Friday, March 22, 2013

Meeting for March (Madness?)

Opening Remarks by Jamie
     Our March meeting started with about 20+ people and included at least 5 new members -- welcome to our group!  After our mandatory round robin introductions the meeting got under way.  I noticed that Jamie had an envelope full of $20.00 bills from all of you that remembered to bring in the optional dues.  We'll be collecting them for the next month or so -- it's money well invested and will earn you a ticket for the end of the year raffle drawing.  A way to increase your chances is to also do a demonstration or share an experience like Richard did at this meeting, more on that later.
     Couple of items that came up.  First of all, Woodworkers Emporium which is located at 5461 Arville just north of Russell Rd. will be having a swap meet from 9-12 this Saturday.  Might be a good time to get rid of a tool you don't need or maybe find something you do need.  It's a good chance to see what's out there.  Also, Dennis will be doing a carving demonstration there as well.
    There are a couple of conventions coming to town that you may be interested in.  One is the National Hardware show that will be here May 7 to May 9.  Here's a LINK for that show.  I personally went to one of these a few years ago and it's pretty interesting.  Check the website to see what it takes to go there, I went with a friend who was inventing some kind of gizmo and wanted to see what the competition would be like.
     Another show that's a definite must see for any one interested in woodworking is the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers, commonly known as the AWFS Fair.  If you've never gone to this one you owe it to yourself to check it out.  There is an unbelievable amount of machinery set up and operating on the convention center floor.  Everything from hand tools to the most sophisticated, computerized equipment is there for you to see.  They also offer various educational seminars/classes that have included everything from design, tool use, sales, marketing, etc.  Here's a LINK to that, it'll be in town on July 24 to July 27.

Aarons Wall Hanging
     Next up was our show and tell segment.  Aaron brought in a picture of a project he recently completed.  Many times the inspiration for a project comes from seeing something you'd like, looking at the price tag, and then figuring that you can make it yourself!  That was the case for this really cool, contemporary wall hanging he made after seeing the $600.00 price tag!  This project is made of Alder and metallic tiles.  Assembly was made using biscuit joinery.

     I came across this product called Kaizen Foam.  It's available from Fastcap and although I mail ordered it you might want to check out our local suppliers.  Peterman Lumber and Woodworkers Emporium are two that were mentioned that carry Fastcap products so maybe they can order it for you and save the cost.
Kaizen Foam

     Basically this stuff is great for organizing your tools and especially protecting them when you're transporting them.  It comes in three different thicknesses and is a 2' x 4' slab.  You trace the tool or item you want to put there and cut through the layers.  It'll then peel away so you have a recessed area that perfectly matches your tool.  If you're interested in it, I did a blog post on it which includes links to the video from Fastcap, here's the LINK to that.

Stanley #101
     I didn't mean for the little block plane I brought in to demonstrate the foam to be a show & tell item but it generated a lot of attention!  It's a genuine Stanley product, #101 that was made from 1877-1962. There is a website I'll share with you that is a cult site for anything Stanley and a great resource if you're out buying used tools. Why it's called  Patricks Blood & Gore I have no idea but here's a LINK to it.

     Now on to the main event, Richard W. shared his experiences from a class he took from William Ng on joinery.  Here is the collection of his work that he brought in.  I'll go into detail as much as I can but suffice to say, he blew us all away with what he accomplished during the week he spent there.

A Weeks Worth of Work

     Did you catch how many times he mentioned that the instructor, William Ng, is nuts?  It wasn't said to be negative but his background is in engineering so everything is measured in 100's of an inch using micrometers instead of us maybe going to 32's of an inch with a precise ruler like we do.  Take the time to check out his website, especially his video on making a crosscut sled and you too will agree with Richard that he's nuts!  Here is a LINK to the video's and school he has.  The cost of the 5 day course was $795.00 which includes  the material costs.
     For starters, the tools Richard brought in were not up to the standards William expects.

Japanese Duzuku Saw
     This Japanese style razor saw is used rather than a traditional back or dovetail saw.  The cut on the pull stroke and make a super narrow cut.  Also, instead of a pencil he used a marking knife and a marking gauge made by Glenn Drake.  It's a very precise, wheel type that has micrometer adjustments -- none of that bang it on the table nonsense to get the size with this one!

   The first day was spent just with hand tools and of course, the sharpening that goes along with it.  Richard mentioned that they probably spent at least an hour daily honing their tools.  Another requirement was to cut to a line to meet Williams standards before any work could be done on the assignments.  The first projects were dovetails (both through and half blind) and also this mitered mortise and tenon joint.

Mitered Mortise & Tenon
     If just looking at this joint isn't confusing enough, all the students were given is this sketch and they were expected to create it from it!  All of this work was done with hand tools only.
Yeah Right Boss!
     The second day he created this really interesting scarf and pegged joint:

Scarf Joint
It's actually one used for construction and allows some movement in the building in the event of the many earthquakes Japan has.  After the first, all hand tool day, they were able to use machinery as well.  Most of the work was accomplished with the table saw and router.  One joint that really blew everyone away was this one:

3-Way Miter
     This joint is a three way miter joint that locks together without any glue!  Richard said that William has a three tiered shelf made with this joint.  Here's a look at it disassembled, if I remember correctly it's made with a combination of hand work and a hollow chisel mortiser.

Wooden Puzzle of Joint?

Needless to say, Richard walked away from this class with a real appreciation of cutting these joints.  However, he ended his presentation showing a jig he made to cut dovetails on the bandsaw.  Some of the joinery was referred to as "show off" joints but we all like the challenge of doing something just to prove we can accomplish it.  Let me end this blog with some pictures of the other joints he was able to make.

Mitered Lap Joint -- Tablesaw, typical of window  parts

Mitered Mortise & Tenon

Forgot the Name Joint but pretty Awesome!  Sliding Dovetails

And then there was this joint that I also forgot the name of but was created with routers and is the joint used to join the seat to a Sam Maloof chair.

To sum it all up, I think we'd agree that this was a highly educational class and Richard walked away from it with a wealth of knowledge he probably couldn't have gotten any other way.  Glad he shared it with us and maybe inspired us to also look for opportunities to increase our skills too.

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