because the main program occupied the attention of everyone. Donated items included a very large roll of veneer, perhaps ash from Mark Ferraro, a router table from Harold Patterson, the pipe clamp holders from Frank Taylor and sanding wheels for a table saw.

Then came the anxiously awaited Main Program, Hands On Plane Workshop

To complement the success of the annual Hand Plane Seminar, BAWA decided to offer a workshop on using hand planes, cabinet scrapers and spoke shaves. The workshop was organized by John Blackmore and conducted by a staff of volunteer instructors who included Harold Patterson, Arnold Champagne, Don Naples, Neal White, Claude Godcharles and John Blackmore.

Several of us arrived early to clear the floor of chairs, to spread a giant blue tarp on the floor and set up several work stations with Work Mates benches. Each instructor brought several types of planes and scrapers. Don Naples set up a mini woodworker's bench and a display of Infill planes, Bedrock planes and cabinet scrapers. Claude Godcharles set up an excellent demonstration of using the scrub plane. Neal White brought two Stanley jointer planes. Arnold Champagne is an expert wooden plane maker and demonstrated his planes. Arnold wrote his initials on a board with a pencil then proceed to shave it off with a .002" slice that left half the initials on the board and half on the shaving. Nice touch Arnie. John and Arnie then had an impromptu contest for the thinnest shaving. John even brought calipers to check. It was suspected that the calipers were altered in John's favor but that was never proved. The Federal Bureau of Calipers will investigate. Don has always been a proponent of cabinet scrapers and showed everyone how to flatten the edges, then burnish and turn the cutting edge, an indispensable technique. Harold Patterson was the expert instruction in using the smoothing plane. John Blackmore had several Lie Nielsen planes, a 4 ½ ,a 5 ½ , a block plane, a chisel plane and a shoulder plane. He also had an old Stanley rabbet plane, matched side rabbet planes and a series of spoke shaves.

At the end of 1 ½ hours the floor was covered with shavings, no fingers were lost and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Everyone pitched in to sweep and vacuum the floors, leaving the room perhaps cleaner than it was when we started.

We wish to convey our thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this event a success and to John Blackmore for organizing a very good program.

Finally, thanks to Frank Taylor for the clamp brackets he donated to the silent auction. Claude Godcharles snapped them up. Mark Ferraro's huge roll of veneer had no takers nor Harold Patterson's router table.

Mark Rand (with a lot of help from John Blackmore)