Feb 2016 Meeting
This meeting was a postponement of the originally scheduled meeting for Feb 9, which was snowed out. Meeting started at 7:10 pm and kicked off with some brief notes by the chair, primarily laying out the agenda for the night. A great turnout tonight.
Walt addressed the group as the new AWA registrar with a plan to develop an online registration and renewal system. He demonstrated a prototype of the new system (because of not having WiFi it was done as a PowerPoint presentation). Working with the web team (Don, Mary Elizabeth and Stephen), we will flesh this process out in the next month or so.
Joint IWK Project: Gary and Stephen introduced Brian Sharpe to the group. Brian is the Secretary of the Nova Woodturners Guild, and he approached AWA (via Stephen) a few weeks back to gauge interest in a joint project between Nova Woodturners, AWA, and a local Quilting Guild to participate in the IWK Bravery Beads Project.
Brian laid out the fundamental proposal – a community-based project to support IWK’s Bravery Beads initiative which is loosely based on the American “Beads of Courage” program. The program provides a special way for sick kids to record and memorialize their journey through sickness using strung beads – each bead representing a special event or milestone on their experience (e.g. first chemo treatment, pet therapy, first remission diagnosis, a cast or a CAT Scan, a surgical procedure, a special ward event, etc.). Because the bead strings may become quite long (Brian recounted the story of one kid who had four birthday-in-hospital beads), they need a special vessel to hold their bead collections. Nova Woodturners had been thinking that if we worked together we could present IWK with up to 100 vessels this year, to present to IWK for their Bravery Beads kids.
Stephen explained that while Nova will do turned boxes and the Quilters a set of quilted drawstring bags, AWA could develop a pattern for a box based on the recommended dimensions (6″ x 6″ x 4″). He presented an animation of a box he designed in SketchUp to simulate what that design might look like. He suggested that we could either do freestyle designs, or a consistent one – but suggested that kids being kids, we didn’t want to have then comparing one to another in terms of quality. And so, maintaining consistent quality might be a goal we could establish. While there was general agreement that we have to be careful we don’t commit ourselves to a perpetual “contract”, several members indicated an interest in the project. Tom Patterson and a small group (Stephen, Eugene, etc) will take the project away to flesh out towards providing a commitment to this cross-association initiative.
Library: Stephen briefly outlined updates to the library system. The web library is now available for all members to search and reserve books, CDs, plans, etc. based on the new Web Library project which you can access by logging into the site and going to Members Only–>Web Library. If you are working on a project and wondering if we have a suitable reference resource in the library, log in and search by title, author or subject. You will also be able to reserve a library resource through that web application. Stephen advised that the planned library review will happen on Saturday, March 5 starting at 10am at the Baptist Church. Volunteers are welcomed. Stephen will have multiple copies of the library spreadsheet for participants to help in categorizing, assessing and updating/registering library contents. Since this new web library system is now available and Stephen has discovered he can tether his smart phone to the laptop to get internet access on AWA meeting nights, we will be able to largely do away with the paper-based system – although we’ll have a paper copy to work with if the internet connection is slow or unavailable on any given night.
Auction: A Delta Mortising machine will be made available on our auction page starting Feb 20 and running for 2 weeks at which time the final bid will win this great device. The machine is typically listed in the $250-500 range given the condition this one is in.
Break: During the break, tickets were sold for the Wixey table saw digital readout device and the winner was Bill Richardson.
Main Presentation: Don Shubaly walked the group though the use of – and sharpening techniques for – scrapers (also known as cabinet scrapers or card scrapers). Don presented a variety of his own scrapers and explained how he finds them an important device that works in collaboration with planers, hand planes and sanding devices. One important message that he presented is that regardless how good you think your orbital or block sander might be, it is primarily for smoothing, not flattening. The power planer (and hand planes) might flatten, but often will leave high points, ridges and machining marks. The scraper provides a way to flatten wood without leaving as much cut surface texture.
In addition to demonstrating numerous projects where Don has used scrapers, he spent some time showing how to properly sharpen a scraper. Don’s technique involves three main steps: the first, squaring up the edge to remove all old metal burr or “hook” by filing and honing the edge; the second to extend or stretch the metal by honing across the side of the scraper; and the third the creation of the new burr or hook, by pushing or bending the extended metal over each edge of the scraper. Don showed a number of tools he typically uses including a flat file in a homemade jig, an oil stone, his “custom” honing tool (made from an old chrome vanadium screwdriver) and a more recent approach using a four-sided diamond/ water stone.
Show & Tell
A record number of presenters brought in show-and-tell picture shows and furniture for the February challenge. This month’s challenge was to bring in a piece of furniture (or a presentation of a piece) that members have created – recently or in the past.
- Doug presented a corner cabinet he built over twenty years ago – reflecting on the very functional design, attractive classic elements, and techniques he has evolved since the days of this early construction.
- Tom did a picture presentation of a number of projects that included valences, kids furniture, a lovely secretary desk, and a round pedestal table with a central lazy-susan.
- Gary provided a slide presentation of several nice pieces in Gary’s great design elements and a few surprising functional innovations. His works included chests of drawers, tables, and a computer desk.
- Walt shared two projects: a very detailed bedroom suite for his grand-daughters, and a big project to re-organize a closet.
- Bob brought a classic hall table piece in Shaker design, that was one of his very early works and still stands the test of time. tapered legs and dovetail joins in the drawers, as well as simple turned knobs were elements that point to the Shaker style.
- Phil brought a great little bench that covers a hot water radiator in the front hall while providing a great place to put on or take off your boots.
- Bill Howe, a guest who joined us at the invitation of one of our members brought along a beautifully sculpted chair he built some time ago.
- Sheila showed us an adaptation of a half-moon design that she built many years ago in her early apprenticeship (shop class) with some beautiful elements of french-style design.
- Don brought us an innovative piece of work – a foot rest that can work with a regular or rocking chair to provide a nice raised platform for your feet.
March Challenge: Great participation and presentations tonight from all of our presenters! Please note that we didn’t announce it before members headed out for the evening, but the March challenge is to be titled “Marking Time“. The challenge will ask members to think about how you can track time with wood and wood-enhanced pieces. Think sun dial, hourglass, clocks, and other timekeepers. Put on your thinking hats and make us something that can mark the passing of time for you and others.
See you on March 8.
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