Saturday, February 21, 2015


Well, here we are; officially 6 years as a bona fide woodworking organization in Las Vegas thanks to the inspiration and vision that Jamie had way back when we first met in the library (and got kicked out!).  There are perhaps half a dozen of us that have been involved with the group from that first meeting.  My blog list is now over 90 members.  So, here we are from one side:

Then the other side;

And right up the middle:

Quite a group eh?

     Other than patting ourselves on the back for having been in existence for all this time when many said Las Vegas was too transient to support a group like this we did have some official business. Naturally we began with the traditional round robin introductions and there were a number of new faces --- Welcome!

Official Business

      Beginning next meeting we will begin to collect the voluntary dues of $20.00 for the year.  There aren't any paid positions in the group but the monies collected goes towards maintaining our MeetUp site which, if you're not part of it, can be to LINKED here.  The other use for these dues are for the end of the year party where gift certificates or cash is awarded for the winners of the End of the Year contest. These contests are different each year, this was last years Chopped Challenge.  Funds are also used for refreshments and random drawings of paid members for other cash/certificate prizes.  Speaking of which, if you do a feature presentation it will give you another entry into that drawing.  Contact Ted Warren if you would like to share your skill with the group.
Beth mentioned that she has signed up for a chair making class taught by Jeff Levkowitz who teaches classes through Brian Boggs.  That's a well known name, matter of fact Lie-Nielsen sells spokeshaves that he has designed specifically for chair making.  Here's a LINK to his website and the class Beth is taking.
     Ted mentioned that Klingspor is a real good source for finishing materials.  They are a mail order company that was once known primarily for selling abrasives but now sell all types of woodworking supplies.  That's important to us here as there aren't a lot of sources for in Las Vegas.  Here is a LINK to them.
     Just like many of you, I find that my vision isn't what it used to be!  Something that's really helped me with my joinery work is a headlamp, commonly used for backpacking.  I found one at REI that's made by a company called Black Diamond.  Besides being extremely bright it is rechargeable by simply plugging it into the USB port on your computer which eliminates the hassle of dead batteries.  Price is around $60.00, here is a LINK.

Show & Tell

     Ann brought in this really nice turned bowl.  She has really been working on her turning and taken a number of classes from Jimmy Clewes.  This bowl featured a texturing technique which was only partially successful.  This is where experience is always our best teacher and she now knows that to texture an object it needs to be on something harder than a lap!  Textured or not it's a beautiful bowl, look at the grain pattern inside that her careful work was able to expose.

     Beth continues to pursue woodwork by taking on one difficult project after an other.  You recognize her fingernails so it's proof that this is her work.  As you may know, she's really into laminating and this handle is a portion of the panel in this drawer front.  Her goal was to make the handle disappear when you look at the desk from a distance.  Very cool technique wouldn't you say?  Speaking of experience being our best teacher she assembled these using bridal joints cut on the tablesaw.  She used a combination blade which won't give you a flat bottomed cut and shared that if you do this be sure to use a rip blade which will leave a flat bottom.  You could also use a dado head if available.

Feature Presentation

Aaron and his collection of "stuff"
     Aaron is a long time member of the group and, as we all learned, really into lighting and knows a lot about electricity.  I want to thank him for not only the time and effort he obviously put into this presentation but also for sending me his entire Power Presentation to pass on to you.  I was frantically writing my notes for this blog wondering how I'd be able to condense all he said to share with you.  By now you should have all received an email with the Power Presentation plus a PDF I made of it for those of you that may not be able to open his.  All I can say is:

 Thank You Aaron!  

     To help illustrate his presentation Aaron made the box at left.  In it he placed the different types of LED lighting he explained in his talk.  The strip at the far left is the multicolored LED's, next is the LED referred to as a warm white light, then comes the LED which is a cool white light.  The one at the far right is actually rope light which is incandescent lighting.                                               

     It's easier to see the differences in them when they are turned on like this.


     In summary, here are the some of the main differences between the LED and incandescent lighting.  Incandescent is what most of us grew up with.  It operates on standard household current of 110 volts.  It offers reasonable cost and a warm natural color, does not need any type of transformer, and can be controlled with standard dimmers if desired.  However; since they are 110 volts, installations need to be code compliant and there is more of a shock hazard.
     LED's, on the other hand; require a transformer to convert household 110 volts ac to 12 volts dc.  This means there is a minimal shock hazard to the user and minimal heat build up to be concerned with.  LED bulbs tend to have a very long life expectancy, much longer than incandescents.  They do have a bluer, greenish light but the technology is rapidly changing so a more natural light is on the horizon.  You can see the differences in the picture above.  
     Aaron showed us the various ways they can be connected and the fittings needed to accomplish that.  Careful planning is needed when you size your system to be sure the transformer you purchase has the capability to run the lights you require.  This requires some math work but the formulas are all in the handout Aaron shared and I sent to you earlier.  
     One of the most asked questions was where to find the needed parts and pieces to implement lightning into our own projects.  One source he mentioned was HitLights and another is Superbrightleds.  I took a quick peek at them and they both offer various kits, bits, and pieces so you can get as creative as you'd like.  Another possible source mentioned was Amazon and Ebay but Aaron cautioned you to check the shipping policies.  They may come directly from the orient and shipping times can be a couple of weeks --- whenever they fill a Conex box!
     All in all, this was a very informative presentation.  One that many of us may apply in our future work now that Aaron has showed us the possibilities --- Thanks much.

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