Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 15th. Meeting --- First of the Year

     Our first meeting of the year saw about 33 folks in attendance with quite a few new faces.  Many of these are students from Jamie's classes -- she's really doing her part in exposing more and more Las Vegans to woodworking, Great Job Jamie!  As a teacher I know how much time and effort it takes to set up classes and organize instruction.  Before the meeting started some of you may have noticed an exchange of money going on at the corner table, nope; nothing underhanded going on there.  Although unplanned people started to pay their yearly dues of $20.00.  The majority of the dues actually come back to the members in the form of a great end of the year Christmas party and Lee Valley gift certificates for either a raffle our contests we may have through out the year. There are some club related expenses that the dues pay for, mainly the fees Meet Up charges.  Jamie recognized Lupe for all of her work taking photographs of our meetings and me for writing up this blog.  I'm sure I'm speaking for Lupe too when I say we appreciate your appreciation and enjoy what we're doing -- Thanks for your applause.
     After the round the room introductions the following business items were brought up:


This is a website that Richard brought up.  Not being all that technology savvy myself here is a LINK for that.  Apparently it replaces the RSS feed and has a number of apps you can download to follow blogs.

Magazine Subscriptions:

There was a discussion regarding magazines and in impromptu survey to see whether or not we still subscribed to them.  Before the technology of the internet they were an invaluable source of information but now it seems the consensus was to simply research what you need on line and then print it out on your home printer.  For those of us (myself included) that like to physically turn pages there's always the library.  Fine Woodworking offers an on-line subscription for less than $35.00 a year that gives access to everything they have plus numerous forums.  Here's a LINK for you.

Buying Lumber:

There was a pretty lively discussion about the "lumber triangle" consisting of Peterman, Rugby, and McKillican at the corner of Russell and Arville.  Through the years the attitudes and especially customer service has changed but probably not for the better.  Knowing that Jamie orders much more lumber than most of us do she has a good idea of what's currently going on.  McKillican seems to have deteriorated the most in terms of product availability and customer service.  Peterman probably has the best selection but pricing seems to be an issue which doesn't make sense because everything is on the computer but they probably have different pricing levels depending on how much you buy.  Good thing to do is write down any price given over the phone as well as the date and person who gave you that price.  It's also wise to double-check their board tally.  The lumber there is easy to pick out and displayed so you can see the boards.  The third yard in the triangle is Rugby.  They are often cheaper but their wood is "hit and miss" meaning it's not as surfaced and may not have a straight line ripped edge.  It's a little bit harder to access their lumber piles but I've found they are very willing to move units around so you can get to them.
      Let me add this personal experience to the discussion.  I've had lots of luck with Woodworkers Source in Phoenix.  It's a cool place to visit if you're into long day trips but they also do mail order.  Here's a LINK to them.  I have ordered quite a bit of material from them over the years ranging from a mix of 8/4 and 4/4 Canarywood for a dining table and chairs to the Sapele used on a hall table.  I'm working up an order for them now but may want to hand pick and do the trip myself!  They ship UPS, the last single board order from them came in 3 days.  One thing is that they have what they call UPS Packs that include shipping.  Before ordering that put the same amount in and have them calculate shipping to your zip code.  Usually it's cheaper that way since we're so close to them.

Pete Hauser's Presentation:

Billet of Big Leaf Maple
 Peter Hauser first became interested in figured woods when he was in the USAF, stationed in Texas, and worked part time at a Woodcraft store.  It started with turning and has ended to where he is today building furniture and specializing in end grain cutting boards.  The way he amassed his collection of wood is interesting!  After retirement he became an independent contractor (2001-2009) flying cargo for the Air Force so at times had a huge cargo bay just begging for something to be hauled, enter his search for wood!  I've already sent all of you his lumber sources and I've had a few of you tell me about other ones.  Rather than list all of them and make this blog longer you can do a search on the internet and you'll find a multitude of sources.  Figured woods can come from many different trees, Pete had examples of Maple, Myrtlewood, Redwood, Claro Walnut, Koa, and probably others I didn't write down.  Some of the figure is result of the way the grain grows at the crotch of the tree.  The term that is sometimes used for this figured grain is Chatoyance.  That term is also used to describe that effect in minerals.

 Here are some examples of the pieces he brought in to share with us:
Myrtlewood & Crotch Walnut (shimmer = chatoyance)
Redwood Burl
Curly Koa
This tool box is one that he made from a Texas Mesquite tree.  He actually felled this tree, seasoned the lumber and made the box.
Mesquite on top, highly figured Maple on bottom

Bubinga tool tray

When Pete worked at the Woodcraft store he taught a class on making this table. The top is a book matched piece of Claro Walnut.  The design of the table was inspired by a magazine article that dealt with designing furniture.  An internet search proved successful as he found more detailed photos of it.  The original had steam bent aprons but he found a way to simplify that.  By using a Domino Joiner from Festool to create floating tenons the project was greatly simplified.  Just a side note, some of you may not be aware of what the heck a Domino Joiner is so here's a LINK for you.  After the joints were cut, the legs were tapered four ways. 


The apron parts were cut out (again after the domino joinery) from a wide piece, holes were drilled first to insert ebonized pegs.  He used India Ink to ebonize the Maple.

Close up of pyramid leg and floating top illusion
Pete's presentation ended with a discussion on veneering panels and showing examples of his end grain cutting boards.  I'm going to edit the rest of the blog because if it gets too long I won't be able to send it and you guys won't be able to read it!  To summarize, Pete brought many examples of figured wood and I'm sure it whetted your appetite to possibly use them for a project of your own.

Show & Tell:

Jamie and I decided that from now on we will hold the show and tell session after the business part of the meeting and before the featured presentation.  I apologize to those of you that brought your work in to share that weren't able to at the end of the meeting.  We'll limit the show and tell session to less than 5 minutes for presentation and any questions.  Here's what we had at the meeting:
Ed's turned bowl from a Weeping Cherry Tree

Burl on lathe
Ken's Purple Heart box with wooden hinges.  He uses an Incra set up  for this work.
Wine gift box of Quarter Sawn Oak, Walnut, and Lacewood.
 Inspired by Richards 2x4x8 project, he just happens to be in the background!
That's it for this newsletter, hope you were able to read this lengthy one but there was lots to cover.  Keep the raffle in mind as you work in your shops, that tool you don't need or like could go to someone else and the coffers of the club will increase!

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