Friday, December 23, 2011

Sin City Woodworkers Christmas Meeting 2011

     On Wednesday, the twenty-first of December we held our now traditional, end of the year, show &  tell Christmas Extravaganza at Wooditis.  This is the time when members bring in an example of their work and gives everyone a chance to put the woodworks to a face!  It's always a treat to hear about the  projects that  members of our group are  working on our have done in the past.  We had some holiday libations and snacks and lots of interesting conversations about just about everything!  Among those items members brought in was beer, wine, cookies, nuts, and cupcakes,  mmmm good! As the members started to arrive, Ann was in charge of the raffle tickets making sure everyone got their name into the hat -- a SawStop hat of course!

Donated DVD from Jimmy Clewes
     One of the donated items was a DVD from Jimmy Clewes and his lathe work.  Jamie and Ann had recently taken a class from him and this raffle prize was won by Pat.

1" Marples Chisel
     Another donated item was a 1" wide, Marples chisel that was won by that lucky Jim!  Not sure but he might consider a career as a professional gambler since he seems to have good fortune on these games of chance!  There were two very nice water bottles won by Aaron and Rich, Nikki scored a new, but empty, glue bottle while Bill was able to get his name drawn and selected a cooler sleeve from Rockler.  Kate started the raffle off by winning a cool looking T-shirt from Western Dovetail drawers.

     Next was the special drawing for all of the dues paying members of the group.  With the remaining funds from dues received this year, Jamie bought gift certificates from Lee Valley, a company any woodworker would be glad to get goodies from!  Aaron received a $25.00 gift, Ed a $50.00 one and that lucky Jim scored with the grand prize of a $100.00 gift certificate.

     The next activity was to have members that brought things in to share do their show & tell.  This always generates questions regarding technique, materials, costs, and anything else that went into the piece brought in.  Here are the items and projects that were brought in to show.
Ed's Leg Vise

Ed brought in his recently completed leg vise for the huge workbench he's making.  He was kidded about the fact that some members thought it was a nutcracker in keeping with the spirit of the season!

Stanley #55 and Cutters
     Another item that he brought in was a set of cutters for the Stanley #55 Plane that his son got in a tool sale from Craigs List.  Once Ed figured out what they were and the value of them he immediately  went to E-Bay and found a complete #55 in good shape and at a decent price.  Having experimented with the equally complex #45 I'm anxious to see how he makes out with this.

Jim's Sleigh

  Lucky Jim brought in one of the first woodworking projects from about 15 years ago or so.  It's this really neat sleigh, I believe the plans were from Shopsmith.  In any case, he carefully routed the sides to give the appearance of  boards and laminated thin Oak pieces to form the runners.  The suspension pieces were from a kit offered along with the plans.

Neals' Cutting board and portfolio of Work
     Neal brought in a beautiful cutting board which at first glance, seems to be a checker board!  If you've ever worked to smooth end grain you can appreciate how nice it was.  He also shared the projects he's been doing on his cabin in Utah.  Lots of great looking rustic pieces of knotty pine and logs.  He said he likes working with the logs because if you're within a 1/4" that's close enough!  Glad to see that his terrible injury from an accident last year is on the mend.

Aaron's Display Wall
     I wish I could show this project but since Aaron didn't bring in the wall the pictures will have to do!  His house had three openings between two rooms and his wife asked if there was anyway to close them off.  He came up with a really cool plan that included adjustable shelving and rope lighting to add that custom touch to the work.  Jamie mentioned that a job such as that could easily cost $5,000+ and seeing how he spent somewhere  in the neighborhood of $600.00 for all the materials it was not only a great looking project but quite profitable.  That's one thing we all have in common, being able to produce quality work at a cost much lower than a contractor may charge.  Plus, we get the satisfaction of knowing what we accomplished -- I think that's called bragging rights!

Ted's Portfolio
     Another member who brought in his portfolio of work was Ted.  When he was in the San Diego area he became acquainted with a rich client (don't we all want one of them!) and through the course of about five years did an amazing amount of work for him.  Many of the projects that Ted designed and built were a combination of antique styles but they all incorporated design elements that were in the house already.  I saw most of our group cringe when he told of the Mahogany paneling that had been painted sometime during the homes history.

John's TV Tray Redux
     John brought in a set of three tables that are his take on a modern TV tray.  They're Walnut with Zebrawood inserts and can be used as a trio of low display tables but work best as separate side tables.  Several members were surprised at how stable they were since they only have three legs each.  The legs are splayed out and attached with a through tenon that was wedged with Maple wedges.

Ann's Bowl with Aniline Dye Rim
     Ann and Jamie recently attended a turning class by Jimmy Clewes and brought in the "fruits of their labor". Their work was stunning, you can see the vibrant colors that she managed to get into the rim of this Ash bowl with Aniline Dyes.  She said they would put on one color, sand, then add another color, sand ....... until she came up with the results you see here.  She also made a lidded box (lower right corner of picture) that had the turners "pop" when the lid was removed.

Jamie's Bowls and Lidded Box
     Jamie completed a similar design bowl and used blue tones to color the rim.  For her lidded box she chose a tray that has the box in the center of it.  I could see where this would fit right in with her sushi plates she does with her ceramics.  It was pretty amazing the quality of work that she and Ann came home with after the class with Jimmy Clewes.
Lupe and her magic Spirit Box

     The final act of the night was presented by none other than Lupe, our resident magician!  She brought in this box which she referred to as a Spirit Box.  How she did what she did is a complete mystery!!!
Some how, by inserting ropes colored red and white into the box from different ends they became knotted.  Then, as if that wasn't enough, she put a rope completely through the box, threw in a solid metal ring, and some way or another the ring ended up on the rope!

Everybody walked around scratching their heads over that.  The final act of the evening was the amazing hot dog vs. SawStop and I'll talk about that in my next blog ---- like they say on TV "film at 11 o'clock"

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